Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Scope of a Scope

I had my left knee 'scoped' on Wednesday, May 16. The real name for the procedure is an arthroscopy I call this a manicure for my knee--the surgeon goes in and smooths over the rough edges of bones that have deteriorated due to arthritis. Those rough edges tear things like the meniscus and cartilage much like a torn fingernail snags on everything you touch.
By my rough calculations, this is the 7th knee scope I've had between the two knees. I thought I'd share what my recovery usually looks like by taking you through the past week. It was fairly typical of my past scopes.
My friend Cathi took the day off to be my 'person' (a la Grey's Anatomy). She picked me up at 7:45 and we were in the pre-surgery room by 8:30 with surgery scheduled for 9:30. That hour is always so long--different nurse types asking questions, checking blood pressure, dashing to and fro. Cathi saved some juicy family stories to entertain me with, but I was ready to crawl up the wall by the time the anesthesiologist came to talk to me. After that, everything moved quickly. I was wheeled to the operating room, made about 30 seconds of small talk with the surgeon, moved from the pre-op bed to the operating table, joked about how small the table was, then fell asleep. The recovery room is such a surprise--I just wanna sleep, but people are poking and prodding and talking way too loud to me, so I have to wake up. No knee pain, but a very sore throat. Do I want something to drink? Yes, a Diet Coke please. Thought the fizzy would help the throat. Wrong. Didn't help at all. I don't remember my throat hurting so much before, but it probably did. Back in the pre-surgery room talking to Cathi. Doc says the knee is trashed, probably the last scope before we do a TKR (total knee replacement). Yuck. Don't want to think about that right now. My throat hurts. After about 45 minutes, we leave. I ask Cathi to stop at the Dairy Queen for a milkshake-maybe that will help my throat. Home. Able to walk into the house with crutches. In bed, propped, on ice while Cathi goes to the store for my pain pills and a McDonald's run. Nice friend, huh? I know! Call and text friends that I survived and made it home. Napped. Ate. Rosann and Anita come over to visit and bring ice. My throat hurts. Bad. I have to go to the bathroom again. Really? Unhook the ice machine, grab the crutches, hobble to the bathroom. Reverse the process to get back to bed. Repeat three or four times. Time for bed. Can't sleep. Really? Really! 5 a.m. before I nod off. Crazy.
Thursday at around 11:00 I realized my knee hurt. Really. I hadn't been vigilant in my Lortab taking, so I upped my pills to 2 pills every 4 hours, and I watched the clock, believe you me! This continued through the night and into Friday.
By Friday I was happy to have some company--the boys and Daisy came for a few hours, then Rosann came to watch a movie with me. Smiling and sitting in the recliner with my knee on ice really wore me out!
Saturday morning at 2:00 a.m. I took my last Lortab. I had a hair appointment that I couldn't miss and didn't want to risk being able to drive. My sister came for the day and arrived in time to deliver me to the salon, so I could have taken some pain pills, but by the time we got home, I decided to switch to Tylenol and see how the pain was. No problem! I was kind of grumpy as I came off the pain pill high, but that was the extent of my withdrawal symptoms.
Sunday and Monday were low key--drove myself to the doctor's office for a follow up visit on Monday.
Tuesday I worked all day at Stampin' Up! My knee was tight and tired, but I was able to keep it on ice and elevated. In the afternoon I felt kind of shaky, but I made it through a very important meeting from 1-5, then went home and iced all evening.
Wednesday I took the day off, worked all day Thursday and Friday.
It's Tuesday now and I'm back to work full time and n the swing of things. My left knee gets swollen, but I don't need ice at work any more. I still baby it at home, but other than that, I'm good to go!


  1. Oh, Bonnie, I guess this might be part of the reason you can't make it to Australia for Convention! My hubby has just had his 7th knee op, too, so I understand what you're going through. Take good care of you, and lean on those wonderful friends and family members around you. Will miss you terribly in Canberra!!

  2. You had your knees scoped a few times while we worked together, I'm pretty sure, and never did I realize how involved and painful it was! I mean, sure, you had ice on your elevated knee at work, and you were on pain meds and stuff, but man . . . you are a champ! I hope your knee is feeling better now . . .