Compartment Release Surgery
Today I am two weeks post-op and had my first follow-up appointment with my surgeon. He was a little upset that I didn’t really rest after surgery. In his words “it sounds like you’ve been doing a ton.” Which would explain the major swelling I have that I cannot get to go away in my left foot. More on that later.
So to review…
Day 1: Surgery
I was pretty convinced I’d die. Having never so much as had my wisdom teeth removed I was a little more than very freaked out about the general anesthetic. I tried to convince the anesthesiologist to just give me nerve block so I could be awake, but that was a no go since I was having both legs done at once.
Total time in surgery was about 2.5 hours, which was about 2 hours longer than I expected it would take. What do I know, apparently it was more complicated than I thought. There was some trouble with my IV, I was told I have “terrible veins”, but eventually they were able to get the medication in and I went to sleep.
Some hours later I woke up in recovery. I had a sore throat from the intubation. Otherwise, I felt good. I was wide awake and as the nurse reported to the nurses waiting for me to come upstairs “talking her [my] ear off.” As soon as I was wheeled back to my room I requested to walk. My knees hurt from being laid out in the same position for 3+ hours. They gave me a walker and I took a trip down the hallway and back. No pain at all at this point.
After some crackers and water I was out of the hospital maybe an hour after surgery. We went home, got me situated on the couch, elevated my feet and had leftover pizza for dinner.
Day 2: Day after surgery
One of the complications of surgery was that I needed to be in Chicago for class the day after. No, I did not run this by my surgeon ahead of time. I do what I want. My fiance, Chris, made sure I had a wheelchair for the weekend just in case crutches didn’t cut it. And by Sunday I would very much need that wheelchair.
We got me loaded into the car. I sat in the back seat so I could keep my legs elevated and we stopped a couple of times so I could walk a little, making sure I wasn’t getting blood clots. I got to class late, but my professor was aware I’d be there late, possibly not at all on Saturday. Before you ask, my school has a complicated and asinine requirement for attendance I had to attend class that weekend or fail. So I went. I would have stayed home if I could have.
I had a good amount of pain on Saturday. I was given Oxycodone and Tramadol for pain. I never did take the Oxycodone. I was relying on the Tramadol, which for every day but Sunday did a decent job at controlling the pain.
I was able to bear weight on my legs, but was using crutches to ambulate. I relied on the wheelchair to get from the hotel to class and back, it was just easier than trying to walk. For anyone having this procedure done on both legs at once, I recommend a wheelchair for the first couple of days unless you plan on doing nothing but lying around your house. Which I also recommend.
By Saturday night the pain was pretty intense. We managed to get dinner, but beyond that I was in pain and the Tramadol was making it impossible for me to stay awake.
Day 3: Sunday
Saturday night into Sunday was rough. I winced and whined whenever I had to roll over or readjust my legs. Sleeping was nearly impossible. I did manage some sleep thanks to the pain medication, it knocked me out. Sunday morning I could not bear weight on my legs. The pain was excruciating and I broke out in a cold sweat and nearly vomited just trying to get to the bathroom. I was sure I would have to miss class.
We managed to get me to class. It was obvious I was in pain and just before lunch the professor sent me home. She could see I was getting nothing out of being there. We had been icing my legs in the hotel room and we brought ice with to ice them on the car ride home as well. By the afternoon when we stopped for lunch I was able to bear some weight, I used the crutches to get into a restaurant, but it was very slow going. Standing at this point was a painful ordeal. The incisions felt like they were pulling and every time I sat down it seemed like everything tightened up only to have to be re-stretched when I stood up again. It was no fun.
Sunday evening was the first time I was able to remove the bandages and see what the incisions looked like.
At this point I think I was pretty satisfied with the way the incisions looked. They were about what I expected except for the black markings that made me look like some sort of crash test dummy.
I was to be off of work for one week post surgery and no driving for one month. As I mentioned, I’m two weeks post-op today, so I’m still not driving, but I was back to work this week.
More on days 4-14 in the next post.