March 20, 2015
What a day, what a long day it has been today. I am so tired, that at times I can’t sleep because I am overtired. Lately I have been thinking deeply on what the human body is capable of doing- all at once, mind you- and I am amazed at each turn. I can’t quite figure out HOW I am physically moving about. I know I am NOT supposed to be moving, walking, etc…. which I haven’t been doing, but it’s impossible to do be immobile, when you have doctor appointment after doctor appointment. Now remember, my tendon (leg muscle that runs from your ankle to way up yonder) has been detached, severed, ripped to shreds. I can’t describe how horrible this feels- from the pain aspect, to the loose, flaccid, jiggly-ness of it all. (I hate SNAKES, but I imagine at times that it’s like having a bag of snakes writhing around all over the place below my knee.) It’s quite disgusting.
First thing this morning, the doctor had me come in again to go over everything pertaining to the surgery, explained in detail what will happen, what could happen and what should happen. She had me sign this and that and I was told of the risks involved. Ok, I get that. I mean, there is anesthesia involved and you are put out. But when she got to the point of the risks of infection, that’s when I took a deep breath and reminded her I am on chemo. She asked me if I could possibly not take it and I said I would check with my rheumy. I have no immune system now, and I have nothing to fight against even the slightest cold. (I checked with my rheumatologist and will see her the day before my surgery next week, but she said if the surgeon is concerned about the chemo/risk of infection to me- then by all means STOP it next Wednesday and pick up the following week— or when the other doctor said it should be OK to start again). Ah, just when I was getting used to nausea and vomiting…… guess I’ll have to start all over again. Their is concern that the wound will not heal because of the Methotrexate, and I have to taper off even more on the steroids as of now. If I have a flare (which I can’t imagine as I am in one BIG RA flare as it is), I am pretty much up shits creek.
I asked her how long the procedure should run and she said she won’t really know until she gets in there (UGH) but said that it takes a good 30 minutes fro them to get me into the prone position, and 30 minutes or more after to splint/cast it. (I don’t even know for sure if it will be casted immediatley, but I think so.) She said she just did the same surgical procedure I will be having the other night and it was 3 hours. OMG I had better not wake up! I mentioned how I had the spinal epidural procedure last summer and told her what it was for, and she told me: “Make SURE you let them know about your sciatica in the O.R. because they will handle you differently.” How comforting. I guess their usual handling of incapacitated bodies is to just toss them around like a sack of grain. I know when I had surgery back in 1997, I woke up with a split lip inside and out, the roof of my mouth was cut and the back of my head had a knot on it the size of a golf ball, so I know they aren’t easy while handling intubation tubes or dropping your head down on the table. But my achilles issue is a mess- and I really don’t want to experience instigating my sciatica nerve at this time in my life.
I was given an armload of prescriptions (Oxycontin, Norco, antibiotics and anti-nausea medicine and a script for a “4-wheel walker with a seat” (a real fashionable image) which Dennis dropped off at the drug store later on (minus the walker prescription). The doctor gave me a folder to take to the hospital for registration. I told Dennis he should drop me off there on the way home because I needed an EKG and I wanted to avoid standing on my leg as much as possible….not wanting to keep running around everyday. Get it over with, and then go to my lab appointment at one o’clock. I get to the registration desk after standing for 10 minutes (no seats anywhere) it was my turn, the folder I had HAD nothing at all pertaining to me in it. The woman looked at me like I just walked off the street and was registering for some phantom surgery. After her calling some other department, she found the suite for the surgery was being held at the time I was given by my doctor, but no name attached. (Oh for the love of all that is holy!) I was told to fill out the papers and they’d contact the doctor. I filled out the anesthesia papers (let me just say, this poor doctor is going to have a field day after reading my answers). After being called up to register, I couldn’t get the nurse’s pre-op visit done OR the EKG so I have to trek on back next Tuesday. (Oh my aching leg). This is after they collected $750.00 from me today. Boy times have changed since my last surgical procedure…..they sent us a bill back then! And we have GOOD insurance!
When I finally got home I had to contact the durable medical company for my walker and I want that bad boy here BEFORE my surgery. (Oooh, I hope it’s a shiny red one!) The run around from that ordeal was so unnecessary. The doctor’s office should have FAXED the prescription with all my insurance information to the DME company in the first place. Next, checking with my rheumatologist about the chemo and that was taken care of. Then off to have blood work done. A lot of blood work. One for surgery and one for the rheumy to check what the chemo has been doing to me.
On top of all my body is going through, from the side effects of Methotrexate, to the horrible mess of what I have done to my leg, I just am in awe that a person can still survive and not have lost complete sanity. (But lately- the insanity part is debatable over here). Dennis was saying that he felt SO BAD of what my body is putting me through, but I told him that it’s been ‘something else’- to actually see all of this happen, and how a person- me– handles it. I may whine and believe me, I have had an awful lot of tears over the last week, but there are times when a good cry never hurts. (Oh wait, in my case it does hurt. Physcially in pain). I am praying that I make it through the surgery without any issues. Just slit open my leg, sew the two pieces back together, wrap that mess in graphite, staple me, sticth me shut, and slap that cast on me. (I have to block the image of my ankle and calf looking like a giant zipper is sewn into it because it creeps me out) and just let me heal. I possibly may have a cast on for 3 months. THREE LONG MONTHS! And all I can think of is “Yuck, it’s going to look like a Sasquatch took up camp under that cast!” Just hoping for pool time this summer. As Dennis has said many times lately “It’s going to be a long, hot summer.”