Post op- Week 2- house of pain

Fell asleep night one with completely numb leg and everything was great, all drugged up and finally on road to recovery.  I kind of  knew I had it coming so I took a Percocet and went to sleep, around 4am intense pain started creeping in and never let up for 3 days.  It was the most incredible unrelenting pain, I was miserable.  I had my wife call the doctor after about half a day, I was sure that something went wrong with surgery and they left several razor blades or needles in my leg after they stitched me up.  Seriously the only way can describe the pain is it felt like I had stepped onto a bear trap and was hung upside down from a tree by it. 

The doctor called back and upped my meds to Dilaudid which needed to be picked up in person being a controlled narcotic and cant prescribe over the phone.  Sent my out-of-town mom on the errand to run downtown Chicago as my pregnant wife and 2 year old were home but staying far away from me as possible so I wont curse them out.   Started taking this night 1 and nothing, didn’t touch the pain and didn’t make me drowsy enough to sleep through it like the Percocet did. 

Called doc trying to convince them that something was wrong, he said the pain is normal and to double dose and see if that works.  This kind of pain is normal! I wish they left me in the hospital so they can give me another nerve block! Doubling the dose didn’t work… so after 12 hours of experimenting with Dilaudid and overworking my liver I went back to Percocet doubling the dose and at least able to sleep during the peak of the drugged induced grogginess.  This went on literally 3 1/2 days taking 2 doses of Percocet every 4 hours, then it was tolerable and I was able to get up and sit on the couch, with leg propped up.  I iced religiously for the first 2 weeks, even waking my wife at night to refresh the bag. 

The rest of the week went ok with just taking meds at night to help sleep as I could never get comfortable.  Also I lost feeling in my big toe along the top side from knuckle to nail.  I informed the doctor and he said it is most likely the splint pinching something and it should be fine.  I lasted the 2 weeks but looking back I wish I went in right away to have the splint redone, I am certain the amount of pain I had and the numbness in my toe were due to too tight of a splint. 

Day 7 celebrated xmas with family out on the couch but able to enjoy it.

Day 13 Drove wife to hospital to give birth to our son on New Years Eve! The nurses there took care of all 3 of us so we stayed the extra day to get room service and fresh bags of ice.  Also this is where I figured that I need a shower stool and an adjustable showerhead to shower instead of taking a bath which was way inefficient! Had my brother set that up once I returned home.

Also side note- my mother came to town from Michigan to take care of us since my wife was so pregnant and expecting any minute. So Thanks again mom! I relied heavily on my mom and brother to help with everyday items such as shoveling snow and cooking dinner.  Was hard to accept the help but I was virtually useless outside of wearing out the remote. 

As far as the first 3 days go, I haven’t read of any accounts similar to mine.  Other post-ops I have read really either downplay the pain or were less painful can anybody relate to the incredible pain the first 3 days after surgery? 

5 Responses to “Post op- Week 2- house of pain”

  1. Wow, that sounds terrible! I had a block and minimal pain when it wore off.

    I did have some big toe numbness, around the tip off and on, the first couple weeks postop. I think it had more to do with swelling than anything.

  2. I will be 5 weeks post op tomorrow and toe still numb I’m on my second cast which arent as tight as the splint, plus I massaged the hell out of my leg trying to get some feeling in my toe while my cast was off but nothing yet. Working my way up to next set of blog update but still concerned about the toe and doctor is really downplaying it.

  3. So sorry for your pain. My first two weeks horrible also. My felt like my ankle was being choked. I actually ripped off my surgical dressing in my ambien sleep so I got my cast a little earlier than scheduled. (Halleluyah).

    For me, the first two weeks were the absolute worst. If you can make it through that, you’ve got this.

    Congrats on the birth of your son. I will say, you did give me a good giggle. Your toe will get better.

    Take Care.

  4. My only ATR op (ATR #1) was about 10 yrs ago, so I’ve forgotten a lot. But I do remember staying in bed and moaning and groaning — and peeing into a cider jug — for close to a week. I was in a plaster cast-splint for that time, and then some. (Then a cast, then another cast. . . eventually a boot. . . conservative surgeon, not interested in any research I’d done.)

    I don’t remember the kind of intense pain you describe. More like the feeling that my leg would explode every time I lowered my foot.

  5. FWIW, I’ve had two hernia surgeries and one open-heart surgery, and my one ATR repair was the most painful, IIRC. (The big one was probably the LEAST painful. I turned down all the morphine, just regular Tylenols for a day or two until one of the surgeons said I didn’t have to take them! Shocking!)

    Anyway, anybody who pooh-poohs the pain that ATR surgery CAN cause, has never had a painful one. OTOH, I’m sure lots of surgeons would rather ignore your pain until “tincture of time” cures it. So be your own Patient Advocate to make sure you don’t have a problem that’s being ignored.

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