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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 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.
by Anura Guruge
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Wow. I had always thought of Aspirin as MY FRIEND. Something that was good for my heart. I was told, way back in 1987, to take an aspirin a day for my heart health. And I did, religiously — along with my glass (or two) of red wine, also, of course, just for my heart health.
I like Aspirin. It was, until last Wednesday, July 29, 2015, my favorite pain medication. I wasn’t into this new fangled Tylenol, Advil, Relieve etc. and I have stayed away from prescription pain medication EVEN when it has been prescribed to me. About 5 years ago, kicking and screaming, I was taken, by the wife, in collusion with my then cardiologist, to the ER because I was having chest pain, just above my heart — and my blood pressure was going up (because I had been in pain for some time). They checked me out. Did the blood test for the marker hormones. Nothing. Did the EKGs. Nothing. Then they sent me to have a chest X-ray and they put a little metal dot on my chest where the pain was. The X-ray was focused on that. While I am still standing there, chest to plate, in the X-ray room, the technician calls out over the Intercom: “you have a broken rib just where you are feeling the pain”.
Well, 3 weeks earlier, before Christmas, I had slipped and fallen — on my shovel handle — while I was shovelling snow. It hurt BUT it never occurred to me that I had broken anything. My record with broken bones is kind of notorious. Years ago, after a doctor, on a whim, had both my hands X-rayed, they found that I had broken my ALL my knuckles, multiple times. But I can’t even remember breaking them ONCE. The doctor just shook his head. That I once played rugby for 35 minutes with a broken bone in my hand and then forgot to go the hospital, as I had been instructed to do, for 4 hours is also part of my legacy.
Well, when I was wheeled back into ER the doctor and the male nurse both wanted to know WHY I didn’t realize I had a broken rib — for 3 weeks. I had no explanation. Then they asked me what I took for my pain. I said Aspirin. They looked at me strange — and people do that often. Aspirin? Yes. What strength? I don’t know. The stuff that is in a standard bottle. Hhmmm. How many? I don’t know. Maybe two every 4 to 5 hours. They gave me a bottle of Vicodin. I did NOT see the point in taking that 3 weeks in. So I kept it. Came in handy when I needed to sedate one of my goldens so it would not gnaw at a ‘hot spot’. One Vicodin and he was in ‘la-la’ land for hours. Did the trick. Best use of Vicodin ever.
I was taking two (2) 325mg Aspirins a day — most days. I thought it was good for me. If one was good, two has to be better … right? Sometimes I might take more. Two in the morning, two at night. 325mg Aspirin was also my preferred fever reducer.
Now my new doctor, another Indian, tells me that taking all that Aspirin was killing me!
I can’t win.
Told me to throw away my nearly full bottle of 325mg Aspirins. Killed me. They were my friends. I had to buy a bottle of 81mg Aspirin. Baby ones. Only one a day.
I don’t believe and trust all this medical mumbo-jumbo. Remember these were the same folks who SWORE that PSAs were 100% spot-on in detecting prostate cancer. All that did was make them money so that they could go shoot lions.