Marsha Canham's Blog

December 13, 2010

Post-Op musings.

Filed under: Caesars Through the Fence — marshacanham @ 2:50 pm

Ahh, the joys of being laid up again, hobbling, knee stiff and swollen…and only two weeks to go before Christmas.  Did I mention being whacked with another blizzard too?  The driveway is under a foot of snow, which, even if I could drive, I wouldn’t be able to drive through to get out *snort*.  Luckily I have a great neighbour who comes and plows me out otherwise I would just sit here, snowbound, until the spring thaw.  I also have a great dog groomer who picks up and delivers, so the hounds won’t look and smell like Cousin It for the holidays.

I was dreading the surgery, not so much because the doc was going to be drilling into my knee to find a tiny bit of floating cartilage, but because I have had horrible reactions to anaesthetics in the past.  I hate barfing, I hate the whole sensation of having my head spinning and the room spinning and having nothing but air to upchuck when I’m just coming out of anaesthetic and the world is fuzzy anyway and it hurts in various parts of the body where the stitches are fresh.  I have always been very emphatic to the sleeper guys, making sure they know to give me a shot of gravol before they even put me out.  In the past, I’ve run a 50/50 chance they do it right.  One shmuck even said he could hypnotize me out of the nausea, that it was likely all in my head.  For that pithy bit of arrogance, I barfed all over his new shoes.  Another rocket scientist gave me Demerol ahead of time to *relax* me out of the anxiety…so I went INTO the operating room barfing.  That was fun.

My father was cursed with vertigo, as am I.  He was a big, strapping man, 6’4”, 250lbs, but a bout of vertigo could put him on his knees as limp as a baby.  I went through a horrid week long inner ear infection once where the vertigo was so bad it took me 20 min just to turn my head an inch.  That was back when doc’s made house calls and the one that came gave me an antibiotic that said quite clearly on the warning label that a side effect was nausea…which of course, struck on top of the already terrible vertigo.  I didn’t think I would make it through that, and because of it, I keep a variety of very good nausea pills on hand at all times.

Thus I went into the surgery on Friday with a few palpitations, made sure my son knew where the pills were at home in case I needed them, made sure the anaesthesiologist was aware of my paranoia, made sure all the nurses knew, the doctor knew… I was assured there would be no problems, that I would get a shot of *really good stuff* that they give now to sensitive chemo patients who have to deal with nausea on a daily basis. (And believe me, my heart goes out to each and every one who does.)

Bottom line, I woke up in the recovery room feeling as if I had just woken up from a nap. I opened my eyes slowly…and the room didn’t lurch or spin.  I moved my head…no lurching, no spinning.  The nurse talked to me, I talked back without liquid eruptions.  I got wheeled into the out patient recovery area and actually smiled at my son, who had been warned he might encounter a Linda Blair post op.  But no.  I sipped gingerale, then snorked down two coffees with double cream and had a great conversation with the lady on the next gurney who happened to be a fan of Coronation Street too.  Went home and wolfed down a package of crackers (Did I mention I hadn’t eaten anything since the previous day at noon just to make sure there was nothing in my stomach)  then had pizza and wings when the family piled in for dinner.

So.  Huge relief, anxiety lifted.  The knee hurts like hell, but pain I can deal with, it’s the three or four days of nausea I was dreading.  It will make it much easier when the time comes, probably within the next year or two, to have the other knee totally replaced.  It’s beyond scoping and crunches like a bowl of rice crispies with every step.  I’m actually shocked at the number of people I know who have had knees and hips replaced.  Twenty years ago it was still experimental and the recovery period was measured in months and years.  Now it’s measured in weeks.  Doesn’t mean I’m going to rush to have it done;  the doc still has to catch me, tackle me to the ground, and strap me to the table before I’ll whimper my assent.  But at least I can be fairly assured I’ll wake up in a room that isn’t spinning.

Many thanks to everyone who sent well wishes both before and after the surgery.  And, since I’m pretty much house bound for the next little while…about all I can do in my comfy chair is…write *g*

 

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