I had been nervous contemplating ankle surgery for the past two months. The day finally arrived on November 15, 2016 and surprisingly I was very calm…well, except for a slight rise in blood pressure. However that went down once they had successfully inserted the IV and I no longer had to fear a vein collapsing and causing problems.
I answered the name, birth date, and what procedure are you here for question numerous times — their way of making sure the patient is aware of what is going on around them. My daughter had her three children with her and had to pick me up at 4:45 am to get me to the hospital on time. Once we had me in my pre-surgery room I told her they might as well leave. That would allow her to get the oldest two to school relatively on time and since it was 2-1/2 hours until my surgery would actually begin there was no purpose in her staying around. My sister-in-law was scheduled to arrive and pick me up after surgery.
The time passed quickly and before I knew it they transferred me down to another pre-surgery room where I received a block on my leg from the knee down that would not wear off for 16-24 hours. They had me place my initials on the appropriate surgical leg. The block went in easily, but I am still wearing the wonderful iodine colored antiseptic they used before the procedure. An ankle surgery and I have iodine up to the thigh. When they placed the surgical hat over my hair I laughed and said “isn’t this wear I should have my cell phone to take the selfie of myself just before surgery?”
After that they must have run some good knock-out drugs through my IV, I remember them asking me to breath into a mask, and the next thing I know I was in a post-op room and everything was done. I don’t even remember being in recovery. I woke up about 1-1/4 hours after they had anticipated I would be ready to go home. My sister-in-law had gotten lost and arrived almost right on the dot with when I was actually ready.
So how are things now that the surgery is done and I am home? We discovered in the hospital that crutches are not my thing. I also tried them at home and had difficulty as well. I am very fearful of losing my balance on them and accidentally putting pressure on the leg, which is non-weight bearing for three months. I am thankful that I have a walker I brought from my parents home, which is much more stable, especially for hopping up and down platform steps to get in and out of my house. The knee scooter works very well for most things.
Getting dressed is tricky. My ankle is bandaged/cast very thick. Stretch sport pants stretch over it. I’m not sure if I will be able to wear my dress slacks or jeans until after I have been re-cast at least once. Dressing for work this coming Monday could be interesting.
I am doing well with pain control. The block wore off in the middle of the night and I woke up in pain at 3:45 am. A Norco and ice with elevation helped alleviate that within about 45 minutes and I was able to sleep again. Pain pills are allowed every four hours as needed, I am only needing them about every five hours.
The next three months during which I am non-weight bearing and dependent on others to drive me will be frustrating, but once I am able to put weight on the leg things should get much easier. I am looking forward to an active 2017 with a repaired ankle and no pain.