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Bionic Ankle

It’s 6:12 am, Eastern time, that is, as I begin writing this post.  An hour later than home, but I’m not at home.  I’m two hours away, nestled on my in-laws’ couch. right leg elevated.

The deed…it has been done.

I arrived at the surgical center yesterday afternoon for my 2pm check-in time.

That, by no way, meant surgical time, mind you.  They were all about filling out more paperwork…signing my life away to the procedure I was about to have…paying my portion of the bill that the insurance didn’t cover.  Let’s just take a moment to praise insurance, though.  I know a lot of people bemoan it, but I have good insurance, so I cannot complain.

I had to do the pee-in-a-cup thing, because all women within the childbearing age span get to have this fun experience…just in case.  For the record, I’m not.  Thank goodness.  😉

Then, I was whisked away to a hospital bed to begin preparing for surgery.

I loved my English-accent speaking nurse.  She was so gentle, listened to my fears about needles, and gently got my IV ready.  She assured me that I’d be given medicine for post-surgery nausea, which I have a tendency to suffer from.

The Mr. got brought back to me, and we did some waiting.

A lot of it, actually.

Chicky arrived about an hour after we got there, and she did some waiting with us.

I hadn’t seen her since January; her presence made me so happy.  I love this girl so much, but our lives don’t often intersect with her being a super teacher down south and, in general, living life on her own.

The anesthesiologist came by for a chat. Can we all say a Praise the Lord for this profession?  I think that all who enter are screened for great personalities.  I’ve never met one I didn’t like.  He was kind and funny.  And uber professional.  He knew his stuff…knew about my procedure…and set my fears at rest.

We discussed my having a nerve block that would last about 24 hours after surgery.  I couldn’t sign that paperwork fast enough, let me tell you.  I am brave about some things; pain is not one of those things.

He left, and we waited.

And waited.

Periodically, there would be people who would visit my “room…” nurses who would ask me to repeat my name, birth date, and which procedure / which leg I was having work done on.  I wanted to say, “the one with the cast,” but I was being nice.  Ahem.

Chicky left to get her and the Mr. some food…and to visit her Grandmama and utilize her washing machine.  Priorities, folks!

While she was gone, my surgeon came by.  This man though.  He had been so frustrated with me at my first visit for clawing myself to the point where we had to delay surgery that I was a little scared.

I didn’t ask him the questions I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

I’ll ask those questions when I got back for my first post-op visit on the 1st.

He did write on my right toes, though.  I believe I saw him make a smiley face on my big toe.

He was all smiles himself as he described the procedure.  His bedside manner was on point and soothed my heart.  He promised to be back as soon as he did one short procedure for another patient.  The man was busy!

Meanwhile, we waited a little bit more.

I was so very tired.

And scared.

I’m not going to lie, but I grew more scared the longer we waited.

The Mr. did his best to calm me down.  He didn’t want my heart rate to go too fast and delay surgery.

He spoke words of encouragement…words I desperately needed to hear.

He offered me my phone, which he NEVER does, to distract me.  I was too tired to do much besides read a few text messages and Facebook posts.  I quickly handed it back to him.

His main job during surgery was going to be keeping our friends and family updated.

Finally, they began to wheel me back to pre-op.  The Mr. gave me a hug before I left.  I wanted him to stay with me.  That man had been the center of my world this past week…my rock.

Off I went, though, to a room that was divided into sections…each dedicated to its own surgery.

I had heart monitors attached to my chest, some sort of thing put on my leg to check impulses (I never once felt it), and other cords fastened every which way.

I even had an oxygen tube stuck under my nose.  Things were getting very real.  Very fast.

Heck, I felt like I was going to be on one of those hospital drama shows you see on TV.

Ha!

The nurse placed my right leg on a high table in preparation for the anesthesiologist.  He was going to do the nerve block before surgery.

I got really, really scared.

He’d told me that he would be giving me three shots and an extra one in my big toe to ensure that all of my nerves would be given the pain-free juice I’d need.

I.

Hate.

Needles.

And pain.

Did I mention that?

Y’all are not going to believe this, but I slept through the entire thing!

I kid you not.

The fatigue of not sleeping well the night before and a long day of anticipation had worn me out.

Maybe they put a little something something in my IV too.  Who knows.  I’d signed away my life, so it’s possible.

I woke up as the nurse was removing my oxygen tube.  My leg was off the table and completely numb.

Praise Jesus!

I was then wheeled into the operating room.

One operating room.

With lots of big lights.

I remember looking up and wondering about the pattern of the individual light bulbs in each light.

Yeah.  I had some happy drugs, I think.

I was introduced to someone who was prepping a surgical table.  I don’t remember his name.  He turned and waved.

I was moved from the bed I was wheeled in on to a surgery table.  I had to help move my body over.  That was interesting.

Then, I laid back as some sort of mask was held over my nose and mouth…not tight…just enough to breath into.

I thought that I’d never fall asleep.

Ha!

Out I went like a light.

I slowly came to in a recovery room, a different nurse at my side.

My throat hurt so badly.  She told me that they’d put a tube down my throat during surgery.

Thank heavens I was out for that.  I don’t think I would have liked that.

She gave me red Gatorade to sip on and began helping me get dressed.

I’m glad I had taken my leopard print Victoria Secret bra with me.  One must always be fashionable…even when having surgery.  You never know who’s going to see your underclothes.

The Mr. was brought back to see me.  I think he was smiling.  Chicky was there too.  Most of my heart  was there in that room.  I know the others were with me in spirit.

While the nurse was out of the room gathering paperwork, the Mr. told me that the doctor has spoken to him after the surgery.  He’d said that it had gone well, but that he’d discovered that my bones are very brittle.  He’d had some difficulty getting the pins inserted because of this.

As you know, I’ve been a vegan since 2016.  I don’t eat any animal products, which means I have to find creative ways to get protein and calcium.

Apparently, I’ve done a terrible job of this.  I will not be moving away from my vegan lifestyle.  It suits my tummy and other innards well.  What I will be doing, and what the Mr. has already begun doing, is researching how to put more calcium into my body organically.  I don’t do supplements.  My stomach cannot handle them, and I know the body doesn’t process them well.  I will probably have to up my caloric intake.  That’s another issue I need to deal with.

The doctor told the Mr. that my ankle injury was an accident waiting to happen.  As such, I know that I need to make changes quickly so I don’t incur another such injury.  I do not want to be an old lady who has to have hip replacement surgery.

When the nurse returned, she gave me a lot of detailed instructions.  I love that she looked right at me and spoke to me.  She was just so amazing.  The Mr. and Chicky listened on closely.  They knew I’d remember exactly 10% of it.

One cool thing was that she recognized me from the Mr.’s parents’ church.  How weird is that?  We attended it twenty years ago when we lived here and have been back yearly for Christmas Eve services.  My in-laws are very, very active in the church.  I’ve been on more than one prayer chain of late.

God is so wonderful when He makes connections like that.

She gave me lots of paperwork.  Among them were copies of my x-rays.

Y’all, they look like pictures from Frankenstein’s surgery.

There are many, many pins inside of my little leg.

Many.

There’s a plate in there somewhere.  I’m going to have the doctor show me where during my next visit.  It’s on the inside of my leg, but I don’t know where to find it on the x-ray.

Regardless, it was an intense repair, and it’s going to require much healing.  God is the GREAT physician, so I’m not worried.

Finally, it was time to leave.  She wheeled me out.  I had been the last surgery of the day.  It was both dark and cold.  I shivered like crazy.

Fortunately, the car was warm, and the Mr. gently navigated us back to his parents’ house.

What a loving reception I got.  These people have cared for me through so much…so many times when I have been unlovable.  I am so grateful for their unconditional love…something I never had growing up and something that’s been hard to accept all of these years.

The Mr. left fairly quickly.  He’d been driving back and forth to care not only for me but for our fur babies back home.  I hated that he was driving so late, but that’s what love does. ❤

Meanwhile, the in-laws gave us instructions on how to use their remote controls and how to turn off the light switches.  It can get complicated, y’all, I kid you not.  Then, they headed to bed.   They were slap worn out from the long day as well.

Meanwhile, Chicky had been assigned babysitting duties. She was to be my night nurse, relegated to the long couch.

She was wonderful.

I got hungry, so she found some crackers for me.

That was only the start.  She then fixed me a can of soup and got me a glass of orange juice.  Strange combo, I know, but when you’ve been through what I have this past week, you don’t question such requests.

Then, after a couple of trips to the potty, we were set to go.

We watched a bit of TV…an episode of Timeless, which I’ll have to rewatch when I get home because I had a hard time focusing on it…before turning out the light.

I slept pretty good and mainly woke up for my pain meds.  By 5:30, though, I’d had enough.  I had to sit up and catch up on my social media.

I needed to blog before the words were forgotten in the haze of pain and medicine.

I’m starting to feel the effects of the nerve block wearing off.

That’s a good and a bad thing.  The good is that I’ll be able to feel my toes again, which will make me feel less claustrophobic.

The bad is…well…the pain.

You might remember that I don’t like pain.

I am already feeling it on the inside of my ankle…the part I obliterated.  It’s the side that now houses a plate.  I feel as though I have a bionic ankle now.  Ha!

So, I’m asking you to continue praying, if you will.

This pain is going to be no joke.

It’s going to require that I pull up my big girl pants and deal, the best I can.

My goal is to return to work on Monday.  I don’t know how, but I am determined.

I’d like to see the pain reduced a bit before I go in.

I’ll probably be in a wheelchair.  Crutches and me…we are slowly getting to be friends.  I’ll be renting a scooter as soon as the doctor gives me the green light.  That’s when the fun will begin.

Please pray for the Mr.  He stresses.  A lot.  About everything.

He’s a good man.  He’s typical, though, and has a need to see things fixed.

He hates to see people in pain…especially those he loves.

This injury has reminded us both of so much.

We need each other desperately, especially now that our kids are grown and living their own lives elsewhere.

He’s usually been the sick one of the two of us.  I’ve been the caretaker.

Oftentimes, not a great one; frustration and impatience are my enemies.

Not so after this.

Though the Mr. has gotten frustrated, he’s balanced it with attention to detail.  That man has come home from the grocery store only to hear me vocalize a desire for orange juice, which I must have dreamed about while napping while he was gone, and then he has left again to pick up a gallon.

Just because he wanted me happy.

He’s a gem, and he’s all mine, ladies.

I might be willing to rent him out for a small fee, though.  We have a rehearsal dinner to pay for and medical bills to recoup from.

Ha!

Seriously, though, I am still finding #joyinthejourney through the ups and downs I’ve encountered since my fall on the 13th.

God allowed this to happen to me.  Though I cannot fully understand all of the why’s of it, I continue to trust Him.

Please pray as I continue down the road of recovery.  I know it’s going to be very difficult at times, but God prepared me through my year of fitness gains, my return to Him in my Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, and my strengthened relationship with my husband.

I.

Am.

Blessed.

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