Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Jul 01 2008

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Surgery and 1st 72 hrs…some pics

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THE SURGERY:  OK, so I had surgery on Friday (Have I told you that my surgeon severed his Achilles a year and half ago – he showed me his own scar and this has been very comforting to me that he’s been through it)….

My brother took me first thing in the morning and they checked me in. “down to your bday suit” they say.  And into a robe.  We then had a series of nurses, assistants and a Chaplain come by (um….do I really need a Chaplain for this??? Oh no!). While not religious, my brother said – lets pray just for some positive thought!  Then they gave me a sedative (which I requested in my pre anesthesia appt) which they had to administer right in the middle of my fanny.  That worked immediately and didn’t really hurt.  

They then wheeled me to the second pre op room where my brother couldn’t go, so I was on my own.  The nurse took my vitals and hooked up my IV.  Luckily it was just a one prick deal (some of you have had multiple tries….).   Literally the next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room. 

Before I went into the op room however, they gave me a pain blocker shot right above my knee in the side of my thigh.  I don’t remember this at all – but want to thank the folks on this site for telling me about it.  It really made a difference the first 24 hours.  (keep in mind my insurance didn’t pay for it, and I’ll post the cost once I get it from the dr’s– I think around 700$).  You cannot feel your toes for about a day due to the blocker but that wears off.

In the recovery room, the nurse was laughing at me and said that I had been reciting my address for the last 15 minutes (he was really cute, maybe I wanted to take him home!!!)  – who knows what you do as you are waking up from the fake coma they put you in.  Hopefully you keep your secrets to yourself!  They gave me some morphine in the recovery room, and I was feeling pretty high.  In fact, the memory of that day is all a little fuzzy.  The nurses and anesthesiologist all came by to say good job! And then they wheeled me out in my new 5 lb half cast half bandage.

SELF PORTRAITself portrait

My other brother took me to pick up my drugs (definitely do this right away).  My drugs are Hydrocodone (NORCO) and I can take 2 every four hours.  I’m also taking an aspirin a day based on advice on this site to keep the blood thin and avoid clots, but the surgeon said it wasn’t necessary.  I have some Ativan (left over anxiety medicine from our fight  - and loss – with my dad’s brain cancer this spring) that helped me sleep the first night, but don’t really need it. 

24 – 72 hours POST OP:  On Saturday, after the pain blocker wore off, I was extremely sore and in pain.  Once I started taking the medication like clock work I was only uncomfortable for the last hour of each cycle. 

Sunday/Monday were the worst of the pain and again, just stayed elevated and in bed.  I think this is key for the first couple days.  I got a cool foam thing (see pic) from the hospital, this has helped a lot – with lots of king sized pillows.  My 7 yr old twin nephews stayed in the bed with me most of the weekend and we watched animal planet and cartoons.  Not my fav, but boy were they cute to hang out with pathetic me.

blue foam thing

Blue Foam Thingy

I’m back at home today and will see how I do on my own for a couple days.  My buddy Dave will come on Thursday to take care of me and no doubt try to get me out to the bars for the fourth of July weekend….  I know I shouldn’t……but….

I hired someone to clean my house and come over everyday – my “girl Friday” as my family calls her.  And I’m eating lots of fiber b/c the meds will stop you up.  I got the tub/shower chair (thank god!) and baggies for my cast – but the duct tape/garbage bag worked pretty well.   Today I’m in much less pain and I’m just settling in on the couch in the sun room to work (lucky to work from home for Cisco Systems in Silicon Valley), and figure out what I’m going to do with myself. 

Now if I could just get some hot guy to come fix my drip system, and paint my bathroom and give a foot massage, I think I’ll be good for a bit…..








4 responses so far

Jun 26 2008

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Pre Op Cast 6/24. Just begining the journey…..

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Pre Op Soft Cast 6/24 Pre Op Cast 6/24.  Just begining the journey…..

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Jun 22 2008

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How Customer Service deals with a Ruptured Achilles

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OK, so I’m a newbie and just going to surgery Tuesday but have already had some pretty Saturday night live type phone calls with various dr’s offices and misc customer service.


First call was from my surgeons’ office.  She wanted my xrays.  No problem!  I called the ER that took the xrays and after proving myself and naming the seven dwarves she said she had them but needed the surgeon’s office to call and request.  So I called BACK to the surgeon’s office and they couldn’t figure out who had called me to request xrays.   They asked that I pick them up and bring them to my appt on Monday.  I said I would, “but they are 400 miles away in another state…I’m not sure that’s very convenient for me”.  So with much attitude and sighing, she agreed to call the ER and ask for my xrays.  Of course, the ER had to call me back and get my permission to release them (didn’t I just talk to her and ask her for them?).  I hope my xrays are there for my appt.  Who wants to wager?


Next call was to the airlines.  I have tickets booked for Europe the first of Aug. and I’m not quite sure I’ll make the vacation due to post op recovery so I just wanted to know what my OPTIONS were.  She didn’t understand I wanted a list of options (I’m sure she was in India with a pickalittle talkalittle singsong voice with a pitch much too high for my mood of RUPTURED ACHILLES).  She just told me I bought non refundable tickets.  “I know”, I said, but please give me some OTHER answers.  She could not think of a one.  So I started giving HER options.  1)  Could I change the dates of the flight?  2)  Could I get a dr’s note to prove that this is medical emergency? 3)  could I transfer the flight to someone else…..ANYTHING.  She finally agreed that I could change the date of the flight, but it would be 300$ (these were business class seats) for each leg that I wanted to change.  She asked me if I wanted to go a day earlier or later.  SIGH.  This was not working.  So I called American Express (luckily I’m a Platinum member and they tend to do extra things for you) b/c I had paid for the tix with American Express.  I first spoke with someone whose name had no less than 8 vowels in it so I never quite knew who I was talking to.  She called the airlines with me on hold and came back to tell  me my tickets were non refundable. (Here we go.)   I hung up.  I called back and got BILL.  Go BILL.  He spent about a half hour on the phone with me calling the airlines.  Finally he said he would call me back.  And he DID.  He spoke to the airlines and they agreed with a dr’s note I could cancel my flight. Go BILL. 


I want to hire BILL to navigate what I’m assuming will be multiple humorous and LONG calls with my insurance.


I have more about the Cruise company, but I’ll sign off here.  Anyone else have amusing customer service stories that they encountered while just trying to survive your operation and post op?



5 responses so far

Jun 20 2008

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Just got MRI - what do I expect

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OK - so I just got my MRI results back and yes indeed, I have a Ruptured Achilles - “hanging by a thread” he said.  So I meet with the Surgeon on Monday.

I’ve been reading through these blogs and they REALLY help!  I just want to know what I should expect the first 72 hours after surgery….should I move in with my brother and sis n law since I’m single and living alone at home?  What is the pain?  and do they give you a hard cast - thats what it seems.

Any Help or support - this REALLY f@#$5 hurts!




12 responses so far