Monday, May 28, 2012

Hardware removal

Some folks have told me I have a screw loose. Well, make that 2 screws loose.  And a pair of washers.  Check them out:

 I'm still trying to figure out how best to display them.  Glass showcase above the fireplace mantle?  Mounted criss-cross atop a wooden board, like a medieval family Coat of Arms?  Or lying parallel across some toothpick stand, samurai-style?  Please add your thoughts in the Comments.

The surgery went well, and quickly.  I was in the waiting room twice as long as the operating area.  The anesthesiologist and nurse wheeled me back shortly before 3pm, and I woke up in the recovery room at 4.  The actual operation lasted around 15 minutes.  2 incisions, 2 screws yanked out.  No post-op nausea.  After a dozen Graham crackers and a Ginger Ale, time to go home. 

According to my wife, Dr. Scheinberg said my tibia was solid.  No issues or complications.  No need for new screws or bone graft material.  I’ll find out more details next week at my follow-up visit, but, in short, the operation apparently went swimmingly (I never got a chance to use that word. Swimmingly).

Anyway, here’s his handiwork.  With the knee shaved, you can really see the original scar. And my hair is already growing back.

I used crutches the night of the surgery, and again at breakfast the following morning.  But that was more out of precaution than need.  I’m walking around just fine now.  I took half a Vicodin the night of the surgery, the following morning, and again before bed the following evening.  I added the remaining 28 pills to my home pharmacy.

I was told I could drive when I felt “ready.”  For the past 3 days, my wife chauffered me around, Driving Miss Daisy-style.  Her driving was scarier than the actual surgery.  Just kidding, sweetie! I should be ready to drive to work on Tuesday.

I also couldn’t shower for 48 hours after the surgery.  I don’t know how Europeans survive without daily showers.  Good lord.  I almost passed out from my own stench.

Amputees often describe the phantom pain they feel in their newly amputated limb.  We have something in common.  In the first 2 days after the surgery, I still “felt” the screws inside my tender leg.  It wasn't pain, but nonetheless a very odd sensation.  I suspect that as my leg heals, that phantom discomfort will disappear.  At least I hope it does.  Each day the leg shows daily improvement.  It's probably 70% normal 3-4 days after the surgery.  For now, the leg feels a bit like it did after a particularly grueling workout when the hardware was still in.

I meet again with Scheinberg 10 days after the surgery.  I’ll probably get a more detailed summary of the surgery.  Hopefully he'll clear me to resume exercising.  I’m anxious to “test” my leg. I don’t plan on completing a triathalon or entering the Octagon any time soon, but I'd like to pick things up a notch.  The screws had limited how vigorously I could exercise, which, in turn, limited how far I could push my knee.  By year's end, I hope to get a fuller picture of how well the ACI surgery worked.

Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day Weekend.  

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