Category Archives: Anesthesia

She’s Alive!!!

20130509-104136.jpgI made it – alive on the 6th floor at Hospital for Special surgery and beginning what will likely be a sloooooowwwww recovery.

Yesterday was a little wacky and pretty exhausting. I arrived at the hospital by 10am as instructed. Once I was admitted I waited about an hour (until 11am) before being taken back to pre-op/holding. I was told that I could expect to be in holding until 1230 as my surgery was scheduled to begin at 1 PM. Unfortunately, my surgery was delayed and I was not taken back to the operating room until around 4 PM. Since I had not eaten since the night before and was sitting in a room lit solely by fluorescent lightbulbs, I had developed a blazing headache/migraine. I was relieved when the anesthesiologist gave me “a little something take the edge off” on my way to the OR.

Unlike with the PAO, this time I was not under general anesthesia but rather had an epidural and regional anesthesia. As a result, I have a vague recollection of them inserting the epidural and leaning against one at the doctors, chatting while they did so. It was very strange. My doctor’s portion of the surgery lasted 2.5 hours but I was in the OR getting prepped and eventually having the incision closed for a total of about 4.5 hours.

When I finally woke up I was in the PACU (think ICU). The pain was well-managed and never reached beyond a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale. Just like last time, I had no feeling in my operated (left) leg but unlike last time, I also no feeling in my unoperated leg. They were both totally numb and as unwieldy as dead fish. The recovery room dr. turned off and eventually repositioned the epidural and I eventually regained about 80% sensation in my legs. I was released from the PACU and taken to my room at 4am.

This recovery already feels a little different from the last. For one thing, I can actually move the leg that was operated on. I can lift it and stretch it and while it hurts, it goes (with the PAO I couldn’t move the operated leg for weeks). Also, this time I feel less groggy – at least right now but that can certainly change. Then there’s the fact that my right leg does not move – I didn’t realize it until just this moment but I can’t move my non-operated leg. I’m assuming that’s just the epidural…hopefully.

Physical Therapist is coming by today, as is my surgeon, my husband and mom. I’m gonna take a nap, but will update tomorrow. Signing off for now, overlooking the East River from the 6th floor at HSS.

Beginning to recover

It’s the day after the big day and I am feeling surprisingly ok. Yesterday was rough, partly because of the surgery but also because I lost all feeling in my foot and lost the ability to move it. As it turns out, I had a reaction to the epidural that caused my foot to go totally numb. It may have been the meds or the placement of the epidural catheter itself but for about 12 hours it was unclear whether my foot was going to work again. However, the effect has mostly (thankfully) worn off and the foot is almost back to normal.

The surgery seems like it was pretty straightforward – 4 breaks to the pelvis and 4 very long screws. 4.5 hours. I finally made it into my own room at around 3pm. it is a shared room (though now i have it all to myself) overlooking the East River. Physical therapy had me up today, sitting on the side of the bed and walking with a walker. I have never been as fond of medical equipment as I was of that walker. I will update tomorrow on how it goes when I walk further and use crutches for the first time.

I am lying in bed with my leg in a CPM machine for about 8 hours/day. It moves the joint up to around 30 degrees in a continuous motion – strangely soothing. I expect to be at the hospital until Monday or Tuesday. My doctor feels that I am doing really well, although my blood count is low due to the blood I lost during surgery.

I cannot say thank you enough to everyone here at the hospital and my friends and family who have wished me a speedy recovery. A special thank you to Lauren from Hip Women and to the Rabbi who came especially to visit me!

I know that it is going to take a long time and I am at one of the first steps (and likely to have lots of stumbles), but I am really happy to be on the other side of this first surgery.
Photos of me in my room and of my view of my foot (the background is Queens).

20121214-180726.jpg

20121214-180746.jpg

Made it, mostly

Let me preface this post by saying it is going to be short and possibly a but incoherent.

So I made it though the surgery (yea!) – started around 9:00am, I would up somewhere around 1 or 2pm. Lots of pain. I then had a complication that has resulted with total numbness of my right foot, though it seems to be getting a bit better. I’ve been in the ICU getting poked and prodded – it does not seem like foot drop (look it up) which is good news. Hopefully it will clear up and I can move into a room tomorrow.

Better update (and photos) tomorrow but for now I try to sleep.

20121213-221744.jpg