Saturday, March 22, 2014

Post Surgery Review

Hello everyone. Surgery #4 was done last week and it’s time for an update. This was the surgery that removed and replaced the internal butterfly plate and 7 screws. Then he went on to attach external fixation devices (2 I believe) which looks kind of like this:

external fixationexcept I have one on each side of my foot. I can only guess what it looks like until my follow up appt next Thursday because the doctor was told not to show me the pictures so he sent them on to the office before I woke up from surgery.

This was not an easy operation, it took around 5 hours. This was my second in-patient surgery on this foot. I am pleased to say that I had a great team of nurses with a clean hospital. This was the opposite of the horrible night I spent at St. Mary’s Hospital (Richmond, VA) for my last surgery.

There are no words to describe how thankful I am for the amazing nurses at Mary Washington Hospital (Fredericksburg VA). From my 3 a.m. request for coffee to my being able to use crutches to go into the bathroom they were on the ball.

I was pleased to see that my doctor (Dr. Facaros Ortho Specialty Clinic) hung around after surgery to let me know how things went. (My last surgeon: Dr. Brown at West End Orthopedics left after surgery and I didn’t know how it went until the next day.) And compared to the the last hospital, Mary Washington’s Operating room was clean and up to date with their equipment.

Okay time to stop comparing my old surgeon and his crappy hospital to the new guy and my new hospital.

As far as surgery goes, I was warned this was going to hurt more than anything I have been through. Not that I didn’t believe the surgeon, but I experienced a level of pain I never knew existed.

Thanks to my awesome nurses the first 2 days of pain was manageable. I was not doing too bad when I got home on Friday afternoon. I was exhausted because I couldn’t fall asleep in the hospital, the few times I did I jerked awake and that caused the foot to move so I gave up. Friday I slept when I got home. And I slept through the night. I noticed a lot of my MS symptoms popping up which I knew could happen after surgery.

Saturday however was the day I woke up in so much pain that I wanted to die. Every inch of my body was swollen and painful. I knew my leg/ foot would hurt. I did not expect my face to be swollen and painful. I was miserable and that was the day I discovered child birth paled in comparison to this surgery. It was hard to determine the difference between my MS flare up and an infection of the surgery. It was a miserable day that got worse as it went on.

Sunday I woke up with less pain in my body and ended up spending the day in bed reading a book and doing a whole lot of nothing (which is what I needed to do). The MS crap started to ease up some and I was not as miserable.

Here we are day 9 after surgery and I am still not allowed to do anything but sit around with my foot elevated. The new thing that sucks is that I can go all day with no problems aside from pain which is expected, then around 5 pm EVERY DAMN NIGHT, my foot starts swelling and getting very uncomfortable. This leads to more pain meds and having to lay flat on my back with my leg straight up in the air… yeah not very comfy. Soon as I put down my leg onto my wedge pillow, it swells again.

One thing that has popped up I wasn’t expecting was what appeared to be a UTI. After my kids both got sick and ended up sharing their sinus infection with me. Discovered today that the cloudy/ weird smelling urine is actually a side effect of Percocet. Who knew?

I am going in on Thursday next week to follow up with the surgeon. if all goes according to plan, after 8 weeks we will schedule surgery #5 to remove the outer hardware. Then another 12-16 weeks recovery and hopefully I will be walking again. No amount of pain in the world would have stopped me from having this surgery. I am terrified of being in a wheelchair, and it was a no brainer at the time because my foot was literally falling apart.


That being said, had I known the amount of pain I woke up in Saturday, I would not have gone through with this surgery… but I am glad it’s over and I hope with all hopes that this works. My surgeon was great. I am hoping this continues. I was impressed with the hospital and the nursing staff at 5 west (zone I was in). Though this whole thing has sucked, I am hoping the worst is over.