On the Road to Recovery…Posted: July 3, 2011
Okay, after the very confusing and somewhat stressful posts I made earlier in the week, I feel as if I owe some sort of explanation.
We’ll begin with the day of my surgery, which began at Good Sam Hospital in mid-Wilshire at about 8 am. That meant we had to be there at 6. Ugh.
We checked in okay, though I took exception with the paperwork that listed me as “Single” but in a domestic partnership. I made them change that. Then change it again when they kept getting it wrong.
We we through pre-op with no issues and everyone was really nice. The surgeon came in and made some grumbly noises about my left leg losing more tone, etc… but overall things looked good. They wheeled me into the freezing OR, and then pushed the happy meds on me. That was all I remember for a while.
I am, by nature, a rather shallow breather, and add to that a significant issue with asthma, and folks tend to get excited when my sats drop low, which they did several times during the op.
So, now to the nerve and the leg and the paralysis, etc… apparently the left sciatic nerve was so compressed for so long that when it was uncompressed it went into shock. I had migrating parasthesias (migrating numbness) around both legs, but more significantly, could not move or feel my left leg at all. At one point (now this is well into the night past the surgery and the night staff is on duty) and I was 100% certain they’d cut off my leg. I couldn’t feel it at all, not by touching it, nothing.
The docs came in and told an overly medicated me (we’ll bet to that in a minute) that it could take from 3-weeks to six months in a wheelchair to recover nerve sensation. Six months in a chair!?
Let’s go back to the meds. Apparently the goal as to get me transferred up to post-op in no pain. So they hooked me up to the PCA, then gave me valium, then gave me Norco (vicodin with Tylenol #4). Then expected me to sit up and do some PT. At one point took a mouthful of milk, and fell asleep, milk still in mouth. I woke up and wondered what was in my mouth and was surprised to find milk in there! Sam happened for a bread roll later that day. I was WAYYY over medicated. So, of course, my solution was to go the other way and just take tylenol. Bad plan.
Finally, at 3:30 yesterday morning, we balanced it out and I came home.
So…one last thing, back to the leg. I cannot feel my left leg, though I am apparently able to move it in my sleep. I don’t have conscious control over the let, but am feeling a lot of pain through it as the nerves regenerate, which I am told is good (though painful). I have a cane and walker for short stints in the house, a wheelchair for longer trips out (which I have yet to do because sitting up with the massive cage in my back is difficult). I’ll post pics of that stuff when I’m awake again.
Thanks for the good thoughts.