Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Post Op (Day 6)

Did I mention how annoying this whole knee reconstruction has been?

It's starting to drive me batty. I need to keep my bandages and brace on for another week and I think I'm going to lose it well before then.

My knee has been aching slightly, but more than anything it just feels stiff. I think the first few physio sessions I go to are going to be nice and painful.

However, I would gladly take on that pain to be rid of the encumbrance on my leg.

Even the simple act of having a shower has become a chore as it requires me to bag up my leg to waterproof the brace and bandages.
One more week. I just need to console myself with that fact.

One more very annoying week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Post Op (Day 4)

I was out of hospital and being well looked after by my parents.

The lack of pain had been a real surprise. I was clearly immobile as a result of the operation and definitely feeling tired and lethargic from the process, but on the whole it wasn't too bad. I had purposely built the whole thing up in my mind as part of a coping mechanism to ensure that what I did actually experience was nowhere near what I would actually face. The thoughts of "worst pain I had ever experienced" that echoed in my head from what I had read in other accounts wasn't even close to being true. In all honesty, this isn't even in my top ten for the worst pain I've experienced. It's a mild annoyance.

In fact, I've even stopped taking my pain medication. I simply don't need it. There is a mild irritation in my knee, but nothing that is worthy of the requirement for pain medication. Additionally, there's something very disconcerting about being on pain medication. It makes me feel a bit lost and distant. Being able to press the morphine button was one thing, but I felt a strange and uncomfortable sense of detachment when I was taking the other pain meds. I'm glad to be rid of them.

The worst feeling I had to date is still the throat though. This was something that I wasn't expecting (or even aware of) and yet everyone who has gone under general anesthetic seemed to be an after the fact expert. Apparently, when they intubate you, the tubes the push down your throat can irritate the throat. It's been 4 days and my throat still hurts like hell. No amount of ice blocks of lozenges has helped. The one thing that has, is not talking... wonderful.

Mobility is improving as well. I'm up and about without too many issues and bouncing around on my crutches.
As you can see, I have a pretty hefty set of bandages and a nice big brace preventing me from moving too quickly though. I can "partial weight bear" but generally I prefer doing the long hop motion. It gets me around quicker (and I feel myself getting increasingly impatient).

It's all just so annoying. This entire process. Annoying is the adjective that describes it completely.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Post Op (1-2 days)

Annoying and uncomfortable. Those are the best words to describe the feeling of the recovery.

It doesn't hurt that badly, but it's annoying not having my mobility.

I was always very upset when the nurses took away my morphine button. I had become quite attached to the button.

Sitting in bed, I was becoming increasingly bored. The CPM machine did its job and kept my leg moving, but besides that there wasn't too much too do.
The food came around and brought back memories of boarding school.

It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. Nothing to complain about.
I had started wandering around on my crutches as well.

This whole process of recovery was clearly going to be time consuming and frustrating, but thankfully it looked like there would be no major issues with pain.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Post Op

Was it that bad?

I don't think it was.

Or maybe it's just the painkillers that are coursing through my veins, making everything seem so much better than it is.

Either way, the last thing I remember is being hooked up to some needles and then the next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery ward.

The nurses were nice and gave me a drink and an ice block.

I couldn't feel anything in my leg. Nothing at all. The femoral block that had been administered to manage my pain had clearly done its job.

Laying in bed with the tubes sticking out of me and the slow whir of the CPM machine ensuring that my leg was moving and not stiffening, I was overwhelmed by a wave of fatigue.
The lack of sleep from the night before was clearly catching up with me.

I groped around to my side and found the painkillers button. I pressed it and allowed myself to float off to sleep.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pre Op

I hate waking up early. I always have and I always will. I'm much more of a night person.

The day of the surgery was upon me and I had to wake up at 5:00am to get to the hospital nice and early to check in.

Andy very nicely woke up and drove me in.

It was strange to not feel nervous. I was just relieved that I was finally able to get this done. I had been waiting a long time for this. I had been over 4 months since the injury so it had definitely been a long time coming.

After I was checked into my room, I sat silently waiting for the nurse until I got bored and decided to wander around and take a few photos.
Soon enough, the nurse came back and began to prep me.

She shaved my knee and I washed my leg in an antiseptic soap. Once I had done that, my leg was coated in betadine and I was wheeled towards the operating theater.

It felt strange being wheeled through the halls, the lights passing as I rolled along.

As I lay in the operating theater, I felt the needle of the anesthetist enter my arm. The doctor placed an oxygen over my face.... and then I was out cold.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Very very loud

I never expected to be here.

I have always appreciated music, but I have never been a dedicated or passionate fan as others are.

So it was more than surprising for me to be at a Metallica concert.

This band conjures up such passion amongst its true followers that I felt almost like a heretic at a religious event. Seeing the adulation and the adoration of the fans towards the hallowed stage, I was a distant observer.
It probably didn't help that I only have knowledge of a few of Metallica's most famous songs.

So as the others around me sang word for word what I found to be at times to be lyrics that were impossible to decipher through the volume of the music, I was forced to smile and soak up the atmosphere.
None of this prevented me from enjoying myself.

I have always been one to appreciate the spectacle, and this was well and truly a spectacle.

Metallica have finely tuned their performance abilities and it was amazing to see the precision of the show. The songs were well chosen, the effects impressive, and the choreographed movements around the stage perfect to ensure that no part of the arena felt neglected.
A few pyrotechnics also helped to keep me nicely enthralled.
As the night came to an end, it was great seeing the band hamming it up. They engaged the crowd and they even provided additional fun with a Metallica beach ball drop.
Standing in the crowd, it looked as though there were dozens of droplets of oil dancing and bouncing around in a surreal sea of people.

Damn it was loud though.... my ears are still ringing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Broken knee

It's happened.

I was fearful that this was what had happened and I have been justified in my fears.

I have ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in my left knee.

The initial denial stopped me from seeing a doctor as soon as I should. I tried to persevere and I even managed to go back to training a few times.

Alas, it was for nothing. Collapsing in a heap in agony should have notified me of this earlier.

Instead, I now find myself facing a full knee reconstruction.

So I have a painful surgery and a huge amount of rehabilitation in front of me.

Talking to my doctor (who it turns out is one of the top knee orthos in Australia), I have been advised to use the patella tendon graft as opposed to the hamstring graft. It's going to hurt more, but it seems like it's going to give me the strongest knee ligament and the smaller chance of the graft not taking.

The extra pain isn't welcome, but short term pain for longer term gain seems like the best option to take.

Not having the surgery isn't really an option.

I want my active life back. I want to ski again and I want the thrill of taking a mark back.

It's just another challenge to overcome.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Just one more game

Damn Hawks.

I've never quite known why the fortunes of the Hawks impacts my mood so much, but it does.

The Hawks had somehow managed to lose their finals game and so I was guaranteed a week with a foul mood.

I had to console myself with attending the game between the Sydney Swans and the Carlton Blues instead.

The Hawks may have been knocked out, but there were plenty of teams I hated who I could cheer against. The Blues would be a good team to start cheering against.

One enormous downside was that I would need to go to ANZ Stadium out at Homebush.

I hate this stadium.
It's cold and unfeeling. There's a disconnect between the seats and the action on the field.

My boss refuses to even go to it.

And that's before you even start thinking about the annoying trip required to reach it.

However, that wasn't going to stop me enjoying the game.

And what a game it was! A tight and close encounter that lasted until the very last moment of the game. The Blues lost, which was fantastic. The Hawks may be out of the finals, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of teams for me to barrack against.
I love being at the footy.

There isn't anything that compares to the roar of the crowd at an AFL game. The Sydney supporters were out in force for once and provided one of the few occassions where the atmosphere at an AFL game in Sydney was actually a positive.

But, for every winner, there must be a loser.

Watching the Blues drop their heads into their hands, I almost felt sorry for them.

.... until I remembered who they were, at which point I burst into hysterical laughter.