Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Arthroscopic Ankle Surgery Update

** Warning** nothing gross to tell, but I know that I was looking for info on surgery, I read some people's blogs to get a better idea of what to expect so...depending on who you are, you may or may not find this interesting.

As you can tell from the warning, I like to know what to expect so I'm ready, but unfortunately, that also makes me get anxious about what is about to happen.  Oh, well.  

Surgery was planned for Friday, June 28.  Finally got my paperwork from the Dr's office the Tuesday before and the call from the hospital the Wednesday.  I was told I needed to stop by and pick up an anti-bacterial soap that I had to shower with night before surgery and day of surgery.   No food or drink after midnight Thursday.  I had to be at the hospital at 11:00 am. My surgery was planned for 1:00 pm (of course this is the week I've woken up starving every morning- unlike my normal no appetite until 10am)

Chilled out at home, trying to keep myself busy- cleaning, laundry- anything and the coffee smelled so good, and I was hungry.  I guess,in a way, hunger was a good distraction.  Dropped the kids off about 30 mins before at our neighbors then we headed to the hospital.  My Dr told me to bring my big black boot and the nurse later told me to bring the crutches "just in case." We discussed in the car if we should bring in the crutches into the hospital or leave them in the car, but decided DH could go get them if I needed them.  Chances were pretty good I'd be wheeled out, right?  

So waited around for about 20 minutes, got tagged with my information and drug allergies, signed off on my official procedure "ankle arthroscopy with debridement and excision of talus".

 Then waited again before heading back with the nurse.  This part is all new to me.  Got to sign off on a blood transfusion, if needed (gulp).  Officially, weighed in- my normal weight (whew), lovely gown and red slipper socks (gulp, starting to feel real), pregnancy test (neg- that would have been a shocker!)    another foot scrub with antibacterial soap (how many times does a foot have to be washed?), then got to go back to my little area, got on my bed, got my vitals taken, and the nurse started an IV, etc.(gulp).  DH got to come back and hang out with me for a while.  My Dr's resident stopped by to see if I had any questions about what I was having done (nope- I kind of looked into that online- looked easy enough- although the excision of talus was not online) (Dr explained he might open the ankle up a bit more than the ankle portals for the arthroscope to get to the spur so I figured that was that.) Resident marked a yes on my left leg and initialed it- good, the correct leg was getting worked on. 
just put scrubs on him w/o the drink, my anesthesiologist

Then the anesthesiologist (who totally reminded me of Sal from Mad Men) stopped by to explain what he was going to be doing.  I was getting a nerve block behind my knee and he'd be doing that a few minutes and DH would have to leave so they could do that since the had to use a ultrasound machine to find the nerves and I might be a bit loopy too since I'd be getting something to relax (um, ok).  Well, I don't know about loopy but it took me about 30 secs after to feel the effects of what ever they gave me.  Wow.  That was nice, just chillin' out.  They propped me on my right side and worked behind my left knee.  I really don't remember feeling much at that point, but I remember them asking me if I could feel my toes, which I couldn't.  They let DH come in and give me a kiss and I got my lovely hair net/hat thing.  Then I was off to the OR. 
 Honestly, the OR was bright and cold, and I remember seeing my Dr looking at my MRI in the corner, then the nurses helped me move over to the table, strapped me down, asked me to move my arms out, they put a mask on me, which was only to one side of my nose -not centered- I remember saying something about that, then someone saying "medicine going in" then I was out.

In the recovery area, I remember hearing voices first, then trying to open my eyes for a while then falling asleep again.    Eventually, I stayed awake enough for them to talk to me.  I got my glasses back which helped a bit, then they brought DH back to stay with me.  I remember that my ankle was hurting a bit especially on the medial side. 7 in pain.  Sal stopped by to see how I was doing with pain, told him it was hurting and he said that area of my foot wasn't covered by the nerve block.  Great.  Got to eat a bit, saltines and graham crackers and drink water.  I was given Percocet and told not to wait to feel the pain but to take them on schedule so I could stay ahead of the pain. 
Just a spray tan from my knee to toes
 I was expecting to see my big black boot which went with me to the OR on my leg but instead I have a lovely splint wrapped in an Ace bandage with my orange Oompa Loompa toes sticking out.

 Dr. talked to my DH while I was still sleeping. Dr said that he did what he'd planned to do, there were no surprises, "cleaned it out" "shaved off the spurs" (spurs? multiple?- thought I had only one) and he opened me up a bit to get the one and DH used fingers to show a maybe an inch or more something else about the arthritis but DH didn't follow the medical jargon. 

Other than not wearing the boot, I was also surprised by my discharge instructions:  Non-weight bearing until given permission by Dr, no driving until given permission by Dr.- wait, what?  I have things to do next week! I have kids going to camp, I have some professional development workshops to go to. No driving?! Ok, I get the pain killers and driving but if I'm not on them? then can I drive? Ugh, Dr appt not scheduled until July 10th.  It was the earliest I could do. I wouldn't have schedule all this stuff if I had known.  Dr told me "boot for 5 weeks and I'd be back to spinning a few days".  grumble.  Hopefully, no more surprises. 

But, wait, there are more surprises...
 I can't do Percocet- found that out on the way home from the hospital.  Barf x2. Thank God, we keep plastic bags in the car for that.  Then, I'll just say the next 24 hours is a repeat performance.  I tried a change of medicine, Tramadol did the same thing.  Finally took an anti-nausea combined with the Tramadol which just knocked me out for about 4 of the 6 hours between doses.  Fine. By. Me.

So, now I'm 5 days out from the surgery.  I stopped taking anything on Sunday pm to test the pain scale. It was within a tolerable amount so I'm off the meds.  I feel back to normal until I get up then my ankle reminds me that it hurts.  So, I'm here parked on the couch with the foot up, the Tour de France on TV and Netflix a click away.

Plus, DH got me a shower bench for bathing so I can shower and nifty cast cover thing that actually works.  So, clean hair, shaved legs and fresh clothes make a world of difference.  Ahhh.

So, I'm in recovery mode for a bit.  Really hoping that I'll still be able to run the Air Force Half this year. (really kicking myself for registering so early!)  But I like having it as recovery goal too, so, we'll see what the Dr says, hoping it's 3 weeks in the boot (for the 5 weeks total he gave me earlier) so that I have 6 weeks to rehab and train?  Yeah, even typing that seems ridiculous.  Then again...

Before I can close, I have to say thank you to my DH for taking care of me and my minions, Cub and Buster for fetching me basically everything when I need it. My dear MIL who helped out SO much on Saturday with all my lovely medication problems and my awesome neighbors who watched the boys for us.  Thank you, again.  


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