Adventures in Arthroscopy

Post Op Release

“I hate lunges”, Dr. Hoffman said, upon my first visit to his office. He’s my orthopedist. I was having off and on pain around February and then some minor swelling in my knee, it eventually prevented me from running. I knew I was going to finally have to do something about it. Dr. Hoffman ordered an MRI which verified his suspicion that the lunges had resulted in a minor tear in my meniscus cartilage.

I was cleared for cycling and started doing yoga at Audubon Yoga. I did these alternative activities as much as possible in order to stay strong before surgery and tone up from months of blobbing out during the past year with little time for anything besides school and work. The cycling and yoga really helped me get stronger before the procedure. However, there is no shade on the levee and I am turning into a french-fry, I really need to get back to my routine light runs in the shade at the park.

The surgery itself didn’t really worry me as much as being put under, I’ve never been in the hospital for anything. I met the anesthesiologist the week prior to my procedure and she made me feel better about that part. I give Baptist Hospital high marks overall. They have you pre-registrer days before you go in and so all you have to do is head up to the out-patient area at 5:30 am the day of the surgery. My best friend Emily is a saint for getting up and taking me there and picking me up. I am very grateful to her for her help. And for taking this rather unflattering photo. . . good girl!

When I arrived the nurse got me dressed in that stupid gown that fits no one at all, she gave me some traction sockies to put on and administered a shot of Versed to relax me. Then, the best part, they put some pre-warmed blankets on me, I was no longer afraid.

My biggest concern was being delirious and nauseous from the anesthesia and barfing all over Emily’s car. But I envisioned myself being up-and-at-em and hoped for the best. Not being able to have a sip of any liquids the morning of the surgery made me really crabby, I didn’t focus on the fear, I just want to be done so I could eat a freakin’ pop tart and drink some coffee.

The last thing I remember was the antesthesiologist telling me they were giving me some oxygen and to take deep breaths. By 8:30 I was conscious and it was all over!

The nurse wheeled me into my own room and offered me a gloriously effervescent cup of diet coke with a little sippy straw. Aaaahhhh. I drank that and some water and I was ready to bust out, I felt great but I had wait to get my personal belongings. I peed as required and waited to be released. They made me ride out in a wheelchair, which came before my wallet arrived from the security detail. Meanwhile, I wheeled myself around the ward, much to amusement of the staff. They saw my potential for escape. I was just so happy to feel so good!

Today, my knee sounds like it has indigestion. It’s all squishy when I bend it because they inject saline in the area to give the doctor room to scope. The saline will be absorbed or seep out the incision holes. I can walk, and so far, and I am not in any real pain. I haven’t had to take any of the Vicodin given to me, not even an Advil. But I know the knee will likely get stiff and the impact to the muscle tissue will not manifest til tomorrow or the next day. I walked a good bit today, in order to keep the knee from stiffening. It’s so bloody hot, a little movement results in a lot of sweat but I was able to give myself a little kitten bath with 4 inches of water in the tub, keeping my knee up. It felt good to move around after being horizontal all day yesterday eating junk food and watching too much reality tv.

Now, it’s back to more of that, and reading some law review articles for a project I am working on, elevating the knee and keeping cool. It’s a good time to convalesce, it’s too hot out to do much else!

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