Yesterday I had a pre-surgical face-to-face with my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Michael Collins, of Hinsdale Orthopedics. I dragged Steve. Dr. Collins is all business: I have seen him for four years, and my consolidated time with him would not add up to 30 minutes. I am a knee to him. He is God to me, or at least to my knee. The relationship is a little unbalanced- but he will hold my future in his hands, so I am content to give him the authority and respect. I had my scope when Steve was in California last year, so my girlfriends took me and got the post-op report that he couldn’t help me. I was bone on bone. This year, I hope Steve will get a great report about how well I tolerated the surgery, and how perfectly the custom made knee prosthesis slipped into place. I am counting on him to recall any details, because I figure I will be taking a “time-out” on coherence. Hello, narcotics!
Before my scope- not a good look.I expect to replicate it on Monday.
I am set to go on Monday morning. My general practitioner gave me a pass, and there was nothing that alarmed the surgeon. My cold is fading. My blood is banked. My blood pressure, historically rock steady, has been feisty, though. I guess I am a little nervous.
Steve never missed a broadcast when we had kids- he blabbed to Larry Lujack with Garry Meier as Pat was attempting to make his entrance- which happened at 10:13 pm. I know he was annoyed that the kid could not bow in during his show. There was a moment when I told him that if he called in once more, I would take the baby and run. Mike and Matt arrived after Steve’s work. Now Steve is temporarily his own boss, but he still does not wish to miss a podcast. This is an area of concern for me. He is pre-recording Monday’s show as I type.
The day after surgery is historically the most difficult, because the half life of the anesthesia is gone, and the novocaine that is injected into the knee has disappeared. I will be on a morphine pump, IV fluids and antibiotics, and various machines to exercise my leg and drain the incision. I foresee a difficult journey to the washroom. I think I would like to see a familiar face as my bare butt slides to this challenge. We will have to work out this conflict of interest. I do not want to fester and foment if Steve is home podcasting…I explained this to him this morning, and I know he gets it. Now we will have to adapt and adjust as my reality becomes clear.
I have bought baggy sweat pants to wear, and magazines to read. I will have to buy and hide some form of chocolate and junk food to give me a reason to live in Steve’s diet world. My friends are standing by to fill in when Steve is needed to cheer on his teams. Just in case my wits survive intact, I have loaded many books into my Kindle. I will have a great excuse for doing nothing- the blood thinners will require me to stay at home, lolly gagging. I am going to reintroduce chick flix to the Netflix queue so I can be entertained from the couch. The dogs will have to have reduced boundaries, and they will be very mad. But they say dogs have no sense of time, so they will forget it. And this summer, I will be able to take them for walks, at long last. I figure they will forgive.
I am the only patient on Monday- the other knee replacement cancelled. So I will arrive at the hospital at 5:30, scrubbed with hibiclens antimicrobial, antiseptic skin cleanser. I do not wish to bring home MRSA as a parting gift! My doctor warned me that he wears a basic haz mat suit and helmet to prevent infection. I hope I am WAY under the anesthesia, because I think that memory of my surgeon would make for a bad dream. The anesthesia will start at 7, and by 10:00 am I should be in recovery. By 12:00 I will be in my bed. Not bad for a day’s work. The doctor has to return to the office. I will get to indulge in morphine dreams.
I am staying busy all weekend- my friend has a concert, my nephew is in the orchestra for his high school’s Evita production, and we have tickets to the Sox for Sunday. Steve says he cannot compound my pain by taking me to see Ozzie’s boys play badly in the rain- but we shall see. Hopalong Jan is facing weeks of enforced togetherness. We should take any opportunity to live outside our borders.