Friday, May 1, 2009

Recovering (again)

And so, I'm back in the major recovery mode again.

This time around, there were a few minor changes during the day of surgery. Lynn picked me up and toted me to the surgical suite. Miraculously, Dr. H was running a little ahead of schedule and before I knew it, I was being wheeled in for surgery. Of course, due to all the meds, I have no recollection of any of that. The next thing I remember was waking up in recovery. Since my surgery was fairly late in the day (3:00 p.m.), I was so hungry & thirsty (I hadn't ingested anything since the night before). The super-awesome recovery nurse was right there with gingerale and graham crackers. Happiness is the post-surgery snack. Yum. Apparently, I react quite joyfully to all the medication. I was talking non-stop to the nurses, Lynn and Rick. Everyone was more than patient with loopy me. At one point, I asked Rick if I was amusing or annoying. His response, "A little of both." He did eventually admit that he sort of likes it when I'm on percocet.

This time, I also have a much better attitude towards surgery. Back in January, I was seriously heartbroken about having to drop out of Lake Placid. Now, I'm much more accepting about the condition of (sadly) both of my knees. Dr H. explained that the damage to both knees is in nearly identical places. While I do have a lot of healthy cartilage, I also have a spot on each knee that has grade 4 damage. What does that mean?

With grade 4 damage, the cartilage tear exposes the underlying (subchronal) bone. Yes, I have two spots with no cartilage - which explains the ongoing pain and swelling I have during certain activities (deep squats, stair climbing, running). Dr H., via the lateral release, was able to pop my patella back in its groove. As such, the pressure is more equally distributed over all the cartilage.

Basically, my running future is in question. While that makes me sad at times, I'm looking ahead to other things. I find that swim workouts with Coach K are a tremendous workout. My flip turns are improving (and they are fun) and I can finally do no-breathers. Biking, of course, is a perfect activity for those of us with knee issues. I plan to do a lot of that - and can't wait to join the RABA folks on some of their fun rides (like the Sat morning ride to Ashland). I also plan to be rehabbed and ready for the SeaGull Century in October - and hopefully, the Heart of Va ride in September.


TriGirl 40 Something said...

You have such a wonderful attitude. Enjoy the percocet for a few more days and looking forward to helping your recovery efforts with lots of future swims and bike rides. Thinking of you and sending lots of painfree healing thoughts your way.

tri-ing races not cases said...

Aren't you glad you only have 2 knees? Now that they are both fixed, you can be on your way to a speedy recovery. So glad things went well.