Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to the Land of the Living

On Tuesday, we went to our friends' house to play and plan a camping trip. Britta and I had just pulled out our blank paper and pens to plan meals when we heard Grant crying loudly. Since the dude is tough, I knew he was hurt. He was holding his wrist and his elbow and crying, "Ow! Ow! I fell out of the top of the tree and landed on the rocks." Sure enough, a branch near the top of the tree had broken off and Sweet Boy fell all the way to the ground. I was pretty sure his injury fell into the "emergent" category and not the "wait until tomorrow" category, but as I always do in medical emergencies, called Curt. He walked me through what to do and as Grant iced and calmed down, he started feeling better. He seemed to be using his wrist more and Britta and I both felt like he was probably okay. I scrapped plans to take him to urgent care and brought him home instead. Curt examined it when he got home and was marginally convinced that it was just a sprain.

Wednesday morning was surgery day. Curt started waking up kids so we could distribute them all over Newberg before we went to Salem for surgery. He examined Grant's wrist once more and thought he felt bones shift. Shoot. We changed plans and told Grant that he'd have to come with us to the clinic to get an x-ray and sit at the surgery center all day while I had surgery. Nothing like one-stop shopping and good times (note the sarcasm). Fortunately, Grant chose a great best friend with a super nice mom and Kelly came to pick him up when he was done with all his testing.

We got to the clinic and Curt rushed off to see patients while I admitted Grant and helped him get three x-rays of his left wrist. Sure enough - he had the smallest possible fracture in his wrist. You couldn't get a smaller break and still call it a break, but I think he was relieved to have bragging rights of some sort and some validation for the pain he felt. He got a "HOPE Orthopedics" brace and has to wear it for 3 weeks.

My surgery was at the surgery center across the street from the clinic and was scheduled for a 10:50 start time, but I had to be there at 9:20. At 9:10, I passed Grant off to Curt, kissed Curt (who was still seeing patients), and walked over to check in. The realization that I was having surgery sunk in when the nurse took me to the bathroom and gave me a surgery hat, slippers and a medical robe to change into. Changing into that outfit stripped me of any sense of dignity I thought I had. I sat in my pre-op chair, mindlessly reading PEOPLE magazine and watching the clock CRAWL toward 10:50 a.m. At 10:42, Dr. Sewell came in and explained what he was hoping to find in my knee and how he was going to fix it. At 10:45, Curt arrived from clinic, quickly changed into scrubs, and joined me for the rest of the pre-op meetings. We talked with the anesthesiologist and signed my life away and then we all walked to the operating room together. It was the strangest thing to be meeting Curt's colleagues in my surgery get-up and hoping the folds of my over-sized gown were keeping me adequately covered.

I've never been in an OR before. Super cold. Of course sterile. And bigger than I anticipated. The Lord gave me a sense of calmness and I really didn't feel anxious. What a relief. I followed instructions for laying down on the table, put my arms on these trays, and took a few deep breaths. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery. Kind of a trippy thing, that anesthesia. The past 24 hours have been a blur of every possible side effect. Let's just say, I was not made for narcotics. I think I may have re-entered the land of the living after this last two hour nap, but only time will tell.

Once I was asleep, Dr. Sewell invited Curt to join him in the OR. Curt didn't assist with my surgery, but got to be there while Dr. Sewell inserted the cameras and poked around to find the problem. The fact that Curt was there, brings me post-surgery comfort in some strange way. And Mr. Smarty Pants (Curt) was right with his torn meniscus diagnosis of early June. Dr. Sewell successfully found and repaired the tear in the meniscus and trimmed away some frayed cartilage in my knee cap. Since he repaired the meniscus, short-term recovery will be longer, but the long-term strength of my knee will be better. I should make a full recovery and be able to run again. YIPPEE SKIPPEE!

Thanks for all the prayers, help with the kids, and meals. We really appreciate them. The post-surgery pain in my knee has been manageable thus far which is a great answer to prayer. The pain medication the doc gave me really wigs me out, so we're trying to find a pain management strategy that involves keeping me out of La La Land and in the Real World.

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