Surgery side-effects

My foot came to Thanksgiving dinner,4x6 websized

After the dishes were cleared from our Thanksgiving dinner.

My oldest son and his lovely wife visited for Thanksgiving, daring to be overnight with us, 80 miles away from their birthing hospital. My DIL is rather talented and drew this face on the bottom of my cast:

TWINS artwork on cast by DIL, teen minus glasses as model

Twins!  The teenager might have been the artist’s inspiration.

Pain is mostly under control here. I had a “wound check” today and then a new cast put on my ankle. Started having an anxiety attack, complete with racing heart, nausea, dizziness, and shallow, rapid breathing (a new, not-fun experience for me!) as the post-surgery cast was being removed. It turns out part of the problem was that it was time for my next dosage of pain meds, so I was having pain & anxiety at the same time. Oh, joy.* But we got through that.
The incisions are healing nicely — better than I thought they would look! Big, fat, “beefy” puckers but no nasty drainage. I’ve got one on each side of my left ankle, each approximately 5 inches long. I had SuperDad take a picture of one side, so if you want to see it, just ask. It just looks like a normal fresh scar, post surgery. No dead/dying skin, which the surgeon had been concerned about, so that’s good news.
My dh has been a most excellent caregiver. He sets a timer/alarm on his phone for my medication and uses it 24-hours a day. Since I’m now down to every 3 hours (was every 2 hours over the holiday weekend) we are both getting better sleep at night — until that alarm goes off!
One side effect of being on what is basically mandatory bed-rest is that my backside gets a little sore. I noticed my right hip area becoming numb on Sunday night so I’ve been working on keeping some feeling going to it (I must be pressing against a blood vessel or something). Yesterday I moved ever so slightly and it felt like a lightning bolt shot into my right hip joint. Yikes! So while that area is battling numbness, the nerve works just fine!
I’ve also been having some fuzziness and double-vision, which is another side effect of the Dilaudid. I became fully aware of it on Monday evening when I was working on the bulletin on my laptop. The Mayo Clinic website says to tell your doctor right away… so we told him when we saw him today. Guess what? An orthopaedic surgeon knows nothing about medications and their side effects. He seemed to wonder why I was even telling him about it. That shouldn’t surprise me — I discovered 3 years ago that surgeons do one thing: CUT. And I am happy enough that he did a very good job repairing my very broken ankle. I can live with temporary fuzziness and double-vision, because the pain meds are otherwise doing their job well. Hopefully those who are getting written communication from me via blog posts, facebook, e-mail, and texts can read through my spelling and predictive text errors.
I haven’t yet been set free from the 24/7 elevation rule (ankle higher than my nose and heart). I hope that next week I will be given several hours a day off from this position.
DSCN2305  Top of cast, wine glass

Look! I have a glass of wine! My dear, sweet DIL drew a wine glass for me to carry along wherever I go, which mostly meant that I could lay on my back in bed with a glass of wine. (The face shown in the other picture is on the “bottom” of my cast/foot.)

 

 

Sadly, those fun drawings are now gone, since my ankle was re-cast today. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted, and the people who saw me being pushed in a wheelchair into/through the clinic building got a smile out of it.

Grandbaby #1 has his due date today, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to make an appearance yet. For this, I am glad — I am not in a position to ride 90 minutes to the hospital, and yet the zombie apocalypse couldn’t keep me away. The good camera has a charged battery and is ready to go when we get the call.
After the trauma of my morning (I confess to downplaying the experience in an earlier * paragraph) I was very glad to be back in stranded turtle position on my bed again this afternoon. Apparently, the entire injury/surgery/recovery process is taking a lot out of me. I didn’t even discover that I had my underwear on inside-out until a few minutes ago (although I did wonder why it felt strange). Being here in my little nest feels safe — no one touching my foot or ankle or jostling me around — even if the nerves in my hip continue to shriek whenever they are pinched.
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Have you ever had an anxiety attack, or had a loved one who struggled with anxiety? 
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11 thoughts on “Surgery side-effects

  1. I imagine you would have back pain having to lay around like that. Plus side effects from meds and the general malaise of being wounded. I’m glad to read your staff is tending to you, though. You poor woman.

  2. In that first photo, I like how your feet get to be at the table. I wonder if that face was drawn on the cast for that gathering. It would be like having a new dinner guest.

    That is true dedication on the part of your husband. As for info about the drugs you are taking – your pharmacist will be more informed about various side effects than the doc.

    That hip pain sounds awful. One more reason why getting through this must be quite a challenge. I am thinking of you and praying for you every day.

    • Unfortunately, the face was not drawn in time for Thanksgiving dinner. I hadn’t thought of it until too late, and I was pretty worn out from the time at the hospital. The artist was only in residence for less than 24 hours, but it only took a few minutes for her to do this on Friday morning. Still waiting on that baby! Hope he hangs in there for a few more days. My hip is better today since I moved around a little more. It only occasionally feels like tendons are ripping off the joint. And taking the pain meds a little less often is resulting in better vision, so I have hope.

  3. I have this image of you dragging yourself to the hospital by your fingers to see that baby, so I really hope you are a bit more mobile when the time comes.

    I had a panic attack while on vacation once because I was engaged in an activity that played on three fears at once. It was not fun and I hope to never go through that again.

    • I’ve no doubt my husband will load me into the van with my foot elevated to my hips and drive me to the hospital to see the baby. (80 miles is a long way to crawl.) It would be nice to have the special wheelchair but at this point I don’t even care. So far, he’s waiting for grandma’s wheelchair. If that was the episode referenced in a blog post, I remember it well.

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