Sunday, June 27, 2010

Recovery

The last time I was in the hospital overnight was when I gave birth to Cassie 25 years ago. In my room, I fed her, cleaned her up and took care of her. Wednesday night after surgery, Cassie stayed in my room and fed me, cleaned me up, and took care of me.

I think I have this surrendering thing down.

While there were a few rough spots in the hospital, mostly I was cared for by people who did their jobs as though I was a relative. Anesthesiologist Dr. “Mario” Montoya (“Just think of the video game,” he said) really tried to get my legs numb with a spinal block, but when they wouldn’t go to sleep fast enough he took my hand and looked me in the eyes, and explained he had to use general anesthesia. Even though my doctor was yelling, “Get her to sleep!” he made sure I understood what was happening. He even checked up on me three times in recovery.

Amanda the Amazing Nurse listened to me when I said I knew I had a higher fever than the 99 degrees the machine said I had. I knew because my eyes were watering (not from tears) and I had that overall “ugh” feeling, the one that tells me my temp is over 101. She retook it with a different thermometer and low and behold, it was 101.5! She gave me two Tylenol, two oxycodone, an Atavan and tucked me in for the night. I woke up the next morning cool and feeling good. When she came into my room to help me to the bathroom, I serenaded her with my rendition of “Dr. Feelgood.” I was afraid she’d drop my nerve block and hemo boxes from laughing so hard.

Coni the PCT held my hand as I bawled through the most intense pain of my life, worse than two rounds of 13 hours of natural labor. She distracted me with questions which led to a conversation about weight loss and how she recently lost 20 pounds, became a vegetarian, and is in the best shape of her life. And she’s close to my age!

Now I’m home and under the care of daughter Carlene and husband Larry. Carlene made me a fabulous veggie sauté and bean burger last night, which I could only eat ¼ of (the old appetite isn’t as back as I thought) and helped me take a shower with my legs sticking over the sides. An hour after she went to sleep, I needed another ice pack so I called her and she made no fuss about bringing me one.

Larry’s hyper vigilant about keeping the dogs away from me and didn’t mind a phone call at 3:30 when I needed another ice pack and some more drugs. Cassie, Carlene and Larry want me get better, just as I would if they were where I am. Old Lynn wouldn’t have felt worthy of that kind of love. I do now.

Remember how I was worried I’d wake up with an artificial knee instead of just a debridement and the bone growths removed? I found out why I woke up with my original parts. On rounds the day after surgery, my doctor told me my knee is shot. There is nothing else anyone can do to save it. However, he didn’t put a new knee in during surgery because he said, and I quote, “You had my full attention when I opened up your knee and saw what you were working with. You’re in such good shape that I thought if you can be as strong as you are given the condition of the knee as it was, you’ll do just fine for another five years or more with it cleaned out.”

But, he cautioned, the next surgery will be total knee replacement. I’m OK with that. He hoped to buy me a few years because I’m still pretty young for TKR and he has, so far as I can tell, done that.

BFF Chris (CrispyRice from the Weight Watchers 100+ discussion board – my lifeline as I was losing weight) – came to visit me in the hospital.
I came home to a dozen gerbera daisies from BFF Heather in Chicago. Shelley sent me this awesome magnet:
And the supportive posts and emails from my friends – both online and in “real” life – have helped make this recovery more than I ever expected. Thank you so very much for your kind thoughts, prayers, and concern.

Now it’s time to strap up and head to the bathroom. Never thought I’d be so happy to do that alone again.

(By the way, I took photos of the incision, but I thought I'd spare you. Looks like I'll have matching knees again! LOL)

16 comments:

Sandy said...

Welcome home blossom. Thanks for taking the time to post so early too, I've been wondering how you are. here's hoping you have less pain soon and a good recovery. xoxo

MARSIAL2010 said...

Lynn, so very happy to see you recovering. I am just now setting up a blog and it is because I was so inspired by you. I selfishly need you back on your feet as soon as possible so you will continue to write and inspire me. Hope you will visit my blog in a few days when I have actually posted something. By the way -- loved your comment about your Anesthesiologist. I've been "put out" three times over the past ten years (nothing major), and it was always the anesthesiologists who gave me the most time and explained procedures more than my own doctors. Wishing you good health!

Lynne said...

Good morning, Lynn!

Was pleasantly surprised to see your post and am glad you are on the mend! Looks like you have a great support system in place and you'll be back to feeling better soon! Too bad you can't post a sound bite of your singing, lol.

p.s. I am a WW member and made a 5lb goal loss for June. I did reach 50% of it, and have reset my goal for July. I will get there! I am so glad I found someone my age that has made it, it is encouraging. I will be 48 this year!

-Maura said...

Lynn, wishing you a speedy and peaceful recovery - and am so happy you are blessed with your support network!

Lyn said...

So glad you are getting better! I worried about you this week. Take care!

debby said...

Oh, I've been thinking about you a lot the past few days! That happened so fast. And I am glad you have your original parts for a few more years. They are always the best, IMO. Glad you had some good nurses and doctors. And so sorry for that pain--yikes! Love the pic of you and Crispy--I am a big fan of her recipes!

Tish said...

Lynn, I'm new posting here, but I've been lurking for a bit. I want to wish you a great recovery. I'm glad you have your family to watch over you and loved your upbeat catalog of the helpful hospital staff. You deserve every bit of the help and attention you're getting now.

flipflopmama said...

You look way too pretty for a hospital bed! Hope every day is a bit easier for you.

Shelley said...

I'm glad you are doing so well AND letting everyone take care of you. Good on ya for getting the nurse to believe YOU, rather than the thermometer - that isn't easy! I hope your recovery continues to go well, my friend. :)

Susans Journey To Stay Fit said...

Glad to see you home and doing well. Let the family wait on you:) Hoping for a speedy recovery for you.

Debra Myott said...

I'm glad you're home and doing well. It looks like you're getting expert care from your family and friends. Here's to a speedy recovery!!

Vickie said...

you have my attention when you compare things to natural childbirth - that is my scale too. And one of those kids was face up and another one was over 9lbs. So when I say - I understand the pain scale - I mean it.

so glad you posted. I had been wondering and wondering about you.

and how in the heck do you look so good in a hospital picture! look like your regular chipper self.

very glad the secret of the knee is now out in the light of day. Now you know, he knows, and you have a long term plan. Sounds like a good base.

VeeGettingHealthy said...

Glad you didn't need the all-out surgery this time. My sister went through what it sounds like you had done, and I'm sure it's rough. Your good health is saving you, tho.

Just getting back into blogging about my health and thought I'd visit your blog for the first time in a LONG time. Glad you're still around! Vee at http://veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

Sandi said...

Glad you are home and on the mend. It's wonderful that your daughters and husband are taking such good care of you. Wishing you only forward movement in your recovery and no more back stepping!

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Thanks, everyone! I would have written sooner, but I had a wee bit of a setback. I'll explain in my next blog.


Lynne, congrats on meeting your June goal! Yes, even in our late 40s we can "master" our weight. Keep letting us know how you're progressing.

Vickie, I loved how you put it: "the secret of the knee." You know how resistant I've been to doing anything about it.

Vee, welcome back to the land of the blogging!! So good to hear from you.

Rhonda said...

I wish you a very speedy recovery, Lynn! ~The others are right when they say how great you look! Most people who've been through surgery look a little rough...but, NOT you. ;) I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.