Monday, January 23, 2017

Knee Surgery

I've posted about my knee before and, at the time I posted, was very hopeful that my knee was on the upswing and would continue to get better. As it turned out, I was wrong. I went through a series of relapses and almost went to my doctor in August to get ready to have surgery--but then we were going to move. And then we weren't going to move but we were changing insurance. Then we were going on a cruise. My knee was fine on the cruise--I'd worried about it--but when we got home from the cruise and I decided it was time to get in better shape and lose some weight, my knee was anything but fine. I had my worst flare-up to date. I couldn't sleep at night because the pain was so intense. The only way to decrease the pain was to sit up with my leg bent, which made getting comfortable in bed difficult. I couldn't lift my leg high enough to put a pair of pants on without groaning in pain. I could barely make it up the stairs. That flare up was defining for me: I realized that something had to change, that I couldn't go on functioning with a knee that wasn't really functioning. So I set a doctor's appointment.

Of course, by the time I got into the doctor a few weeks later, my knee was totally fine and I found myself promising the doctor I wasn't a hyprochondriac since I clearly had almost full range of motion while I was in his office. Happily, he believed me and, after discussing all my options, I decided to go for it and to have surgery.

At first I worried a lot about if I was making the right decision and if maybe I really was a hypochondriac (my dang knee went through a really good spell and was psyching me out). I agonized over the decision and probably drove poor Ryan crazy with how many times I asked him if I were making a bad decision. Then one morning, I prayed to feel peace--and immediately my mind calmed. My crazy swirling thoughts turned off and I was completely at peace. That peace lasted me throughout the next few weeks and even stays now. A few days after that experience, I was worrying again--but I read the thoughts I'd written down after my prayer and I felt that peace again. Since that morning, I literally did not feel nerves about the procedure even once.

Time passed quickly and we were finally at the morning of my surgery, January 19. The worst part of the morning for me was that I was on the tail end of a cold and had some yuckiness building in the back of my throat, but I had to be fasting so I couldn't wash it out. Ugh. The worst part for Ryan was that he hadn't realized I'd be going all the way under and he was left feeling a little nervous. Also, he'd forgotten to bring himself any food and we were there for a few hours, right in the middle of lunch time. Oops.

I had super friendly nurses and I trusted my doctor. Once I was wheeled into the operating room, I was asleep quickly. And then I was waking up. The thing I remember most about waking up was being confused about why Ryan wasn't there, being really cold (I asked my nurse for a third blanket and was still chilly when she put it on--later Ryan mentioned my "sleeping jacket" and she cracked up), and crying. My nurse asked if I were in pain but I was just crying and didn't know why. Really I just wanted Ryan, so I was happy when Ryan finally got to come back to me. After eating and resting a bit, they released us. We were both surprised when I almost threw up in the car, but even more surprised when I could walk in the house by myself, with only minimal help from my crutches. Reed was so sweet and immediately came and checked on me when he got home from school. He also checked on me multiple times throughout the afternoon and a few times the next morning before school.

The past few days have consisted of a lot of resting. My mom came to help, thank goodness, and got everyone to and from school and kept them clothed and fed. She even got to go to Family Day at school with Lila, which Lila loved. Three different friends--Krista deLespinasse, Cori Gage, and Karinne Wignall--brought dinner after my mom left, which was so helpful. I had to miss out on Lila's birthday trip to the aquarium, but got to hear all about the trip and her ear piercing when they got home. My pain medication has made me exhausted (I'm taking 2 hour naps a day, like when Lila was a baby), dizzy (I've almost passed out every morning, with this morning being the worst), and nauseous. The side effects of the pain medicine are definitely worse than the pain so far! But my knee swelling is going down and I feel like I'm finally really on the road to recovery. I can walk pretty well around the house and the stairs are getting easier with each trip. I'm in less pain with two holes cut in my knee than I was with one whole knee.

So here's to a great 2017 with hopefully a much better functioning knee.

Before surgery, super pumped. Kind of.

My bae (can you call your husband your bae?) updating our moms after surgery.

I made it! And I'm freezing.

 My entire leg was Oompa Loompa orange for a few days until I was allowed to shower.

Day 1--swelling, plus a wrap and gauze.

 Day 3--finally got to remove the wrap, but have to leave the steri strips on. I mostly love the "yes" written on my leg--that's one of the ways they make sure they've got the right one.

 Day 4--finally got to shower. Still quite a bit of swelling.

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