Today was the day for removing the dressing from my knee. It looks good. Well, no, it doesn’t look good; I take that back. What I mean is it looks like it is healing normally, and is not inflamed or open anywhere. I knew it was going to be a big incision but it is even longer than I anticipated – perhaps 6 or 7 inches, with staples at regular intervals holding the wound together.
When I removed the dressing, it also revealed something I completely forgot about. Prior to the surgery, the surgeon came by to see me. Along with everyone else involved, he verified my name and date of birth (I think I was asked 5 or 6 times), then he affirmed the surgery he was going to perform and the leg he was going to perform it on.
Although it was obvious which was the correct leg at the time since I had a knee brace still on it, I none-the-less appreciated the measures taken to prevent the dumbest of errors. He then signed his name above the knee he was going to work on. His autograph is still there on my thigh.
I was also visited by a doctor from the anesthesia team. They had planned to give me a general anesthesia. I asked if a spinal was an option and he said if the surgeon was ok with it, it would be appropriate. After I was wheeled into the operating room, and I transferred over to the table, they came back and said they were going ahead with the spinal.
I was given some variety of sedative along with the spinal, so, although I wasn’t entirely “asleep”, I was certainly out of it and the next thing I was really aware of was the nurse in recovery introducing herself to me. I had to stay in recovery until I was able to wiggle my toes a little bit. Curiously I was able to move my left leg some before I could move my toes. She also pressed a bag of ice against my body at various points, and asked if I could feel the cold. It seemed that over time, I could feel the cold further and further down my body. I also experienced some minor itching during that time.
Back up in my room, my nurse had water, a turkey sandwich and some cookies waiting for me. At this point I hadn’t had anything to drink in close to 24 hours (although they did have an IV in me for several hours before surgery), and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that sandwich!