ACL Reconstruction Surgery is Worse Than Childbirth

It's been exactly a month since I plopped myself down on the surgical table at Edward hospital to replace the ACL that I had torn off a year ago while barefoot water skiing.  I scored a bonus with the anesthesiologist who was a former water skier-- we talked about water sports before he sent me off to the place in la-la land with glass calm waters.

When I woke  up, I was feeling great.  This surgery was a piece of cake!  I wasn't feeling any pain, thanks to a nerve block that the water-skiing doc had inserted in my leg.

But on the third day...

Holy freaking moly.

I think I swore something a little more spicier than that. Painkillers didn't do a thing. In fact, I had the same situation after the cesarean births of my two older kids--  I remember hitting the morphine pump over and over in the hospital, wondering why I wasn't getting any relief.  The nurse would come in and tell me that I was at the highest dose, and I'd just have to wait for the next one to kick in.  But the morphine didn't kick in. The pain was pretty searing. The doc prescribed Vicodin and sent me home.  I took it twice, to try and deal with the pain and nadda. Nothing.  But because I was breastfeeding, I didn't want to take the drugs anyway, so I resigned myself to dealing with the pain.

The next time I was prescribed a painkiller was after an incident where my back gave out completely and I couldn't walk.  This time, they sent me home with two different scripts. Neither of them worked.  I ended up taking Motrin, which seemed to take the edge off for two days.  After that, I just dealt with the pain for three weeks until the healing was complete. Perhaps I'm one of the few that has pain receptors that are warped: When Painkillers Don't Work.

And then came the ACL surgery and the fading of the nerve block.  Eight days of pretty intense pain. I thought maybe I was a pain wimp, but a friend who had the same surgery was getting relief from his painkillers and still whimpering.

And plus, I had my third kiddo at home.  Talk about pain.  Fourteen hours of labor and a nine-pound kid with a big head... But I think recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery is worse than childbirth.  With childbirth, I used hypnotherapy and I had a break between contractions.  And... the difference... if I had to go through eight days of labor at least it would result in a cute, wriggly little bundle to cuddle.

What do you get from eight days of recovery from ACL reconstruction? A swollen knee and the introduction of physical torture, er, therapy.

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