Day 1: Surgery was at 8AM and 12 hours later, throbbing pain slowly increasing

I didn’t sleep much and the wife said I didn’t stop moving all night. I think I was just wanting to feel my leg move because I know I wouldn’t get to feel it again for a long time. I was pounding water the day before because I knew I wanted to be well hydrated for the surgery.  After waking up and going to the bathroom I weighed in a 235.5lbs.  I’m now down 17 lbs since I started tracking what I eat using MyFitnessPal.

We got to the surgery center at Tennessee Orthopedic Alliance and went through the admin process. The prep for the operation was not bad. I spoke with a few nurses and doctors. They asked me to spell my name, my birth, and to verify my birthday at almost every step of the way to make sure I was the right person. I had no problem with that at all.  I also made sure they knew that my weight was down by about 5 lbs since they last weighed me.

They shaved my leg after giving me my IV drip. I had another doctor come by to ask some questions and verify and mark my leg. Of course it was cold and even colder when I got to the operating room. They put warm blankets on me and had me breath some gas. It wasn’t bad at all. It wasn’t long before everything went dark and I don’t have any recollection of a thing until I was in recovery.

When I woke up I felt a little nauseous from the anesthesia. I’ve been put under before, but I’ve never been made to feel like that when coming out. Apart from the nausea I was groggy and my throat was pretty sore. Again, I expected the grogginess, but the sore throat was to be expected, but I didn’t know that. The sore was because of the tracheal intubation they give you while you are knocked out. My wife said it took a little longer for me to wake up, but they suspect it was because of my lack of sleep over the past couple of weeks.

I had a little bit of a Diet Coke, maneuvered to get dressed, climbed in a wheelchair and was rolled out to my wife’s car.  We picked up my meds on the way home and I started texting friends and family.  I was preferring not to talk because of my throat, but I was so appreciative of everyone for checking in with me.

When I get home, I hobbled into the house using crutches my wife put in the car the previous night.  From there I landed on the couch where I could push back my seat and put my legs up.  A few big pillows to raise my leg, a blanket, and some water was all I needed before drifting back off to sleep.  It was some of the best sleep I have had in a long time.

While I was asleep my wife did some research on my meds and wrote up my schedule on when I was supposed to take everything.  She even made me a chart using Google Sheets breaking down a way to track days and times to take my medications. It made it super clear and easy to follow.

This is the schedule my wife made up. You can use Google Sheets or Excel.

It’s my dad’s birthday, so we talked several times today. He mostly talked about my surgery.  I had a few other calls, but I appreciated my wife doing most of the talking because my throat was still pretty sore.  Also, I was going in and out a little bit because of the pain killers. Again, I was so thankful for my wife for taking care of me and the rest of my friends and family who called and sent me texts to check in on me.

I would recommend that if you do have to be put asleep where they will be performing a tracheal intubation that will lead to a sore throat that you eat some food.  I wasn’t hungry until I started to eat.  The sandwich my wife made me was a big help. I later ate almost a whole bag of popcorn I bought last week.  Skinny Pop or something like that is perfect for this situation.

The doctor also prescribed the Venapro vascular therapy system. Basically, it’s a sleeve that goes on my good leg that blows up every other minute to keep me from getting a blood clot.  When it blows up it makes a buzzing noise. My wife and I keep thinking it sounds like an old land line phone when it is off the hook.  I’m not 100% how long I have to wear it, but I think it’s for the next week or so.  One cool thing I noticed on the device was a mini USB port. As an IT guy, I wanted to see what it could do.  From what I read, you could use the USB port to get a data dump of the device’s operation. It can also be controlled using the USB port, but you have to buy a separate device because the sleeve won’t work on a computer.

I started this journal entry a few hours ago.  It’s not 10PM here and my leg is starting to  lose it’s numbness.  This means there are coming waves of throbbing and pain.  I’m not looking forward to the next few days, but I will be taking my pain killers to keep it under control.

5 Responses to “Day 1: Surgery was at 8AM and 12 hours later, throbbing pain slowly increasing”

  1. Were you afforded the option of a nerve block? It did wonders for me. It wore off 28 hours later. I knew I had to pop my pain meds when I felt like someone shoved a knife up the bottom of my leg. I was popping pills for about a day and a half. I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt nasty. 2 days after post op I was mostly pain free. There would be occasional tingling or the feeling of prickling. Even after I stopped taking meds I felt gross for another two days. My head was in a daze and everything seemed cloudy. Good luck with the recovery!

  2. Be sure to already be taking your pain meds before the block wears off. You do not want to have to wait for those to kick in. Keep on a REGULAR routine with them and do not forget even one. Have your wife manage. My wife is a CRNA and was an absolute tyrant about keeping the meds flowing when they should. It helped immensely in that first few days. I never really had much pain, just some odd sensations post-op (aside from the worst pain I’ve ever felt when I first woke up in PACU). You’ve got nowhere to go but up from this point, just be careful and listen to your doctor’s orders. By week 6 you’ll be walking again, so don’t let the being bedridden part get you down. It’s rough, but we’ve all been there. Fire up that Netflix.

  3. Thank you!! Yes, I think I did get a nerve block. I’ve never had one of those before, so it was weird. I did have a pretty good bit of pain about 2 hours before my next scheduled pain pill. I waited before taking it, but I took it right on time.

  4. Get a knee scooter. Try to find it second hand off of craigslist. It was so much easier moving around my house with it. If you have carpet, not so much.

  5. Thanks!! I did get a scooter from a friend who had a similar surgery about a year ago. I’ve started wearing my iWalk crutch and it’s been great. I plan an writing another entry soon with updates about it.

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