Saturday, March 27, 2010

Screw Removal

I am now officially hardware-free! Yesterday I had the six screws from my LPAO removed in an outpatient procedure. It was relatively quick (I think it took an hour in OR) but I got general anaesthesia anyway. There was the option to just be heavily sedated but honestly I did not want to hear and feel the vibrations from the drill, no matter how much happy juice they were giving me at the time.

This time when I came out of general anesthesia I was strangely restless and impatient, like I wanted to get out of there, I was bored, I wanted to read, I wanted to move, want want want, I don't know what I wanted but it was everything and nothing. Strange. But better than shaking and freezing like last time.

I came to with several layers of bandages over the incision, and not a lot of pain in the incision area: maybe a 3 on the pain scale, which lowered to a 2 once they gave me some more morphine.

They discharged me relatively quickly; I was only in the PACU for about an hour and then we got on the road on our way home. During the three-and-a-half hour drive home from Boston I was relatively pain-free, but I was very nauseous the whole way and did get sick once on the side of the road. I hadn't even been nauseous after either of my other procedures, so I think this was more the result of a long car drive on top of the general anesthesia and morphine.

Today the incision site is quite painful; more painful than I expected it to be. I'm taking the oxycodone as often and as much as I'm allowed to and it doesn't seem to be making a dent.

Dr. Millis told me I shouldn't play tennis or really do any activity for two weeks after the screw removal, and I'd kind of hoped that was a conservative estimate and I could be back to at least walking to work and working out, if not tennis, by mid-week this week. But at the rate my incision hurts now, there is no way that is going to happen.

That is depressing, because tennis season starts on Thursday, and I've been playing more and more tennis recently to get ready for it. In the last couple of weeks it has been up to three times a week and my hips have been feeling great. So taking two weeks off now is a big setback.

But I suppose I shouldn't complain -- I'm lucky to be on the courts again so soon anyway, and at least now I am 100% done with all my surgeries. One year and five months after my initial diagnosis, both PAOs are done, all the hardware is out, and I know I'm going to be feeling better than I have in years as soon as this incision heals. And that is a good feeling.