Sunday, August 28, 2011

Earthquakes, Surgery, Oh my!

- KFC grilled chicken breast
- Double burger on an oopsie with lettuce, onion, mustard mayo and low carb ketchup
- Two hot dogs
- Two hot dogs
- Pumpkin bake

Well, I'm home from surgery! I had an open wedge osteotomy of my femur, which changed the angle of my knee and hopefully all that darn, unnecessary arthritic pain. After a week of the anti-inflammatories (per doctor's orders because they thin your blood), I was in so much pain with my poor knee that I was just looking to any kind of surgery to lessen the knee pain... and it worked! I'm in a wheelchair most of the time, but I also use the walker for some stuff.

The goal of surgery was to remove a suitably-large wedge of bone from my hip to insert into the top of my leg (right above my femur). I still haven't seen the incision on my knee, but the pain is already much less than it was pre-surgery, even during a rain storm, where my then-arthritic knee would have been just aching and complaining the ENTIRE time where I could not even enjoy the rain like I once did.

My surgeon was very happy with how the surgery went and instead of taking four hours, they were done in a mere ninety minutes! The iliac crest that took from my hip is much more painful than the knee surgery itself, at least at this stage of the game.

I chose low-carb fare at the hospital and let's just say that I could not get rid of my constipation for days, due to the huge amount of pain meds that they had me on. IV morphine makes for not going to the bathroom with ease! They do have me on a regular twice-a-day dose of a stool softener, just to keep me regular with the medication I'm taking for pain.

(TMI Alert!)

Desperate and not having gone in five days, the other night, I ate five snack-size reese cups just to get my bowels going in the right direction and did it ever work! It ended up being about 40 grams of sugar, which was just what the doctor ordered. How crazy it is that good ol Reeses provides me more constipation relief than an actual stool softener. It makes me realize how my body basically rejects the sugar and pushes it through all the while, which is really the exact reaction I was going for. Now, I know when I was on the Standard American Diet, over 300 pounds and basically miserable, sugar did not effect me in this way.... at all.

I am thinking about getting more strawberries, just as a natural and low-carb healthy option which would probably help keep me regular.

Also, did you know that a piece of pumpkin bake boasts three grams of fiber???

Anyway, surgery was Tuesday morning and while in recovery, I actually felt the earthquake! At first, I thought it was just some woman knocking into my hospital bed, but no, it was the actual earth quaking. Once others said that they felt it too, I got really scared. Being in recovery post-surgery is no way to feel an earthquake. I was just wondering what floor of the hospital I was even on, but I was in too much pain to really worry about it much.

By the time I got home on Thursday, my gf picked up a free wheelchair for me from a program called Lending Hands. They will lend you medical equipment for three months for no charge and if you want it for longer? Just let them know and you can borrow it for up to nine months.

The staff was amazing, except for one nurse. I'm not joking when I say that she was taking my pain medications. It took me a little while to realize what was up, but she kept bringing me half-pills to take, when I was not even asking for them. My mom told me that was a red flag because all of other nurses were bringing me full pills. I spoke with the director of nursing this morning and she thanked me for the tip. Also, when she showed up for her shift, she seemed like she had a bad cold which subsided as soon as she got her fix?! I almost did not call the director of nursing, but people up there need their pain pills, dammit, so I'm glad that I called her to investigate. It's one thing if she takes my meds, but those older people getting hip and knee replacements, need their meds.

I'm a sharp tack and I'm glad that I saw right through her. I have been kind of wanting to call and report it, but also like, well, whatever, but I had to. I'm the opposite of a tattle-tale or a narc, but she is making damn good money as an RN and she is in charge of patient care. Somebody who has a pain pill addiction certainly should not be passing them out... in halves!

I guess it's not for nothing if she gets help. My brother, who is an RN, told me that they have free programs for these nurses to get off the pain meds, so maybe it will be a good thing if she gets help.

How are YOU all doing??

I go back to my surgeon on Wednesday, which is only two short days away. He is going to take a look at my knee and I just know it's going to be good news. I've had a lot of itchiness in the knee, which is a sure sign of healing!


  1. Congrats on the successful surgery! Now the best part ... heal heal heal. :)

  2. wow, unbelievably scary to find out that a nurse was messing with your medication dosage in order to help herself to half. That makes me more than a little angry considering all of the negligence and crap that my dad went through during his last year and a half of life. I wouldn't feel badly at all about reporting it if I were you, but be sure you are safe first!

  3. Good luck with your post-op visit, it sounds like everything is healing as it should.

    As for the nurse, you were right to report her. I am an RN (though I changed careers and haven't practised for years) and the thought of a nurse stealing from vulnerable patients really makes me very angry.

  4. Oct and Judith,

    Thanks so much for your support!


  5. I'm glad your surgery went well, and good job turning that nurse in. HALF pills? Uh, you are calmer than me, I think I might have been screaming WHERE THE HELL IS MY WHOLE PILL??!! lol But anyway, I hope you heal up quick!!