Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Made it!

Yesterday was the big day. Surgery #5. In some ways I was more nervous about this one than the previous 4. Not the same kind of nervous I used to get....will I wake up, will it hurt, what will the recovery be like? I've done this enough to know the answers to those questions. This wasn't fear of the unknown. This was fear of the known. I know EXACTLY how much I have at stake here. My day started pretty early. As in 4:45am. I woke up from a dream where I knew it was the morning of surgery, and I was eating breakfast. And halfway through eating my breakfast, I FREAK OUT because you're not allowed to eat that close to surgery. So I totally consider lying to the doctors and nurses and not telling them....and then I woke up. If anyone has any ideas what that dream means, feel free to share, I'm stumped. Not. So after waking up and NOT eating breakfast, I arrived at 9am. Unfortunately, Dr. McGorgeous was running behind schedule, so instead of starting my surgery at 10am, I didn't get taken back til about 11:45am. In that time, I managed to charm Dr. Grinch into providing me an adequate amount of anti-nausea drugs, as well as have so much of my IV drip into me that I needed to go to the bathroom in my gown, carrying my IV bag. I've told you guys before, dignity isn't really an option. So in addition to having that stupid suture removed, I also had my ankle scoped out to remove scar tissue and inflammation and my anterior compartment explored. Oh! AND I had a 4th PRP treatment. Because at this point, why not? Lets just throw every technique known to Foot and Ankle surgeons at this thing and see what sticks. In the extremely wise words of myself to Dr. McGorgeous "Just.Cut.Everything". The PRP this time was a little sketchy. The tube to collect blood in didn't seem to have any vacuum in it, so the nurse had to poke around a lot. I've included a picture for your enjoyment! So I get wheeled back to surgery, and they inject the stuff that killed Michael Jackson. It burns going in, like A LOT. They gave me oxygen again, only this time it didn't cause me to react with ANGER AND RAGE. The mask was slipping off, so I actually reached up and held it over my face for awhile. I'm such an angel. Then I woke up in recovery. And I didn't feel good. It's probably the most pain I've woken up in yet. The nurse gave me some drugs and brought my crackers. I politely tried to explain to her that I wasn't trying to throw a tantrum again, but at that very moment I hurt too bad to eat those. I'm adorable. She goes to get more drugs, and at this point I realize I have something on my head. So I reach up and pull off a towel. WTF? She comes back and sees me staring at this towel and asks if I'm warm now. Um, yeah? Was I ever NOT warm? Apparently. She tells me I woke up freezing cold. So now I know that I FOR SURE talk under the affects of anesthesia, and I now have to live my life knowing I've almost certainly hit on Dr. McGorgeous. After eating crackers and drugs, dressing myself and peeing, they cut me loose, and my mom drives me up to my parent's house where I'm recovering. Along the way my mom explains to me what the doctor found. First of all, he found excessive amounts of inflammation and scar tissue. Like, a surprising amount. So much that he said my ankle looked just as bad, if not worse, than it did a year ago before he fixed it! And I've seen the scar tissue, because he put some chunks of it, along with the stupid suture in a jar for me to keep. We had planned to start me on anti-inflammatories for about a month anyway, but after seeing the chaos and destruction my immune system is capable of, he's now including steroids in this regimen. So if I go all roid rage on you, you'll know why. He also didn't put me in a cast. I woke up wrapped in gauze and an ace bandage. I'm not allowed to walk on it, but he wants me to start moving it immediately. The last, and quite possibly most scary thing he said was that the amount of inflammation I was producing had two possible causes. One, just my body's response to the suture. Two, I have the auto-immune disorder called Rheumatoid Arthritis, and he's sending me to have a specialist to have bloodwork done to rule that out. RA is debilitating disease, so it's a little frightening to hear that. My appointment with the Rheumatologist isn't for a month, so let's worry about other things until then, shall we? So right this very minute, I'm just keeping myself drugged, iced and elevated.
In my next post I will tell you how all the tips and tricks I've learned along the way have made this the smoothest, most dignified recovery I've had to date!

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