My surgery day was Tuesday, January 21. I was the first surgery at 9am, so I had to be there at 7am to fill out all the paperwork. They got me into the back to get ready very quickly, and I was all electroded up and everything by about 7:45. I was really nervous, and my sister came back with me to keep me company while they prepared for the surgery. Basically for the next 45 minutes, it was a stream of people coming to talk to me and sign papers. Anesthesiologist, attending nurse, some other nurse, the Physician’s Assistant, the OR manager, some other type of anesthesiologist that was going to possibly give me a nerve block, the doctor, and maybe a couple of others all came by. There was kind of a funny moment when one of them was telling me about all the obvious risks of surgery. My sister said she was looking at the heart monitor, and as they were talking about the risk, my heart rate was just rising and rising until they were done. It gave us a good laugh and helped me get my mind off of how nervous I was.
At about 8:30, they told me they were going to start a little early as the doctor had a meeting canceled. I could feel the stuff coming through the IV into my arm and they wheeled me back. Once I got back there, I remember being back there for about 30 seconds before the lights went out. What seems like 10 seconds went by and I was waking up in the recovery area. I had a wrap on my leg from my foot up to my knee with what felt like a splint under it on the outside and under my leg.
When I first woke up, I was in a tremendous amount of pain and requested the nerve block. Basically the block is a shot into the side of the knee that numbed my leg from the knee down. I went in and out of sleep for the next couple of hours, but was finally ready to leave about 3. Because of the nerve block, they put my entire leg into a brace to keep it straight, and told me not to take it off until I got the feeling back in my leg. They also told me to start taking the pain medication as soon as I got the prescription filled so that when the block wore off, I’d hopefully not be in any pain.
I started taking the pain pills every 6 hours once I got home, but my leg was still numb when I went to bed around 2am. I was starting to get nervous, but my sister told me they told her the block could last as long as 24 hours. I guess the block wore off in my sleep, because about 5:30am, I was in the worst pain I can remember in life. The pain meds didn’t seem to work for the initial pain at all. This pain lasted for most of the morning into the afternoon, but finally got a little better in the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday.
Basically the rest of the week was all about keeping it elevated and keeping pain down. I took pain medicine regularly until Friday afternoon, but my pain was very little by then so I decided to stop taking it. I kept taking the aspirin for blood clots though.
My follow up appointment was the following Monday. They removed the wrap and looked at the incision. It looks like the incision is only about 2 inches long with maybe about 6 stitches in it. They told me it was healing really well and that there was no sign of infection or anything. They didn’t remove the stitches and they put me in a boot with my foot angled down and told me to still not put any weight on my ankle and I was on my way. It sucks having to keep using these crutches, but I’m trying to stay positive about it. It’s nice to be able to take the boot off to shower and what not, but they still want me to sleep in it. I’ve struggled with that because this thing is less comfortable to sleep in than the original wrap, so I normally take it off some time during the night as I’m tossing and turning. My follow up is scheduled for next Wednesday, February 12th. Hopefully by then I’ll be able to ditch the crutches.