Sunday, October 17, 2010

Post surgery update

I don't like being 42 so far. I was in my teens in high school when I had my first three knee surgeries. I was 21 when I had my fourth, and I was 35 when I had my fifth. My fifth knee surgery was arthroscopic, which my first one was also. The recovery for my last one, was pretty easy. Off crutches by bedtime, and moving around pretty good within a few days. I was expecting that this time. I was wrong. I am feeling old.

Before surgery, I was given the choice between general anesthesia and a spinal one. The benefits to the spinal one are recovery is faster, you don't feel as groggy and the nausea is much less. You can choose if you want to be awake during the surgery, or not. I chose the spinal and chose to be asleep. I woke up before the surgery was over and it was cool. I got to watch it on the TV. In my altered state, i thought I watched it all. I was told in recovery that I just watched the very end.

When I did wake up during surgery, I felt very alert, not groggy or anything. When I was in recovery, I felt the same. The very strange thing, is that you can't move your legs. I was numb from the waste down. In recovery, I was eventually able to wiggle my toes and it started to wear off. I could tell when it was wearing off as my lower back started to ache. I remember this from all of my previous surgeries. I have pretty consistent lower back pain already, and then after being on the flat and hard operating table, it always hurts.

As I was laying there in recovery feeling pretty good, I all of a sudden started to shiver. But I wasn't cold. Before I knew it, my whole body was shivering uncontrollably. My bed and IV were shaking, it was weird. I got a nurses attention who brought some meds and put in my IV. They did not help at all. She put some more in, it did not help.

I laid there and shivered for 30 minutes. During this, my entire body was tensed up and the worst area of the shivers was in my butt cheeks. My back was aching worse and my knee was starting to throb from the shivering. A new nurse came on and was checking to see if I could have more meds yet and I could. She put them in the IV and then a few seconds later, said maybe it would help if she flushed the IV. About a minute later, I was feeling good and the shivering stopped.

I kind of think that I got the majority of all 3 of the meds when she flushed it, because I wad feeling very good at that point. But those 30 minutes were horrible!!! I think I would choose it over throwing up and feeling yucky from general anesthesia, but it was yucky. They said a lot of women get those shivers after having a baby also.

We were home before the kids got home from school, and Friday evening went OK. I was fighting a headache that I had for 2 days before surgery. It was gone after surgery but I think the pain meds were hiding it. It came back in the evening but wasn't too bad. Had a weird night of sleep as I never sleep very well on Percocet, I feel like I am sleeping but can hear everything around me.

Saturday was a different story. I felt nauseous and had a headache. In the afternoon, I started throwing up and did all afternoon and evening. I'm pretty sure that I was having a reaction to the percocet, I don't think I have tolerated it well in the past. I had taken one at noon, and decided to take no more. I was miserable! Just before 9:00, I was still puking, uncontrollably.

As I was laying on the floor in the bathroom taking care of business, my hands started tingling and so did my face. Within a few minutes, my hands were numb and locked and would not move. It was freaky! I sat in the bathroom for awhile waiting for it to go away (I had had a similar incident in the morning and it had not lasted very long). Well this was not going away, and my face was getting more tingly.

I eventually started to freak out and I couldn't even open our bathroom door. I yelled for Michael and had him call an ambulance. He had just put the kids to bed and Ms. Kathy, our grandma/neighbor was out of town so we couldn't call her to come help. The firemen came first, and when they got here, my left hand was starting to get some feeling back. One of them was saying that this is how they react to Percocet. They stayed until the EMT's arrived. EMT's ruled out a stroke, and said I had the classic signs of hyperventilating. I have never done this before or had anxiety issues.

I think that I was having such a hard time breathing as I was wrenching over the toilet, that I must have gone into hyperventilation mode. With that peace of mind, we refused the ambulance. They all left, and I did something I know I'm not suppose to do. Or did I? I think I took one of Akila's anti-nausea meds, Zofran. Or did I? Would I do such a thing? I know you're not suppose to. :)

My tummy finally settled down. I took a bunch of ibuprofen which did not touch my knee pain!!! I mean it did not touch it. I hardly slept at all, but I was done puking and was able to keep down some gatorade and saltines. Quite the drama. I hate calling 911, but it was quite freaky when my hands would not move.

We were thankful and amazed that the kids did not even know what was going on. They slept through the entire thing, and they had not been in bed very long when all the excitement started. Akila would have been manic if she were awake. Zeke was scared all day as he listened to me wrenching in the bathroom. He would not come near me.

Bottom line. Being 42 stinks. The pain is worse and I can tell that it is going to take a while longer to recover. I think a big difference though is that when I was 35 and had it scoped, they mainly just cleaned up some cartilage fragments and stuff like that. This time, I had a large tear in my meniscus and they had to cut it out and do a bit more when they were inside there. Maybe that is the reason for more pain. I also think the shivering episode, has made it harder. My entire right side, from the butt cheek to my ankle, hurts. The muscles all are aching badly and the knee is throbbing.

Enough whining. Today is going to be better. Thanks for your prayers.


GB's Mom said...

You are entitled to whine. Hope today is a better day :)

dorothy said...

I agree..mono at 42 about killed me.

mindfulness said...

That wasn't whining! These experiences are so much harder when we have all the responsibilities we have. I hope you're feeling better.

Betsy said...

UGH! So sorry to hear.
You should know by now you can call me the next time you have to call 911 and Kathy isn't home...we are happy to stay with the kiddos.
Call me if you need ANYTHING!!
Praying for no more pain and healing.

Gail said...

I had that shaking after my first baby but no one told me to expect it- I was terrified and afraid to hold my daughter. Hope you recover as quickly as possible-things are bound to get better! As far as calling an ambulance, I would have done that also - it was smart as your symptoms could have been something serious!