Now the Rehab Begins: Surgery Story Part 2

Me with my anesthesiologist, Dr. ….
What a strange experience!

And just so you know, this post has been typed with my left hand, so all missed spelling errors can be attributed to that.

And I'm also taking percocet, so any confusion or in-congruencies can be attributed to that.

Prep, of course, starts the day before. And because I'm lucky enough to have a boss like KStar, I get some inside information on getting me healing process started off right. He gives me instructions on how to use the H-Wave machine, how to adjust my sling for better lymph circulation, and what to look forward to in the first week and after.

Also, his explicit instructions to eat super, low carb Paleo clean. "But I just bough two bags of Milano cookies for tomorrow!" I whine. I get an eye roll and am told to eat them now.


You're STILL taking pictures of me??

I felt very taken care of going into surgery. You can see a pic of me with me my anesthesiologist above right before the nurse put my IV in. Once the IV is in, I get to walk to the surgery room, which has a cross shaped bed that I lay down on. They give me some medicine to calm me down as they test out the nerves they'll need to block. I feel my arms and muscles in my side and back twitching, then…

… I'm waking up in a chair in the patient recovery room.

Coming out of anesthesia for me was like waking up to a bad hangover, minus the pain. The foggy head, the exhaustion, the lethargy, feeling like my limbs were made of lead. There were nurses all around doing this and that, the anesthesiologist came by. I'm told my orthopedist came by. I was being given instructions, to which I would just close my eyes and try to defer their attention to ManFriend.

Eventually I was wheeled out and helped into our car to be taken home. It was still light outside.

For the first week, I have to keep it pretty chill. After all, it is raw bone in there. So no training (duh), no overhead (duh). What I found interesting is the insistence on using the prescribed pain medication. Reasoning being that when someone feels pain, the subconsciously tense up against it and will create all kinds of adhesions over time. And while when I wake up it's really not so much painful as just tender and sore, I guess I'm just going to take my percocet and be dizzy for a week or so.

And I have all these contraptions:

The top pic is of an H Wave machine that stimulates the muscles. This is helpful for two reasons: 1) muscel contraction is what drives the lymphatic system and will keep swelling down and 2) you want to start the muscles contracting as best as you can post surgery so that the scar tissue fibers align themselves in a way that won't cause mobility issues down the road. 

The bottom two pics are of a cold therapy machine that they brought to my house and set up on me while I was still pretty out of it on percocet. Just another way to keep inflammation down. 

Side note: In my current situation, where the trauma isn't that great, I'm with KStar on the movement and compression to keep swelling down. Just as a tell athletes to avoid ibuprofen, icing also blocks prostaglandin production and while there are "good" and "bad" prostaglandins in terms of muscle recovery, blocking all of them will only stunt your growth. I've been sleeping and napping in the H wave device, and using a compression sleeve and squishy therapy balls for my arms otherwise. 

Monday I see the surgeon and he'll check me for any infection and see when I can get my stitches taken out. I should also be having my first physical therapy session on Monday, so I can get the exercises that I can do while in Texas to start the path back to lifting again.