Post surgery! How it went, what I’m doing, etc
So I had meniscus surgery! Thank you Doctor Hansen! Leading specialist with knees and joints, and apparently has done other UFC fighers’ knees. I felt confident with him. They weren’t 100% sure the extent of the damage until they got in there. It turns out I had like three things wrong.
I’m scared of surgery…. it’s been one of my fears since childhood. I know any surgery is scary but I had an extra irrational fear added to that – not being sure what was happening to my unconscious body terrified me. The fact that I was so hurt I couldn’t do anything except walk helped me look forward to it rather than loath it. They set it up relatively quickly, too. After the doctor’s appointment to read and diagnose me from the MRI, I think they got me in about twelve days after that.
I’m gonna post a picture because it’s not really that gross. One of three issues.
So this is what a good meniscus looks like (on the other side of my knee, because you have two crescent moon shaped ones per knee).
My bad meniscus looks like a stingray, all floppy and curled up, getting in the way of everything! So the doc stuck a tiny tool in there, chopped off the torn parts, pulled them out, and smoothed it out. Now I’m all good.
I tried to clean the house, move any heavy items ahead of time, and make a schedule for jiujitsu class kids teachers so I could relax and heal in peace without worrying. Stuff still came up, but for the most part, my preparation was well done.
Chris has had knee surgery before and helped me a lot mentally, and of course physically. He took the day off from work to drive me to and from surgery. I fell asleep and woke up with it all finished. I like how they wrote “yes” and “no” on both knees, to specify the correct one. Obviously I wouldn’t be awake to correct them!
The knee itself didn’t really hurt, so I only took the initial heavy duty pain pill, but switched to Ibuprofen. They gave me crutches and told me to put 30% of my weight on that foot. They wrapped it with an Ace bandage for compression purposes, and when I took it off, I saw steri-strips closed the insertion wounds.
I was surprised how little my knee hurt! Whoohoo! Chris said rehab was Hell. Yeah?
Oh yeah. So three days later on Monday, my therapist Tera massaged my leg and measured my range of motion. I couldn’t straighten it all the way. She said that it was very important I get that flexibility back as soon as possible. She wasn’t so concerned about the bending, but more straightening it. It was super uncomfortable to straighten it. It felt like the swelling was in the way, and my muscles were like tight cords that wouldn’t stretch.
Then I entered into the “Rehab Hell” that Chris had mentioned. The massages hurt like crazy. I lay there crying, not able to decide if it felt good to bad, because the inflammation hurt but the muscles were tight and needed to be loosened. She also pushed my knee downwards with her muscles.
My knee is swollen but not like a balloon. Instead, most of my pain is from the surrounding muscles feeling tight and inflamed. My thigh and quad and patellar tendons are killing me. It aches and night and I wake up in pain like four times (if I’m lucky, only four.) I’m trying to count my blessings but I end up making myself feel bad and like a wuss for complaining about pain at all, since it’s not as bad as a ligament tear.
As of a few days ago, it’s been two weeks since surgery and the surgeon’s assistant who I had the follow up appointment with told me to try to stop using crutches. It still feels uncomfortable to walk normally because that involves fully extending and locking out the leg. I also have to practice walking backwards and standing on one leg.
I’m really glad I don’t have the stress of a fight looming over me. I can just focus on healing and on being in love. 🙂 It’s been seven months since I found Chris, and going on three since we started living together. He’s perfect for me.
Every day, I’ve been playing piano, trying to type my second autobiography, going to rehab, doing rehab, doing laundry, and watching anime, playing Mortal Kombat and Twisted Metal, taking care of the dog, and other random things. It takes me a long time to go anywhere because I’m hobbling on crutches.
I’m getting more and more tired and frustrated with life since I’m sleeping crappily. My leg aches when I’m not active and blood isn’t flowing, so nighttime is the worst. Also being in the car for a while sucks, or sitting down. I became able to drive by myself this week, yay.
So I got this machine called “Game Ready” that inflates for compression, and pumps ice water into the sleeve! It’s been affording me great relief throughout the day and at night. I still wake up like 4 or 5 times in pain, though, so I like it the most during the day.
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