Post-Op Hysteria

 

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I’m trying to go with the whole Thanksgiving vibe and say that I am grateful for my good health and I appreciate the fact that in the not too long future I will have two functioning legs to go along with my strong and able body. The bullshit faker in me will also tell everyone that I have a whole new perspective on life since having the ability to walk taken away from me. That this tibial tubercle osteotomy was a blessing in disguise because I needed to stop and appreciate the little things.

But I’m not really feeling it this year. Instead I’m going to go old school Thanksgiving. Think pilgrim pulp fiction style. The kind where you aren’t satisfied with the kindness of others and you want what you want and you won’t be grateful until you get it. Because the truth of this whole situation is this…

I hate it. I HATE IT. I HATE IT!!!!

If I could kick my leg freely without popping a screw I would definitely perform the melt into the ground groaning fit that turns into a twisted screeching mess that heaves its fists and feet into the unsuspecting carpet. I imagine myself to be the damsel of hysteria who would contort her face and pull out her hair in her despair.  I want to scream until my throat is sore and my face is red and sweaty. Then, maybe just maybe after getting that all out, I would be okay with sitting down for another two weeks while everyone else merrily goes about their business.

I tried to throw such a fit during Thanksgiving preparations…  I kept accidentally flinging mashed potatoes around the kitchen while trying to balance my crutches and whip potatoes at the same time.

Brent suggested I sit down and I managed to stomp off toward the couch downstairs (quite a feat considering I only have one good leg for stomping with). Once I made it safely to the couch I hurled each crutch across the room one after the other so I could revel in the sound of each individual crutch rattling as it hit the ground. Once I lugged my leg safely on the ottoman, I let out a grunt of frustration, followed by another more obnoxious one because the first grunt didn’t do justice to the amount of frustration I felt.

That wiped me out for a good hour where I remained with my jaw drooping open thanks to the pain meds, looking at the tv but not really watching it. Behind the catatonic facade I was planning my next outburst. I just needed to gather my energy and resources together.

Feel sorry for my husband, feel really really sorry. He has been my man servant throughout this whole thing. He not only has to deal with my tantrums but he also has to clean the house, take care of the kids, and prepare for paramedic school (which starts first thing in January- super big deal).

I cry every time he has to help me out of the shower because I don’t want him to see me this way. He doesn’t seem to mind but in my head there couldn’t be anything less sexy than seeing your wife helplessly sitting on a plastic chair in the shower. There just something too… geriatric about it.

I cry every time I make it back to my bedroom to wrestle my clothes back on. Tears are kryptonite to my husband. He can’t stand them. When he sees them he has to fix whatever is causing them, and if he can’t fix them then he gets super frustrated. There is nothing he can do, but hoist my leg out of the tub, help me out until I can sit on the toilet and watch me cry. Poor guy.

In the mean time I’ve been taking leg selfies so I can see the progress in my healing.

I had my surgery on Thursday November 12th. I was super nervous that morning and could feel the insides of my stomach contort as we drove to the surgical center. Before I knew it I was naked under a flimsy hospital gown wishing they would just hurry up and knock me out.

I wrote “yes!” on the leg that I supposed to have surgery on and rung my hands together while I watched them give me a nerve block in my leg.

Brent gave me a kiss as they wheeled me away. The next thing I new I was laying in my own bed admiring my Britney Spears socks (aka compression socks).

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The next day was a disaster. The pain meds made me throw up continuously and the only container I had to catch the mess was a glass bowl. This then made Brent gag which then made me throw up harder and simultaneously yell at him to stop gagging. It was awful… again, poor guy.

Later that day I managed to keep everything down long enough to take a nap. Brent left to get anti nausea medicine and I woke up feeling woozy. I didn’t have my handy glass bowl and couldn’t maneuver my body fast enough to make it to the bathroom. Even if I could make it to the bathroom I had no way of leaning over the toilet effectively. Fortunately,   my friend KJ kindly came over and retrieved some crackers for me to eat so I could ease the urge to puke every where.

After I learned how to keep the pain meds down I spent the first week in bed. 12240234_10207681127416880_2602744032673377177_o

Scout was very worried about my condition and yelped every time I got up to go the the bathroom on my crutches.

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My friend Andrea came over at one time and relieved Brent of his care taker duties so he could fit in a workout at the gym.

She brought me a goodie bag including her Keurig so I could fetch myself a cup of tea while safely seated on my ass.

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She also helped me safely take a shower which, entailed a lot more naked Nina than she had anticipated after my shower chair broke. After the shower debacle was over she put me safely back to bed. She kindly fetched me a snack and painted my toenails before I drifted off to my pain-med induced sleep.

After a week my dad flew in to help Brent with all of the duties that lay solely on his shoulders.

It was at this time that I finally got out of the house long enough to capitalize on the freedom motorized wheelchair grocery carts provide.

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I even snuck off to the movies to watch the new Hunger Games Movie with Bridget and my dad.

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Despite those snippets of freedom, I began to feel confined in my circumstances…. literally. My leg and foot was bruised and swollen. At one point both my knee and my foot had a muffin top.

I would wake up in the middle of the night and my leg would swell into my brace until I felt like it was about to explode.

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Then came the muscle atrophy. I was not prepared to see my leg muscles dwindle away as fast as they did.

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I’ve been going to physical therapy which pretty  much entails having the therapist rub the crap out of my leg to try to get the swelling to move, a few quad contractions and icing and electric shock stuff.

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I am proud to announce that my quad has refused to give up hope. Most people’s quads shut down after a surgery like this. I was able to flex it and my Physical Therapist was super impressed. She said she’s never seen someone with quad skills like mine after a tibial tubercle osteotomy.

The worst part about this whole ordeal is not being able to do anything by myself. I have to rely on people to do everything for me. Sitting on the couch and watching Netflix on a snowy day sounded like paradise a few weeks ago, but the only thing I want more than anything is my independence back.

I can’t wait for the day that I can do whatever the hell I want- without the support of crutches. In the mean time, I’ll just continue to have my little temper tantrums you know… just to keep me preoccupied.

 

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