Friday, June 24, 2011
My surgery date has changed again. I'm now scheduled for knee surgery on June 29th. I know! What a saga! I'm glad that it's sooner than the previous date of July 8th, but it is a bit tricky, because no one will be around to care for me afterwards. My mother enlisted a nice neighbor's help, so things aren't impossible, but getting around - especially the intense physical therapy afterwards - is going to take some doing. Luckily, people I wasn't expecting to help have stepped up in a big way. I am extremely grateful for all the support I've received here and really appreciate people's kindness. Thanks!
Funnily enough, I'd had big plans for June 29th. Wawa will be honoring service people by serving the world's largest hoagie - 4.5 TONS! - that day, and I was going to meet a friend there to witness the spectacle. Of course, I'm disappointed by that, but getting the surgery 10 days sooner hopefully means recovering 10 days sooner.
In the meantime, I'm still wearing my monster brace. I try to go for little walks as I can, but the knee aches at the slightest exertion and can be very "whingey" as the day wears on. I just don't want to become a complete sofa spud. I also bought a pilates video to do during these next few weeks of limited activity. I hope that planning ahead will minimize this setback.
Monday, June 20, 2011
I am on leave from work until I get my knee fixed. I was supposed to have the surgery on June 10th, but I was too ill from the gum surgery gone wrong and had to cancel it. That surgeon can't schedule me in again until August, so I started over today, seeing a new surgeon this morning. Everything went swimmingly, and I was schedued for July 1st. So yay for that.
Then the PA called shortly after we left the office and told me that there had been a mistake. *cue the music* The 1st is booked. So now it's the 8th. That's going to put me a month behind schedule. The people who wre going to care for me afterwards aren't going to be around then, making the after care a little tricky. I hate that my 2011 has been such a mess, and that I've inconvenienced so many people along the way.
With luck, I'll on the road to recovery and back on the job by August. Fingers crossed!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
As some of you noticed, I reset my ticker to reflect where I really am right now, and that is squarely in Fattyville. I've been upset and frustrated for the past few months, under a lot of stress and in pain, and unable to be as active as I'm used to being. I took my eye off the prize and am ready to start trudging that weary road again.
So here it is in black and white:
current weight: 287 lbs.
waist: 54 inches
% lard: 52
I will update again at the beginning of July and own my progress - or lack of it - on the 1st of each month until I've reached my goal.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
On May 18th, I had routine gum surgery. On the 20th, I said good-bye to Beirut
and flew to the U.S. for knee surgery. It seemed so simple, and yet --
I developed a nasty infection in the gum. My cheek swelled and turned black, and the gum puffed up to twice it's width. A few days later, I started seeing things that just didn't look right, and after two weeks, I couldn't help but notice that I had nasty halitosis no matter how I tried to be diligent in my hygiene. I made an appointment with a dentist, sure that he would poo poo my concerns and reassure me that this was part of the healing process.
The cheerful dental assistant led me to the chair, settled me in, took a look, froze like a bunny in the headlights, and the next thing I knew, the ENTIRE STAFF of the clinic was gathered round. The hygienist retracted my cheek gently, they all peered in, collectively gasped, and reflexively recoiled.
So, yeah, that worried me a teensy bit.
The dentist got me an emergency appointment with a periodontist, they helped me with directions since I don't know the area very well, and off I went. The periodontal team seemed, well sanguine isn't really the word, but not terribly fussed about the condition of my mouth. The (handsome) doc cleaned things out a bit, gave me antibiotics and sent me on my way with a check up scheduled for a few days later.
Clearing up this infection mattered to me not only because I have cute teeth and would like to keep every one of them in my mouth where they belong, but because I was scheduled for knee surgery yesterday, and they won't operate when someone has a major mouth infection. It impedes healing and makes all that tubing they use problematic.
A little back story here: those of you who read my last blog know that I lost my job in Afghanistan because of my knee and will have trouble getting another one so long as my medical status is undefined. So getting the ACL rebuilt and going through rehab is super important to me. I called a surgeon from Beirut and set things up, arrived and discovered that the small town office team really didn't know what to make of me, hadn't quite grasped the situation and was not inclined to be helpful. Office Manager Sue seems to have taken a pretty strong dislike to me and was peeved when I got a June 10th surgical date, feeling that I should have been made to wait longer "for my turn".
On Wednesday, I returned to the periodontist, who cleaned a bit more, expressed concern that there was so much pus, and advised against knee surgery on Friday. I wanted to see how his little clean up played out, still hoping for a recovery.
The gums were swollen to more than twice their normal width, and the good news is that the clean-up reduced that somewhat. Instead, they swelled vertically, covering my teeth!!! I won't describe them further, except to say that it was super gross, and I was a bit unnerved. I was also sick of running a fever, after two straight weeks. For heaven's sake - on Thursday morning, I took two Tylenol, two Day-Quil, and a 5-Hour Power shot just to get out of bed!
The periodontist was adamant: I needed to come in soonest. He also insisted on personally calling the orthopedic surgeon and telling him what was going on. Yikes. It sure was nice of Periodontist office manager Ally to give me a ring and let me know that I wasn't having knee surgery on Friday, because nasty Office Manager Sue never did. In fact, the only thing she did was call my emergency contact and inform her that even though I had somehow squeaked in the first time, the surgeon wouldn't be able to book me now until JULY! (With a four - six month recovery time, so I'd really be buggered.)
So we drove back on Thursday. I don't know what I was expecting. More of the same, I guess. The periodontist and his team booked me after hours to get me in same day. (I know! Handsome AND nice!) My first inkling that I was in for a treat was when they kitted me out in surgical garb. The next thing I knew, the whole office was in the surgery with me. I have never received so much numbing agent in my entire life I tried not to think about the implications too much. The office manager held my hand. The assistant chirped encouraging platitudes, and the periodontist went at it.
And at it and at it. The surgery took almost two hours! The original surgery involved three teeth. The infection had spread to over eight teeth's worth of gum and gone into the bone. The doctor described the infection as "spectacular" and took photos. (Half of me heard that and thought "Vindication!" while the other half thought "Holy &*%$#!") He said he was surprised that I had been up and about at all, given the fever, swelling, and level of infection.
Now I'm lying low. I need this infection to heal because I need the knee surgery, and also because the doctor informed me that if this procedure doesn't heal me, the next stop would be the ER. I made a long list of things to do whilst in America, but visiting an emergency services center wasn't on the list!
In between there, I had a birthday.
I am trying to make the most of the time by visiting with folks, but I am also feeling stressed and nervous about my future. One step at a time. Heal the gums and save the teeth/jaw. Get the knee surgery and aggressively rehab. Convince would-be bosses that I'm up to the demands of the job and line something up.
And I feel sure that a Wawa hoagie is in there somewhere, too!
Thanks to everyone who has supported me through the drama and celebrated my birthday with me!
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