My pre-op appointments have been made (both are next week, Monday and Tuesday – blood work, EKG, cardiac clearance). Surgery is scheduled for 8am on the 2/26. And I have to be there two hours ahead of surgery, at 6am. Should be a relatively quick surgery – although I don’t remember how long the last one took. I was kind of out of it. I remember waking up with my pain an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10.
So, once I get through pre-op testing (blood work and EKG are scheduled). I just realized that I need a chest X-ray, and I think I’ll have to call the hospital for this one, so I’ll do that for lunch. Not sure my doctor can get one back in time. HMMM.
So, I feel like I have this all under control. And honestly, I’m ready to just get it done.
But the logistics of the knee sugery are freaking me out a little bit. This is the first surgery in the past (over) 10 years in which my husband will not be able to take me. And even though I’ve already told him “It’s no big deal…go to work…”; well, honestly, I’m freaking out about it. I’m not driving myself (obviously), and my mother will be going with me…but she can’t help me in or out of the car. And that’s another thing that is freaking me out…getting in and out of the car right after surgery. I’ll be in pain. A LOT of pain. And we have a driveway that has more than a 45% grade to it…really freaking steep. She can’t drop me off at the bottom of the driveway because I can’t walk up. I don’t think she’ll be able to pull into the garage, because I don’t think there is enough room for me to get past the car and up the step into the house. She can’t let me off ON the driveway, because 45%…I’ll be rolling down to the bottom in no time. I think I’ll just have to trust that someone can get me into the house.
When Mom came home from the hospital with her knee replacement, we borrowed the neighbor’s wheel chair and Bob pushed her up the driveway, but Mom can’t do that for me.
I’m going to trust. I can’t plan and organize everything.
If you want to know more about the surgery, you can google Allograft (mine is a natural tissue graft), or de novo by Zimmer. It’s not your typical knee surgery – they will be starting off arthroscopically – two small incisions on either side of my knee with a camera – the doctor can clean up the knee, assess the damage, and perform the lateral release (cutting the tendons on the left side of my knee cap). Then he will be doing an arthrotomy – open knee surgery. There will be a 5 to 6″ incision, in which the doctor will open my knee, flip over my knee cap, and then glue the donor graft to the back of my knee cap. He will then replace the knee cap, and then “tie” it in place so it doesn’t slide over to the left again. I’ll be stapled up, bandaged and wrapped, and my knee will be put in an immobilizer that will go from mid-thigh to mid-calf. I will not be able to move my knee, or put any weight on my left leg for 8 to 10 weeks. I will be transfered to recovery, then to a room for an hour to get my bearings, and then they will let me go home.
Surprisingly, I do not have to have clearance from my oncologist (who has essentially served as my primary care since August 2012). But he knows, and he will be informed of the surgery and its results once it is over. The MRI did show that there was no cancer in the knee causing the pain, so that was a big relief.
Because after you have cancer, anytime you have pain, that’s where your brain goes.
So…on to it. Two weeks to go.