As is expected post an extensive surgery, I've had a lot of people asking how I'm holding up. I love you all and really appreciate the concern. Also as is expected post surgery, I have been way too out of it to respond much. I figured I would just do a blanket update here so I don't have to repeat myself a hundred times.
Short recap: I have a condition called Miserable Malalignment. It's fairly uncommon, to the point where the majority of my nurses didn't know what it was. Nutshelled, it means that the bones in my legs were rotated in opposite directions, leaving none of my joints stacked, my knees on the inside of my legs, and me legally disabled in the state of Massachusetts. I made the decision last September to get a surgery so intense, it gave me a panic attack the first time I heard what it was. The surgery is called a rotational osteotomy and I needed four of them at once.
I won't lie, last week was actual hell. People kept telling me that it wouldn't be as bad as it was in my head but the truth of it was so, so much worse than anything I could have imagined. I'm doing my best to forget the hospital experience as quickly as I can. The trauma is severe.
The surgery I had is called a rotational osteotomy, which means they break the bone to rotate it and insert a metal rod. I had four - one per femur and per tibia/fibula on each leg - simultaneously. That means six concurrent broken bones. Needless to say, it was an overwhelming and extensive surgery.
I have a short list of things I learned during my six days in Loma Linda.
Don't ever get surgery during a holiday weekend. The doctors you need won't be accessible, there will be very few nurses, and it will be impossible to get your medication in a timely manner.
Make sure your nurses are 100% aware of what surgery you got. Otherwise, don't let them move your legs.
When no one believes you that you're resistant to painkillers, it will take no less than four angry adults (not including you) to get them to listen to you.
When they give you a level 0-10 pain scale, it is possible to reach a 15. It is also possible for your nurse to do nothing and leave you there. Twice. (Resulting in one nurse being written up.)
But then, when you find the one nurse that makes everything seem a little more okay, you'll be really thankful (and feel guilty) that she works twelve hour shifts.
Special thanks to Katie, who mommed me so hard. Dom, who provides impeccable moral support. Brian and Brittany, who drove so far not once but twice. Melissa, who came all the way from Arizona to love me. Vince, who brought flowers, laughs, and didn't mind that I almost immediately fell asleep. Ben and Charly, for sending the most beautiful flowers I've ever gotten. Emily, Brittany, the Santos, and Jay/Eugene/Kat, for the cards and care packages. My inexhaustible parents, for sitting up with me all night, bringing me smoothies, being my advocates and warriors. And Alex, the love of my life, who has gone so far beyond the call of duty, I will never be able to make it up to him. I couldn't have made it through any of this without him softly coaching me through some of the most humiliating moments I can even imagine.
I'm looking at many months of minimal movement and a lot of pain, hoping that my knees will bend one of these days and eventually relearning to walk. Since all my muscles, tendons, and skin are in different places, lord only knows when the pain will subside. Fingers crossed that it's sooner rather than later.
Anyone nearby enough to visit, I would love visitors basically whenever. I have a lot of time to kill.