I knew that ACL replacement, 80% meniscus removal and a full lateral meniscus repair wasn't going to be pretty. I had heard horror stories of out of control pain. After a lunge exercise during physical therapy sent my knee into a Bucket Handle Tear, I also knew that surgery sounded like a walk in the park compared to the unbearable pain of last weekend.
I can remember asking La Gringa to take photos. I can remember the nurse who was cool enough to tilt the bed up so I wouldn't have a double-chin in the pre-op pics. Then I remember screaming, screaming from a really not so good place inside. The surgery was over. The pain overwhelming.
Six days have gone by since the surgery, with blurs of friends and visitors and family. Blurry is the right word. Mostly I've been nauseous, dizzy and overwhelmed by how much it hurts to take the short walk to the bathroom (on crutches, non-weight bearing). I remember praying for a bed pan and for the pictures in my son's bedroom to stop looking at me. At one point I started what I thought was a seriously artistic collection of iPhone pictures of Saltines. (I'm not kidding).
There is an ice machine that runs constantly through my leg and equal running of La Gringa to Rotten Robbie for ice to put in it. There's a range of motion machine that I am supposed to use four to six hours a day.
Then there are the drugs. So many drugs. Percocet and Ativan. There was also one dose of Celebrex where I broke out in severe hives all over my body after the doctor on-call asked me if I was allergic to salsa. When I told him, "Of course I'm not allergic to salsa,, I'm Mexican," he took that as an all-clear that I am not allergic to "sulfa" drugs. For the record, I am freakishly allergic to sulfa drugs and still Mexican.
Last night, I took myself off everything except Vicodin. I realized that the pain wasn't going to feel better. I wasn't going to feel better. I was going to have to decide to put a stake in the ground and move, however slowly, forward from there so I could look back and prove that I am better.