Surgery Details. Or at Least What I Can Remember.

Sassy must have been feeling left out because she decided to be sick yesterday, too.  Vomiting ensued and OMG Becky had two patients to care for.  She may be ready to jump ship.

Sassy and I have set up camp in the living room.  Me on the couch, her on the love seat.  With a couple of TV trays set up next to me to hold my necessities.

Please excuse my make-up less face.  I was told not to wear any flammable make-up or hair products to surgery that morning.  I figured it was best to avoid all make-up and hair products.  The flammability of my products was not really something I wanted to guess at.

Yesterday, I had to be at the surgery center an hour before the surgery was scheduled to start.  Once there I had to pee in a cup to do a mandatory pregnancy test.  Negative, of course.  Then I was taken into my pre/post surgery room.  I had to remove all my clothing and put on a hospital gown completely open in the back, no tying it closed allowed.  I also had to put my hair up into a fancy, disposable cap.  So pretty.  I had my IV port inserted, hooked up to some other monitoring machine and all of my vitals checked.  Next the anesthesiologist asked me a bunch of healthy history questions and we went over all things that could go wrong with the anesthesia.  Fun times.

Then the surgeon came in and we talked about the surgery itself.  Found out I would need to stay off my foot for the first two weeks to allow for proper heeling.  The doctor also removed the half cast the ER had put on.  While he was doing that I told him I had felt like the top my foot was on fire since the cast was put on.  Once he got the cast off, we saw why.  I had developed a facture blister on the top of my foot.  Ouch!  Luckily, it wasn’t full of fluid or on what would b the incision sight.  Do yourself a favor, do not Google “fracture blister” images.  So gross.

My fracture blister looks a lot like this PG-version I made for you.

fracture blister

He explained that since my break was a fairly, straight horizontal break, screws were probably not an option.  They would install a metal plate through a 3″ incision that would then be closed with stitches or staples.  I started crying a little bit at those words.  A scar, especially one that large, had never entered my mind.  He told me they would give me two pain blockers, one below and one above the surgery area.  I was told I would need to stay completely off my foot for two weeks with it elevated.  The goal is to not bump it all so the bones will fuse back together straight.  If I bump it, they could fuse at an odd angle or worse, not at all.  Then we might have to do surgery again.  As you can imagine, I am trying to be very, very careful.  I do not want to go through this again!

After my chat with the surgeon, I was wheeled back to the surgery room.  It was so cold in there!  Then I was transferred over onto the surgery table.  That is the last thing I remember.  No counting down, no more speaking of any kind.  The next thing I remember is being back in my pre/post surgery room for recovery.  Someone was calling my name and saying I was having a hard time waking up.  I just wanted to go back to sleep.   I hadn’t slept much since the break on Monday.  Too much pain to sleep through.

The surgery had lasted just under an hour. My parents and youngest daughter were in the waiting room, watching a screen that showed the patient number assigned to me.  It showed where I was in the process.  In pre-op, in surgery, in post-op, etc.

Finally, they called my mom in to go over instructions with her since I obviously was in no shape to remember a thing they were saying.  The gist of it was I am to double up on my pain killers.  They do not want me to wait until I feel pain to take the meds or I will be in a lot of pain and unable to control it.  I have set a recurring alarm to go off every 4 hours so I won’t forget.  I was told I may be nauseous from the anesthesia and that is common in women.  They had already given me a prescription for anti-nausea meds since I don’t do so well with pain killers anyway.  (I am allergic to Hydrocodone.) I also need to eat with when I take the pain killers to help with nausea.  But I was to avoid spicy and greasy foods.  Sad because I really wanted my favorite Chipotle veggie bowl with medium-spice corn salsa.  Grrr.  But I could have ice cream, the other thing that sounded really good!  And I was hungry!  I wasn’t allowed to have any food or drink since midnight.

Once I got home, I was ready to go back to sleep.  The anesthesia was hanging on.  I like that stuff!  My mom went on to work.  And my dad got me some essentials.  My favorite Belfonte Birthday Cake ice cream!

Belfonte Birthday Cake Ice Cream

Healthy Choice Country Vegetable Soup.

healthy choice country vegetable soup

And then he asked if I wanted him to go to Starbucks for me.  YES!  Iced White Chocolate Mocha, please!

Starbucks iced white chocolate mocha

Honestly, yesterday I didn’t feel much pain at all.  Today I can feel a little bit of pain.  But it actually hurt more before the surgery then it does now.  But that may be a result of the pain blocker still hanging on.

I am sporting a new half cast, an ice pack behind the knee, and a non-skid hospital sock.  I’m sexy and I know it.

half cast, hospital sock

And this will be my look and location for the next couple of weeks.  I have a follow-up with the surgeon this Thursday.  then a week after that, another appointment to take the staples out.  I plan on talking to him about when I can start activity again and what it might consist of.

I know at some point, the half cast will be replaced with a boot, but not sure when that will be.  I also need to visit the DMV office to pick up a temporary disable parking permit for when I am allowed be out and about again.  No hurry to be out there anytime soon, especially since we have ANOTHER snowstorm with 6-10″ of snow coming tonight.

I apologize if this post is rambling or repetitive.  These painkillers are making me a bit more loopy, as evident in the record number of misspelled words I had to correct in this post.  And now I feel like I need another nap.  I have been awake a full three hours.  That’s okay.  I’m pretty sure sleep promotes healing.

What are you doing this weekend?

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13 thoughts on “Surgery Details. Or at Least What I Can Remember.

  1. Lori

    Hi there. Glad to read you’re on the mend. I am just finishing a book that is about successfully preparing for, going through and recovering from surgery.

    Saw some comments about make-up being flammable – here’s what I can share from my experience and research regarding night before surgery stuff:

    (1) Shower and wash your hair the night before (or morning of) surgery, as it might be a few days, or longer, before you are able to do, or feel up to doing, it again. After your shower, do NOT use any lotions, creams, powders or deodorant (even if you shower the night before). When you have surgery, your skin is being broken and your innards exposed and anything on your skin could get inside and cause problems. Lotions, creams, powders or deodorants may increase the risk of infection during or after surgery.

    (2) Remove fingernail polish prior to surgery as it can interfere with the pulse oximeter, which is a device used to monitor oxygen saturation in the body.

    Note: There is on-going research and debate as to whether or not nail polish really affects a pulse oximeter reading. According to one source, (pulseoximetersplus.com/ categories/Finger-Pulse-Oximeter), “The way to really answer this is actually to look at how a pulse oximeter actually functions. Essentially the device works by utilizing an infrared light that passes through the skin of the person’s finger… That light goes through the skin and actually has a different response depending on the hemoglobin that is present in the tissue. Essentially hemoglobin is what makes up the blood and it absorbs light at a different frequency than other types of systems in the blood. As such the light that passes through the finger bounces off that system and the other part of the light passes through the finger. This in turn will give the reading of the pulse rate and the blood oxygen saturation. When nail polish is used and then a pulse oximeter device is used what happens is that the nail polish in essence blocks the infrared light from passing through the finger. So what this means is that the computer that is in the oximeter will not be able to compute properly the percentage of light that passed through and the percentage of light that actually came back to the device. It is often times recommended that individuals not wear nail polish…to get the most amount of accuracy…”

    “The slightly differing results between the two different pulse oximeters suggest that the controversy in the literature on nail polish might be due to differences in the technology of the pulse oximeters used in those studies. There have been advances in the technology of pulse oximeters, and more recent studies on nail polish have found less interference.”

    I personally choose to error on the side of caution. Thus, if it’s possible to get a more accurate reading without nail polish, then no nail polish for me. My health and safety are worth more to me than having polished nails in the hospital.

    As you move forward, have you considered driving? Check with your doctor about post-surgical driving restrictions and plan accordingly. Driving too soon following surgery can jeopardize both you and others. Protecting the surgical repair is extremely important, and as for others, if you’re not well or on pain medication, your response may be time delayed, causing an unwanted accident.

    There are two primary questions to consider about driving after surgery:

    1. Can you drive … at all? After surgery there are usually guidelines as to when a patient can safely get back behind the wheel of a car. It may be as little as a day or two, or it can be significantly longer, as in the case of abdominal surgery, for example.

    2. Can you drive your standard transmission – stick shift – vehicle, or do you need to borrow an automatic for a while? This occurred to me after I had ACL reconstructive knee surgery on my left knee. At the time I owned a Volkswagen Jetta with a clutch, and using that leg – using a clutch – was strictly prohibited. My recovery specifically included six weeks non-weight bearing on crutches and six months in physical therapy. Thinking of, or being told, this ahead of time would have been very helpful information in the planning stages. Blessed with amazing friends, my friend Rebecca generously traded me her automatic transmission Honda for several months until I could safely drive my own car again.

    And now… be a patient patient! Take your time! This is the right time to take your time and take it easy! Your recovery – your health and your well-being – are the foundation of your entire life. You are worth it! While guidelines for each procedure exist, every individual case is different and unique, just like each person on this planet. Truth is, healing simply takes as long as it takes.

    In addition to listening to your doctors, check in and listen to your self and your body. Notice any changes, big or small. For example, post-surgical discomfort or pain should decrease a little each day. Notice and acknowledge increases in energy and activity, even subtle or small, as these are signs that healing and recovery are taking place.

    Allow yourself to rest and heal and fully recover so you can get back to living a full, healthy life.

    Since you’re committing to and under-going the time and expense to have surgery, honor those commitments and see it through. Why jeopardize your long-term outcome with impatience?

    You got this!!!

    All my best,

    Lori

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Eat All the Donuts & Everything Else, Too | Whine Less, Breathe More

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