ACL post-surgery

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photos : karmic apples from the apple tree growing out of the redwood stump from which I fell and originally tore my ACL

The surgery went well : I received a femoral artery block and was surprised at how quickly I went under from the general anesthesia - it was somewhere around 10-20 seconds after I as injected through my IV.  I felt none of the euphoria / addictive potential that many speak of when others reflect fondly upon their anesthesia experiences (e.g. 'liquid warmth flowing from the IV into my veins and through my arm, filling my body').

When I came to about 1 and a half to 2 hours later I came back into consciousness in pain which was a bit of a unpleasant shock and was administered 2 units of pain medication. I then was kept in the recovery room because was intensely nauseous due to the anesthesia (they told me to inform the anesthesiologist of this tendency if I will ever receive anesthesia in the future) even after they administered anti-nausea medication. Eventually, after 2-3 hours waiting in my drugged haze I realized that I was under the false impression that the nurse was waiting for me to eat something so that I could get more pain medication, but that this was not actually the case (interesting that I was operating under such a narrative) and I left the hospital with my parents after I clarified what was going on.

I slept on the first floor couch for the first few days, eating my prescribed Hydrocodone / Acetaminophen 7.5-325 . One interesting side effect of the medication that I was not expecting was that when I tried to stand up to use the restroom with my crutches, that I got dizzy, faint, and my vision began to black out in many small spots and I had to sit down. The feeling kept returning and I had to lie down for 15 minutes to be able to make it to the bathroom - stopping halfway through the lengthy journey. I have not taken prescription medication in many years, and would have preferred to not take any but the pain was at a level that I worked with the tools that the medical complex equipped me with.

I was able to walk without crutches after a week and a half. At this point I stopped taking the Hydrocodone and began to eat prunes [sleuths know why!]. Unfortunately, I still wake up every night with pain (it used to be several times a night, now it is typically only once or twice).

After I had stopped taking the Hydrocodone for a few days, I took one right before physical therapy [PT] Monday, as it is always painful. As I was standing getting my leg taped up, I felt a rush of heat and sweat break out, and a few moments later, my PT's voice faded and became distant while my sight was being eaten away by little black dots that started from the edges of my vision. I only realized that I fainted as I regained consciousness to my PT and another PT easing me onto my back on the table I was standing in front of and propping my legs up on a wedge to return the blood flow to my brain. I came back with a tingling in my body and a feeling like I was underwater - slowed physical movements and sensory experience. After I lay there for several minutes and had some water I was fine, but I had never lost consciousness in such a way.

 

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