Monday, June 29, 2009

First Post-op Appointment

Today was my first follow-up appointment. My entire leg has been wrapped up like a mummy since Tuesday, so I was really excited about getting all of that off and seeing my incisions!

I knew in advance that my OS would not be there. Instead, Dr. Bothwell's physician assistant, Bonnie saw me. I really like Bonnie. She has been the one who I talked to about all the coordination. She is readily available and knowledgeable--and she has great suture skills!

So, when they got it unwrapped, this is what we saw.

***weak stomachs---do not proceed!***

So, doesn't look too bad, right?

I have 3 incisions:
the largest one is anterior-4 inches long
below that and medial is a 3 inch incision
the 3rd incision is lateral, also about 3 inches

They took off all my steri-strips and replaced them with pretty clean white ones, then wrapped me up again and put my brace back on.

Bonnie was impressed that I went to class this morning. We talked about starting Physical Therapy (PT) this week.

Her goals for me were simple:
Non-weight bearing (NWB) for 5 more weeks
Elevate and ice as much as possible for a least the next week
60 degrees ROM on CPM
Start PT

Are you getting all the abbreviations?

I still must keep my incisions clean and dry but can take a shower sitting down without my brace on. We have found that using press and seal or plastic wrap keep it nice and dry. The part I hate most is sleeping with the big brace. It is heavy and cumbersome--not comfortable, nor romantic!

Next appointment, Wednesday, July 8th with Dr. Bothwell.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Study Time

I just had a BIG surgery!
I've heard that people lay around for a couple of weeks after this but no, not me!
It's not that I wouldn't like to catch up on TV shows and watch movies all day or read a great book; NOPE I get to listen to the lecture that I missed on Thursday while I was still in the hospital!

I was tired of taking up the entire couch so I made a nice nest on the floor in the living room. I am pretty comfortable there with everything within reach.

I hope to be in class Monday morning. Luckily, it's just a half day since I have my first follow-up appointment.

Matt is working the weekend, but Mom and the pups are near by if I need anything!

A big THANK YOU to my friend Eva Marie who brought a wonderful homemade lasagna and fruit salad for us to enjoy a nice dinner!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I think Rigor Mortis is setting in!

I have dead people in's true. I certainly don't mean any disrespect, on the contrary, I have complete respect and admiration for organ donors.

There is a side to donation that gets less publicity; that is tissue donation.

Can an organ donor also be a tissue donor?
Yes. In fact, tissue donation is a more common option for people wishing to be donors, as there are fewer medical reasons a person would be denied the opportunity. As many as 50 people can benefit from ONE tissue donor.

I am happy to say that I am the recipient of selfless gifts given by two families.

During my surgery on Tuesday, I received a cadaver Achilles tendon allograft to replace my torn ACL and a lateral meniscus allograft to replace my meniscus that I destroyed years ago.

Now I feel I have a commitment to fulfill; not only to myself and to my family that has taken care of me, but also to respect the gift that has been given to me.

I will never know those families that lost their loved one and gave me their biologic gift. My gratitude goes to all families that have made that decision.

My leg is sore and stiff!

This is my friend, the CPM (continuous passive motion). Since my surgery my knee has be locked in full extension all of the time, except when I do my CPM. The goal is 8 hours a day, but realistically I may not always reach that time goal. For now, my goal is 40 degrees of flexion; until I see my OS (orthopedic surgeon) on Monday.

I'm taking my pain meds, Ibuprofen, antibiotic, and stool softener on a schedule right now. Matt made out this great chart so that we can keep up with it all!

(Wow-I look rough, but still a smile on my face!)

Thank you Sheryl for stopping by. She brought me a great bag with a get well card, treats, magazines and notes from the class I missed on Thursday while I was still in the hospital. I hope to return to class Monday for a half day before my OS appointment.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Home Sweet Home

After spending two nights at Baylor All Saints Hospital, I was discharged at 11 Thursday morning. My pain was finally under control on oral medications and I was ready for my own bed and to see my pups!

I have to admit, for my first overnight hospitalization, it wasn't that bad. I was actually glad I was there because I knew that I wouldn't have been able to control the pain if I was at home (that's a scary feeling!)

In pre-op on Tuesday morning Dr. Bothwell said that he would try to get a nice room for me since I was "one of them" (health care professional courtesy)--and he did! I was on the transplant floor; which was legitimate because I did have an meniscus transplant. It remined of the hospital where Matt and I met, Parker Adventist Hospital in Parker, Colorado. I called it "Prissy Parker" or "Parker Palace".

We were comfortable there and appreciate the good care we received.

There were only a couple of incidences that were unacceptable; like taking an hour to get me in the computer system and get my pain meds to me and another nurse said that she wouldn't refill my morphine PCA because I needed to be on oral medications (yeah, thanks, I'm working on that!) I never thought that I would be a high maintenance patient or be tagged as a "drug seeker" but I'm sure that those nurses thought I was. What happened to, pain is what the patient says it is?" Didn't they learn that in nursing school! I just had my knee cut open, bone drilled with 3 screws, a bone trough made in my tibia and the periosteum of my tibia separated and sewn to my femoral condyle--and I have some dead guys achilles tendon and meniscus in my knee! Don't I deserve a little understanding and compassion?

Well, I ended up receiving over 90 mg of morphine between IV boluses (catch-up) and the PCA. My saving grace was my second night nurse who suggested that I try IV Toradol. The effects weren't immediate, but I slept well the second night and only pushed the PCA a few times. She continued to give me Toradol every 6 hours and I was able to completely stop the morphine! The next morning I was ready to go home!

So here I am, finally resting in my Home Sweet Home!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Knee Surgery




Well, I made it. My surgery was yesterday; they started at 8:15 am and finished at 2:30 pm - took a little longer than they expected but Dr. Bothwell assured me that everything looked nice when he finished.

After an hour stay in PACU, I was transferred to the transplant floor. We have a great room/suite with 2 flat panel TV's, a mini frig and a pull out couch for Matt to sleep beside me!

I had some significant pain when I got to my room and it took them an hour to get me into the system and for pharmacy to get my meds! Pain is much better now with Hydrocodone every 4 hours and Morpine PCA. (I thought that I was tougher than I am!)
Sarah and Brad came by Tuesday evening and brought me a goodie basket with lots of fun and thoughtful gifts. Two magazines, a puzzle book, snack foods, a candle, lip gloss and playdough! (which came in very handy later)
At midnight the nurse came in and set up my CPM (continuous passive motion). With my leg cycling up 40 degrees then flat again; I didn't get much sleep.

Mom and Matt have been fabulous nurses and I couldn't make it without them!
Hopefully I will go home tomorrow morning.

Unfortunately, I will miss my first summer II class.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Well, if this were a post with words it would say:
"Packed up and ready to go!"
"I need a vacation!"

Monday, June 15, 2009

RHS 10 Year Reunion

This past weekend was a blast from the past as I caught up with many of my high school friends at our 10 year reunion.

On Friday, Sarah & Brad met us at our house in Arlington. Then we made the 1+ hour drive out to my mom's house to spend the night. Sarah and I spent hours digging through boxes of pictures in my old room at Mom's and laughing about all of our wonderful memories.

Saturday afternoon, the Hooten's hosted a wonderful picnic at their home. It was warm and humid but time passed quickly as we reminisced about "the good ole days". About 25 of our classmates, along with their spouses and many children, joined us in the festivities.

After a much needed nap and shower we met back up at the Hall's residence. Luckily, the temperature had cooled significantly and we all enjoyed a delicious Mexican dinner poolside.

The BIG kids had fun on the inflatable slide after the little ones left!

Ouch - We are just not as young as we used to be!

Rains High School Class of 1999

Captured by Destiny Photography Give-away

Hey guys! My friend Destiny is a local DFW photographer and is having a photo session give-away!

You may recognize her work since she was one of our wedding photographers. We have some beautiful pictures that she took like this one--or check out these!

She also did our engagement photographs too!

Head over to Destiny's blog to enter.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Birthday MOM!

This weekend we celebrated Mom's birthday. On Saturday night we had a wonderful fondue dinner at The Melting Pot. We ate until we were stuffed full.

Sunday morning (although we were still full from fondue) we had the"house speciality breakfast" French-French Toast, complete with birthday candles.

Later that afternoon Drew, Jess & the kids and Joyce & Sarah met us at our house. We carpooled over to
Lonestar Park in Grand Prarie for a little horse racing. We had a picnic lunch then enjoyed the races from the grandstand. It was a really hot, sunny day but there was a steady breeze and we used lots of sunscreen. We even picked the winning horses every once in a while!