The Surgery Day and Prep-Prepping my House

I experienced a lot of anxiety and dread before my surgery.  I was afraid to go under general anesthesia of the long recovery time.  it was pretty bad. I’m just relieved I was able to go through with it because it was touch and go. The day-of I checked in and reviewed my paperwork which had a fun surprise.  My doctor (Doctor E) had decided to remove my Os Trigonum bone ON THE DAY OF SURGERY!!  I’m a planner so this was impactful but surprisingly made me feel better.  I was worried that this surgery to remove my bone spurs would not completely solve the issue since so many doctors had mentioned the Os Trigonum bone and I would have to do it all over.  Doctor E agreed and said he could easily get to it with the tendon out of the way.

I had to do a urine sample on 13 hours of no water so that was fun but at least I got to wear my underwear into surgery.  The joke was on them because my underwear that day was higher than some high-wasted bikinis haha.   I was actually relieved when I got my IV, that’s how thirsty I was.  Then there were a few hours of downtown where I frantically read a book to distract myself.  At least I had a sweet space blanket to keep me toasty.

A nurse-led me into the surgery room where there were 4 other medical professionals, which was weirdly reassuring.  I got on the table and was out like a light.  I remember absolutely nothing past that point and it was such a relief.  Waking up was decidedly less pleasant.  There is a pretty significant amount of pain upon waking and shaking off the GA.  My tendon felt clenched and I could not unclench it and the pain was at least a 7 which is maybe the highest I’ve ever felt.  I immediately started to cry wordlessly and began deep breathing like I was in labor which seemed to help.  Once I got my glasses back on I could see I was hooked up to a blood pressure or heart monitor and it was HIGH.

The nurses assured me they were going to help me get it under control and when I was down to a 6 they asked if I thought I  could go home at that level of pain.  I was like “to die?” (can you tell I’m dramatic).   Actually, I stared in horror and just said ‘I guess”.  Luckily the pain gradually dropped to a 4 before I was discharged.    I was supposed to get an ice pack and some instructions but they just rolled me out to my car ( COVID times are crazy) and I was in no shape to ask questions.

The more time goes by the less I remember about the day-of but at the time I actually felt normal but chatty.  I didn’t seem to have impaired judgment or say anything weird according to witnesses. The nurses mentioned that I told them I felt great as soon as I woke and I can’t recall that.  There was a learning curve to moving around the house even though I had practiced several times all my daily activities.  Mostly I laid on the couch and went to the bathroom.  I didn’t feel sick at all and happily ate some applesauce and watched a movie.  My leg was in a hard cast which was extremely heavy but also protective.  I find it kind of cozy but I know some people do not!

I was given Oxycodone with Acetaminophen which I took every four hours.  The nurses told me not to let the pain get ahead of me for the first few days so I set a timer.  I started to have unpleasant sensations (not really pain) near the end of four hours so I did seem to need it. Previous to the surgery I bought some things to make my life easier.  Here is the list.

  • Wheelchair with side pouch (this what I mostly use because there is less fall-risk and I have bad knees and my left ankle is bad).
  • Knee Scooter with basket (just for work.  The turn radius is too tough to work well in my house)
  • Crutches with pads (I just used these to assist me for the first two weeks/to get to the bathroom which my wheelchair doesn’t fit in. )
  • Toilet riser (mine is so short)
  • Bath bench with transfer
  • A Grabber Stick
  • 2 leg elevation pillows (1 for couch and 1 for bed).
  • Capri sweatpants and men’s basketball shorts (I’m a woman but our shorts are inferior and we all know it)

I also pulled all my dishes out of the cabinets and onto the counter and turned my island counter into a snack bar with water and healthy food.  I laid out outfits on my window seat for a week (I really am a planner).  I put away things like makeup that I knew I wouldn’t need and made sure my paper towels and toilet paper were on lower shelves.  I made arrangements for my dog to stay with my parents for a few weeks (the hardest part).   I practiced ordering groceries from Instacart as well.

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