The build-up to the surgery was the worst, and I honestly thought that they would have to drag me into that OR kicking and screaming; however, once I arrived at Pennsylvania Hospital (the correct hospital this time), I went into automatic surgery mode and willingly followed my surgery team into the operating room with no tears or panic. Like a crack whore, I immediately began begging staff for versed (the drug that makes you loose and not give a care). As I met my OR Nurses, my Anesthesiologist, and my Surgeon, I greeted each with, "Hello. Can I have my versed?" I even attempted to wow and sway them with my surgery experience, "It's my 10th knee surgery. Can I please have versed?" After 2 hours of mounting anxiety and versed rejections, I finally got my shot and contentedly entered the land of apathy. As I lay freezing and high as a kite on the operating room table, arms splayed out and restrained, it occurred on me that the Anesthesiologist was MIA. I could hear the surgery team discussing amongst themselves, "I texted him. He should be here soon." To distract me, my Surgeon's fabulous PA, Sabrina, exclaimed, "All right. It's Kirstie's 10th surgery! Let's play some tunes. What can we play for you?" I immediately requested White Snake, "Here I go again," as it seemed rather appropriate for my 10th knee surgery. So for the next 10 minutes I lay on the cold metal operating table and belted out tunes with the OR staff. I closed my eyes and sang Chumbawamba, "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down," I serenaded the Nurse with Backstreet Boys, "I want it that way," and finally I channelled Calvin Harris and happily sang, "Don't be afraid to catch feels." I was stoned. I was content. I was having the time of my life with all of my friends! At some point the Anesthesiologist realized that he had missed several dozen texts and arrived at my Operating room. I requested one more chorus of "Feels," but instantly fell asleep as he placed the mask on my face, and the Nurse bid me goodnight with, "Sweet dreams, sweetheart."
|I'm smiling, but what I'm really thinking is, "Where the f is my versed?"|
I woke up as I typically do, high on life and as chatty as Kathie Lee and Hoda on Wine Wednesday. As I listened to my fellow patients in recovery moan and groan with confusion and discomfort, I sat up, alert and happy, discussing Candace Cameron's fabulous wardrobe on "Fuller House" with my recovery Nurse. The pain eventually did hit, but it was fine. I dealt with it. The nausea hit a few hours later, and lasted for a few days, but it was fine. I dealt with it. Overall, I will chalk it up as a fine experience.
At this point, I am conditioned to hear "bad news" post surgery (i.e. "It was worse than we expected" and "It's deteriorating faster than expected"), but this time, I was pleasantly surprised to receive relatively positive news from my surgeon. There was a LOT of scar tissue removed which subsequently allowed the surgeon to "gently" bend my knee to 130 degrees (I even have the creepy surgery pics to prove it). The cartilage that was implanted in May is healing well, with no new lesions in my weight bearing region. My new meniscus also looks solid. The cartilage under my kneecap looks shitty, but you can't win 'em all, right? Overall, the surgery was successful. I hope and pray that I can have a break from surgeries for a while. I need a break.
|Another one for the album: The equivalent of the passed out Frat party pic. Did I do that?|
I crutched into Penn Med Physiotherapy 2 days post surgery, and easily bent my knee to 122 degrees! 122 degrees! After being stuck around 87 degrees for months, this was a huge accomplishment. I've spent the last 6 months feeling like a physio failure (through no fault of my physiotherapists). I am super pumped and proud that my knee is finally doing what it is supposed to do. I can now fit in the backseat of a car, cross my legs, and even lay in my natural "flamingo" sleeping position. What a freakin' relief! I can officially announce that #theneverbendingstory is over!
|Out of bed! Cruisin' the Jersey Shore with Ev|
|Nausea has passed - time for fudge with Mom!|
|Check out these beautiful flowers from my Aunty Barb and Cousin Courtney. Love you guys!|
Ev has since flown off to Orlando for work and Mom is staying with me on the island for a week. I am so grateful that she is here with me. It was apparent as I crutched through the door that Biloxi and Dundee were relieved to see Mom as well, "Yes! She will keep us alive!"
I'm now on the road to recovery, doing my physio exercises regularly and ensuring that my knee continues to bend. I will show anyone who demonstrates even the tiniest bit of interest that my knee can now bend, "Look at me! Watch this!" Although it's been difficult to keep the swelling down since I flew back to the island, the knee is feeling stronger each day and is doing just fine.
Thanks for the love and support, friends.
Cheers to bendy knees!
|Look at me! Watch this!|