Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hobbled and Grateful

Back in late August, while hiking at Big Bend National Park, I injured my knee.   With Ibuprophen and some ice, it got better for awhile (or at least stopped hurting), and then I re-injured it (or just finally really injured it) again over Christmas when I came down really hard and weird off of a stool.  So for the past month, I've been limping around.

One x-ray, two doctors visits, one broken MRI machine and two MRIs later, it appeared that I had a torn meniscus in my knee.

What? I didn't tell you about the broken MRI machine?  Oh, yeah. That happened during a crazy busy time at work when I didn't have time to blog.  Yeah, I went in for an MRI on my knee and the machine broke while I was in it - in mid-MRI.  You see, they spend so much time asking you if you have any metal jewelry on or any piercings or metal plates or anything that they completely forget to ask you if you are, in fact, the Man of Steel.  Which I am, of course (but let's just keep that little secret between you and me, okay, internet?)

I finally got a good MRI  and went to see the doctor - Dr. William Whiteley in College Station at the Med, if you happen to be looking for a really good Orthpaedist.) That was on a Friday.  He operated yesterday - on Monday.

This was my first operation, ever.  How, being a mascot and, well, me I don't know. But it was.  So I was a little anxious about it , even though Dr. Whiteley said it was a routine operation.  I couldn't help thinking that 100 years ago, a little thing like what I had might have cause me to limp the rest of my life or - worst case - to lose the bottom half of my leg altogether.  Now is one of those times that I'm incredibly grateful to be living in the technological and medical age that we do.

I didn't sleep well the night before.  But luckily I have this amazing Girl that I'm married to who can make me laugh and calm my fears.  Somehow, she always knows just what to say, and she's really good at taking care of me.

As I was laying on the hospital bed yesterday waiting for her to be able to come back before the operation I was really nervous, and so I gave the nurses some playful hell by joking around.  That's just how I deal with things.  Then Kristi (finally) got to come back and be with me and she and I joked so much that the nurses kept peeking in on us and mentioned a couple of times that "they heard us giggling."

What was so funny was this situation that Kristi had concocted where she thought it would be really funny if the doctor came in covered in blood like a butcher and holding a dripping hacksaw and asked, "okay, now what are we doing today?"  I thought it would be funny if he came in and asked, "okay, now which arm is it?"  It was only slightly less funny when he came in later and asked which leg we were operating on.  But apparently, that's a standard question that they ask, just in case.  he even marked the correct leg with a marker to make sure.

Then it was time for surgery.  I was wheeled back to the OR and the last thing I remember was commenting on how many USB ports a DVD burner in the room had on the front of it.  Four, and a Firewire port and what looked like component cable outlets, as well.  I have computers with less I/O slots.

And then I woke up.  I was groggy at first.  I remember asking for my iPhone so I could listen to music and I remember a pressure surrounding my knee.  Much to my relief, it was the correct knee.

I came around quickly, but my throat was very dry and my voice was froggy from the oxygen during the operation.  The nurses all claimed that the anesthesia would take my appetite, at least and make me nauseated at worst.  But I showed them!  I was powerful hungry after missing breakfast, so Kristi and I went to Genghis Grill (one of my new all-time favorite restaurants) for lunch.  And I ate the whole bowl and a spring roll.  Take that, Nurse Rachel!

You should've seen me trying to get around.  I didn't get any crutches, so I first tried walking gingerly, but my knee started popping, so I stopped that pretty quickly.  I found that if I just hopped on my left leg and swung my arms as if I was running, that I could do pretty well.

After lunch, Kristi brought me home and I got a rare opportunity to lay on the couch and watch TV for an entire afternoon.  She even stopped and got me some ice cream (Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla) to sooth my sore throat on the way home.  Kayci came home from school not long after we did and we watched a couple of episodes of The History Channel's Modern Marvels.  I love that kid.

And through it all, my Girl took great care of me and made me very comfortable.  She was so attentive, I kinda felt guilty.  I'm so grateful for her and for everything she does for me - and for us.  I couldn't make it without her.  And I wouldn't want to.

Thank you, Girl.  :)

1 comment:

MommyGirl said...

Payback for all the years you've taken care of me. :) I'm glad God MADE you rest for a change!