Jun 27 2012
NOT 2 times the fun! Twice is NOT as nice! Changing to a new username I guess (gntwagner), so I can put in new info for this 2nd go round with my ATR. I’ll use the old blog(gw0508) to compare what’s going on during recovery & PT.
Driving down to the Medical Center of the Rockies, I glance to the west to check on the High Park fire that has been raging near Fort Collins & am surprised to see the whole mountain range tho still a bit smokey. After 10 days & still under 50% contained I haven’t seen much of our beautiful mountains. Now a new wildfire is raging near our former hometown of Colorado Springs! So much devastation from these fires!
Just got out of surgery this morning (26 June) for my LEFT Achilles. Much easier so far this time. Unlike my right ATR, I was able to get into surgery just one week after the rupture vs 6! So, backing up to this morning brings me to checking in. My DH took time off from work to play nursemaid. My son is so grateful as that allowed him to drive to school without the side tour to the hospital to drop me off. I checked in at 7:45 am. After changing into a lovely gown, I’m sure you’re all familiar with, I went thru the multitude of the expected questions. They kept asking me to verify my full name, birthday & what I was having done. They did this while checking my blood pressure, temperature & pulse. The anesthesiologist comes in & starts my IV. She numbs the area with a small injection & the numbing agent stings! Why not just stick me once & be done with it? But when she does go for the big stick I don’t feel it- so, ok, I’m good with 2 sticks. She verifies I’m going general anesthesia & explains the drugs she’s starting up. Fentanyl was what was used to relax me & something else for amnesia. When I asked about that, the anesthesiologist said they used it so I wouldn’t remember the pain from the surgery. Here’s what I found out later about general anesthesia. It is the “state produced when a patient receives medications for amnesia, analgesia, muscle paralysis, and sedation. An anesthetized patient can be thought of as being in a controlled, reversible state of unconsciousness. Anesthesia enables a patient to tolerate surgical procedures that would otherwise inflict unbearable pain, potentiate extreme physiologic exacerbations, and result in unpleasant memories.” Ok, I’m good with that too. They then had me roll over on to my stomach & then swabbed the outer part of my leg for a popliteal sciatic block. This is to numb up the leg from the knee to ankle. They find the right place using ultrasound. That stick didn’t feel good but soon, we’re on our way & I don’t feel it. The fentanyl is taking effect & I’m feeling light headed & not all there. Didn’t wait long & I was being rolled into the OR. I remember them telling me to breath deep as they put a mask over my face. They told me it would smell of plastic. They weren’t kidding. Next thing I know, someone is putting my glasses on & I see blurry shapes that look like my sons overhead & hear my husband’s voice. Not sure if I dozed off again but I’m soon able to make sense of the swirling sounds and shapes above me.
They tell me I may be nauseous & give me barf bags but I’ve never been bothered with it before & hope my luck runs true. Unlike last time, no one is stuffing crackers in my mouth & telling me to blow out at the same time. I guess they did that to help with nausea before & also to make sure my lungs were functioning well. But so far so good. I feel almost refreshed tho still a bit loopy. I’m still surprised that unlike last time, I’m not as fuzzy headed & things seem to be making sense. My leg is dead tho they have an ice bag on it, can’t feel a thing. The popliteal block is working. They tell me my leg would be numb anywhere from 18-36 hours. I’m hoping for the 36 hours! Can’t wiggle my toes. I’m glad my family is in there with me because I don’t trust my memory to remember what’s going on or what’s being said to me. I’m in a soft splint. I was told at my initial doctors appointment I would be in that for 2 weeks, non-weight bearing. Before I know it, the nurse is telling me it’s time to get me dressed & on my way. Pit stop in the bathroom, wheel chair & we’re off. Except… I hold up my left hand asking when they’re taking out the IV needle & tape. Good thing to do before cutting me loose. I know I’d heard my husband talking to someone in the hall way while I got dressed. I had been waiting for the doctor to come in & tell me what he found. Never saw him. Apparently it was the pharmacy giving my DH instructions on my meds.
I spent most of the day sleeping off the anesthesia. I hadn’t slept well the night before as my leg ached. No pain now tho. By 3pm I decided I’d better get up so I could sleep thru the nite. I couldn’t feel it but put ice on my leg with it propped up thru the rest of the day. I really haven’t been hungry though I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink since 9pm the night before. Just making sure I’m hydrated as it’s been over 100° for the last few days. My toes are very numb & look kind of blue. I assume it’s just the bruising because they’re still warm, letting me know the blood flow is good. Later on tonite- I’ve decided to loosen the wraps abit as my toes don’t have much space between them. Tho it’s 9pm, no pain but I’m going to bed with my foot propped up & don’t want to wake up in the night due to a swollen foot.
Morning after- 27 June -Wednesday morning. Guess I slept too much yesterday after the surgery. I had a hard time going to sleep. No work today. I’d already let them know I wouldn’t be in since I didn’t know what kind of shape I’d be in. No pain today either. 20 hours after the Popliteal block I still couldn’t move my toes or feel them. Haven’t taken any of the oxycodon I was given after surgery, yet.
11:00- I can finally weakly wiggle my toes! Yea! They moved! I also see spaces between the toes again. They don’t look like fat bluish sausages anymore. Still have the dull numb feeling mostly from the knee on the right side down to my toes. My toes, when pressed, give off a bit of that pins & needles feeling so I know feeling is being restored. I took one oxycodone (at 9:30) as I don’t want to wait until I feel pain to medicate. I still don’t know which side the incision was made but am assuming on the lateral side since that’s still numb. I do feel a bit of an ache on the right ankle medially but am assuming it’s from the splint. I may loosen the wrap a bit more there. I have ice again on my leg but don’t really feel it thru the wrap & splint. I feel like a contortionist as I sit here typing this with my leg propped up above my heart to help with swelling. It’s obvious that just elevating it yesterday afternoon wasn’t enough even tho I had ice on it. Gotta get it above the heart because we can’t afford the swelling & resultant pain from the fluid buildup. Let gravity work for us by elevating above the heart! I feel my leg heating up so the block is wearing off. I’ll wait abit more to see if the pain starts to build before popping another oxydocone, guess 1 wasn’t enough but don’t want to over medicate. I can feel heat kind of like an ache opening up to my calf on the lateral side. Wonder if that’s as high an incision the doc had to make? Guessing my scars won’t be matching as this one seems to be on the lateral side & my right is more medial from the calcaneus about 4 inches long. This one feels longer if that’s what I’m starting to feel. Just planning to lounge around today & tomorrow. Tomorrow I do plan on getting one of those knee rollabouts. Called my insurance company to see if they would authorize that so when I am out & about I won’t have to crutch the whole time. I did make some nice cushy cushions on crutches as I live in a multi story house & I have to use my crutches. It’s been nice this week pre-op having them! I’ll try to post a pic. Planning to go back to work & at least teach my sitting flexibility class on Friday morning. Nothing more than that tho. Oh yeah, feeling that lateral side heating up & pain just around the corner. I’ll go lie down & stretch out, prop up the leg. Yeah, doesn’t feel good when I let it down. Bye for now.
Ok, a few hours later & it’s been Keystone cops around here. Murphy’s law- If anything can go wrong-it will. I had to go get some ice as that DOES work for pain since the percocet was taking its sweet time, but when I got to the freezer, the ice arm was out of its socket & there wasn’t much ice! Somebody had shoved some stuff in the ice portion & dislodged the arm that senses when to dump ice. Great. Didn’t know where my DH was. My guys had gone to church. Just me & the kitties. We’re cat sitting for my daughter. One little guy was literally underfoot & I stepped on him once & tried to hop off but ended up stepping on my bad foot! Non weight bearing no-no! He squawked, I squawked & now I really needed ice! In the melee, I knocked over the kitty water dish & I had to clean that up & let it dry because I knew with my luck, I’d hit a wet spot with my crutch & really go flying! (Ok, quit laughing! I can almost hear you now!) sigh. after I cleaned that mess up, I tried to lean into the freezer to fix the ice arm one handed. By now I’m sweating a storm & my ankle is hurting & I’m hoping I didn’t rip stitches or undo the whole mess. I keep shooing little kitty away because he’s come back right under me. I’m envisioning stepping on him again & determined not to step on that foot again! Hit the floor rather than the foot! Finally, finally I can’t get that darned ice arm fixed with just one hand & try to balance on one foot leaning like crazy on the frig & I get it hooked back up….Just as DH comes thru the garage door & asks what I’m doing & why I’m yelling at the cat to get out of my way! Of course I know I shouldn’t be up trying to fix the ice & be patient to let him come in & get it for me. I HATE this helplessness! I’m sure anyone looking in would have thought the whole thing hilarious! I guess God is trying to teach stubborn me the meaning of asking for help knowing how much I hate that helpless female image. Humbling me. I’m tired & it’s only 6:30. Can I just go to bed now hoping tomorrow will be a whole lot better?
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