I’ve had so many kind remarks and messages from all over the world hoping to hear good things about the success of last night’s surgery that I felt like it was important to reach out sooner rather than later.
I’m so close to my surgeon after going through everything I’ve gone through with him and seeing him almost weekly for the last 4+ months that he greets me with, “Hey Baby!” and a hug, and if Husband isn’t right there with me (because he’s never there, let’s be honest) he always asks after him by name. So when my surgeon gave me the choice to have the vampiric machine or surgery, he knew I would choose surgery. We had a fantastic conversation before I went back for the surgery and even after looking at the breakdown site he still gave me the choice, and I still chose surgery.
He wasn’t surprised that I chose surgery because he trusts that if I feel there’s a pain in-there that shouldn’t be there, that there must be something to fix.
When he got into my leg, it was only 20 minutes of work, a far cry from the 8ish hour vascular surgery I had last November. The stump was not shortened but I was right to choose to go in last night. Had we waited until next week, what was there would have gotten worse, and getting worse would have risked needing to shorten the amputation; my stump has about a half an inch more bone than is required for getting a socket but loss of bone beyond that half inch would mean having to go 5 inches above the knee to have a stump the right length for a prosthetic knee (that’s about 12 or 14 inches difference from where it is now to where it would be). He did need to dig down a bit past the skin level to the facia in order to clean out some crumby stuff, but he did not make it to the bone and didn’t have to take chunks of tissue, and there was no tunneling (holes that extend from outer tissue through the muscles to bone, very bad news) so no reason to worry.
When I woke up, he came to see me and again gave me the choice of coming home last night or spending the night in the hospital with a couple more rounds of that awful IV antibiotic and some better pain management and I (unsurprisingly) chose to stay because a night of antibiotics and saline is good for the body after a surgery.
There were other bonuses to staying, though.
First, I didn’t have to make dinner for anyone or breakfast either. After the last surgery, the day I got home, Husband wanted me to cook for him even though I just had my bone shortened, had a woundvac on it, and had a picc line in for the IV antibiotics I needed daily to kill the infections trying to kill me. So… An extra night means a night of sleep and resting without any other demands.
Also because I stayed, I learned that the floor to be on is pediatrics! They have snacks that fit your dietary restrictions waiting for you when you are brought up to the room and every time they give you meds you get more snacks so your tummy doesn’t hurt. Also, the floor is super quiet at night and no one yells at the nurses or throws things into the hallway angrily, and no body screams that they shat themselves after the smell of feces is already wafting into everyone else’s doors, which definitely happened in the other wards I’ve stayed in this last year. I only got lucky enough to be in peds because my surgery wasn’t planned and they didn’t have another room prepared or open for me.
(post surgery, resting in peds)
Anyway, this morning Husband came to retrieve me and after stopping for a latte and being forced to go on a long shopping excursion, I am now home, wrapped in a heated blanket, and comfortably relaxing in bed with today’s sweater weather attire: a vintage print Star Wars sweatshirt and yoga pants. The stump is swollen and achy, I can feel where he cut, and I can feel into the tissue where he dug, but the pain is such that elevation is all I need. Amazingly, no narcotics, muscle relaxers, or even NSAIDs have been necessary since I awoke from the anesthesia.
So either the pain is ridiculously nonexistent for a limb being cut open and dug around in, or I’m a freaking Badass.
I’m voting for Badass.