Out and About

Today was an exciting day for me post-surgery. Work laptop for new job didn’t get delivered as expected so I opted to go out and find it myself. This required a drive to grab the friend to whom the laptop was sent, a trip to FedEx, and then as a bonus, dinner out. Friends had dropped off a wheelchair for me to borrow, so we figured it was easier to use that than to go out with the walker or crutches. Also, a good test run for the trip to the doctor tomorrow.

Getting around with a wheelchair here is a bit difficult and I couldn’t do it on my own. Trying to get the chair into the trunk and get me into the car is hard. Navigating in a place that doesn’t have sidewalks or ramps everywhere is a hot mess. The trip to the bathroom at the restaurant was a pain as it was tight turns and spaces everywhere. Not something I’d ever think of just walking around.

Being out and about was good – I liked getting out. However, my leg is pretty much completely protesting now. It’s buzzing and there are occasionally stabs of pain. I’m back in bed with my leg up, hoping to ease some of the discomfort. Pills are soon to follow.

After tomorrow’s trip to the doctor, I don’t think I’ll be out and about for a while…

A Shower!

Had some friends come over today so I decided to defunk. Managed not to kill myself on the crutches to acquire a towel, but that trip was more exhausting than I expected it to be. Perhaps if I had any upper body strength at all, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

I did splash water all over the place trying to get clean. I considered sitting in the tub sideways with my legs hanging over the edge, but I’m not convinced I would have been able to get out. The point though is that I’m clean for now and I consider that a major accomplishment.

I’m also using a walker now which makes moving around much easier. It still takes works and upper body strength I don’t have, but I don’t feel like I’m taking my life into my own hands every time I use it.

The non-narcotic meds they gave me seem to be doing a decent job keeping the pain at bay. I do hope that continues to be the case as this goes along. Pain blows. Occasionally I’ll move the wrong way and I get a sharp reminder to consider my actions a little more carefully. Sometimes it feels like the incisions are coming to life. I don’t really like that much.

I am really hoping for better sleep tonight. I’ve been waking up every couple hours and that’s not really conducive to healing. I do feel like the anesthesia has worn off, so I’m a bit more alert than I had been. Totally a bonus.

Speaking of things that are more alert, my leg is waking up more. It vibrates sometimes, like it’s getting a phone call. Unless the doctor did something weird before putting the cast on, I’m going to assume it’s nerves coming back to life. Maybe it’s a super limb and I’ll be able to use it to fly.

Probably not. I guess I’ll settle for walking.

One Day at a Time

cast-clipart-as2783

I feel like I should substitute a picture of my actual leg, but my foot looks pretty gross right now. Toes look like sausages and they’re covered in plaster. Anyway…

My leg is still numb, but only from the knee down now. I have the feeling back in my thigh. I suppose getting feeling back is a good thing, but I’m concerned about how my leg will feel once the numbness goes away given that I still have a decent amount of pain now. It’s mostly a throbbing pain, with occasional spikes of sharp pain if I move the wrong way. I can’t tell if the drugs they gave me are doing anything, but I’m choosing to believe they do.

The other problem (Warning: TMI ahead) is the effect that pain medications and anesthesia have on the stomach and exit system. It’s like there’s a big huge pile up and the tow trucks are slow to get the cars off the roadway. The good news is that the cars are finally starting to move off the roadway. (I have drugs to help.)

I have worked out a good heel-toe method of moving around without crutches, but it only works when there’s something for me to hold on to. So far that means it only works to get me to and from the bathroom. I may expand it out soon.

Emotionally I’m a little overwhelmed. I’m usually the person who’s helping other people. I HATE asking for help. I do not like not being able to do things on my own. The amount of pride I had for brushing my teeth and shaving my pits (it was beginning to be a forest) is ridiculous given how simple those things are. But trying to figure out how to stand without pain was a major accomplishment.

That there is another 6 weeks of this makes me want to cry. I’m going to have to look at this as a one day at a time situation or I will have a meltdown.

Home!

I am thrilled to be home. But I am already seeing how difficult this is really going to be. I sort of can’t do anything for myself. I can get to the bathroom, but getting on and off the can is tricky.

I cannot cook anything for myself. I can’t bring the dish back to the kitchen after I’m done with it. I already had a little slip with the crutches. Tile + Dust = Slick floor. Slick floor + Crutches = Whoops. It probably doesn’t help that I am exhausted and still a little woozy from the morphine and anesthesia. I’m not doing so great with being upright.

At one point I really did think that I would be able to stay home by myself while Mr. Lyndsy travels for his course. Ehrmagerd I was so wrong about that.

I’ve been cranky and snapping at Mr. Lyndsy all day. I know I’m doing it and I tried to stop, but it just kept happening. I was tired of being in the hospital. Tired of having people bother me. The nurse this morning made me nuts. Very nice but kind of useless. The woman in the space next to me was elderly and I think pretty ill. But someone was visiting her had prayer on from the time I got there until I left. Then she would randomly make sounds and it startled me. I needed to be home.

And now I am. In my own bed. Waiting for the pain meds to kick in. Debating taking more. Desperate for a nap. My leg is still numb which feels super weird. Hopefully it goes back to normal soon. Unless that means extra pain coming my way. Then it can just stay numb.

Y’all have been great about sending positive thoughts and energy my way. Please send some to Mr. Lyndsy and give him the patience to put up with my crankiness until I can get it under control.

 

Surgery Day! (Part III)

 
It took over an hour and a half after they got me before I ended up in the OR, so the surgery started about 3pm. Once I got the night night drugs it took about a minute before I was out. 

I woke up in the recovery room around 6:30 in a good deal of pain. My whole right leg hurt, yet felt numb at the same time. My right leg being numb freaked me out a lot since that’s how I woke up from the spinal fusion and we all know where that led. I did eventually remember hearing the surgeon ask the anesthesiologist if he wanted to wait to do something to me leg until after the general anesthesia. I’m pretty sure it was about numbing my right leg for the procedure. That made me feel a lot better.  I always forget how disorienting it is to wake up after general anesthesia. 

That didn’t really wear off until about 10pm after I got a bit of a nap. Mr. Lyndsy hung out with me for a couple of hours before I gave him my cell phone and asked him to charge it in the car. He got a bite to eat and came back. 

That was about the same time I learned that I would *not* be going home tonight, which really upset me. I do not enjoy spending the night in the hospital because you really don’t get any rest. Also, because of the cast, they aren’t letting me out of bed until someone trains me on crutches, which won’t happen until tomorrow. So bedpans it is. I HATE using bedpans. I hate the feeling of peeing myself. 

They even mentioned that I may have to stay another night. It all depends on whether they feel like I can get around on my own. Thankfully I’ve been practicing with the crutches, so I’m hopeful I will go home tomorrow. I’m in a shared room and the woman next to me has loads of things that make tons of noises. I just got a shot or morphine so I’m aiming to get to sleep quickly. 

Thank you to everyone who has been sending positive thoughts my way. I do feel like they make a difference!

Surgery Day! (Part I)

i never remember things on the days I have surgery, so I’m going to try to write about the day as I go. 

I didn’t sleep at all last night. I didn’t get released from the hospital until almost 11pm. Once we finally got home I had stuff to pick up, dishes to wash, a puzzle to finish, and to take a shower with the hospital soap. 

I guess I was too keyed up to sleep, so it didn’t happen. Mr. Lyndsy was exhausted but it even took him a while to fall asleep. 

We got back to the hospital just after 5am. They still don’t have any idea when I’ll be going in, and they told me that they only know 15 minutes before I go in. 

I am trying to figure out whether I should try to sleep now or stay awake in the hope that I am the first surgery. 

I had also forgotten how much I hate these:

 
I wonder if this one  will leave a scar too. 

I have a bed!

Today is my lucky day. Somehow something went wrong with the paperwork I submitted to the hospital and it didn’t get where it needed to go. 

I only discovered this because I brought myself to the hospital because no one was picking up the phone. I think the doctor who does bed management felt bad for me because I looked like I was going to cry. 

The important thing is that I have a bed. 

Here we go, again

cast-clipart-as2783

We went back to the doctor this morning to get a new surgery date. I apparently wasn’t paying much attention the last time we went to the doctor because the next surgery date is Thursday, June 11th, not the 16th like I’d been thinking.

That meant that we went with admission paperwork to the hospital today for admission today or tomorrow. I didn’t get a call from them today, and I wasn’t able to speak with the bed coordinator, but the person who is apparently in the know about who’s getting admitted said he didn’t have paperwork for me. I will call the bed coordinator back tomorrow morning to check however.

So we’ll see. I have low expectations (and by low, I mean none) about getting in for surgery on Thursday. Obviously I would love it if I could, but I’m being realistic.

Last night Mr. Lyndsy and I were talking about it and he said that it all seemed to be going too smoothly. I begged to differ, given that we’ve been working on this since February, but I could see his point.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens!

Maintaining Perspective

I’ve gotten some questions about whether I might try to come back to the US to do the tendon transfer. For a variety of reasons, my answer is no.

The first reason is that I like this doctor. When you’re getting cut open, that’s important. He has no control over how the health system is here and he’s done his best to try to work it as much as he can to get me surgery as soon as possible.

The second reason is that in the US I’d probably have to pay for it. The “gold standard” for treating foot drop is an ankle-foot orthotic (AFO). I have two of them and I don’t find either comfortable. However, because the “gold standard” is the AFO, the tendon transfer would likely be considered an elective procedure and not medically necessary. The surgery doesn’t require an overnight stay, but even short of that, I’m looking at thousands upon thousands of dollars.

The third reason is that surgery in the US isn’t without its scheduling complications either. My fusion surgery date was changed and as a result, the insurance paperwork took months to sort it. The claim was denied initially and that meant I couldn’t get a refund I was owed from the hospital.

Is the system here perfect? No. They’ve had a population surge without a corresponding increase in facilities or doctors. They are working on it.

Does it suck that I’m in limbo with this? Absolutely. We’ve made plans which are now being jacked up because the surgery didn’t happen as we planned. However, nothing is a disaster. We can work with things as they are. We paid an assload of money for a plane ticket for my babysitter, but we aren’t changing the flight. Mr. Lyndsy will still be out of town and I don’t like being here by myself. (I never like sleeping anywhere by myself. Yes, I am still afraid of the dark.) Now I’ll have company for the week.

I go back to the doctor tomorrow to see if we can get a date. Maybe this time a date certain. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

I really do believe that things happen (or don’t happen, as the case may be) for a reason. If the surgery wasn’t meant to happen on Saturday, it wasn’t meant to. I don’t have to understand why. I just need to continue to trust that things that happen are for my benefit. That’s just about always worked out for me in the past.