My Surgery

Hey there.. It’s been a while. I guess it seems kinda odd, but I really haven’t had that much time to write in the past few weeks. With all that’s been going on, I’ve somehow managed to keep myself quite busy, while not actually leaving a circle about 50 feet in diameter. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there, so I may as well get on with it… I jotted down a number of things I intended to write about.. and now they’ve piled up to fill an entire page, so I may as well get to it… I’m currently watching a weird movie on TV that has Sabrina Lloyd. She’s so cute.

My Knee

So.. On Dec. 2 I had knee surgery. Wrote a song about it. Want to hear it? Here it go: My dad came up the day before, and the family (sans Kristin and Mom, so Amy, Jeff, Rebecca, Steven, my Dad and myself.) got together for dinner. Apparently, on the way to dinner, Rebecca was explaining to Steven (my nephew) why we were getting together: “Because Ron has a hurt knee, and he’s going to the doctor to have surgery. So they’re going to have to cut…”. I think right around the word “cut” was when he started to freak. I’m told he was pretty upset for a while, but eventually calmed down a bit… until I showed up at the restaurant, and he completely lost it.. just screaming and sobbing. I think he thought I was going to die the next day. So that was something.

So my surgery was scheduled for 7 a.m., so that meant I had to be at the place at 5:30… Which apparently meant I couldn’t sleep at all that night. They said I had to wear really baggy pants, because it’d have to cover a big bandage and stuff. So I went with a pair of scrubs (Yeah, I thought about it quite a bit.) So my dad picked me up at 5, and we headed off to the Hospital. Soon enough we were into the next room where I got all set up.. I had prepared a cd with a bunch of Zelda songs performed by an orchestra..I thought it’d help calm me down in case i was anxious or something. So the nurse brought me a cd player…. It did not work. So she grabbed me another one. it did not work either.. So the nurse brought in a stack of 3 cd players… None of them worked… I noticed a dead battery signal on some of theme when i tried to play. The nurse was convinced that it was because i was using a burned cd… so she brought me a new cd of “calming music”. That didn’t work either. Finally, I was given another cd player… this one with batteries that supposedly worked.. and sure enough, it started up.. So I grabbed my Zelda cd, and started it up. the battery low light flickered on again, but the thing kept playing, so all was good. So I laid down and waited while my Dad read the paper. eventually a new nurse came to put in the IV. No lie, this was the part I was most dreading. I hate needles. It sucked, but it went in and did it’s thing and all that. The doctors all showed up in turn and said their hellos and stuff, and then took off. Eventually it was time.

They wheeled me into a room.. and here’s the deal, this is where stuff gets really fuzzy, cause I saw a bunch of people, and some weird instruments and stuff, and then I was out… the next thing I remember is seeing this nurse with a shirt that had little kids with voice balloons.. and I tried so hard to read those voice balloons, but couldn’t.. then I would fade in and out of sleep.. Eventually I could read it, and I told her I liked her shirt….and the next thing I remember is waking up and seeing my brother Jeff and my Dad standing there.

After a while I was awake enough to talk and interact and all that, and I saw that my leg was covered, but i couldn’t feel a thing.. except tired. Eventually the doctor came, and showed some pictures and explained some things to my dad.. I don’t remember much of what all was said.. The part I do remember is when they had me try to eat some crackers. here’s the deal.. i hate throwing up.. I haven’t thrown up since my sophomore year of High School. That’s right.. high school.. that’s 10 years ago. That includes 5 years of being allowed to legally drink alcohol in this country. No throwing up.. So here I am, trying to eat a cracker.. and my body is not enjoying it. so, after fighting [valiantly] for a while, finally I say “I think I’m going to throw up.” They hook me up with a bucket of sorts, and i start sweating like crazy.. but I eventually managed to fight it off. I hate throwing up.

They kept asking what my pain level was, from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most intense pain I could imagine. You know.. if you’re experiencing a 10, I really don’t think you’d be able to speak.. that, or you have the i>worst imagination ever. So eventually they were happy enough, and told me it was time for me to go home. I had brought my crutches with me, so they were in the car. My dad went to get those, and they unhooked this icebox thinger that was apparently hooked up to my leg.. It was sometime around now that I noticed all the crap that was hooked up to me. So there was a big cooler thing with a tube that was running ice water to my knee, and a tube running a numbing painkiller thing directly into my knee as well. that was hooked up by my waste. So we got me dressed (that was an ordeal) then got me into a wheelchair, and they wheeled me to the door, and we got me in the van, and I was on my way home.

We made it a few blocks before it happened again. I hate throwing up. I was able to fight it off again, but we had to park in a parking lot for a little while. Eventually we made it back to my house… and those 3 flights of stairs. So I was still kinda out of it, so the trip up the stairs was an adventure.. I almost made it up to the top, when I began to lose it, and had to yell out for Jeff to catch me. he did.. I was glad.

So we got me on the couch, and hooked up that ice box thinger, filled it up with more ice and all that. Eventually Jeff had to take off, and after a few hours and a real meal, my dad took off. Had a 3rd nausea attack, but fought through that one too. I hate throwing up. So I dunno if you can tell in this picture, but i was d-r-u-g-g-e-d u-p.:

drugged up

So I slept much of that day. Amy came and visited for a time, but I don’t remember much of that either. It was explained that the doctor said that the next evening, I had to remove the pain pump and that ice tube thinger. I was not looking forward to that at all. So after sleeping all of that day, i woke up Friday morning… and I worked all day. I’ve taken to working pretty much all the time when I’m home, as there was lot to do, and it helped take my mind off of pretty much everything. When you’re busy, you don’t really have time to notice that your knee kinda hurts.. or that there’s pretty much nothing that you can do besides just sit there. That evening, Cathy and Linda came on over, and we watched Elf and The emperor’s Club.. and that was a good time.. only for about 2 hours I was feeling something that could only be described as “intense pain”, so that kinda sucked. No real clue why.. well, I guess the whole surgery thing might have had a bit to do with it, but yeah.. that hurt a lot. So after the movies, the girls took off, and it was time to remove the pain pump. This… was wretched.

Let me explain what exactly we’re talking about here: there was this bottle with a sprint/pressure something or other, hooked up to a tube, and that tube ran down to my leg.. then on the end of the tube was a connection to a metal wire/tube thinger. and that ran directly into my knee. Now I hadn’t bothered to do much investigating of my leg yet, because i didn’t much feel like throwing up or passing out. But for this, i was going to have to start uncovering thing.. I had a new giant leg brace on, this one went from the middle of my thigh all the way to my ankle. It was rather nice, and black! so I was pleased. Under that was an ace bandage. Under the ACE bandage (“Banda elastica” in Italian, Right Maryrose?) was the plastic bladder thinger that was hooked up to the ice water tube. Let me quick explain how that works:

The Polar Care 300: It’s a plastic ice box type cube thing, and on the cover has a hookup to a two-way tube, and a air tube. The air-tube runs to a pump that you plug in to the wall outlet. The two-way ice water tub runs to a connector, where you can disconnect the tube from the rest of the thing (which is likely all wrapped up in your leg or wherever anyway.. so it’s pretty convenient). After that connector, it runs the tube a bit more, then ends in a large shaped bladder thing that the water runs into. So the air pump pushes ice water from the ice bucket into the tube, which runs into the bladder and over the area of the body that needs to be iced, then the water runs into the tube again, on the other side, where it returns to the bucket to be re-cooled. It’s pretty awesome.. and I get to keep it forever. Awesome.

So under the ACE bandage was this ice water bladder, then under that was a thick cotton wrap, then under that was a number of gauze pads and bandages, and under that was a lot of blood, and under that, was 3 small hole pokes in my knee, covered with pieces of medical tape. There was a decent amount of selling going on there as well. So I had to remove this pain pump wire thing.and the Ice bladder thing on the 2nd night. So.. that sucked. I unwrapped the ACE bandage a bit, and found the wire thing. Now, it was held down by a piece of wide medical tape, and the doc had said that simply by removing that tape, it might pull the wire out, otherwise I’d have to pull on the wire until it was all the way out. Well, i pulled off the tape, and the wire was just sitting there in my leg. So I started pulling. It didn’t really hurt, but it looked and felt really, really weird. Weird quickly equaled disgusting in my head, as I kept pulling inch after inch of this wire out of my leg. Swac was watching, but eventually moved back and took a seat, as the sight was a bit too much for him. Eventually I got the thing out, but let me tell you, that whole experience was nasty. I did take pictures of it. But here’s the pain pump/tube/wire after everything had been removed. Remember, that wire was in my leg, and I pulled it out.

Pain Pump

With that pump out and the ice thinger removed i was free to start doing these exercises. They are “teh suck.” there all just strength and flexibility things, so you’ve got the leg lifts in every direction, and the leg straightening stuff, and then a lot of knee bending and holding in a certain place for a while.. that kind of stuff. The first time i did them, it all went pretty well, except for the one where I sit with legs straight forward, and I have to lift the leg straight up 10 inches and hold it for 3 seconds. When I tried it the first time, my leg refused to move. It was all very odd, and upsetting. It’s better now. But the stretching and bending the knee thing still sucks.

the other kind of odd thing… I gotta take my pain pills with food… and I can only take pills once every 4 hours… as a result, I get completely starving every 4 hours. but woe… woe.. woe is me. I had to take my last pill last night. I was not pleased. If anyone out there has pain pills, please send them to me.

And with that, this post has grown to long. for the record, this was only #1 of 18 things listed on my list of things to write about.

4 thoughts on “My Surgery

  1. Hi Ron! Glad to hear things aren’t going completely shitty. Two quesions: (1) How long is that wire you pulled out?
    (2) Does being off pain pills mean you can drink again?

  2. Hey there!

    1.) the wire that was actually in the leg had to be at least 6 – 8 inches, maybe longer.. I don’t really remember, except that it took quite a while to get the whole thing out.

    2.) No idea, but maybe/hopefully? I should ask the doctor on the 15th I guess.

  3. Here’s my prescription for you for 1000 Vicodin ES to be taken PRN (as needed).

    See you sometime this weekend (and I’m bringing cookies)!

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