Something like this
Right knee before So, here is what they are going to do. I said that so you can skip this part if you are squeamish. If you are squeamish, just jump ahead to the ***’s.
I am getting a total knee replacement, which means they will deaden my leg from above the knee down and give me an epidural to further numb my lower body. They are not giving me general anesthetic, which will be weird, but better for me. I will be loopy as hell, no doubt, regardless and probably for a few days. I don’t like the way I feel on narcotics so I’ll be off as soon as possible. Back to my homeopathic remedies that I love like Traumeel and Arnica!
They do not do the traditional extremity tourniquet, but will give me a drug to slow my blood flow. I am still to take my blood pressure medication this morning, though, which I did. If this is enough details, feel free to jump ahead to the ***’s.
What I know about the surgery part is Dr. Christopher Walton, who went to Utah State University at one point, although he is from California, knows what he is doing. My doctor had a total knee replacement himself 2 years ago and changed a lot of his procedures afterwards. His patients tend to recover faster with less complications and costs. Fortunately I have full coverage insurance to cover almost all of my costs.
Here is a bit more about why I am getting this procedure done now:
“Surgery may be appropriate for more advanced arthritis. Arthroscopic surgery may be used to remove loose fragments of bone or cartilage that cause locking and mechanical symptoms. A procedure to realign the knee bones, called an osteotomy, is sometimes used in younger, heavily active patients with localized arthritis in one part of the knee.
A partial or (actual surgery similar to mine) total knee arthroplasty (joint replacement with artificial components made of metal and specialized plastic) is reserved for those with advanced degenerative arthritis who have not experienced success with less invasive measures and are appropriate candidates based upon health and age.”
I have a lot of arthritis in my knees and torn cartilage and I have done the easier surgery, scoped, twice before and all kinds of other therapies and now it is time to remove the knee and put a prosthesis in. You can do a search of knee replacement images if you want to see all kinds of photos. Ewee… I just did and some are awesome and some are icky. Just remember I am younger and in better shape actually than a lot of people who get this done.
Anyhoo, as Danica said, I’ll have a bionic knee so I can fight crime like a ninja and stuff. Humor helps in tough times. I’ll be watching a lot of funny movies and videos and I have Netflix if you have suggestions.
I say that, but I am scared and pretty much terrified of the epidural as the last one I got nearly killed me, when I was giving birth to Danica. I told my doctor and anesthesiologist about that so they have a heads up. I also told them I am allergic to codeine and morphine. The morphine part, is me learning from Jason’s experiences.
So, surgery is today and I can’t sleep or eat much, and I am nervous, and that is human. I am mostly excited to look forward to August when I should be doing well and may still be on a cane, which is better than a walker and I should be relatively pain free for the first time in 10 years, at that point. My car wreck was August 4th, 2004 and here it is 10 years later and I stuck it out this long, but I’m tired of chronic pain and believe you may know what I’m talking about.
I have paperwork in order, mostly, in case anything goes wonky, which I do not expect, but this is a serious event I am sharing in case you go through something similar and need to feel you are not alone. Hopefully, sometime today, you will hear that everything went well.
So for recovery, I will not be allowed to drive or go to work for awhile. I saved some money to pay my bills for a month or so and hope to be back, at least part time in 3-4 weeks. I also intend to be in Tucson the first week of August to see Valerie, who I have not seen in 30 years! And her whole family and I hope my kids and grandkids will be there, too! It’s a goal to be able to navigate an airport or two by then, if I have permission to fly from my doctor. (It’s apparently a post surgery issue that has to do with blood clots.)
***Well, hello there! My physical therapy will be at this place:
Slocum Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine with Jeff. All I have heard from everyone but my daughter, Tegan, is this is a very painful recovery and the drugs I will be given will only knock the top off the pain, it will not go away. I’ll be icing and stretching and doing my part to heal in a timely manner. Tegan said I will bounce back quickly.
And the main thing is that I would like to hear from people while I am recovering. It is important to me so I hope you will text, call, email, Skype, come visit if you know me personally, or something while I am home alone writing, painting, crocheting and watching funny movies.
Now you know most of what I know. I watched the knee surgery video which made me woozy and I had to stop, but I wanted to see how it is done, so I have a better understanding of what my body will go through during this ordeal, so I can take better care of it afterwards.
And by the way, in the course of all this I believe I have finally decided to quit smoking clove cigarettes and here is why. Of all the things I know about smoking and in spite of all my justifications and rationalizations, I cannot argue with what my anesthesiologist told me about nicotine.
He said every time you put nicotine in your body, no matter how you do that, smoking, chewing, e-cigs, patches, gum, cloves whatever, every time you put nicotine in your body you destroy cartilage. every time. Even if you only smoke 20 cigarettes in 3 months, which was my excuse, you destroy cartilage every time. Considering the pain I have been in for years, now, and that I have no cartilage between my knee bones on my right knee and very little left in my left knee, this got my attention.
And then he said, ‘We do a lot of back surgery at this clinic and if there are 25% of the population using nicotine, 95% of our back surgery patients do.’ That is horrifying to me and I share that because of all the reasons to stop smoking, I had never heard this one and it hit very close to home. So those of you with joint issues who use nicotine, might want to quit that bitch, too.
So there ya go. That is what is up with me and all I am going to be doing for a while, is recovering and getting healthy again. My intent is to start vlogging so weigh in if you have an opinion about seeing videos of me on here! It is My Time and I would love to hear from you while I’m going through this. Danke mucho and carry on.
(Oh, and the photo above is a photocopy of my right knee x-ray and you can see there is about nothing, between those bones, and what you can’t see, is they are sliding apart to the sides away from each other, so I have to do this before it’s really awful.)