Thursday, July 24, 2008

No, really, Happy 30th Birthday!

It was Sunday night, almost midnight & we were enjoying a quiet movie & pizza with Tim's parents. The next day we were suppose to get up & drive home. It was that precise time that our plans got thrown out the window... out of nowhere, in the middle of the movie, Tim's knee slips out of joint. No wild movements or anything, he was just sitting there. He felt tightness & basically couldn't straighten his leg or put weight on it. It was locked at 90 degrees. This has happened before & it righted itself pretty quickly, but this time it didn't... so we stayed the next day. After calling around, Tim's dad got an appointment with a local Orthopedic doctor. We were thinking it would be no big deal, they'd get his leg back in shape & we'd be on the road in a couple hours. This was not the case, however. Ultimately the doctor scheduled him for a MRI later that day & surgery the next day. His MRI confirmed that a piece of his meniscus (the cartilage in his knee) was lodged & he'd definitely need surgery. After the initial shock, he's had a pretty good humor about it... yes, it wasn't the best timing (when really would be?), but we were with family & he would be taken good care of.
That's right, Tim was scheduled
for surgery on his 30th Birthday.

The Day of the Surgery:
10:30 am - My father-in-law took us to the hospital & helped us get checked in. Tim quickly found a Birds & Blooms magazine in the lobby, which did a great job of distracting him.

11:45 a.m. - Tim was settled in an outpatient room & I was retrieved from the lobby. Time to wait. At first Tim seemed a little nervous, but a few nurses & the anesthesiologist came in and set him at ease. To pass time, we talked about questions for the doctor, gossiped about People magazine & finally turned on the TV.

4:00 p.m - I set out to the cafeteria to feed my grumbling tummy and left Tim absorbed in a Travel Channel show on the Top 10 National Parks.

5:30 p.m. - Just as I was finishing my ice cream when the doctor popped in to say it was almost time.

5:45 p.m. - Tim was taken back for surgery (I lost track of time from this point forward).

Our first conversation:
E: Hi Honey! I'm here & you're okay!
T (out of it): I'm okay? I am?
E: Yes, you're leg is straight & everything!
T (wobbily lifts his head): It is? Good. (lays back looking satisfied with the straight leg) I want to get a really cool cane.
E: A cane? To walk with?
T: Mmhmm... (drifting off to sleep)
E: We'll get you a cool cane!

He'd reawaken from time to time...
asking if his leg was straight, how many holes were in his knee, saying he wanted to find certain nurses to thank them (isn't he sweet?!), asking the nurse if his vitals were healthy & just generally nodding along with post-op directions being explained to me. Tim & I were a pair. I think we asked her 1,000 questions each. I thought teaching was the top patience-testing job, but being a nurse who deals with patients waking up from anesthesia & families trying to understand all those directions... they might just give teachers a run for their money!!!
Tim's Dad picked us up from the hospital & took us to get prescriptions filled. We were home shortly after 9:00 p.m. (?) It was a long day, but they took really good care of Tim!
My husband, in his delirious state, wanted to drive home that night (against doctor's orders). I put my foot down on that one & we ended up leaving in the morning. Tim's been recovering well since with little pain. His brace stays on if he's putting weight on his leg, but he can pull it off while resting. We had a bit of a traumatic evening when we first undressed the bandage & I removed the pain pump. Seriously, I had to pull the tube out of his knee... it was long!!! We both almost fainted, but we made it out ok. I'll spare you from those pictures...

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