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There was no pain to talk about
— throughout, from surgery to now.
Pretty amazing. All of it. The surgery, the recovery and the bill. Overall I could NOT have been happier.
Wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of the bill.
I am amazed. Gobsmacked. I shouldn’t complain — but, I will, because I am like that. Smile.
That they can just write-off $12,166.56 of the bill is MIND BLOWING. If I didn’t have insurance I would be on the hook for this.
This bill is worth studying.
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Before & After
Staples taken out Day #14.
Pain is still negligible!
Pain was negligible throughout — just with Aleve & Tylenol — and I was able to even stop taking those on Day #8. I, however, continued to use the DonJoy cold therapy ice unit — mainly because I have become addicted to it. Some get hooked on opioids after surgery, I got hooked on ice therapy. Surgeon, with a smile, said it was “OK” to be addicted to my ice unit. He said it could have been worse. [I am using it right now. What can I say. SMILE.]
I kind of had a gut feel that having my 16 staples out was NOT going to be a walk-in-the-park. As I am always quick to point out, I am not totally stupid, just partially. That the surgeon smiled and said that it wasn’t going to hurt was an added clue.
No beating around the bush. It hurt. I did NOT scream, BUT I went pale! But, to be fair, they didn’t all hurt. Just about 4 of the 16.
I could FEEL FLESH being ripped off! I said that.
Well, when I looked at the picture I took — above — I was bloody right.
You can see my brown flesh on a few staples. As I said, they didn’t all hurt. Just about 4 and those were the ones that, as you can see, have flesh attached.
Oh, I cheated. I will confess. Knowing that I would have pain, I took took Aleves beforehand.
Before taking the staples the nurse asked me my pain level. I felt guilty. I didn’t want to say ‘0’. That seemed wrong. So, I lied. I said ‘1’. She was thrilled. Her words were: “That is what we like to hear”.
After the staples were taken off, and she applied some oil (containing shellfish extract) pain was negligible again.
I did not use my ice therapy, at all, at all, all day yesterday. The ONLY day I haven’t used it since surgery.
So, that is the sad story so far.
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March 17 was Day #10.
Pain is still negligible!
Never expected this — in my wildest dreams, i.e., the minimal pain.
I thought I was going to be in agony. Not so. As I said in my very first post, it, i.e., pain control, was miraculous! Don’t know how they do it. But, they appear to have cracked what obviously has been an issue since the advent of life. How to perform major surgery without the patient being crippled by pain during the recovery.
Yes, for the first 50-hours I had a nerve block pain pump attached to my hip. Not sure what was in it, but reading the marketing blurb I gather it was not narcotic.
Other than the nerve block, all I used was Tylenol and Aleve. That was what was recommended. Tylenol first and if that doesn’t cut it, Aleve. I stuck to that initially but by Day #4 just fell into a 3 Aleve a day routine. For over 20-years Aleve has been my pain-medication of choice (next to straight Aspirin). I never take much pain medication, but when I have to I reach for the blue tablets. They don’t seem to bother me too much.
Yes, of course, I can carry on taking Aleve. But, I am a great believer in NOT taking pain medication if I can get away with it. I could be wrong, BUT my thinking is that if I use pain medication sparingly they will be more effective when I do take them. That is my theory.
By the evening of Day #8 pain really was negligible — though I have to admit I am more or less permanently attached to my ice unit. I would even say addicted. I know addiction is bad, so I checked. YEP, you guessed it. Too much cold therapy can be detrimental. So, I have cut back.
Also doing my knee exercises — heel slides. Did 90 on Day #10. I was told to shoot for 30. So, I am close.
No, I am not totally stupid — just partially stupid. So, I realize that the pain could come back, big time, without notice. Do NOT forget that I WROTE the book on “Central Pain Syndrome“.
Today, as such, is the 4th full-day, post surgery.
There is, touch wood, very little pain — as yet.
I hope it continues to be the case. It sure would be nice and a welcome relief.
The whole surgery experience, so far, has really been near miraculous. I am in total awe.
Yes, no question, the knee hurts, like billy-o if it bends (or moves). But, I am NOT supposed to bend it.
When I keep it straight and immobile, I have had little pain. I truly lucked out. Just hoping that pain does not suddenly engulf me and I am doing everything I can to make sure that I don’t end up with ‘Central Pain Syndrome‘ (CPS) six-months down the road. Right now I am hopeful. That I haven’t had major pain to drive my central nervous system (CNS) nuts will definitely stand me in good stead. IF I end up with CPS — I will rue the day.
I just cannot tell you how effective that ice therapy with the ‘ice pump’ is. I am convinced that it is what has helped me so much. I have it on about 16-hours a day. It is on now, set to 42°F, as I write.
All I have taken for medication so far is 325mg Tylenol and Aleve.
I have, so far, not needed any narcotics. I have two bottles, 60 pills, of opioids, one from ER and the other from the surgeon, unused. I hope this continues to be the case.
The nerve block was also amazing. It ran out Saturday night — right on schedule. They said 48-hours and it probably lasted about 54. Definitely felt some pain when it was gone. That is when I started taking Aleve.
Day 1 (Friday) — I took 7 Tylenols, much of it because I felt feverish.
Day 2 (Saturday) — 6 Tylenols during the day + 2 Aleves, late at night, after the nerve block was removed.
Day 3 (Sunday) — 6 Tylenols during the day + 2 Aleves at night.
Day 4 (Monday) — 1 Aleve so far and it is 5:30pm.
As far as I am concerned that is pretty amazing. Right now I feel no knee! It is pretty frozen — but don’t worry, I am not going to get frostbite.
Appears I am the lucky beneficiary of all of the concerted effort going into preventing the prescription of opioids.
Both the nerve block & ice machine blurbs tell doctors how they can be used instead of opioids. I am all in favor.
Seeing the surgeon tomorrow. Keeping fingers crossed.
So, just wanted to share with you in case, alas, knee surgery is to figure in your future. Based on my experience it might not be as painful as you might dread.
Well, I am still keeping fingers crossed. Pain is a funny ol’ thing. Don’t trust it — as far as I can throw it.
The good news: it is not too bad!
The secret is total knee immobilization with a full adjustable brace. With my knee immobilized there is really no pain. I kid you not. Yes, there is a twinge or two when you move it. But, anytime your knee bends — e.g., lifting it up to get into bed — there is pain, though it is not that bad and goes away once the knee is straight again. There was, alas, one exception to this and that was a few hours ago (i.e., on my 5th day). Up until Monday I hadn’t given the swelling of my knee and calves much notice. But, today, per my post-ER instructions I decided to apply a compression bandage to the knee — a bit too tightly. That was not a good idea. So, took it off and as recompense laid in bed for an hour with my legs elevated above my chest. No pain.
Consequently I did NOT end up taking the Vicodin-like narcotics that were prescribed to me by ER. They gave me a shot of morphine before I left (on Thursday evening). That was enough. After that I just started taking Aleve. Of all the pain medications out there I like Aleve, not that I take much pain medication. But, from what I can see it has the least ‘implications’ and it is supposed to last longer. Thursday into Friday I took the maximum 3 Aleve’s over a 24-hour period just to be on the safe side. Then I realized that that might be overkill given the absence of pain. So, I went to 2 every 24-hours.
A couple of tips.
I am able to use my good leg to lift the damaged left leg onto the bed. That helps. So, I can get in and out of bed on my own.
I can just about getting into my pants by laying them strategically on the floor. But, today I ordered a few ‘tools’ from Amazon to make life a tad easier — a long handle shoehorn among them. Having to cajole my 12-year old to help me with my shoes is no fun.
Truth be told we went on a 3-day long-weekend to Cape Cod the day after my accident! I had booked it over a month ago and there was no way I was going to miss it!
It was my left leg and I was able to drive, with no pain, discomfort or distraction for 6-7 hours a day. I was also able to walk (or at least hobble), in the snow, for reasonable distances to visit the sites.
So, those were what the first 5-days were — ALBEIT WITHOUT surgery. Surgery is Thursday and things will change. I will keep you updated.
Search ‘running’ & ‘shovelling‘.
In concept it appear to be somewhat similar to a wireless TENS unit such as the Aleve. A big difference is that it is a SMART unit in that you control with a smartphone APP and the APP will keep track of how you used the device, your sleep patterns etc. Like with most TENS units a typical session is 60-minutes long.
It works by trying to interfere with and block peripheral nerve pain signals before they get processed by the Central Nervous System (CNS). Since it is the CNS that, in the end, is responsible for generating all pain that you feel, IF you can stop the CNS getting pain signals from the peripheral nerves, you can, in theory, minimize the amount of pain generated by the CNS. By and large TENS units work — though they only alleviate pain for some periods of time. It is not a cure. At best a temporary respite from pain.
The Quell, like other TENS units, should work — at least to an extent. It is, however, about five times the cost of the Aleve and the crucial electrodes that you have to replace on a regular basis are expensive.
What I have not been able to determine as yet is whether a Quell really is more effective than say a Aleve — or whether it is all hype. Yes, the APP is unique for now — but the APP does not play any part in reducing chronic pain.
I got Deanna a wireless “Aleve Direct Therapy” TENS unit, from Walmart, on July 19, 2016 (on our way back from “Polar Caves“). As I had said before Deanna already had a professional-grade TENS unit — but it was one with lots of wires that she didn’t like to use since the wires would come loose and give her shocks. The wireless “Aleve” (made by the curiously named “Hollywog” corporation) seemed the perfect solution which is why I was willing to buy one — though anything to do with her back is supposed to be covered by her “Workman’s Comp” insurance in that she hurt her back at work.
The Aleve Unit only comes with one set of gel pads. Deanna found a good deal for 10 gel pads, on Amazon, from Hollywog. We had those delivered early last week.
Last Friday morning she was putting on the Aleve JUST as their TV commercial came up (most likely on MSNBC). So we both watched it — she midstream in the act of pasting the unit to hre back.
When the commercial was over I asked her how the Aleve claims matched up with what she had experienced.
She said that the unit works and works as well as they claim on TV!
That, to me, is a pretty good endorsement given all the harsh things I had heard over the years about her wired TENS unit.
So that is good.
Just wanted to share that with you just in case you were thinking of getting one.
For the price and given the money-back guarantee I would definitely try it out.