(Avon Park, FL) Lo 48 Hi 54-- This blog is going to cover the daily activities of having knee surgery but we must establish something first. I'M not normal. For those that know me, you'll understand. My body chemistry doesn't like to be messed with, no drugs, nothing more than an Advil for pain and nothing that's going to change the integrity of getting well.The pills that a lot people take won't work with me. For instance iron can cause constipation, in me it's the opposite. Pepid can prevent ulcers in surgery patients. I can't keep it down. There's so many meds that I can't take, so I had to stay on top of every med and know exactly what was given.
When did I know it was time to have knee surgery? The MRI showed lots of damage to meniscus and arthritis. When taking a step, the knee gave out. I'd try to stand from a chair and it wouldn't be there so I fell a lot. The bone on bone was painful to walk, it helped with a knee brace (over the counter), but it was beginning to hurt in bed at night just rolling over, another sign it's time. The cortisone shot lasted 18 months, so that helped, but it was beginning to let me down again.
The knee surgery starts with consultation with a surgeon. Our primary doctor sent us to Dr. Tahri Chaudry in Sebring, FL. He has great reviews and the best results reviews. I thought surgery would be mid February but he made an appoint for preop for the following week.. At Preop there's tons of paperwork, all the blood work, the chest xray, and lots of background history. I had to discuss prior surgeries and anything they needed to know to prevent something happening. One thing is the anesthesia always makes me sick and I also have a problem with a locked jaw. There's also exercises to do before surgery, I wish I had more time to do those looking back. Try to get at least a month of exercises before surgery.
The surgery was at 7am Monday, January 18. There was a team of four doctors that came up to ask questions and they all took note of the paperwork they had from preop. They wheeled me into surgical but after that I have no idea what happened. I didn't have a mask put on, no needle for drugs but I was out cold before I realized it. I normally remember the dreams when I'm put under, I sure didn't this time. I also didn't get real sick coming out of recovery, another first. It was 11:30 by the time they woke me. The nurse said I was very hard to wake me up. That's normal. The rest of Monday I don't remember. I used the pain meds too much on monday thru the night and got very sick, so no food on Monday or Tuesday. Nothing stayed down. The feeling from the knee is interesting. There's no feeling and you can't pick up your leg. You have to use the other foot to pick it up and swing to the other side of the bed. The pain wasn't as nearly as bad as I thought it would be.You're not to press the button for pain unless you're above an 8 level. I learned that the second day. My tolerance is high, so an Advil worked well.
The little circle is the drainage tube. That came out on Wednesday. .
The cryonic is for cold compression. It was to be filled with ice every 4 to 5 hours. Keeps the nursing staff hopping. The swelling was kept to a minimum and I really never had a high level of pain except when on the CPM.
On Tuesday I was on the CPM (Continuous Passive Machine) for a couple hours twice during the day. I had to be up to 90 degrees before they let you in rehab. It moves the knee very slowly up to the degrees set. This is a deal breaker, but I did find out I did a little more pushing then required, but I also got thru it faster. I got the machine to 0-56 on Tuesday.
Wednesday I took no pain killers so I got to eat my first meal. I sat on the side of the bed. The first session on the CPM machine 0-65 and second time was 0-80 but couldn't take it so pulled back two degrees to 78.
Thursday I was walking across the room and got up for bathroom breaks all alone. I did exercises most of the night to strengthen the quads and the back knee muscle. The CPM machine was 0-100 with NO PAIN at all and by evening I was up to 0-112 with moderate pain, but nothing excruciating.
Friday was a turning point. I got up in the middle of the night and the floors and walls were moving. I really felt bad and very weak. It was determined my potassium was way to low and with several blood test, that was the culprit. Potassium thru and IV really hurts, it's very thick. The level was 2.2 and it has to be at 3.5 to 5.3. They blew the vein in the right arm and no one here could find a decent vein in the left arm so they called in a specialist. He got here by midnight and put in a new line. I had eight bags of potassium. It took all day and night Friday and Saturday. I was feeling decent by Saturday evening, but then the fever would appear every afternoon and break in the middle of the night. . I would have 99.9 fever but when it comes to 4:00 in the evening it would spike to 101 or 102. All kinds of tests were done. I also have shortness of breath and labored. I had CT scan of the chest checking to be sure no blood clots in the chest area. They checked the heart for anything possible. I was going thru all kinds of prods pokes and urine samples, along with cultures. The cultures were little bottles that look like hot sauce. They grow after 24 hours if you have infections. They start at 24 hrs and takes up to five days. It was determined I had pneumonia right out of surgery then bronchitis.
Saturday, the surgeon came by and wanted to know why I was still in the hospital. He discharged me on Friday for rehab. The hospital lung Dr wouldn't let me go till the fever was normal for 24 hours. He didn't want me to go to rehab then back in hospital so I had to wait it out. I had antibiotics and nebulizer to breathe. I was trying to cope with the knee and trying to breathe. I had to appetite and very labored breathing.
I have a couple pictures not for the faint of heart, but I want a reference point. I'm laying the knee sideways to show the back part black and blue area.
My first walk in the hallway.
The leg feels funny, very heavy and very hard to lift. Once in rehab that is what they work with.
I finally got to rehab on January 22. More to come.