Saturday, 23 April 2016

Round three - fight!

Well here I am once again in the cripple zone.
Yesterday was the third surgery on my left knee and with any luck it'll be the last - or at least until I need a replacement.
Having been deposited at Addenbrookes Hospital entrance, I made my way up to the ward to check in. As with previous experiences, I found myself waiting alongside the standard assortment of elderly folk who were there for new hips or knees, and equipped with enough meds between them to open a pharmacy.
Once shown to my bed, I got chatting with an old fella opposite called Ken who had come in at the same time. He was in for his second knee replacement and it was nice to talk about his experience. It made me feel better about what I'll no doubt be facing in a few years time, because he was so positive about the whole thing.

Fortunately for me I was first on the list, so as soon as the consultant had had a word, numerous questions had been answered, and I'd been appropriately tagged and drawn on with a marker pen, I was whisked off to theatre.
They had me hop onto the operating table and went about the business of plugging in various bits and pieces. It took two goes for the anaesthetist to get the cannula in my hand because it was so cold in the theatre my veins decided to go into hiding.
Once installed it was in with antibiotics followed by something that made me feel pleasantly woozy. Then she put in the knock-out juice and Elvis left the building.

Came to in recovery very slowly - I do seem to have a bit of trouble coming round from a general anaesthetic.
Once they'd established I was heading in the right direction I was taken back to the ward where I spent a good couple of hours slipping in and out of consciousness while the worst effects of the anaesthetic wore off. By the time I'd had a cup of tea and a sandwich I was beginning to feel slightly more human, and let the wife know I was still alive.
The consultant came by later to let me know how things had gone.
He'd trimmed the cartilege a bit and removed the remaining metalwork, which included a metal plate that had actually broken. Maybe that was the biggest culprit for all the pain I've been in if that was grating against soft tissue.
He said he did have to grind away a small amount of bone in order to remove a particularly awkward screw, and because of that I have to use crutches for a couple of weeks with only partial weight bearing on the left leg.
Luckily I didn't have to be kept in, so I was back home in time to watch Masterchef before dragging my weary and still slightly drugged carcass to bed.

So it's off to the GP's on Monday to get the nurse to redo the dressings, and again in 10 to 14 days to have the stitches out.
Therefore at least two weeks off work loom ahead of me, which normally I wouldn't moan about but when you have limited mobility it gets a wee bit dull. You can only sit through so many movies before you begin to doubt your sanity.
As soon as I'm able to drive (basically when I can operate the clutch without pain) I'll be able to return to some sort of normality, but work will have no choice but to let me park on-site if they want me there, because I won't be able to do the 3/4 mile walk each way from where I usually park for quite a while.

In the meantime I'll just have to entertain myself with the exercises the physio gave me. And I must remember to send the boy out to the shed to fetch my fingerless cycling gloves - it's unbelievable that after all these years they still can't make crutches with handles that don't get slippery when your hands are sweaty.

Drugged-up hospital selfie.
Not a good look.