Well, I had my knee surgery on the 9th. ACL reconstruction and meniscal repair. I was going to post about this earlier, but I've just been lazy.
I originally wanted to do a Bill Simmons-type running diary of everything that transpired...but I figured things would sort of fall apart once they gave me the sleepy potion, so I will just try to piece things together in the order I remembered it.
The night before I didn't get any sleep at all...I had to be at the hospital at 5 in the morning so I didn't see the point. I strolled in there with nothing but the clothes on my back and my ID at about 4:50. Not a soul to be found at the check-in desk. 5 minutes later I notice somebody is there, so I head on over, and they tell me that they open at 5 and to come back later...
I give them 10 minutes to get their shyat together and head on over again. After signing and initialling a billion forms, a nurse takes me back to a room where I get in the little gown thing and they hook me up to an IV.
Unfortunately, I have a roommate who is getting started as well. It's this redneckish kind of guy who must be 80 years old...he couldn't figure out how to get his gown on and he was asking me for help.
I try to explain it to him, but eventually he gets frustrated and starts screaming for the nurse to come help him. Luckily I wasn't wearing my glasses when he made his way through the partition to my side and out into the hallway--half-naked. An embarassing moment for all involved.
The nurse gets him situated somewhat, but that doesn't stop him from complaining the whole time I am in there. He won't shut up...just rambling the whole time. The nurses kept giving me looks as if to say, "See the crap we have to put up with?" I couldn't wait for them to get me the hell out of there.
It wasn't too long before they roll me into the surgery room. I shake hands with my doc, and that's the last thing I remember, aside from my arm going deathly cold (the anesthesia).
I wake up to an old nurse screaming at me that it's over. Thanks, lady, but I'm sure I could have figured it out on my own if you'd let me wake up naturally...I barely have the energy to nod my head...I am in and out of sleep much of the time in the recovery room...but awake enough to notice a hot nurse chick across from me, working on a computer.
Eventually the old nurse and the hot nurse decide I'm ready to go to my room, so they roll me along...this whole time I can barely keep my eyes open, but the one thing I remember about the trip is that the hot nurse was guiding the bed from the front when the older nurse screams out, "Ooops!! I'm giving her a peep show here!" and she proceeds to pull the blanket down entirely over my legs (it was lifted up since my leg was elevated, exposing my manhood). I just smiled and kept winking at the hot nurse...she couldn't stop laughing.
I never saw her again, though...BOOOOOO
The reason my leg was elevated (listen up, Buck) was because they put you in a CPM machine, which just kind of moves your leg back and forth to start working on the range of motion almost as soon as the surgery is over. They also delivered one to my home that they let me use for a week.
Buck, that machine is your friend...I used it at least 20 hours a day (they say you only have to use it for a minimum 8 hrs, but the more the better). It really prevents your knee from stiffening up, and whenever I felt pain, I just put it in that machine and it would go away within minutes.
Funny story, at the hospital some guy nurse trying to be helpful was telling me how to work the CPM. "See the button that says start? Press that to start up the machine." Complicated stuff. And then he adds, "Oh yeah, in case the machine starts to flip out or something, press the stop button." Uhhhhhh...thanks guy, way to put my mind at ease
As far as the pain goes, Buck, it wasn't bad AT ALL for me. I would try to get your doctor to give you a pain pump--it's a local anesthestic that they insert into your knee that lasts 48 hours. I didn't even need the hardcore pain killers they offered, although I did use them to get to sleep.
The only thing bad about the pain pump is that it's gross taking it out...you just kind of pull on the string that's inserted into your knee...and you pull, and you pull, and even though you are numb you can feel the inside of your knee as you're pulling it out...I swear I must have pulled out an entire foot of that string before it came out...that was by far the eeriest thing about the entire experience.
Well, I start physical therapy tomorrow, and I still have almost two weeks left on crutches, because of the cartilige repair...if you have no cartilige damage, Buck, then you will probably only need the crutches for a week. But if their is cartilige damage and they are able to repair it, you are looking at about 4 weeks.
Anyway, sorry for the long-winded rambling...I'm sure it's not nearly as interesting to those who don't have to go through the process, but I figured you'd be looking for reassurances about now, Buck
Good luck, let me know how it goes and feel free to ask me questions.