Friday, May 22, 2009

Trying to Put My Brave Pants On

So I'm having surgery on June 29th. Until I received the letter informing me of the date I was all "Oh yeah, I'll be having a minor day surgery to get all the metal junk out of my ankle, no biggie." I don't know if that was because it's been over a year since I busted it all to crap in the first place and I obviously blocked out all of the trauma because I was really fine until I got the date. And now I'm kind of freaking out. And I'm confused as to why.

All I can think of is that when it happened there were no choices and there wasn't much time to think about what needed to happen in order to fix it. It was like, BANG your ankle is screwed and it needs to be fixed so tough sh!t if you don't like it.

The difference seems to be that this time it's kind of my decision to go back under the knife. In fact, it's been bothering me all along but I expected a certain amount of discomfort after destroying it to that degree. I certainly never expected it to ever, ever be the way it was before I broke it. But as more time passed I kept having the nagging feeling that the stuff that was going on in there wasn't right and was being caused by the hardware. Having had my ACL reconstructed I am familiar with the process of adjusting to a repaired joint. I have experienced that feeling of "it's not the same but I'll take it because it's better than the alternative". So it was difficult for me to come to the decision to go back to my surgeon, tell him what was going on and see if it was normal. What if he thought I was a wimp? What if he said "Suck it up lady, you broke your ankle what do you expect?" But he didn't say those things, he said we needed to take the stuff (actually he used technical jargon) out and let's do it soon.

I wasn't expecting things to move along so quickly. I frantically tried to think of all the questions I needed to ask him. How long would I be off work? - a week. Could I stand on it? - I'll be on crutches for the week. I think that was all I thought to ask at the time but of course I've thought of a million more questions. Luckily I have me some connections and I am in the process of getting answers.

My concerns (fears) are, in order

-I'm not sure if I'll need an IV. I hate getting IV's. I can't see why I'd need one as long as I'm getting an epidural unless they want to give me woozy drugs through it. But I think they can do that with a needle. Damn.


-If I am getting an epidural, that it will hurt. When I got the one for my ankle surgery I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't hurt. But now I'm thinking that might be because my ankle was so painful that the pain of a NEEDLE IN MY SPINE seemed like a feather tickling my back. Also, that particular anesthesiologist has a reputation for being amazing. I remember when I was so relieved about it not hurting and remarking about it to the Nurses they described him as being "pretty slick".

-What if I don't get the "slick" guy this time?

-If they decide to put me completely under. I have a tendency to get really pukey afterwards. After two pregnancies I have vomited enough to last a lifetime. And they have to put that thing down your throat to help you breathe and then when you wake up it feels like someone stuck a branch down your throat while you were sleeping.

-I'm pretty sure I'll get an epidural again. I hated how long it took to regain feeling below my chest. I hate that claustrophobic feeling of being paralyzed and the effort it takes to begin simply wiggling your big toe. Frightening.

-That my ankle is really going to hurt. A lot.

-That putting my kids to bed is going to be a nightmare...

-That I'll need to take more than a week off work. Or when I go back to work it swells a lot.

-That I'm going to be in pain the entire (pathetically short) summer. That I will be stuck only being able to swim for exercise and not get to make excellent use of our new chariot. That would totally bum me out.

-That after everything my ankle doesn't really feel that much better and it wasn't really worth getting the surgery after all.


bon said...

Holy Hannah, no kidding! You really have thought this through, only you really should know... compared to an epidural, an IV is NUTHIN!

I am betting that this procedure is gonna go like clockwork... I am also betting that your bone guy knows what he is doing and you WON'T regret getting your "stuff" removed.

You now have a little over a month to get a summers worth of charioteering and summer stuff done... just in case of worst-case.

Mama D said...

Oh, I know IV's are nothing. I've had them several times unfortunately but they still suck and if I need one then it will double suck to have to get an IV then the epidural.

I'm sure I won't regret it but when I have too much time to think about it I worry about everything.

jen k said...

i think when its all said and done, and your ankle feels "normal" you'll be glad you went through with this...its only one summer..there's plenty more..if you need anything that week, let me know!!! i'll help you!!

Shoeaddict said...

My husband broke his leg and ankle badly in high school. It was over 11 years ago and he still has the metal in that leg. His parents wouldn't let him out of baseball for the surgery- nice huh? Anyway, it's too late now, we;ve been told, and it hurts him a lot.

I think that even if it's a pain-in-the-well, leg, now, it's a better choice.