Alive!

by grace on July 4, 2021

I lived through my surgery, yay for that!

Gee, it’s been way over a week since it happened. Much has happened, but not so much.

First – two days before my surgery, June 22nd, Les Paul and Riley were on top of their cat house and suddenly there was something out in the yard and I managed to get this action shot of Riley leaping down into the hostas. Of course he didn’t get out of the fence but it was very exciting for both kitties.

Lester the kitty model.

The next night, June 23rd, a lovely moon shot. Have I mentioned that I love the camera on my new phone?’

Surgery morning, after I wrote on here and then took yet another Dial soap shower, we walked out and Spot was lying there waiting for us.

And then the surgery – well, the whole thing went pretty darn quick. We got there by eight in the morning and were on our way home by 11:30.

When they led us into a room a nurse asked me many questions and then eventually the anesthesiologist came in and I told him that I was worried about anesthesia and he had a puzzled look on his face and asked, “why?”

I guess most people don’t worry about it. And no, they didn’t intubate me with a tube down my throat, they gave me some kind of sedative and then put something just inside my mouth so i didn’t swallow my tongue. I think?

I just remember that they wheeled me into the operating room and I tried to look all around since I’d never been in one, and then they put the sedative in my IV and that was it.

When I woke up I was in the second recovery room. They took me to the first recovery room so a nurse could help me get dressed and I’d be more lucid, and in the second recovery room, Kevin said I told him that I was chattering away to the nurse, but I have no memory of that. I lounged there in a recliner for a while and the nurse gave me one of the two opiods; this one was Norco. I’d take them intermittently every three hours, the Norco and the Tramadol. Super duper strong drugs. I had a big gauze bandage from just above my knee all the way down to my ankle, with lots of protective cotton over my knee.

I didn’t spend the day napping. Instead, the narcotics which were supposed to make me sleepy instead had me wired. For some reason I insisted that Kevin needed to go fill my car with gas (was I planning on driving around somewhere?), because my 15 cent-off coupon was going to expire that day. While he did that, Amy came over to babysit me and seemed surprised at how very animated I was.

Sometimes my knee would hurt a little but Kevin assured me that I wanted to keep ahead of it, so I kept up the drugs every three hours.

I was sort of tired late in the afternoon and three of the kitties were very happy to lie in the bedroom with me.

But I didn’t nap. Amy brought us over some delicious taco salads and I continued to be wide awake. Here’s me at 10:20, still wide awake. My right leg had an interesting orange tan from the iodine prep stuff. Kevin had to add some strips of tape around the top because it had started to sag.

We went to sleep; it had been an exhausting day for both of us. But I lay in bed wide awake. I finally got up to pee at about 1:30 and as I was walking back to bed I felt something on my leg – the bottom of the bandage was dragging on the floor. Panic! I hobbled into the kitchen and wound and wound more tape around it to secure it.

And then I started seriously worrying. What if I hadn’t wrapped it right? Should I wake Kevin and have him look at it? And why was I wide awake?

Here’s the bandage at two in the morning, looking very securely secured.

I had read the accompanying dire warnings for the two drugs I was taking and one of the many things they said was that if I took them with a whole list of other things, including Xanax, that this could cause difficult breathing resulting in DEATH.

I take one .5 Xanax every night before bed and it helps me sleep. Since that surgery night I’ve been reading about Xanax and I worry that maybe I’m addicted, but since I always take one to help me sleep, I wasn’t sleeping.

What to do? There was an emergency number I could call, and I finally did that and realized at that point that I wasn’t able to put together a coherent sentence. “I…had..surgery…bandage unwrapped…” I sputtered to the woman at the other end of the phone and she finally said “do you want to talk to a nurse?” and relieved, I said, Yes! She said somebody would call me back in a half hour which seemed way too long to me, and I said, what if I fall asleep? And she said they’d leave a message.

So while I waited I called Bev and sent her the above photo of my knee. Bev doesn’t sleep much and lucky for me she was dozing on the couch so I was able to prattle on to her til the nurse called me back 15 minutes later.

The nurse said she thought I should wake up my husband to show him the bandage and she kept saying, “are your toes blue? Can you move your foot?” And I thought I’d have had to be some kind of moron to have wrapped it so tightly that my foot turned blue.

I told her about the drug warnings and she said she didn’t think I should take any Xanax and I’m pretty sure I then had a conversation with her about the risks of opiods and I know I was talking really fast and I’m not sure how she finally got me off the phone.

I called Bev back and we agreed that I shouldn’t wake up Kevin. After about an hour I finally said “I’d better go to sleep,” and Bev asked, “Are you sure you can sleep? Because you seem a little wired.”

Maybe she didn’t say the wired part, but clearly I was. Well after three I finally hung up and lay in bed but I think I only slept an hour and a half.

The next morning I had a huge list of questions for the nurse at the Orthopedic Surgery Center and the most important answer the nurse gave me was that I could take my Xanax, that goodness. Right there on one of the many post-op instructions it said that I could take everything I normally take (besides Xanax, it’s mostly just vitamins of different types). She said that since I take Xanax every night, I wouldn’t die from taking it with the other drugs.

WHEW.

But the thing is, I took one of the opiods on Friday morning and then started taking Tylenol instead, and then didn’t even take anything after Saturday morning. The horrible pain never materialized and things are going swimmingly.

I was able to take the bandage off on Sunday and shower my leg back to its pre-op whiteness. All i needed was two little band-aids to cover the two little slits. My knee wasn’t swollen for long, and I go back on Thursday and hopefully they’ll say that things are going great.’

But one other thing is that I think the anesthesia affected me for a few days. I did sleep on Friday night because I could take the Xanax, but for the next few days I felt like my brain wasn’t quite right. But then it got better and I wanted to start doing everything again.

I still can’t go up and down stairs normally and I haven’t taken a walk and I get sore after standing around too long, but I think things are good. I’ve been able to pull more weeds and put down more mulch, still mostly scooting around on the ground, which works well. We had a weenie roast on Friday night and yesterday a boat ride.

And here it is the 4th of July and I hope you’re having a relaxing one.

I have many photos of June and I’ll try to select just a few to put up here very soon.

ok then,

mrs. recovering nicely hughes.

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