OUCH! Is it time for my Placebos?

Look like 7 inch zippers
Look like 7 inch zippers
my legs were badly bruised...very painful. This shows the sore that came from nowhere.
my legs were badly bruised…very painful. This shows the sore that came from nowhere.

Excited about Knees

I have to use this 4 hours per leg per day UGH
I have to use this 4 hours per leg per day UGH

Wednesday morning, September 18, Dennis and I woke at the ungodly hour of 3:45 am. We had an appointment at the Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in Phenix City, Alabama at 5:00 am Georgia time. I was thankful for the early appointment because I could not eat after midnight and didn’t want  hunger pains all morning waiting on surgery. Plus, skipping breakfast is a major migraine trigger. We made good time and were pulling off the exit ramp in Phenix City at 4:15.  I really didn’t want to arrive 45 minutes early, so I suggested Dennis go up an exit and get some breakfast. This would be tough for me, but he would need a good breakfast sitting around in a waiting room all morning with an  I-Pad!  He chose Waffle house. The waitress started to set silverware for both of us and I told her I would not be eating. She stared at me. So I told her I was having double knee replacement surgery that morning. Another waitress overheard and came over to the table. She said, “Oh no! My grandma had that surgery and had to learn how to walk all over again!”  I was thinking to myself, wow, that is not what I want to hear this morning.  I really was starting to get a little nervous.  But jumping ahead a bit for a moment. I have had a few  physical therapy sessions. Or AKA TORTURE sessions. And I have to say that the girl in waffle house was  telling the truth. You have to retrain your muscles and it is learning to walk again! Bless her heart. I was almost too quick to judge her by her missing teeth and  tri colored hair!
We went through the emergency exit, were directed to the surgery floor. I was prepped and sent back for my surgery. Well, after being stuck repeatedly in my arm  in search for a perfect IV spot. Ouch! The nurse was nice and apologetic. I only mention this because it happens repeatedly…..and prior to this I have never had anyone have any trouble finding a vein. I have large visible non rolling veins!  I don’t know what was going on. I spent the first night in  Intensive care, as I was a threat for forming blood clots.  The food served was very tasty. No complaints in that area. The nursing staff was pleasant. But not as attentive as I would have expected. Especially in the Intensive care unit. My IV machine started beeping in the night, which should page a nurse.  After a sufficient amount of time, and no one came, D got up from his recliner, turned off the machine himself. Looked into the hall….no one…..came back in……sat in recliner.  Machine beeps again. He turns it off again. In a while a nurse finally comes in. He tells her he has turned the machine off twice.  She offers no explanation. They move me  to a regular room the next day.  Physical Therapy visited and removed my bandages.. I also have 5 or 6 inch drainage tubes in each knee. They are also removed. I have a long strip bandage that is left on. They say I can shower with that bandage on. However my bandage turns loose of the skin and I am not allowed to shower. Only sponge baths. Boo Hoo. I complete Physical Therapy with flying colors! They say I’m above average! I can walk full stride and have amazing range of motion! That afternoon I began developing a headache accompanied with nausea. It is a very sad sick feeling for me. As I knew it all to well to be the monster I fear so much. The Migraine monster that is always lurking around. Today the monster had chosen to come out. Would he be controlled with Immetrex or is the monster out of control? The monster scares me so much!  I told the nurse, and whoever else came into the room. I needed some meds ASAP. The “powers that be” on duty that evening on floor 4 of Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital determined that the morphine based drugs that I had received earlier while in the Intensive care unit were the cause of my migraine. Therefore, all they could give me was Immitrex and a low dose Lorcet. I told them I needed Phenergan, and I usually got Demerol for my migraines when they got out of hand like this.  They said they no longer uses Phenergan. And they could only give me the Lorcet.  Later they came in with another nausea medicine. I took it with the Immitrex and Lorcet.  I knew from experience the headache was out of control. These meds didn’t touch it. I literally cried for hours and hours. At one point I asked Dennis to get his gun and kill me. I am in a FREAKING hospital crying in pain. NO RELIEF. Unbelievable! Oh, my knees were hurting this whole time as well. But a migraine is a pain that comes in and says “I’M THE BOSS all other pains step aside!”. By morning the headache had played its course. It was winding down. The monster still lurking, but calm for the moment.  They brought a breakfast tray, but I couldn’t eat. I only drank the juice. The nurse came around with my meds offering me oxycotten. Are you serious?  I have refused this everytime it was offered, but they do it again. Again I say, No thank you. The oxycotten is a major migraine trigger! I just asked for my normal pain meds for my knees. Dr. Waldrop came in that day to visit. I told him of my night from HELL!  He sounded surprised. As if no one had contacted him. That even made me more angry!  The hospital representative came around to ask about our stay and if we had a good experience. Boy did I fill her ears! I didn’t hold back. She, at least knows how I feel about the situation! Dr. Waldrop said If Physical therapy thought I was ready, I could be released that day. Whew! I was ever so ready to get out! Physical Therapy came in. Walked me down one side of the hall and said “Yeah, she’s ready.”  So we started packing up and were out of there Friday afternoon. The nurse, Laura, was supposed to set us up for physical therapy at their LaGrange facility. She said she would call us early Monday. Monday around 2:00pm we had not heard from Laura. So we called the LaGrange facility ourselves and set up an appointment that afternoon. and then Wednesday and Friday. Laura called us back Thursday and said I’m calling to set up your physical Therapy. I told her I had already been to two appointments.  So we were not real thrilled with Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital. The pain of this surgery has really taken me aback. I trusted drugs. I always thought I would be given something that would knock out the pain….. Wrong! I swear I take placebos!!!  I tried to go without taking the pain pills, substituting Advil. That was even worse. So I guess the “Placebos” do work to an extent.  They take the pain down to an almost bearable level. I really work hard in Physical Therapy. They say I’m doing great. I certainly hope so. But the pain is so intense.  I also had a fluke where a chunk of skin just fell off my calf in the back. I don’t remember being scraped or anything. Now I have a raw spot the size of a dime. Very strange. My legs are so sore because they are bruised from ankle to knee. I look like that guy who was in that movie with Kathy Bates, “Misery” . LOL  My knees cramp up. It feels like thay ball up at the knee into a tight ball. Hurts to walk when they do that. I am over taking the shots in the stomach to prevent blood clots. Wow, those were awful. Dennis had to give them to me. They burned and made me nauseas. But necessary…I sure didn’t want a blood clot! All the stress of my knee pain, or either all the pain meds is triggering migraines. I’ve had one every day for the past four days. Pretty severe headaches. I can handle the knee pain. It is horrible and very uncomfortable. But a migraine is a pain that is out of the world. It is an uncontrollable terror. A monster that lurks. Always ready to come out and destroy you.  It’s a catch 22 with the meds. Dr. McDonald says that If I take Immitrex  too many days in a row or too often, it will cause rebound headaches.  My problem is when I have a huge migraine threatening. How do I NOT take the meds I feel have the best shot of getting rid of it. Even if temporary.  I really don’t know what else to do. If I don’t take the Immitrex I usually end up at the Emergency room or the Summit Urgent Care.  Oh well, just hope the Monster stays in tonight Smile I am truly blessed with the best family and friends. Dennis has amazed. He has cared for me so well. I love him so much. And my sisters have been so good to me. Not letting me cook, clean, or do laundry. They have been so attentive. My kids both work full-time now, but I sure appreciate the time they have taken to check on me. And the friends who have brought food and helped with errands etc. I am forever grateful!
Postnote: I am glad to say I no longer have Cankles. LOL The swelling has gone down in my ankles since surgery. But they still hurt very badly because of the bruises.



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