Monday, April 27, 2009

Action Plan

Being a civil servant for 20+ years, everything is related to by targets [wry grin]

MB is back at work today. I am mobile, sort of, and reasonably self-sufficient for the simple stuff. I have been a bit low lately - must be the GA and the pain.

But today I got a wonderful surprise in the post; lovely get well cards from two of the women at work. Plus I got one a couple of days ago from my boss. They are so thoughtful and considerate, it quite cheered me.

Today's target is to get dressed.......let's see how that goes.

Steps forward and back:

Yes, I got washed and dressed - and stayed awake for most of the day.

But then MB got distracted by emails and I ended up cooking most of dinner .... which resulted in pain killers and icepacks! I knew it was a mistake when I lost my balance and nearly put my hand on the stove.


Sunday, April 26, 2009


I'm feeling a little more human today, blimey that general anaesthetic don't half take it out of you!

First job of the morning is to change my dressings and check my knee for swelling etc (I have icepacks if it does swell). My knee was very sore last night and this morning I was not impressed to find a large blood blister under one hospital provided plaster and a sore patch under the other. So I have cleaned the knee with antiseptic, pinched the blister and replaced the adhesive dressings with gauze and a full bandage. Gotta love cheap plasters! I have now given MB a shopping list of better quality dressings and antiseptic wipes.

Sitting down and getting up are painful, as is just getting started walking. The knee eases with movement but then just as quickly deteriorates. I have a nice cocktail of painkillers through the day, but they make me nauseous so I take them reluctantly.

Isn't it strange how life goes on in the big wide world yet, in my little convalescent life the world seems to have stopped. Texts come and go, I log into Facebook to check in with friends, emails are swapped, but life is in limbo here. I'm not complaining, although it is a weird sensation to realise you have been staring at a wall for three hours.....


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Told ya so!

So that's what it feels like to sleep for 24 hours! Waking up now and then for food and drink and, more importantly, painkillers, I slept straight through.
I had the anti-nausea drug before my op and they decided against morphine, given a bad history of that too, so I just ended up feeling - well, seasick is the best description. Still nauseous but not throwing up every five minutes.
I was the last to leave day surgery because of the nausea.

And the headache! I got a killer migraine after the op. It hurt just to open my eyes. That, thankfully, has gone now too. Still a bit of a headache, but not crippling.

My knee, not surprisingly, is a world of pain. Some of it has been controlled by the painkillers, and some reduced when I found my stitches had pulled and rebandaged it. On inspection I have one small incision on the inner side and one larger one on the outer side of my knee. Using a camera they inspected, repaired and trimmed my meniscus, the cartilage between the leg bones behind the kneecap, and that should stop the pain I have had for the last eight months.

My hands are also quite painful and swollen as they took three goes to get the cannula in for my anaesthetic. Apparently, I have very small veins in my hands! In the end, and after many tears, they put it towards the back of my hand over the wrist knuckle - which meant pain every time I moved my wrist and you could see the needle under my skin. Needless to say, I was thrilled when *that* came out!

I have been taking my drugs responsibly and started my exercises. Well, for the four hours I have been awake!

I still hate hospitals and admire everyone who works in there. Also, big love to my darling Aginoth who has been readmitted for intensive treatment for his psoriasis which is out of control again. Luckily I was only in one day - he's in for three weeks!

[yawn] tired now - back to bed........

Update (Friday, I think): The backs of both my hands are so bruised they are black - I must remember that next time anyone tries to insert a cannula.
My knee is ok, painful but manageable. Intending to spend some time downstairs today, but I am still very sleepy - could be the painkillers.
Kittycats are sterling nurses - one or both with me at all times. Charlie has walked on my bad knee twice - but he's forgiven because he is a doll-face :-)

Update Two (Friday night) I just undid the good work of 48hrs rest with a quick hairwash and 'top 'n' tail' at the sink (showers being not allowed for the first week or so until the holes are healing properly). I have done something, twisted my leg or something, and my knee is sooooooo painful now - every step makes me cry out. Guess I was too smug...


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ready to Go

Well, I'm all packed ready for the hospital tomorrow. Even though it is 'day' surgery they say to bring an overnight bag in case you have to stay.
I splurged and bought the aforementioned new purple dressing gown and some dinky new slippers, so I'll be the best dressed patient on the ward!

I have chosen a suitable companion for my brief stay - it is one of my Bear Factory (what is now Build a Bear) bears, Frostie, who has his own pyjamas and dressing gown so he's all ready to go.

And I have packed a nice big book to occupy my mind while I am waiting my turn..Like most people, I don't like hospitals and get very weepy when I think about it. So I'm blanking out in front of the TV tonight and trying not to think about tomorrow morning.


Sunday, April 19, 2009


I've been a bit remiss in my blogging lately. Not only is my operation preying on my mind and I am yearning to join my re-enactment friends in the field, but the postman brought more weight to my shoulders.

I got an invitation to my brother's 25th wedding anniversary party. I had to decline the invitation due to my impending operation but I don't feel I would be a huge loss as there will be family members who will be glad of my absence.

But if it's A's 25th anniversary then that means it's mine too as we were married only three weeks apart in May 1984. Wow, the 25th anniversary of my disastrous and abusive marriage. While chatting about it on the phone my mother dismissed it saying she didn't count my marriage and didn't even consider it.

But it was possibly the most difficult miserable 14 months of my life, culminating in my running away at night and hiding out at a friend's house, followed by months of seeing my ex-husband at every turn making me into a nervous wreck. Additionally, he refused to see his own faults and refused me a divorce. After a year of this, the pain only eased slightly when I sacrificed myself and my reputation for a divorce in desperation.

Of course, the memories of my marriage lead, inevitably, to thoughts of my unborn child. He/she would be 24 this year. With that child my life would have been SO different.

Opening one little unknowing door can lead to so many rooms wherein lie the memories locked away over a lifetime.....

All this on top of my anxiety about my knee surgery has made me most introverted and quiet. Crawling under a rock seems a good option at the moment.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Medieval Grumps

If it weren't for my knee today I would be loading up my car with all the medieval stuff you can imagine - big canvas tent, canvas stool, coin die, clothes, knives, bowls, belts, pouches, boxes, shoe-making stuff and a token amount of 21C clothing - because this is the weekend of the first Company of Chivalry event of the 2009 season.
I would be stopping off to pick up my friend and tentmate Leggy before heading off across the River Severn into Wales and going to our favourite haunt, Caerphilly Castle.Unlike the general populace we are allowed to drive into the castle, in order to offload all our kit. So I would drive carefully up the path, hazard lights on and mindful of pedestrians, across the drawbridge and through the huge oak doors with the iron latches, parking in the outer bailey. First job would be to put the kettle on while we wait for people to arrive. When the van arrives we would all help unload the huge amount of company equipment from it.

I would unpack the tent and, with the help of a couple of the men, erect it to create our temporary home for the weekend. It's a very old tent, been through several hands, but is still doing sterling (if a little damp) service. We would empty the car into the tent and then try and make sense of the madness.

With the sun still shining, a fire would be lit, the local fish and chip shop will be raided and the alcohol will be fished out of various bags and boxes.

There will be laughter, teasing, and camaraderie, hugs and cuddles. Traditionally on the first event of the year new equipment and clothing is usually held up for general admiration and discussion. I know some of the smelly soldiers have new swords and mail, and there are a few new skills in the group to be debated - with the help of alcohol, of course!

But I am at home with a duff knee, dying material for new dresses, only dreaming of being there........and a bad case of the medieval grumps...

Update: They're all home happy after a dry, sunny and very successful weekend


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

The hospital date for my knee arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) is now set for 22 April. Everything is in place; work has been juggled around and meetings cancelled, my boss is content and MB has been given three days special leave to help out with his poor crippled wifelet afer surgery. The surgery will be followed by a period of sick leave, probably two weeks according to those in the know, and it'll be two months until my knee is fully recovered.

Before I got my letter I was miserable because my knee hurt and had hurt for a long time and I didn't know when it would get fixed. I found my knee would get inflamed after any kind of effort, which is why I ended up on crutches for two months with a fluid-filled knee.
I was unhappy because it was looking like I would miss a lot of the re-enactment season and that was not a nice prospect as I have fallen in love with the life of a re-enactor. But if I can't bend my knee I can't live rough......

Now I know I am booked in for surgery I should be thrilled but I have a whole lot of new worries. The paperwork says I'll be having a general anaesthetic. I've only had GA once and it made me terribly sick; I threw up for days! Also, like everyone else, I hate hospitals and anything remotely connected with those places - except the people; I have been looked after by some wonderful (if horribly overworked) nurses and doctors. I am scared the surgery will be that small percent that is not totally successful. I am worried that the arthritis in my knees may affect the results. I am concerned that I may be one of the few patients who have to stay in hospital overnight. I am worried how I will cope after the surgery and hate the prospect of being dependent on MB.

So many worries, so little time.....

Of course, I still have crazie decisions to make.....which book to take to read while I'm waiting/recovering - and, more importantly, which teddy bear to take!