It’s April 5th – 24 hours after my ACL/Meniscus surgery! It’s been a long month of waiting for this day – after my back country ski accident, I had a work trip, my surgeon had vacation and I needed to get my range of motion in better shape.
After a wonderful weekend with my family – my dad came out from Philadelphia, so we got to the Denver museum of nature and science, a few breweries and lots of time reminiscing – I was ready!
Yesterday began at 6 am, after a wonderful night of sleep, surprisingly enough. Mike dropped me off at the front of the surgery center, I was checked in and taken back to the pre-opp room. The nurse was extremely nice and after I changed into my beautiful gown and stocking cap, complete with a compression sock for my right leg, she put an intervenes in and we chatted. I asked her how many patients she’d see in a day…23! I was the first of the day, so felt lucky about that!
Mike was invited back took some pictures in my garb. I was certainly a site to see.
Another nurse came back and scrubbed my leg down, then the anesthesiologist came in to talk about the nerve blocker, my Surgeon came in and asked if I had any questions…..and it was go time.
I was given a sedative, asked some conversational questions to get me relaxed, then wheeled back to the operating table, moved onto the table….and lights out.
I woke in a room with a nurse, with zero recollection of anything! Mike came in and let me know I’d been in that room for almost an hour. A short roll in the wheelchair to the car and we were on our way home. He put me to bed and I slept…
Waking up, my pain came in waves. The blood bag attached to my wound drained the excess from my knee. It was pretty gross! The nap left me surprisingly hungry, so Mike made one of the Hello Fresh meals I got to make while I was on the mend, and it was delicious. I had heard you lost your appetite after surgery but apparently mine was in tact!
I went to sleep that night at 6, having iced my leg every 30 minutes, a pill on the nightstand to pop in case I woke up in pain, and loads of water by my bedside. Waking up at 4:30, I was in excruciating pain so had to wake Mike up to get me another pill. My leg felt as though someone had beaten it with a hammer! After taking a pain pill, having some water, I went back to bed. When I woke up, I had some smoothie, had another pill and took a gander at the paper work I got to take home from my surgery describing the areas my surgeon worked on and pictures of the internal work pretty gory stuff!
My leg still felt like dead weight – the nerve blocker was apparently more topical because inside it felt like chopped liver, but still felt tingly on the outside. Let’s just say going to the bathroom isn’t the easiest! The brace they gave me at the surgery center was extremely bulky and cumbersome and hard to move around. The bandages were extremely tight and the drain seemed to be filling quickly. Mike made me get up and walk around to make sure the blood was circulating…watch here!
A fabulous friend of mine just had ACL surgery as well, Anna, and I’ve learned so much from her journey. She’s 21 days into her surgery and has been such an inspiration – plus she let me borrow her ice machine that circulates ice cold water on the knee. My surgeon’s PA was supposed to call and walk me through taking out the drain, but after several hours, I wanted to get in my CPM machine and use my ice machine, so I went for it! Here’s a YouTube film of me pulling the drain out. Watch if you dare!
After the drain was pulled, Mike helped me hook up to the CPM and I was moving. The ROM is set for 70 degrees bent, 30 degrees straight and unfortunately I couldn’t get there today, but I will by hell or high water, get there by the end of the week!
So, that’s been the day of and day after surgery – it’s going to be a long road, but man I’m glad to be on it!