So I am now just a little over 2 weeks post-op. I had my 3rd knee surgery (in 4 years) on Thurs May 12th. They went in to scope the knee and see what they could find. They knew there was what seemed to be a detached meniscus tear but unsure what else. Nothing else really showed in the mri. In fact that detached tear was missed by the radiologist and the surgeon the first time around when looking at my scans. I went into this surgery feeling really good about it. I was optimistic and ready for it. I was hopeful. I know a large part of that optimism was from my Heavenly Father. I had received a Priesthood blessing from my home teacher and a member of my bishopric a few days before surgery. In that blessing I was promised to be "healed completely" some other words in the blessing were "courage, strength, faith, endurance, patience, peace and calm, physical and mental readiness and strength" and can you hear words like those knowing they are coming from your Heavenly Father through His messenger and not be optimistic? It made me cry and in fact I am starting to tear up now writing about it. There is so many promises and blessings our Heavenly Father gives us if we are willing to accept them. I wasn't afraid for surgery. I was not nervous or anxious. As everyone would ask me if I was nervous I said no. It was a comforting feeling.
So I was scheduled for surgery at 12:30 and told to arrive at 10:30. So my mom and I got there a little early and went up to my office and I showed her around and she got to meet several of my co-workers. Than it was time. We went and checked in and went to the pre-op area. After a bit they brought me back i got in my gown, cap and booties. They gave me an iv with antibiotics and my mom came in. We were waiting to go to the pre-op holding area where I would see the surgeon and anesthesiologist etc right before going in. It was getting to be after 12 and so my mom left because she had a 12:30 appt for a facial nearby. She decided instead of waiting anxiously she would try to relax a bit (and it was free). So she left before I was even taken to pre-op holding. I waited there for quite a while and it was sometime after 1pm when I was finally taken there. I got to see the anesthesiologist and was still waiting for my surgeon and asked the nurse if we could call my mom to see if she was back yet to come in. She said "sure just a minute" but never came back by for me to call. Dr Schatz came and talked to me and I even told him I was ready and optimistic. So it was almost time. My mom still didn't know I was going in an hour late and I didn't want her worried that they had me in surgery longer than expected and she had asked about me. So they brought her in (gee thanks nurse for calling her) luckily Dr Schatz was nearby and got to meet her and know who she was before surgery. They took me in. I remember them giving me the oxygen mask and that's about it until I was being woken up in the recovery room.
I was still in and out of it in the recovery room and they were trying to reach my mom, the nurse was calling my number and not listening to me that she needed to call a different number. I vaguely recall Dr S. coming in and asking him how it went and he said it went well. If there was more said than that I don't know. By this time it was at least 4pm and I hadn't eaten since 10 the night before! As I was waking up I felt like I needed to pee and the nurse brought me a bedpan but than I couldn't go. I still felt like I needed to go. They asked me if I knew how to use crutches and I said yes. She was telling me to wake up because they physical therapists leave at 4:30 and they needed to make sure I knew how to use them. i told her it was my 3rd knee surgery and she was still asking. Finally I was waking up enough to be a little more cognisant and my mom came in. They listened to her about the crutches! They helped me get dressed and I was sitting. I got some apple juice. I was so thirsty! After some time when I was actually starting to really be awake they let me go to the bathroom. Then I was in a wheelchair and they were making sure I wasn't nauseated or anything and I was feeling ok. They had given me more juice and some crackers. I was starting to nibble a little on the crackers and they took out my IV. (they wanted to make sure I was feeling ok before they did) and then after they took out my IV I started to feel sick. I even dry heaved once! Oops! But I really did feel ok when I told them I did before they took it out!! So I was able to have some water and my stomach settled enough that they were ready to discharge me. I left the hospital at 6pm! It made for a long day. I was pretty sleepy from the anesthesia all day and mostly slept until around 8am the next morning.
Dr Schatz told my mom (and gave her the pictures) that when they got in there for the scope they found several things going on. There was a small tear in my acl (which is the graft I got with my last surgery) there was a lot of scar tissue that needed cleaned out, there was some tissue or something on the back of my knee-cap, there was some other tissue or something in there towards the back of my knee that was preventing me from being able to bend my knee properly. She didn't mention to me whether he said he found the detached meniscus tear, but if it was there I am sure he got that too! So despite nothing really showing up in the MRI I had a lot of things going on!
One of the cutest things was when I got home from the hospital and got myself to the front door Elijah asked me "why you have different skin?" They had scrubbed my leg from mid-thigh all the way to my toes for the surgery! So my leg and foot everything was orange! It was kind of funny. He is one observant little guy! The next day I used a washcloth to try to get rid of some of the orange coloring. On Fri I went with my mom and nephews to Costco. We got some pizza for lunch and I used the electric cart to get around for the little bit of shopping we did. We were only gone like an hour and half. That was enough activity for me that day. Than on Sat my family went to the street fair. I was in the wheelchair but that wore me out too. Sunday was church and I made sure my leg was up on a chair or something all day. By Sun evening I was starting to hobble around at home without the crutches. Just a little bit though. On Mon my dad had a Dr appt they remembered about sort of last min so I was basically home alone. I hobbled around crutch-free most of Mon too! For the little bit of getting around I needed to do. I went to FHe that night and on Tue returned to work.
At work they spoiled me! They were glad to have me back (which is a good feeling) they made sure I didn't carry anything. I had a crate put under my desk and I brought in a pillow to put my leg up on the crate. When i would get up for something someone would tell me to sit back down. They all kept asking if I needed my ice bag filled or water to drink etc. At one point I was coming back from the bathroom and Erik was asking what I needed and telling me to sit back down. I told him I had to pee and he says "we'll bring you a bucket" no thanks on the bucket but nice gesture! So it was cool. On Weds I brought in a cane instead of the crutches and again was basically yelled at if I was up for anything. By Thurs (1 week post-op) I was hobbling around the office without the crutches or cane either. But was still under scrutiny if I was up from my desk for basically anything.
Towards the end of that week I was starting to stretch out the time between pain pills and on Fri didn't take any during the day. That night after work I was starting to hurt a little bit and was thinking I would be ok and went to bed and woke up a few hours later and took a pill. Sat I went to Costco, I had my cane and since I was using a cart decided to walk for the few items I needed, I only went where I needed to go but after the trip (about an hours worth) I was getting pretty sore/uncomfortable. I came home and iced my knee for a little bit before going to the Temple. Again I used my cane and not a wheelchair and so between the two (both being the most activity since surgery) I was pretty sore that evening but not too bad. I used the polar care ice unit and took it easy.
This week on Mon I went to Disneyland. I did use a wheelchair and was somewhat sore intermittently throughout the day. But overall it wasn't too bad. I did take some pain pills but mostly just in case. The rest of the week I was at work. I was getting around and walking more. Was starting to sit in my chair more without the crate/pillow support and actually keeping my knee bent more. I wasn't getting yelled at for being up and although I would still get the occasional offer of help I was pretty pro-active in taking care of my own needs. Weds I had a mild scare when I sat down at one point and got a sharp kind of popping feeling in my knee and it was uncomfortable after that... Than on Thurs it was still a little weird and at lunch I was sitting with it bent normally and not thinking about it started to bring my leg back past a 90degree angle and felt a weird pulling sensation on the top part of my knee. Again was uncomfortable that day. So on Fri was my post-op follow up appt.
I saw Dr S for my appt. He asked how it was going so I told him. He bent it up on the table and felt around to see if I was having pain issues. there was a little tenderness but nothing like pre-op stuff. Plus I am still not completely healed yet. I told him about Weds and Thurs and asked if that was normal, it may have been slightly that I was doing too much, but he said especially with the Thurs thing he said with the scar tissue that I had in there before the "pulling sensation" is probably my tendons actually moving through my knee where they couldn't before (but should've been going) He said that I am progressing very fast and very well and that I would still take some time to completely heal but to continue to increase activity as I feel comfortable with. He said that I most likely wouldn't need physical therapy because my motion is really good right now. He also said that he could schedule me for another follow-up in a few weeks if I really felt it necessary but he didn't think I would need it! He said that I had a lot of reasons to have needed the surgery and it was a good thing we did it. He said since I wasn't making any follow up appt that if I do have any questions or problems t just "pop in" and see him. (I figure if there is anything I can call first) Things are really good!
Its nice to know that I am on the road to a full recovery. I am sure that I will always have to use a little bit of caution and like he said it is still going to take some more time for full recovery. I am going to start slow with increasing stuff I am doing. I mean I know I am not ready to climb Mt Kilimanjaro or anything, but I can start swimming to strengthen it, and get to where I can start biking more, and stuff. I went to a wedding yesterday and than the reception and by the time it was getting dark out I was uncomfortable. So I know I am not superwoman. I still need some help. Tonight 2 lil "monsters" came crawling into my room growling at me and so I was "scared" and got up onto my bed to get away, walking on my bed not such a smart move yet. But I am ok. I just have to remember to take it easy! Its awesome knowing that in the next few months I can hopefully start walking Disneyland again and not have to be pushed around. But again I need to take it slow. I will miss the wheelchair lines though with the crowds!