The Moment We've All Been Waiting For... [Surgery Re-cap]

Well, it's done! I am the proud owner of a reconstructed ACL, not to mention having conquered my first (and hopefully ONLY) surgery! Here is how the day of events unfolded to bring me to blogging for you on my couch w/ a fully wrapped leg!

4/14/09 - 12:15p
We were a little early for our 12:30 arrival, but prior to this we were just standing around in the kitchen, eager to go anyhow. Once E parked the car and met us in the South Entrance lobby, we headed up to the second floor. There we found the 'waiting room' for the surgical area, which was really a lobby in itself. It was here that I gave them my name, got an ID bracelet, and waited to be 'called back'. Eric and my mom had to wait there when they did come get me a few minutes later.

Once I was taken back, they took my blood pressure, my heart rate, my temperature... Then I was asked to put on 'the gown'. It's true what I'd read in another person's ACL blog - they don't let you wear your unders! (What the?!?) In addition to the gown, I was given a stunning thigh-high stocking to wear on my non-surgical leg, and hospital issued brown socks.

After I was all dressed down, I was then given the IV and told to sign my surgical knee. There were about 50 checks and balances to be sure we didn't accidentally cut into the wrong leg, but that was more comforting than annoying... Also, at this point Eric and my Mom were allowed to come keep me company until I was taken into surgery. Soon, Dr. Shapiro came in and signed my knee as well...

(nice stocking, eh? hehe) It was in between 1p and 230p that I met all kinds of people... Two nurses (Laura and Susan) had hooked up the IV and done some paperwork. Then came Tracy, the nurse that would be helping during surgery. I also met Randy, the anesthesiologist, and the nurse anesthetist, Shelly. And, of course, Dr. Shapiro. Throughout the introductions everyone was so kind and helpful, happy to answer any questions and I felt like they were really giving me their attention. I've had some poor experiences in the medical field before, and the way things went, I was confident my surgery would be fine. The procedure itself should take ~45 minutes, but they have the room blocked for 2 hours to include set-up, surgery, clean-up, and prepping for the next surgery.


After one last trip to the bathroom (dragging along my IV, my Mom teased that I reminded her of a cartoon, but was just missing having my butt exposed by the gown! hehe), I was then given some substance via IV, where Shelly told me it would just feel like I'd 'had a few drinks'. It did hit pretty quickly, but I was still aware enough to answer questions and talk to people. They then rolled me into the surgery room and I saw Randy, who would be giving me general anesthesia, as we had discussed earlier. [I was comforted by his MSU bandana!] I was told to take a few deep breaths.....

5:00p (?I think?)

All of a sudden I'd lost a few hours of my life! I was groggy and looking around; not in the surgical room anymore. I think this was a recovery room of sorts, but I was still on the bed and a few people were milling about, and another post-surgical patient was on the other side of the room The hospital staff asked me a few questions, but I don't remember what. I do recall trying to be funny in my responses, but I wish I could recall what I'd said! I drifted in and out once or twice, and recall them taking the sticky pads off my chest and ribs. Finally I became more permanently aware, and then they rolled me into a personal recovery room. After being sat in a recliner, I was given some graham crackers and apple juice, and finally, some vicodin! By now it was closer to 6:15p and between the local anesthesia that was injected in my knee at the end of the surgery, the fentanyl and vicodin, I was actually pretty comfortable. Once it was clear that I wasn't going to be sick from the drugs with no food in my stomach, I was taken to the car in a wheelchair, and the three of us headed back home to Thomas Ave.

So... There you have it! I was a little groggy, but for the most part felt aware. I was able to answer some text messages and carry on conversations. For some reason I thought I'd be so drugged up that everything I'd say would be nonsensical, but that was not the case. And, once the script for vicodin was filled, I was able to remain pretty comfortable as the other drugs wore off.

I ended up staying on the couch all night (no point in trying to make it up a flight of stairs to bed!) and was able to sleep well enough. I even had some great dreams about my knee healing, recovery, and being back out on the soccer field! All of this has to be a good sign, right?

So, now it is 1:00p, the day after the surgery, and while there is more pain now than there was at all yesterday, it's mostly manageable. Getting up to the bathroom is the hard part, but can be done. I have a PT visit at 4pm today, and believe all we'll do is undress my knee and take a look at where I am to start.

Again, THANK YOU everyone. I feel so loved and have gotten so much support, I truly am blessed!!

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