Wednesday, December 18, 2019

One Week

One week: that's what was given to me to get myself and the farm ready for surgery.  Unrealistic, but doable if one is focused and mentally off kilter.

Number Uno was to buy another knee scooter, a more outdoorsy model this time. Going without an electric wheelchair this time. 

Two: leaves and yards.  We spent the majority of the week doing yard work, and blowing a couple of miles of driveway and ditches clean.

Getting a month's worth of horse feed and supplies stocked up.

Ditto for the dog food, including 30 cans of Peter's green beans (supposed to help him feel full and lose weight, ha, ha, ha, ha).

Spring cleaning the house and bleaching everything to the nth degree.

Putting my Granny Mobile back into action. Easy to get into, plenty of leg room and crippled old Peter doesn't need to be lifted to get in. She's perfect.

Long evenings spent putting in a Man Cave for Flynn and cooking up a month's worth of freezable meals.

While I've been making gallons of soups and stews at night, Flynn has been on daily supper detail.

I'ze gonna be soooo fat by March!

I've been making the most of my evening bike rides with the dogs, but hardly enough to put a dent in the mega calorie intake that's been going on this week!

6 AM the day of surgery, I'm finishing up my Christmas tourtieres (French Canadian meat pies).  There is no Christmas without tourtieres... 
It's been a whirlwind week, nothing like a looming deadline to make you burn the midnight oil.  Shout out to my tireless and patient partner.  Tireless because he's slugging it out at my side until midnight most nights and patient because he hasn't killed Dax or Micah yet.

As we were bringing in more groceries, the pointers greeted us at the door with the usual exuberance.  Flynn was at the top step of the landing and unprepared for the 75 lb leap into his solar plexus.  He looked like a pine tree being felled, straight back he went.  I, savior of the day, couldn't reach him, but I snagged the food tote he was carrying and yanked him forward.  He still managed to fling one bag over his head and slam it onto the carport ground below. Funny how eerily quiet he gets when contemplating murder.

Yes, these two.  The ones who are willfully ignorant of what personal space means.  That's what I love about them.  They've been on me like glue since coming home from surgery, Nurses Kratchet and Helga.
Nurse Garrett doesn't sit on my chest licking my face, but he's been on me like white on rice too.

"You worry me, Mother".  Apparently, it's a unique gift I possess. 
Let me go back to the events before I got home around 7 PM Tuesday from the hospital.

My friend, Betty was my chaperone because Flynn had to stay behind to man the farm. We had hired a part timer 2 weeks ago... he lasted a week.  As Flynn best put it: "if they can't keep up with us 50 year olds, we don't need 'em".  I was personally more concerned with the stall doors left open and the questionable judgement vis a vis a trailer wedged between two trees on his first day.
Back to surgery...
Nerve block in place (4" long needles threaded all though your thigh and back of the knee--so much fun), I was wheeled into the OR.  Nothing unsettles the OR staff more than having a conscious patient. And I was in my Carol Burnett mood too. I kept peaking over the curtain to see the procedure, but when the head surgeon would give me the stink eye, I'd let the curtain up again.  That's ok, I figured out I could see the reflection of it all in the metal base of the surgical lights.  Do you know how much those big LED lights cost? 30 grand!!! See... things you couldn't ask if you are under general anesthesia.
Anyway, I watched them apply the tourniquet then exsanguinate my leg, that was quite the mess. They removed my staples and gave me the broken one as a parting gift.

Then, they put in a plate and five screws. That was over an hour into the procedure and I'd had time to establish a great rapport with my anesthesiologist who didn't have anything to do except chat with me.  I got her to ask the surgeon if he could pretty please hold my foot up so I could see the new plate.

Wish I'd had my phone, dammit. But here's a similar picture from a medical journal. Same cuneiform bones, but my plate is nicer.

This time around, instead of taping into my heel and removing bone to use as grafting material, they drew blood and used a synthetic bone matrix to fuse the joint.  I fucking love science!!!!
An hour and a half in the OR and I'm out the door of the hospital less than 20 minutes later.  This time, they didn't even administer pain meds into the wound during surgery, we just rocked and rolled, then went home where I had a feast waiting for me.

Heather had made her signature chicken pot pie, Lisa had dropped off BBQ, Scrappy made apple pie.  Party on, Garth!

Me and my Velcro dogs tucked in for the night.  Eventually, they assume their preferred positions: Dax laying on one of my legs and Micah with his head on my neck.  Too much you say.  Never.  I fall asleep every night feeling Dax's heartbeat on my leg and Micah's pulse on my neck.

Wednesday morning, the nerve block is wearing off and this is when I test my resolve to not take opioid pain meds.  I stick to my baby aspirin and try to stay busy and still keep my leg elevated.

Roasting coffee.

Taking all the dogs for a run.

Can't feel sorry for yourself around these guys.

Especially this one.

Two hours of fresh air does wonders for the spirit.

Home for a warm bath...

Like Dax lets me do anything alone.  

He's more fun than a rubber ducky. And he loves to get warm compresses over his eyes.  Our daily ritual when I wash my face, he gets his washed too.

Then back to bed with my ice and my bed buddies.  Two more days of this laying around, then I'll get back to work.
As before, no use of the leg for 8 weeks, then a boot cast for another month.  This time, no biking or fencing for 6 months and maybe, maybe I can take my first run in December 2020.  That's my goal.