Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Week 1 Post-Op Ankle #2

Well, it's been a week since I had my right (#2) total ankle replacement surgery and I can tell you that its been quite a different experience than the left (#1).  Of course, each surgery has different circumstances, but it's been interesting just how different things have been, even though I underwent the same surgery...with the same doctor and all.

With #1 my biggest complaint for that first week was that I felt like I had the stomach flu... or morning sickness...or a combination of both.  I was sick to my stomach the entire week, could barely eat anything, and had no appetite.  If I had to venture a guess why...I would bet on it having to do with the strong antibiotics I was on (Clindamycin).  I decided that this time around that I wouldn't let that happen again.  I stocked up on my Greek yogurt and started eating it even before the surgery.   This seems to have made a huge difference.  The only hiccup I've had this week was Sunday afternoon I puked twice...yogurt and all!  My son had a stomach bug for a few days and I'm pretty sure I caught his crud.  Luckily, it only lasted a day for me.  Other than Sunday, my stomach has felt fine.  My appetite has been normal, although my digestion has been slow...the doc sent me home with a prescription for Colace, to counteract the constipative effects of the pain meds.  Well, isn't this lovely to talk about :P  I learned the hard way (no pun intended) that you want to make sure you take these on a consistent basis.  That's all I have to say about that.

The biggest complaint is my pain level.  Unlike last time, this time I've been in a lot more pain.   Once they finally got my pain level under control in the hospital, they sent me home.  So I had Thursday and Friday with manageable, reasonable pain levels (3-4 on the pain scale).  Then, Saturday night, after I took my shower, while I was trying to get dressed, I lost my balance.  Instinctively, I stepped down on my operated foot to keep from falling.  Since that happened, I have been in a lot of pain (6-7 on the pain scale) that has not been manageable through icing, elevating, or medication.  I was scared that I did something really bad to my new joint, so I went to my local hospital on Monday to have it checked out.  The x-rays came back fine... no fractures, or breaks to the joint.  The doc on call said that I probably just aggravated it when I stepped on it, and that was why I was having increased pain.  They re-splinted me after checking on my incesion ...and thank God because my splint felt incredibly tight, which was probably due to the increased swelling.  I was told that I couldn't get a new prescription for pain medication since my orthopedic surgeon was the doctor whose care I was under.  The biggest problem with this is the law in DC for getting certain classes of narcotics is that you need to pick up your prescription in person.  And, of course, my Oxycodone is one of these fancy medicines that falls in this category.  So I'd have to drive all the way to DC (an hour each way with NO traffic) to get a new prescription.  Yeah, that seems logical.  Have people who are in a shitload of pain go out of their way, end up in more pain, just so you can hand it to them in person.  Whoever is writing these laws is a fucking moron.  Period.

So, other than the unmanageable pain I've been under...everything is fine!  At least I didn't permanently damage my new ankle from my pseudo-fall.  So, I guess it could be worse.  Are these stupid medicine laws common around the country?  Seems to me that it shouldn't be this difficult for people who are in pain to have their pain managed in a more reasonable way.  I'm holding out...icing, praying, and hoping that I can sleep my way through most of the pain.  Hoping that week number 2 is infinitely better than this one has been!

Oh, and this is what I found behind the back of my right knee today.  Goodie :) 

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