|Manhattan – 6:30am from the N train over the Manhattan Bridge|
It is 5:30am on Monday and my alarm is ringing. I really really do not want to wake up. I stayed up way too late the night before paying bills and trying to tie up some loose ends. I pull myself out of bed and try to get dressed as quietly as possible. 5:30am is a dangerous time in our house. It’s just late enough that if the boys wake up, there’s a good chance that they won’t go back to sleep. But, it’s too early for them to be awake for the day without them turning into a cranky mess. I leave the house and get on the subway to make the trip into Manhattan and to Roosevelt Hospital.
I arrive at 7am as instructed. When my name is called, I walk to the Nurse’s Station in the pre-op and recovery area and sit down with Robin to fill out a mountain of paperwork. As other patients move on to the next phase of the process, I wait as Robin transcribes my gazillion allergies onto at least five different forms and then into the computer system. There’s got to be a more efficient way.
Finally, I change into a lavender paper gown. It’s actually a bit thicker and more substantial than the typical hospital gown which I’m thankful for because it’s chilly in the hospital. I am escorted to the next area where I meet the Anesthesiologist. My doctor arrives and runs through the procedure with me and what to expect when I wake up. I sign more consent and release forms.
I’m wheeled in the gurney outside of the OR. I jump off and walk to the operating table and lie down. I place my arms out to the side while they attach electrodes and monitors to me. The Anesthesiologist says, “I’m just going to give you something to start relaxing you…”
Next thing I know, I’m waking up after surgery. I hear the nurses and doctors talking and my eyes float open and then close. When I open my eyes next, I’m in the recovery room and Ed’s sitting next to me. My knee is wrapped in a straight-leg brace. After an hour or two, I’m cleared to go home.
The surgery went well. I have a reconstructed ACL in my right knee. I also had a pretty big tear in my meniscus so they repaired that as well. Otherwise, my doctor said that the rest of my knee joint look great. Phew.
Since coming home, I’ve been struggling to find a comfortable position. I really really just want to bend my knee. Just once? While I’m allowed to take the brace off while I’m awake and in bed, my leg just feels ridiculously hyperextended or something. Since I can’t move my knee, my right hip is sore and stiff. The pain is OK – a general, dull throbbing pain that is mostly manageable but sometimes it really hurts.
I will be in a brace for 4 weeks and should be able to start physical therapy next week. Now, it’s all about recovery. I know that it’s going to be a long and slow process. I know that it’s going to hurt. I’m not too excited about that last part but know that in the long run, this was the right decision for me. I’m also trying to remind myself that this is recovery and that I need to take it easy and to ask for help which isn’t the easiest thing for me to do.