“Baby, Baby… Stick Your Head in Gravy!”

Have the knee replacement surgery,” they said. “It’ll, be great,” they said!

Things got off to a rocky start last Monday, as a 3:00pm theatre time, was pushed back to 4:00, then 5:00 then 6:00 (Oh come on, for crying out loud!) but eventually kicked off at 6:45.

After only 5-6 attempts at the spinal block, we finally got it right, and I was magically transformed into Gumby.

The anaesthesiologist and I agreed to start with a sedation level of 2; I likened it to 3-4 G&Ts. “Awake and aware,” but feeling no pain and “Oh, so comfortably numb,” just as my brother Tommy, would have recommended.

Appropriately, once in theatre, I cranked up Pink Floyd’s The Wall and watched the whole thing on a TV monitor. It was a bit surreal; kind of like watching a special “knee” episode of Hospital, but between the anaesthesiologists’ drugs and my music… it was a rather pleasant experience!

Sixty-three minutes later (Yes, 63 minutes!) I was getting a nerve block “thingy” inserted into my thigh and being wheeled into recovery.

The rest of Monday night, is a bit of a blur; however, let me just say, I absolutely understand the the current “opiate epidemic.” I have a whole new appreciation for anyone strung out on Opiates. After less than 48 hours, I found it incredibly hard to say “No thanks, I’m good,” when offered serious hospital grade, opiate pain relief.

Day two had me up, out of bed, going to the toilet, walking the halls and doing all my exercises! My appetite was not quite there, but I could stand to lose a few pounds anyway. And I managed to apply some of my signature Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick, which is very important in the recovery process!

Day three was discharge day. I was up, dressed, packed and ready to go! The Physiotherapist was due in about 10:00, and just to make sure she knew I “meant business,” I had already finished 99% of my exercises and was working on my last set.

It is the easiest and the hardest, of all the exercises.

You sit in a chair with your bad leg outstretched; your heel is resting on the edge of a footstool, in front of you. There is nothing supporting your calf, knee, or your thigh. And now… you just sit there.

Easy Peary, right? Wrong! It kills!

Did you hear me “There is NOTHING supporting your knee!” It’s just hanging out there in the breeze; and with all the swelling and fluid build up, it weighs a ton! You’re supposed to sit like that for as long as you can, up to 10 minutes! HA! I think I made it to maybe 2-3 minutes, and that’s probably an exaggeration.

As I wriggled my leg over to the side edge of the stool, the plan was to gently lower my foot and leg, down to the floor. What I forgot to take into consideration, was that I was weak, drugged and my leg was oh so freakin heavy.

BOOM! CRASH! THUD!

That was the sound of my foot and leg, falling 12-16 inches from the footstool, to the wooden floor. It hit like a ton of bricks and then the “THUD” reverberated back up my leg, rattling my teeth.

“Well… this can’t be good,” I remember thinking.

I sat there… in shock, waiting for my new titanium knee joint to explode from the incision site (picture Alien), but… much to my surprise… it did not. It just throbbed.

Shortly after this little mishap, the Physio came in, and all I could say was, “I fucked up.”

As I explained what happened (and watched her face flinch, ever so slightly) she took a look; “There doesn’t appear to be any permanent damage,” she said. And then suggested that the heel of my foot and the muscles and tendons behind my new bionic knee, had taken the brunt of the impact, and they would be a “little sore.”

Her advice was to do ALL my exercises regularly, ice it frequently, keep it elevated, walk on it and and rest, rest, rest it. It all seemed a bit contradictory, but okay.

It wasn’t until I got home and started to realise the enormity of the whole ordeal… that I panicked. My leg was now deformed with fluid, badly bruised, on the left side of the knee (Hmmmm, that wasn’t there before?) my ankle was throbbing and my heel was totally numb, but also aching with an annoying pins and needles (or was it shards of glass?) sensation. Like neuropathy, but on steroids!

I mentioned opiates above… however I was cut off, and made to go “cold turkey.” Opiates could/would not be prescribed for home use. *insert sad face here* There was no special ‘goody bag,’ to help get me through, but it was just as well, really, I’d be another statistic.

So what do I do about pain relief?

Codeine? Nope, I’m allergic.

Ibuprofen products? Nope ongoing stomach issues.

Gabapentin?  Hell no, I’m already batshit crazy!

Paracetamol (aka Tylenol)? Seriously?

“Well, okay Doc… if you say so… Paracetamol it is!”

Remember the MC Hammer’s song, “Cant Touch This? Well, let me tell ya, Paracetamol/Tylenol) cant touch knee replacement/footstool pain!

After suffering through days 3 and 4, on day 5 (Friday) I broke down and started taking some old Co-codamol (codeine) I found in the cupboard. I’d deal with the horrible migraine and constipation later… just make this horrific pain go away!!! Seriously, I would have injected heroin into my eyeball, had it been in my cupboard.

This is day 6 and the going is still quite rough; it is much better with the Cocodamol.

I was naive and a little too “cocky. I was so intent on getting my life back I didn’t seriously consider the possible aftermath of a major surgery. I’d never had a surgery like this, and had no idea what to expect. And, come on, really… had it not been for “Footstool-gate,” it may have been much smoother sailing!

Whatever, what’s done is done. Here we are and we’ll do what we always do… we’ll take whatever life slaps on our plate and we’ll just get on with it.

…but seriously, in all honesty, wouldn’t wish this shit on my ex-husband… either one of them!


Advertisements

Advertisements

13 Comments

  1. The worse surgery EVER!!!! Have friends that said exactly what you said!!!! Pain pills for people our age is different if u are an active user!!! They were bullshit!!! My buddy had it done three months ago, pain not as bad but will not have the second one done!!!! A couple of Perks will not make people our age drug addicts. The medical world has to understand that not all are out to get high!!!! We at the ripe old age of 60+ and have grown up in the 60’s certainly know the difference. Smoke some pot!!!!! That is now legal in Mass and all you need to do is pay 150 bucks for a medical card and get a half ounce!!!!!WHAT??????? Yup that’s the world today!!! Smoke pot and it’s fine! Take a Perk after surgery your going to get addicted. Can you tell u hit a nerve with me! Love and speedy recovery ❤️😘🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I most definitely would smoke it if I had it! In a place like Brighton you’d think it would be easier to obtain! …but it’s not trustworthy. And yes, growing up in the 60/70s has made me much more aware and dubious about drugs and their side effects! I refused the Gabapentin because of its possible kick butt side effects… but Tylenol, really?

      Like

      1. Well my friend Tylenol is now being tested for liver disease. We thought all the drugs that were done in the 60’s and 7o’ s were bad for the liver. Well guess what? Tylenol is also being linked to it also. Being in healthcare and watching people who never saw what we did with people on opioids are being treated like junkies! Too bad that the healthcare industry doesn’t know who they are treating. I have shut people off of pain killers after one week because I have the sixth sense, however when someone our age goes in for surgery or god forbid someone in their 80’s and they give you 10 pills I have problems. I am a true advocate for the opid addiction issue but not everyone is an addict!!! I know I lived thru it!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. GREAT! Ya cant even trust Tylenol! I have been taking the Codeine and fingers crossed no issues so far. I am only taking 30mg every 5-6 hours, not the 60mg every 4 hours. Only had one day where I had a massive headache! Thank goodness. Yeah, I had a friend who’s Dad was in home hospice and they were giving him a child’s dose of morphine!!!!! He was actively dying!!! I got her to call head of Hospice and go ballistic! Love ya, xxxx

        Like

  2. Oh, Melissa, I really feel for you. I was hoping you would sail through this trauma. My heart goes out to you. All I can say is keep your pecker up, and try your best to get through this. If anyone can do this, it’s you. Praying for you xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Melissa, I read this post with great interest as this surgery is in my future. I’ve been keeping it at bay with synvisc injections but it’s closing in on me. I attended a seminar discussing the use of robotics to make precision cuts and it’s done at a surgery center and you go home the same day. That sounds scary to me. I’ve talked to quite a few people who’ve had it done and the one thing they have in common is they wish they had done it sooner. Of course, that’s after they’ve had a few months to recover. I’m hoping you get to this point very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Linda! Do your due diligence!!! I didn’t! I was so over the pain, I jumped in knee first, without a clue! From the frying pan to the fire as they say! Good luck, I hope your experience is much different than mine! xxxx

      Like

  4. Sounds like quite an adventure, one I do not envy you. Amazing how you are able to write about the experience with such humour!
    Will your new knee be x-rayed soon to make sure all is healing properly? That mishap sounds kind of serious. When I had a broken leg a few years ago even without needing surgery they still x-rayed the place several times during the six weeks I went back for checkups. They needed to make sure that nothing was displaced. A friend of mine with a more serious fracture (ski accident) was in a cast and the leg knitted out of place so now he will always have a limp.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, They had x-rayed knee before “Footstool-gate,” but not after. The Physio and the Consultant both felt the knee was fine, and that I had only (ONLY!!!!) pulled muscles and ligaments behind the knee , and possibly in my ankle. Good tip though… My foot is still killing me worse than the knee!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s