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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“.
The Two Pumps.
The nerve block pump is in the black ball-shaped bag
— hanging down.
The inputs to the ice cooler around the knee.
The Nerve Block Pump.
Post Surgery Ice Cooler.
So, far, so good. Actually pretty blinking bloody amazing (though my use of ‘bloody’ is kind of ironic since there is just a minimum of blood that I can see)!
Nearly 24-hours later NO PAIN. Maybe a slight twinge, but no pain per se.
Have not taken taken any of the opioids they gave me as yet — and that is consistent with the v. precise instructions I got.
But, I am well and truly bionic. I have two pumps attached to I as well as my trusty DonJoy X-Act ROM knee brace (which fully immobilizes the damaged knee).
One is a Nerve Block catheter attached high up on my left hip. I knew about that.
They kind of semi-knocked me out before inserting that. I had been told about that too. Did not expect them to be using an ultrasound unit to locate the vein. Pretty cool. The staff at Frisbie were pretty amazing and the anesthesiologist was very cool. I have been told that the Nerve Block should work for about 48-hours. Maybe longer. It is a ‘balloon’. When it is totally deflated I am supposed to pull out the catheter. That might be interesting.
What I was not expecting was the ice cooler pump for my knee. That is so COOL and that is not a pun.
Never knew they existed. As the ads for it say (when I went and checked them out yesterday night) they sure beat a bag of frozen peas or traditional ice packs.
Between the two pumps I am doing ‘OK’.
Can’t put any weight on the leg and it is weak.
We live in a 4-story house with 3-staircases. I have to go up & down the staircases on my bum. I had not realized how weak my shoulders were. I guess I don’t exercise them enough. But, they are sure getting a workout now and I am ASHAMED to admit that I have to take a break when climbing up the stairs with my shoulders. For someone who averaged 56 floors a day, climbing stairs was a pleasure. It is now embarrassing! When I am better I may split my floor climbing — some by foot, other by shoulders.
Dr. Charles Blitzer who performed the surgery is said to be outstanding. I met him fleetingly prior to surgery and when I was recovering. Both times I was under the influence. He seems very nice and had the air of quiet confidence. I had read about him and liked what I read.
This is what caught my eye: “Dr. Blitzer has been recognized for his humanitarian work as he regularly travels abroad to provide orthopedic services to the disadvantaged in the developing world”. Anybody who has that mentality and commitment has to be pretty decent. I liked that.
I will meet him properly next Tuesday. Looking forward to that.
So, far, 24-hours into this all I have taken is three 325mg Tylenol. And that was because I felt feverish.
That is my story for now.
Yes, it could all turn on a dime. I am not totally stupid as I repeatedly point out. Just partially stupid. I know I am not out of the woods. When the Nerve Block wears off I could be in significant pain.
I hope I didn’t bore you too much.