Monday, February 24, 2014

ACL Post Surgery: Week 2

Quick update for everyone who has asked how I'm doing.
I really appreciate everyone's concern and sending me healing thoughts.
My life pretty much consists of putting ice and heat on my knee and going to physical therapy.
My pain levels have dropped, which I couldn't be more thankful for.
I have a low pain tolerance.
I finally got to take my bandages from surgery off and can take showers like a normal person.
My doctor said one of my incisions needs to be watched and I can't take baths, because it could reopen.
Not happy news, since its the large one at the base of my knee
Today (24th of February) was the first day I was able to do a full rotation on the bike at physical therapy.
Small step, but means things are improving.
In other good news....
Jeff and I finally had ventured out on our first date night post surgery!
I can't tell you how nice it felt to get dressed up and have a wonderful night out.
What did we do?
First a little background story.
When Jeff asked me what I wanted for Christmas I honestly had no idea.
I didn't need anything major and the things I wanted were way out of budget.
My idea was a special planned out date night.
Jeff and I don't get major date nights out with school and our opposite work schedules much.
We try to do a dinner date night once a week.
Jeff planned out a date night from start to finish and gave me clues to what it was on Christmas morning.
The Plan.
Brunch at Little America
Early Dinner at Melting Pot (Our favorite, but expensive)

He even surprised me with a long stem rose at our table when we arrived
Tickets to go see Hale Center Theatre's Les Miserables.
I am obsessed with the music and the movie, so I was super excited.
I have never been to a Hale play and I was so impressed.
It was incredibly done and the cast was beyond amazing.
If you haven't seen it. I would HIGHLY recommend it.
Play goes through middle of April.
Obviously, the date was planned before I planned my surgery
Because of my leg and giant brace sitting in normal seats weren't an option.
Fortunately, my uncle let me borrow his wheelchair and we were able to change our seats.
It was interesting trying to maneuver around hordes of people in a wheelchair, but glad we were able to borrow it.
More thankful I don't have to use it all the time.
It was a wonderful date planned by my amazing husband.
I don't know what I would do without him and there is no doubt I am the luckiest girl in the world.
Things are slowly getting better and I know I still have a long way to go.
There is one thing that I need help on. Scar Cream.
Any suggestions or recommendations?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

ACL Post Surgery: Days 3-4

I haven't been updating Facebook or the blog or even responding to text messages the last couple days.
Sorry, I have been trapped in the worst days of my life. No joke.
Looking back those first 24 hours after surgery were a cake walk.
After the nerve block wore off my pain levels went up and any movement made me want to scream and cry.
Which I have spent many hours doing
On top of the pain, the pain pills made me EXTREMELY nauseous and spent hours hurling until I had nothing left.
Worst thing was if I tried to just drink enough to take a nausea pill and pain pills I'd just throw it up again.
I'm not one who throws up easily, I think its from growing up with acid reflex your body learns to keep it at bay.
Lowest point of my existence was waking up, not being able to even move in time, and throwing up all over myself, my pillow, blankets, everything.
 Not only that I can't shower or just get up and move.
I was in my own private hell.
Oh and did I mention another fun side effect of the medication: extreme itchiness!!
Could be used to torture someone.
It got so bad that I woke Jeff up in the middle of the night to help. I was going mad from the itchiness.
Jeff had to work that night and my mom was spending the night.
Bless her heart. I don't know what I would have done without her.
I was so sick and she was so worried she spent the night in a chair next to the couch where I was laying.
She can't have slept more than 10 minutes at a time and then she went to work the next morning.
She's over here when she's not at work helping with laundry and taking care of the dogs.
This may have been the worst valentine's day of my life, it was the one that showed the most love.
I don't know what I would have done if Jeff and my mom hadn't been there to help me.
It takes a lot of love for someone to help them the way I have needed help the last couple days.
I can't stand and get to the bathroom without help, or getting dressed, or getting food
Basically anything that isn't within reach of the couch I need help.
Jeff sleeps in that same uncomfortable chair so he can be near me.
He wakes up every couple hours to check on me and make sure I'm on top of my pain pills.
He probably got 5 hours of sleep total from Wednesday to Saturday.
He never complains and if I even shift positions he asks how he can help me.
No doubt he wins the husband of the year award.
On the bright side, things are getting better.
I finally got to wash my hair today, which felt like heaven.
My new pain pills don't make me nauseous and my pain in back under control.
I have a sore throat still from throwing up, but its much better than the alternative.
I finally am getting into a routine and that helps keeping the pain down.
Tomorrow is my first day of physical therapy so fingers crossed that its not a horrific experience.
Thank you for everyone who has been worried about me and calls to check up on me.
I'm sorry I'm not the best at keeping in touch.
I try to sleep as much as I can.
I love you all and appreciate the support more than you know!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

ACL Surgery: First 24 hours Post OP

Since I tore my injured my knee back in July and was on crutches till the middle of September
I wasn't all that excited or anxious to get back on crutches.
Then we moved and I got my new job....
Plus other events interfered, like holidays ;)
Anyways, I finally made the appointment to have my reconstruction surgery.
That dreaded day has now passed and its officially day 1 post surgery.
I'm not going to lie I was terrified of having surgery.
I have never had any big surgeries and only had anesthetic when with my wisdom teeth and during a handful of endoscopies.
Part of the reason this scared me is I have a high risk for MH {malignant hyperthermia}
Its a syndrome that is highly passed through family lines and if given the certain anesthetic can cause a reaction that if not caught or prevented is highly fatal. Scary? Just a little.
My uncle had a reaction years ago in surgery and it almost killed him if one of the doctors hadn't recognized the signs right away.
It is also why my family does not due well in heat and can have heat strokes very easily.
Anyways, besides being afraid of a reaction and dying...
I am also a wimp. I don't handle pain well. Very, very low pain tolerance.
My mom, being my loving mom, was also nervous and I didn't want to make her worry more.
So I tried to put on a brave face leading up to the surgery.
I think I did a pretty good job up until I was in my hospital bear gown (ones that blow warm air) and getting ready to have the IV in my arm.
Now one thing to know is I have difficult veins. They are small, deep, and tend to roll when you finally find one.
The main nurse tried to get stick me where the bone is on the side of your hand by your thumb.
Random place? I thought so.
After much digging around in my arm he finally gave up. Thank Goodness!!!
It took every bit of effort not to scream and cry.
Another nurse in the unit was shocked he wasn't able to do it, as he was being called to help other nurses put in ivs.
After George (the nurse) left I thought he'd be back to try again, but instead he came back with a pill and a little cup thing to take the pill with.
Not a cup of water, it was sealed and looked like those little ranch or jam packs you get at restaurants.
I guess the pill is to help with nausea after surgery? Still not sure.
However, that little cup was filled with this absolutely NASTY... disgusting ... no words to describe its taste.
Seriously, if you needed information from terrorists or assassins they would spill the beans to avoid this stuff.
So gross and bitter. Cruel punishment there.
I digress....
Then I got the low down on what was going to happen and that they were going to do a nerve block in addition to the anesthetic.
{Something I was not advised about prior and was not too thrilled about, but appreciated later}
Hearing this unexpected news put my brave face over the edge.
One I actually am afraid of needles and I knew it was going to hurt and I'd have to be awake.
They kept telling me it was because they needed to know when they hit a nerve.
I lost it and the tears came. I told you wimp.
After a little waiting the anesthesiologist came in and put in my iv in my hand.
Then it was time for the nerve block....
They stick it into your hip bone/groin area.
It hurts. That's all I can say.
One thing about this nerve block is it only effects the top of your leg.
The other set of nerves for the underneath your knee aren't effected.
Now that I'm out of surgery. I wish they'd have done two for both sides. Why don't they?
I was ready to go and took a few deep breaths said goodbye to Jeff and my mom and left with a few tears.
After getting into the actual surgery room and got my iv anesthetic (which burns by the way like a b...)
Why all the torture? Can't they work around all this with all the medical advances? Just saying...
Next thing I know I'm awake in a different room and extremely groggy and dizzy.
I woke up bawling. The back of my knee was in excruciating pain.
{Again nerve block needs to be on both sides}
I can't even describe the pain at this point.
I can't remember who was in the room, not my mom or Jeff, still have no idea.
All I can remember is closing my eyes and trying to not scream.
Finally got some pain killers and after some time passed they took effect.
All the while this nurse kept making me drink water and force feeding me crackers.
{Confession: I almost seriously thought about biting her. Katie did NOT want a cracker. I'm not a parrot}
I had to be put back on oxygen since my oxygen levels had dropped. Probably because of the crying...
Plus I kept moving it, because it was making my nose itchy and I was out of it.
My other fear was I would wake up and say something stupid or embarrassing like you see in the movies.
I am proud to say that to my knowledge I did not say anything embarrassing.
{other than the crying}
I spent the next hour or two hours maybe in and out of consciousness.
I was either really awake or when I closed my eyes it was like a heavy weight pushing me to sleep.
It was a weird sensation.
Then when I finally woke up I was ready to escape that torture zone.
The nurse came in wanting me to walk around and see how I was doing.
However, I was NOT going to walk around in that thin hospital gown. No way.
She let me get dressed and tried to walk around with the crutches.
Fortunately, my months of living on them paid off at this point.
She was amazed how easily I could use them. Not sure if that's a good thing. Ha.
I basically walked down the hall and half way back.
Jeff knew I just wanted to go home and brought a wheelchair so I could leave.
I guess the nurse thought I was going to go get back in the hospital bed, because she said she still needed to take my vitals again.
So I stuck my arm out in the middle of the hallway so they could do it there and I could be leaving as soon as possible.
My sweet husband had the car all prepped with pillows (including the ones from the back of our couch) and my favorite blanket. He was all prepared.
Since I had surgery at Utah Valley Hospital my Grandma Nanny (Dad's mom) was going to come see me after I woke up from surgery.
Since I got out of there sooner than I would have we drove to her house.
She was so sweet and so worried about me. She came out crying.
Must be a family thing. lol
It was great to see her again since I don't see her much since I moved back to Bountiful.
On our way home I had to have a smoothie and piece of bread, because I hadn't eaten and it was making me nauseous.
Then I slept the entire way home.
Jeff being the incredible husband he is went and ran errands for me after I got home and situated.
It included... safety pins from his mom, soup from Kneaders, bread from Great Harvest, lunch for him and my mom, and picking up some pills.
Plus he remember that days before I wanted a certain brand of yogurt so he stopped at another store and brought that home too.
Seriously Husband of the year award right there.
My mom stayed the day and let me lay in her lap like I did as a kid while she played with my hair.
Now many people were concerned about my dogs.
Honestly, so were we
I love them to death and wasn't going to send them anywhere like some suggested.
When I'm in pain cuddling up to them makes it better, like right now Bailee is snuggled up next to me.
However, when we got home and I got situated on the couch Oakley came out more wild than he normally is.
He loves my mom more than anyone and gets extra excited when she comes over.
He was jumping up and down and running around the room, despite us telling him no.
It was really out of the ordinary for him to be that crazy.
Well he jumped on top of my leg (the bad one) and instantly my pain scale went from 4-5 to 11 or higher!
I know he didn't mean to and he instantly calmed down. This time I couldn't hold back the scream.
Worst moment so far.
He made up for it though. While I was sleeping I guess he'd come over and give me a kiss.
They both have come and cuddled with me.
Dogs are so smart and know when you just need to snuggle. Love my babies.
I pretty much spent the rest of the day taking naps.
My bestie Dani and Stephen brought us dinner and to come visit.
It made my day for her to come visit, because she's the busiest person I know.
She is greatest friend and I could ask for. Thanks Dani and Stephen!
I can't believe how many people were worried about me and wanted to know how I was doing.
I have the best friends and family a girl could ask for.
Thank you for all your love and support it makes the pain more bearable.
I love you all so much!!
I'll keep posted as my recovery continues. If you read all of this I'm amazed.
Now I'm off to sleep some more.