After I was carted off to the OR and fitted with a blood pressure cuff, I was slid onto the operating table and the oxygen mask was placed on my face. It felt like being pushed into a pool unexpectedly and then nothing…. really quiet and no memory of anything thereafter.
They next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room feeling foggy and tense as ever. My arms and legs were heavy and there were no pancakes waiting for me.
A nurse came by and asked me that popular question
“what’s your name and dob honey?”
Yes! I’m still in Texas I thought.
“Would you like some juice?”
“What kind? ”
Cranberry juice with crushed ice and Graham Crackers appeared in front of me. It was the best snack I’d ever had. Mostly because I hadn’t eaten since the day before.
Once I gobbled my snack two nurses came to stand me up and explain my after care.
It all went pretty fast.
One nurse told me that I couldn’t shower or get my bandages wet until after my follow-up appointment while the other explained this fancy medicine filled ornament
That was tucked inside a small pouch that hung around my neck as a small tube trailed from the ball into my leg.
I received about 20% of what she said. I Then asked anxiously if I could eat yet and she said yes and I replied “pancakes” as another nurse came with a wheelchair. One nurse said “no” to the pancakes another said “yes”. The doctor overruled us all by saying “absolutely not”for 24 hours due to the anesthesia having slowed my functions so for the next 24 hours I could have soup and sandwiches. Blah!
Soon I was sitting…couldn’t feel my leg at all. I didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I was wheeled out and towards the elevator. My sister received more after care instructions. I went down got into the car and off to home.
Interesting. We live on the 3rd floor. I could either stay with my sister, take the stairs with crutches, or be carried. After no consideration I chose to be carried up. There’s nothing like your own bed when you are ill. I didn’t want to be away from my immediate family either. So I was carried up the stairs.
I got into my bed and was immediately told to take pain meds. Everyone bustled around me until I was settled in. I had pills, soup and a sandwich and went to sleep. I woke up again a few hours later to make my first epic journey to pee.
Gathered my crutches and off on the 4ft jaunt.
Success! I didn’t fall!
Saturday came quick I had no idea the day had changed:
When I got back to my room I decided to get a jump on the CPM MACHINE. Amongst all the advice I had received on ACL surgery, “do not get stiff” was the most stand out.
The machine extends my leg 20 degrees and flexes 60 degrees very slowly. Ive been prescribed 6 hours a day for 21 days. This is mainly to decrease chance of stiffness and restriction in my range of motion.
This was a piece of cake, I thought. I did about 5 hours. I was still numb from the nerve block.
Sunday came even faster:
The next few hours proved differently as the numbness wore away and I could feel my leg again. It became painful to be on the CPM MACHINE and I couldn’t tolerate more than a few minutes of it. I immediately took pain pills and was able to get back into it.
The hours passed. I slept. Text. Ate.Drank lots of juice. Took more pills.and I fell asleep by 8pm and didn’t get up again until 7am.
The first 24 into 48 hours was ok. Adventurous to say the least. But Ive learned a few things. The proper use of crutches is critical to getting around. Don’t be stubborn about talking your meds. You will need them. Yes NEED them. As in depend on them to get through the pain. You don’t have to suffer.
Family and Friends will show up and call.Text. And communicate through others. Absorb it. Take it in. You will recall these moments later.
Im looking forward to my follow-up appointment so my bandages can be changed.
Im a trooper. And so are my friends and family.
PS Please excuse any typos or bad grammar as I am on pain meds.