My eyes felt so heavy. I felt my body moving around and looked down at my leg. It was finished. I had a huge black brace that extended from the middle of my thigh down to my left ankle. Underneath it, there was an ace bandage that was just as long as the brace. I kept slipping in and out of awareness. I don't know how much time had gone by, but knew that I couldn't get my eyes to open for anything in the world. I vaguely heard the nurses and my husband in the background. I remember sipping some ginger ale through a straw for a fleeting moment. The nurses were dressing me, sitting me up and I don't remember much else until a brief moment when I was being hoisted up to our car from a wheelchair. I remember feeling that it was cold outside. The car ride home is a blur, most of which I don't remember anything at all. I barely remember how I got to the bed at home and that my parents had come over. I must have fallen asleep for a few hours because my next waking thought was the horrible pain in my knee. I don't know what time it was, maybe 2 or 3 in the morning, and I was waking up my husband, crying out in pain. I set alarms on my cell phone for all the different times I had to take my antibiotics, painkillers, and aspirin. I was faithful about taking the painkillers every 4 hours for about 3 days before I felt really weird and loopy from them, at which point I switched to 500mg Tylenol as needed for the pain. I remember that the hardest part was forcing my leg to go from being horizontal (i.e. laying in bed all day and night) to vertical because the blood flow wasn't cooperating and after standing for about 1 minute, I felt as if my thigh was literally sliding down through my knee down into my shin.
Physical therapy started 2 days after surgery - my level of pain reached new heights that I didn't think were possible. This is coming from someone who has never given birth, so I suppose my tolerance for pain is pretty low. The doctor prescribed therapy for 3x a week. On my 'off' days from going to therapy, I need to all the exercises at least 4x a day. It is hard to believe the therapist when they say that I'll be running in a few months time, since I feel like I'm moving (literally) at a snail's pace.
One thing is for certain: I didn't know what to expect after the surgery but not sleeping throughout the night and being in more pain than when I actually tore my ACL were not on my list of possible after effects. I am just now (17 days post surgery) starting to not be in pain anymore from the surgery and much of the swelling has subsided, although there is still some lingering inflammation. This week, the best part has been to finally be able to sleep through the whole night. Amen to that.
|1 day after injury. Looked better than it felt!|
|17 days after surgery. Looks worse than it feels!|