Sarah K — Surgery Day is Here

I didn’t sleep well the night before my surgery. I thought I was okay with everything, but as more friends, family and co-workers expressed their support, it suddenly all became very real.

I had to report to the hospital at 5 a.m. I changed into the dressing gown, peed in a cup so they could confirm I wasn’t with child, and then waited for transport. My mom was next to the whole time and when I had to say good-bye to her, I lost it.

I knew the surgery was routine and I was going to be fine — better than fine, I was going to be fixed. It didn’t matter though — I was still terrified.

Which is what I told the first nurse in the pre-op area when she asked how I was. I was still trying to compose myself when the nurse anesthetist approached to insert my IV. She promised to give me something to take the edge off. She did more than that. 

Before going to pre-op, I was told I would meet the surgical team, go over the whole procedure in detail, get a spinal block and then go into the O.R. Since I woke up in recovery, I have to assume all of that happened. I have no memory of anything after the edge was taken off.

They kept taking my temperature in recovery. Nurses kept asking if I was cold. I said I was fine and still they brought over additional blankets and heating pads. Eventually one nurse told me that once my temperature was closer to normal, she could move me to my room. I asked her why I couldn’t straighten my legs. She said they were straight. I looked, and sure enough, they were flat against the bed. But they felt bent. I couldn’t wrap my head around it as I stared down at my unbent knees. The nurse smiled and explained patients often feel like their legs are still in the position they were when they received the spinal block.

So, I guess I was sitting when I got the spinal block.

The worst part was being away from my phone for so long.
The worst part was being away from my phone for so long.

I warmed up and was moved to my room. There, my mom joined me, I got my iPhone back and I could finally email and text everyone concerned for my well being. Nurses and doctors stopped asking if I was cold, and instead asked if I could wiggle my toes. I started to feel like Uma Thurman’s character in Kill Bill — but instead of envisioning all the revenge I would have, I pictured all the running I would be doing; but first, I had to wiggle my big toe.

It didn’t start with toes, however. It started with my thighs. And as I delighted in being able to move my thighs back and forth, my mom warned that I should enjoy the numbness — because once the spinal block wore off, the pain from the surgery would come. Except it didn’t. Not like I expected, anyway. It was sore, but I had worse pain leading up to the surgery. Plus the pain in my knee was gone.

Because the pain was manageable with just ice and Tylenol, I didn’t have any problem with eating. Unlike others on this site, my appetite was not a problem. I ate two lunches (liquid and solid) then dinner, then snacks. I wasn’t sure I would sleep, attached to all the machines and unable to roll onto my stomach, but sure enough, I passed out at some point.

5 thoughts on “Sarah K — Surgery Day is Here

  1. Sarah. that is great news. you will be back up and running in no time. If you have any questions you still should have my e-mail. Congratulations.

  2. Glad to hear you are doing well. It is so amazing to me how little true pain is associated with the THR. It’s mostly little discomforts. Here’s to your start down the road to running again!!

  3. Great stuff Sarah. I promised you wouldn’t remember anything. Happy you’re on the road to recovery!

  4. I thought about all those comments that I wouldn’t remember anything as I was coming out of it, Rusty.

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