The morning started as something of a farce. Dad and I arrived at the SSSU at Royal Surrey bright and early as instructed in my letter. The sole nurse seemed a little overrun, and the waiting area filled up pretty quickly. As is traditional in the NHS there were nowhere near enough chairs for all involved. And then it got really interesting – “you know you’ve all been pre-cancelled, right?” came the voice of the nurse. The response was a lot of blank faces and muted whispers. The hospital was jammed, and there was a chance we’d all be sent home.
Confusion reigned on the the morning of my surgery, that almost wasn’t. After waiting a while I finally met someone – my anaesthetist. This was closely followed by the registrar. He had the all important job of drawing the arrow on my shin. He did not smile at my little joke “It’s my left leg!”, “Right then, OK”, “No left!” ba-dum-tisch
The chances of me staying in appeared to be improving and I was finally admitted. Evidently I was second in the queue.
By half past nine I was in a fetching gown with some very sexy stockings on: one of which was covering the all important arrow, providing mild panic that they’d ‘fix’ the wrong one. Before I knew it I was winding my way down the corridors of Royal Surrey on a bed heading for the anaesthetists bay.
Canula inserted, the chilly drug wound its way into my system and with a couple of deep breaths of purest oxygen I was evidently out for the count.
At about 11:05 I came-round and sat up in bed. My first thought was relief that I could feel a sore sensation in my left leg, they’d hacked at the correct one! I had some water before being wheeled back to the SSSU ward.
Having been nil-by-mouth the coffee and biscuits were like sweet nectar, and then I even got a delicious chicken sandwich, which in reality probably wasn’t all that delicious. On the ward were two more elderly gentlemen who were apparently in for prostate related issues. One of them couldn’t manage his gown tying; I had a lovely view every time he went to the loo.
Anywhoo… I finally wee’ed, got discharged then hobbled to the car on my crutches.
I was able to walk (of a fashion) almost immediately, but stairs were tricky from the start. For the two days that I was off work I had a big fat gauze wrapped around my knee with a bandage adding compression over the top. Finding a sleeping position was difficult without being able to bend my knee much.
Lunchtime on Friday finally offered the opportunity to remove the outer bandages. Ahhh, the sweet relief was glorious. My knee got big and fat on Monday having wandered up and down a billion stairs at work. I really abused it. I somehow managed to wangle two extra days off work to rest it. Though the cost came with two days of vomitting and diarhhoea as I must have picked up a bug from the horrible students at school.
A week post-surgery saw a pretty fat knee still, but finally showing signs of more motion in it. Today, as I sit here with a bag of peas on it, I am pretty happy with progress and I can walk up stairs one at a time now in relative comfort. I’m certainly aware when I’ve spent a day on my feet though.
Later this week I see the consultant again, so I might actually be able to fill in some of the blanks about what actually goes on during an arthroscopy. He will take off the final dressings and I look forward to seeing the holes that will form my first ever meaningful scars!