lotus10’s AchillesBlog

First week post-op: ups and downs

Posted in Uncategorized by lotus10 on the July 23, 2010

I took Norco for about 2 days. The first day post-op was awful; I couldn’t eat anything from the pain, would take Norco then feel nauseous. A vicious cycle.

I spent the next week re-arranging my work schedule, cancelling other appointments, freezing my gym and tennis club memberships. I kept the leg elevated for the most part, wheeling around my apartment in a four-wheeled office chair. I could tell when my leg needed to be up, when the toes would turn dusky. I wanted very badly to reach inside the cast and wash away the left-over betadine. There was practically no pain, just discomfort - there’s just no comfortable position! - and intermittent strange sensations.

I was on the schedule to work that weekend though. I felt like, well my brain works okay. And I will be in the same state 2 weeks, 4 weeks from now. So I went.

I did get bewildered looks from families, amused and sympathetic. Charge nurses insisted that I’m an “occupational hazard” and shouldn’t be at work. Apparently if a nurse got injured like this, he/she couldn’t work on the unit - they’d have to do some administrative work or go on disability. I told them I’m just doing my job because I still can function, I’m just slow moving. It felt like a long weekend; thankfully there were fellows/residents that stayed in the hospital at nights, and I didn’t get called in.

So working that weekend was rather humbling. I realized I couldn’t do it all by myself. I also realized that no one else really understands what this is like - there were some careless, heartless comments; a receptionist in the hospital lobby actually said, looking me up and down, “No summer for you!” I mean, really. Some actually said, “it would have been better if you’d broken your bone.” Some tried to tell me that months from now my calves are going to be funny looking because they’d be unequal in size. Why, why does that need to be said?

Nothing said from malice, but clearly unnecessary, no? As hard as this is physically, it really takes a psychological toll. I kept wondering why ATR should happen to active people, trying to be healthy? And for us, not being to exercise and feel that rush - is torture. Of course I know I’ll walk again, this isn’t terminal, this is nothing compared to amputees… but it isn’t easy.