“Mrs. Marcus? Mrs. Marcus? Are you with us?”
I opened my eyes, groggily. Yeah, I’m here, I thought. The light was blinding. I closed my eyes again.
“You’re in the recovery room, you came through just fine. The anesthesiologist is coming to see you in a couple of minutes, so try to wake up.”
(I don’t think I said that aloud. My friend Judie the surgical nurse tells me people say the most awful things in these moments.)
I sat up a little. The nurse handed me ice chips. That was nice.
I couldn’t feel my feet. Oh, right, epidural. I gingerly tapped the side of my knee. Wood. Great! I wondered how long that was going to last.
The anesthesiologist breezed in, accompanied by a young woman. He introduced her and said she was studying with him and if I didn’t mind, he’d be teaching her the nerve blocking procedure. I asked him to explain in clear enough English for me, too.
For the next 10 minutes the 2 of them, using an ultrasound screen I also got to watch and a wand, found the main nerve over my knee, injected the fascia with saline to get it out of the way, and then inserted a needle for my nerve block. The nerve block was about to be my best friend for the next 4 days. Having it there and working allowed me to walk around, climb stairs and move, move, move my leg at least once an hour. I found the whole process fascinating. He was a good teacher!
Once that was inserted, it wasn’t long before the feeling slowly came back from my toes up. I still didn’t feel knee pain due to the additional surgical block, which was perfect. They moved me to a room, fed me, and then it was time to work with the PT/OT. It was really kind of funny – she asked to see me get out of bed, which I did by rolling on my side and pushing up. That was great by her. She asked me to walk to the bathroom and sit down/get up from the john by myself. No problem. We walked down the hall to her office to practice on a short flight of stairs. No issues there, either. I passed with flying colors. I expected at least a tip or two but got nada. Dave and I were laughing by the end each time we caught each other’s eyes. I guess it pays to teach people to do this stuff for a living.
It was a very long day. Eventually they let me go home. I was shocked to see it was 6 pm when we got in the door. We’d left at dawn.
I was exhausted. Pain was nibbling at my knee. Where was that ice wrap machine?
TRIGGER WARNING -
Clicking Read More below will take you to a photo of my knee less than a week after surgery.