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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Surgery Follow-Up Today

I was allowed to leave my house today for the first time since I had surgery. It was almost exciting! I was FINALLY  allowed to see it for the first time (thanks mom!).
He had taken pictures when he operated and he showed them to my mom and my fianc√© and my mom says “She doesn’t need to see that”. Mind you mom has a very hard time with anything that looks painful. When I woke up after surgery and spoke with the surgeon I was told the files had already been sent over to his office. WTH Doc? I didn’t find out until the next day he didn’t show them to me because my mom told him not to. Really? I mean I am a 33 year old woman who ran fire and rescue for many years for many counties. I like the weird and gory stuff. More importantly I want to see what you did; after all I am the one paying you! Steaming mad Rant over.
So here we are two weeks later on my first venture out of the house and my fist time using the knee scooter since last May. They called me back before I got bored. Nice nurse lady unwraps the outer bandages but leaves splint and all the still wrapped gauze and goodies before getting me on the x-ray table. x-rays were crazy looking as usual they had replaced the butterfly plate and all of the screws. There are also the fittings where external fixation device was drilled into the bones.
Then came the moment of truth. Doc comes in unwraps and cuts and pulls and … most of it comes off and what I see is not as bad as I was expecting. Took quite a few bottles of water, some pulling, and some serious work to get the one blob of gauze that was under the top rod and cemented to my skin. Little bit of cleaning, checking stitches, and adjusting the pins with a wrench- yes boys and girls, he pulled out his tool and started playing with my nuts.
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I expected to see this big scary thing, but it reminds me of an erector set I had once. Mind you this is the outside piece.

It still looks like this on the inside. But with the addition of the pins from the outside that are drilled into the bone too.
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This was not an easy surgery. It was the most painful by far. The good news is, he decided to hold off on the hard cast for another 2 weeks since I did everything I was supposed to (which was a whole lot of nothing). I was fortunate when it comes to the bone stimulator that I expected my insurance to deny as they have every other piece of medical equipment I have needed over the last 5 years. Turns out they expected this too which is why they ordered it before the surgery that we had to postpone. It’s approved and I was sent home with it. This is amazing news because I looked these things up online and the cheapest used one I could find was almost $600.00, new they run well over $1200.00. All it is is a tiny ultrasound machine with a 1 inch diameter electrode.
When it comes to the bone stimulator, I have to go into a hard cast because it needs direct skin contact and the doctor doesn’t want me unwrapping my foot every day and risk causing damage. The hard cast is built around the stimulator port… essentially it’s a cast with a port hole. Really wishing they had thought of this when I broke my back in all of 6 places that never healed correctly.
I follow up in two weeks and get my cast then.

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