I was a little nervous leading up to the surgery. Who wouldn’t be? The anticipation of pain, the anesthesia, the inherent risk of surgery. I watched every video and read every article on your site.
I made sure the house was in good shape. I only have 3 steps getting in and all my important stuff is on the first floor. I got all my pills and all that lined up, got all my grocery’s bought and prepared for easy prepping. Feeling prepared helped a lot leading in to Surgery day.
So the hospital called me Tuesday, told me to be at the hospital on Wednesday at 8:30 am and surgery would be at 11:15am. My girlfriend had to work so Mom drove me the 30 minutes to the hospital. Thanks Mom!! Everybody was so positive that morning. Wishing me well and letting me know how good it was going to go. Jill my nurse got me the new package of wipe down cloth thingies that I applied the night before so I could do it again. I didn’t have Mom help me with that J. The bonus of the morning application in contrast to Tuesday night is that the hospital ones are warm and the ones at home are like cold wet rags that you have to wipe all over your naked parts. So I got that done, sat down in the bed and it went fast from there. So fast that by the time I figured out that I still needed to go to the bathroom I was all hooked up to the leg pumps and iv stuff. Jill was awesome though and let me walk down to the bathroom and do my thing. I do remember thinking that the next time I get up and go for a walk that it won’t hurt and I was excited about that. Mom and I hung out for a bit and the anesthesiologist came in and we went over the choices and what was going to happen. She was awesome and told me about the epidural and all that. Then one of the PA’s came in and I wrote no on my but cheek that was not to be operated on and she signed my operative side. Best part is that they ask your name and birthdate 400 times over your stay and she and I were birthday buddies. Although I’m sure that mine was about 20 years prior to hers. We had a high 5 and a happy birthday wish and off she went. Once I got signed off on and talked to the PA I could get a little sleepy happy shot in my iv. I wasn’t really nervous at all but I wasn’t turning down anything at that point.
In came the muscle to push me down to the O.R. and I said goodbye to Mom and off I went. When I got in the O.R. I thought there was going to be a party. There had to be 10 people in there. Not only was it not intimidating at all because everyone was so friendly they all introduced themselves and I did the same. They slid me over to the and we got down to business. All parties involve went through what I guess was a safety checklist and called out who they were and what was going to happen. By then I was leaning forward so the Anesthesiologist could get that epidural in there. He said “you’re going to feel a little bit of pressure” and I said ok. He should have said that this will be last thing you’ll remember until you open your eyes and see your yellow sock feet shining back at you.
So I’ve obviously never had a baby and I didn’t really know what an epidural was like. Well it’s like the weirdest thing ever. When I woke up and tried to move my toes there is just nothing that can make that happen. I mentioned to the Nurse that this surgery is a breeze and there’s no pain at all. Did I mention that I’m a pretty sarcastic guy and I think I’m funny too? She said “well enjoy that”. When I got back to the room I was feeling just fine. Talked to Mom and told her that this is going great so far. I was still working on that toe moving thing and I could have sworn my right thigh was 3 feet wide. I had Mom wiggle my toes for me to see if it could spark my brain into remembering how to move my parts. No dice. So I hung out a while longer and in came a parade of folks to check on me. My new Nurse Shannon. Katie the PA. and a few others. I was a little groggy. I think the Physical Guys came in about 5 or so. Jim said were going to get you up. I said that that was about the craziest thing I’d heard that day. I couldn’t feel my right foot at all at that point but they got me on my feet and looking down the first thing I noticed was that my left foot was pointing straight forward. That thing had been at about a 90 degree angle to my right foot for at least a year because it hurt otherwise. Well there it was an no pain at all. So back in bed they set me and told me that was it for the day. They’d be back in the morning to take me down to the gym. I kind of chuckled again. Full disclosure at this point would make me mention that when I sat back down and was talking to Jim I was sweating like a maniac and was getting light headed. That went away pretty quickly and I was once again a comfy fella. So Shannon is the best! She was taking super good care of me and I was starting to get some feeling back in my feet and my thighs started to feel human sized again. So this is that part that honestly I was most worried about for the whole surgery. She asked if I could go to the bathroom and I said sure! Because I know what happens if I say no. So anyway, she gave me till 5 to get a little something in that bottle. Well 5 rolled around and she asked how I did. I knew this wasn’t happening.because I still had basically no feeling in my groin. So we shared a collective “damn”, my girlfriend had gotten there by that time. No one more than me though. In comes Shannon with the box of fun that I did not want to see but oh well. I had known it was coming for a while. I had this built up in my head as to bad it would be. It’s not that bad at all. Best part was that later on when I got my feeling back I told Shannon that I was ready for the removal and she told me she was leaving at 11 and would take it out before she left. True to her word she stopped in at 10:50 and out it came. Phew. Again not as big deal as I had made it in my head.
I think I finally fell asleep about 1 am and made it to probably 5 am when the needle lady came in to grab a couple little bottles of my finest type A that I could muster. Funny thing is I wasn’t really tired at all after surgery and thought I wouldn’t sleep at all Wednesday night. But I finally did.
So Thursday morning rolled around and it was pill time again. I asked Shannon if there was any anesthesia left in my system because I was maybe at a 2 pain wise. She said no it’s all clear and I let he know how pain free I was and told her to hold the hard stuff and just do a couple Tylenols. We did and that was it. I took a total of 3 Perkys from Wednesday afternoon till Thursday morning and stayed pretty pain free. Just to fill in the blanks time wise I was doing the ankle pumps and butt clenches and all that the whole time I was laying there. The time really passes pretty quickly I had all this stuff saved on Netflix to watch and I think I got through maybe 2 episodes of the Walking Dead. I thought that seemed like a pretty appropriate choice of shows. Jim my PT buddy came to take me to the Gym. I think I made it there with a walker but when I got there my blood pressure decided to take a dive and out came the sweats and the light headedness. Be ready for this because they say it happens to everybody and they are ready with the chair for you to sit down in. Don’t wait when you feel quezy and be ready to get yourself in the wheelchair. So I sat there with an Ice pack on my back and a cold cloth for my forehead and basically saturated my favorite Cleveland Indians shirt. They monitored my blood pressure for 10 minutes and I felt better so we were off and running with PT. Back to the room and some more R and R. Jim came back later in the day and we did some crotches training and worked on the stairs and then back to bed. By Thursday night I could move my leg around with my arms really well and the little foot puller they give you. That thing works great because you’re not allowed to lift your operative leg on its own. It needs the assist. Dr. Brooks came in Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon. I assume after he got done with the morning surgery’s. I told him I was doing great and we shared a few laughs with my roommate who had a total hip done by Dr. Brooks right before me on Wednesday.
I slept really good Thursday night and it was clear that I was sneaking out Friday at noon or so. I was excited about that even though I can’t even tell you how great that staff at Euclid is. The food is awesome and there is a ton of choices. Thank you Mary! I did a little PT with Jim Friday morning and he had me stretching to try and touch my toes. Now I know I’m preaching to the choir if you are reading this post about how hard it is to touch your toes but it was awesome. It hurts a bit doing it but its overridden by watching your fingers get really close to the floor and not having any pain in your joint. The only thing that really hurts is your thigh muscle that they pull around in surgery and the incision stings a bit. The pain is totally tolerable.
Friday at 11 I got cleared to leave by Jim and Katie and Stephanie both thought they had had enough of my company. But being the pig I am I had to hang out for one more lunch brought by Mary. Beef stroganoff actually. My girlfriend picked me up at 1 and off I went. Got home and basically just laid around the house. A couple buddies came over and my folks stopped by. We sat around and had a few beers and they basically made fun of me and how my golf game would hopefully suffer.
It’s Sunday at 3pm right now. I just walked a mile around my neighborhood. I made sure I never lost sight of the house just in case I got tired or something. I didn’t break any speed records and it took me 30 minutes to do it with my crutches. I stopped and talked to the neighbors and stood around outside for quite a while. It’s actually a beautiful day in Cleveland for November.
Well that is it for now. I’m doing my pills and getting better every day. I am going out to dinner tonight and I’m getting back to normal life as fast as I can without rushing it. Mom called and yelled at me when I told her I walked a mile. But that’s moms for you.
Quick Summary, I can not be more happy with my decision to do this so far. It’s incredible. I put both my socks on before I went walking with no help. Every day there is something else that makes this better. If you’re in pain and not doing things in your life because of the pain don’t let the fear of this stop you. It’s an incredible gift to yourself and Dr. Brooks and his staff are magicians!