just limping along

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As you know, I had a bit of surgery on my knee last Wednesday. Although I’d been up for a replacement (I wanted a bionic body part!), the surgeon insisted I only needed a bit of clean-up & repair. 

Even though I knew it was going to be a scoping procedure, & the doctor assured me I’d only have a couple of small incisions & matching stitches, I expected it to be a lot worse than it was.  For anyone who has similar joint issues or has been contemplating this surgery—DO IT!  Seriously, it was barely worse than having a cavity filled at the dentist. 

I’m sure it helps that I had an outstanding surgeon & surgical staff taking care of me.  They were friendly & amazingly efficient.  You know how before surgery, you spend a lot of time waiting?  Waiting to get registered, waiting to be called back & assessed, waiting to be hooked up to the I.V., waiting to speak to the anesthesiologist & surgeon, waiting to be taken to the O.R….  Ha!  They moved like an incredibly well-oiled machine, never leaving me alone or giving me time to even begin to get nervous.

I won’t bore you with all the details…although, frankly, there wasn’t a boring moment to be had that day :swing: …but I thought I’d share a few of the highlights & events that made me chuckle.

For instance, when the receptionist was checking me in, she asked my occupation.  I told her I was an author, which led to much excitement as I gave her bookmarks & even showed her the copy of PROJECT: RUNAWAY BRIDE I’d signed for the nurse in charge of the Clinical Trial I was taking part in. Everyone who passed by was introduced & given bookmarks, & she even called down the nurse who’d called me the night before to give me my arrival time & last-minute instructions.  (I promised them all autographed books when I go back for my first post-op appointment. :beehappy: )

Then they took me back to a bed & started stripping me, questioning me, prepping me, & the Clincal Trial nurse was there to take blood & give me an EKG.  She asked what my current pain level was, which sort of caught me off-guard; I mean, I hadn’t had the surgery yet, so it was pretty much a zero.  A few minutes later, Madame Mommy Dearest came back & happened to notice my hospital wristband.  She said, “Oh, no—they got your age wrong!”  I looked, & sure enough, it did not say 29. :grrr:  To which I gave a wail & cried, “Well, now my pain level is about an 8!” :tears:

When it was finally time to be taken into the operating room, they injected something into my I.V. & wheeled me away.  The O.R. was literally right around the corner, so it took probably all of five seconds to get there.  But by the time we arrived, everything was starting to get blurry & I was feeling nice & floaty.  I said something to the nurse about how quickly the shot was working, then they had me hop over to the surgical table, & that’s all I remember.  Out like I light.  Next thing I knew, I was coming out of it feeling as though I was waking up from the best nap of my life. :nap:  No side effects, no lingering grogginess, just a couple of minutes & I was awake.

Later, when the anesthesiologist came by, I told him how surprised I was that I’d just woken up from the anesthesia.  The times I’ve been knocked out before, I woke up either freezing cold or hot as hell, & always struggling to remain conscious.  He just smiled & said he’d given me the “Baby Bear” dose.  I loved that, because there’s this great scene from Mike & Molly where Vince’s back goes out & everyone’s taking care of him.  He asks Mike to make him some oatmeal (I think), then adds that he doesn’t want it too soupy or too thick, he wants it just right…’cause he’s the Baby Bear!  And ever since, I use that line whenever I’m talking about something not-too-hot, not-too-cold, not-too-overcooked, etc.  See, it turns out I am the Baby Bear! 

I had no problems with the post-surgical pain medication they were testing on me as part of that Clinical Trial, either.  As soon as I woke up, the Trial nurse was there again, checking my vitals & once again asking my pain level.  It wasn’t great; as I told them, it felt as though someone had cut open my knee & dug around inside for a while :seymour: but it wasn’t terrible, either.  It told her it was about a 3.  She & the surgical nurse were both amazed; they told me I was already way better than the last two patients they’d worked with.  Apparently one had a negative reaction to the pain meds & the other woke up sobbing about how bad the pain was.  Ha!  Trust me, this was not PAIN.  (I’ve been in pain.  I’ve had jaw surgery & a hysterectomy.  My knee hurt so much over the holidays that I could barely walk & was nearly in tears.  This wasn’t even close to any of those things.  This was like…stubbing your toe really hard & feeling ouch-ouch-ouch for a while, but knowing it would pass & be nothing more than a minor inconvenience. :gum: )

They were allowed to give me 1-3mg of the trial pain medication (intravenously) every 3 hours, as needed.  But since my pain level was fairly low, the nurse started with only 1mg.  They brought Madame Mommy Dearest back to show her I was still alive; I sipped ginger ale; & we all waited.  Again, the Trial nurse was very mindful of my vitals & comfort…she needed to know if I felt nauseated or lightheaded or feverish or anything like that.  Nope, I was fine. Talking a mile a minute, as usual. :margarita:   I swear not even 20 minutes passed before she checked everything again, asked about my pain level—which was fine; still about a 3, but not as sharp as earlier—& they they were removing my I.V. & putting my clothes back on.  They were literally dressing me, like they couldn’t get rid of me fast enough. :raincat:  LOL  But it turns out they didn’t think I needed another dose of the Trial drug & wanted to move me upstairs to the little post-Trial resting room—the one wish recliners in it!  I was sure okay with that. :nap:

I had to stay there for three more hours while they monitored me…but even though I read a little at first & rested a little later, I mostly chatted with the Head Trial Nurse about our mutual love of peanut butter & chocolate.  Neither one of us had eaten all day & were making each other seriously hungry!    I gave her my “recipe” for Homemade Peanut Butter Cups, & she’s going to give me her recipe for the Best Ever Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing.  I can’t wait! 

Then they took more blood & sent me home.  Which is where these photos come in…

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All bandaged up from surgery. They only operated on my knee, but I was mummified from thigh to toes!
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The day the bandages came off. I expected it to look worse than this, although every time I look, all I can think of when I see those stitches is big, ugly ticks sticking out of my skin. o_O Not looking forward to having them removed, either. :'(
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They told me that after the bandages came off, I should cover the incisions with regular band-aids. So I thought, MINIONS!!! (Because Minions can even make having holes in your knees fun! :D)

And that’s about the size of it.  I’m supposed to Rest, Ice, Constrict, & Elevate (RICE), but also be up & around to speed healing & avoid stiffness.  I’ve got some tips, though, if anyone else has plans to have this sort of thing done, or if I ever need to go through it again.  Let me know & I’ll happily share! :situp:

So been there, done that—it’s finally over with & I’m on the mend!  I didn’t get a t-shirt, but as the header says, I will just keep limping along. 


8 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Kathleen O says:

    I know that this surgery is in my future.. But I live where there is stairs I have to go up and down on… I might have to go to a rehab centre for a few days…
    Take care of your self… :cheer:

    • Heidi Betts says:

      Do you have to do *a lot* of stairs? I’m lucky, I really didn’t have to do many when I got home & this first week, but if I’d *had* to, I think I could have…VERY slowly & VERY carefully! :gum:

      I do think it would have hurt a bit more, though. I’m doing stairs now, & can do an entire flight—slowly & carefully!!!—but when it comes to some higher step-offs or uneven steps, *that* can be precarious. (I’ve got kind of a high one going off the front porch & it can give me a twinge; I’m glad I didn’t do it too soon after the surgery. :raincat: )

      Those are the kinds of things you can ask your doctor & the nurses about, though, & I know they’ll have suggestions or help you make arrangements.

      When you do decide to have the procedure, let me know & I’ll share with you anything I can. It really wasn’t bad at all, so don’t be nervous! :beehappy:

  2. Nora-Adrienne Deret says:

    You reminded me of my knee surgery (arthroscopic) to fix a torn meniscus. I had my #2 son drive me in. I told the staff I’d brought my personal para-medic just in case.

    I was in and out in under 3 hours limping back to the car. The week before they’d delivered a cooling unit to my house to use after surgery. My knee was wrapped with a special pad that had 2 hose connections for the cooler to hook up to.

    It’s now 12 years later and I still have problems with that knee but I’m walking and have no plans to go under the knife ever again.

    Good luck with your knee and I’m sure your results will be extremely better then mine were.

    • Heidi Betts says:

      Oh, wow, I didn’t get a cooling unit! :gum: But I guess I didn’t need one, the ice packs helped enough.

      It really was a simple procedure, wasn’t it? I’m glad your knee is *mostly* better, & hope that if you do need anything more done, you’ll go for it. :alice:

  3. Leeannlovingthebooks says:


  4. MSusan says:

    thanks for the blow by blow- you are the best storyteller! ( med staff hospital pr section would probably welcome such an easy,positive experience/testimony)

    Makes me like the idea better, great photos ,barely invasive..

    Oh and jaw surgery? Def a 10 on scale where eyes roll back in your head and gasping.
    The move from hell? From 2 story to 1 story.scared the pants off me when i had to do stairs like a 2 yr old ….up & down on my bum. and sitting in a cold bath brainstorming how the hell i was going to roll up and over and out…

    Honestly we do keep our fear and anxiety alive with our brainworms…
    Now i dont want to wait …
    Thank you

    • Heidi Betts says:

      Thank you very much, MSusan. I do try. :alice:

      Definitely if you need something like this done, don’t worry one bit about it…it was *so* simple & you’ll be no more laid up or in pain than BEFORE when your knee is OW! OW! OW! from being injured. Sheesh. :giraffe:

      I go in next week to have the stitches removed & everything checked out, so I’ll be asking some questions & find out if I’m doing as well as I think I am. :swing:

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