Sunday, October 13, 2013

Surgery..a first for me

Once the prognosis of a torn meniscus came my way I knew I wanted to get it repaired ASAP to begin the road to recovery. I was referred to Dr Chris Wahl - Chief of UCSD Sports Medicine Orthopedics.  Sounded good to me and after "checking" him out the feedback was good.  I felt fortunate to get an appt 2 days later and was blown away by the offices.  Not just the decor of the  "Concierge" medicine I believe they call it  with wood floors, covered walls and leather couches, but also personalized amazing service...impressed on all fronts. 

I was there for over 90 minutes and the team was thorough.  From the RN to the PA to the Dr.  They all thoroughly examined, explained and discussed all options.  By the time Dr W said we have 3 options. 1, the conservative approach - I cut him off and said I want aggressive, I want to be running by December and racing in March, doable  We skipped the details of option 1 and 2 (as he later told the resident he suspected would be the case) 

He showed me the MRI and the flap tear and the cyst which looked huge ( big cherry/small apricot) and was clearly displacing my hamstring.  Plan was 1- shave off the flap on the meniscus and "clean up" necessary parts 2- remove the cyst, which generally is not the protocol  (as having surgery just to remove a cyst is a bit much and they opt to drain it) but since I was already having surgery he did not want any risk of it coming back.

How soon can we do this?  Day after tomorrow....gulp, okay, Friday it is.

Instructions- no food/drink after midnight.  No issue as I go to bed at 9.  Wash entire body with antiseptic skin drying  soap, clean towel and pj's and I assumed no spooning with Mako that night.  Up at 4:30 to tire the dogs, another leg shower with antiseptic really, really skin drying  soap and clean clothes.  Riley was up and ready to go at 5:30 and off we went.

Checked in at 6 am and the staff was equally impressive.  Friendly and helpful.  Signed 1000 papers, had to explain my interpretation of the surgery to 3 different people.  Soon Dr W stopped in calm and collected to see if I had questions. In my gown, slippers and hat I walked into the OR, which was freezing and laid down. Dr W said I had my game face on. My eyes were wide and I was apprehensive and nervous, yes a bit like before a race. Anesthesiologist tells me I will feel light headed and I wonder how one feels light headed laying down but sure enough I did and that was it for me. Apparently shortly there after Dr W asked I was feeling and I say " like I am about to bonk at mile 20 of the marathon"  #orhumor 

And then I was waking up.  Bizarre.... best sleep I have had in months.  I don't remember much but soon I was released with a full compression stocking over a massive gauze
no this is not me- 
wrapping around my knee.  I walked out and off we went.  I was a bit nauseous but that soon passed and we stopped for coffee and bagels on the way home.   Since then I have been camped out on the couch.  Leg on a pillow and this cool Cryo/Cuff Cooler that filters ice water + compression onto my knee.  As long as I don't move much, take anti-inflammatory + pain meds and ice hourly I am okay.  When I do get up I can walk unattended it day 1/2 it was the cyst incision that hurt the most but today it the meniscus. 


Instructions were little movement day 1 and 2 to ensure no excess bleeding and today I can move a bit more.  Oddly today I feel a bit worse. Sleeping is a bit of a challenge and I may just be tired.   I am starving... already had eggs and kale + green tea and it was delicious.

Riley has been amazing... taking care of the dogs, me, cooking, cleaning and getting me what I need.  Mom and Dad each delivered dinner one night so we are well fed for sure. 

Tomorrow I can drive- woo hoo...not sure I will as the swelling and bandage make it hard. I am not coaching as I definitely cannot stand on deck for an hour.  Tuesday I take off the gauze and can shower!  yeah.....leave the steri-strips on until Thur when I see Dr W. All sutures are on the inside which is good. 

Per Dr W surgery went great.....he cleaned up the flap and shaved of what looked like shag carpeting so it's nice and smooth and cleaned up the underside of the knee cap while he was there.  Glad he took the cyst out as some cartridge had started to form, not good. It was big... He called me Friday night from his personal cell to give me an update and said I can call anytime with questions or concerns.  

And there you have it!  hoping to start PT asap and get an idea of when I can resume training.