Monday, March 18, 2013

The Day Finally Arrived

I finally had my surgery. After waiting 2.5 months and dreading dreading dreading it, it finally happened. 

I could type a million words about this but I’m going to try to be brief and only say the important stuff. 

My mom came in the night before at midnight.  I went to pick her up (figuring I’d have lots of time to catch up on sleep) and while I was gone, Seth started throwing up.  All night long, Ryan and I were up with a barfing Seth, which was super fun pre-surgery prep.  I was SO glad my mom was there, because grandma is about the only person you hand a puking child to. 

   surgery4

We got to the hospital and they were ready for us.  We didn’t even have a moment to breathe as they took through each of the steps.  Everyone was nice and thorough and before I even had a chance to cry (much), I was going under general anesthetic. 

Coming out of anesthesia was unpleasant and there was a not-pleasant nurse “helping” me in the recovery room.  I was taken to the hospital room and as they checked me out and got me set up, Ryan came in.  I kept watching him (in a slightly drugged up stupor) for clues about what the surgeon had said.  I began to get worried as I watched his face.

After everyone left, I asked him what the verdict was.  He said the ACL repair went fine, that there was a slightly different meniscus injury that required a stitch, and….there was a osteo chondral injury—an actual hole in the cartilage they required repair.  That was the thing we were hoping wouldn’t happen.  Big Big frowny face.  The surgeon said I would be limited to 3-5 miles of running for the rest of my life.

No more marathons.  Ever.

My sweet husband, who never cries, began to cry because he knows how much marathon running means to me.  We cried a while and he showed me sweet sweet texts from my friends and family who love  me and understand me enough to mourn with me.  It made me feel loved and was much appreciated.

I went home that night.  Chanell came over and set up my ice machine while Ryan was cleaning up barf and my mom was having her own stomach issues.  Melissa came over and cried a little with me.  I had/have some great pain killers and we got through the first night.

surgery3

My mom was immensely helpful (she was better in the morning) and she cooked, cleaned and entertained so that Ryan could take care of me and the two other kids who were sick (Jane and Faith both got the flu over the last three days).  We couldn’t have done it without her.  I’ve been moved and so cheered by flowers and magazines and phone calls and treats and texts.  I feel very cared for and loved. 

surgery2

Ryan, as everyone would expect, has been the perfect nurse.  Kind, upbeat, working literally 20 hours a day, taking me to the bathroom, on walks in a wheelchair, helping me shower (took an entire hour!!)…I really have no words to describe how lucky I am that he’s my husband.

surgery1

Every day I feel MUCH better.  I am crutching around okay, but still need to be resting most of the day.  I come downstairs 2-3 times a day just for a change of scenery and have been kept busy reading (2 books so far), social media, talking to friends on the phone and in real life, playing Sally Salon on my phone, card games with the kids. 

I’m not sure what the next few weeks will look like exactly but I will be in crutches for 6 weeks, on serious painkillers for another 7-10 days and I have some machine that bends my knee that I am required to use for 6 hours a day for the next 4 weeks.  I’m going to be basically putting 80% of my time and energy to recovering for the next month, which is hard, but I have to do it.  I have lots of childcare, meals and rides lined up—because I live in the best place ever.  And have the best friends ever.

surgery6

I’m feeling okay.  I’m not one to wallow.  I know I’ll be okay.  I’ll find other goals to set and ways to push myself and I’m grateful I can still run a little bit.  Plus you know I’ll be pushing that 3-5 miles and hoping that it really means 4-8 miles so I can still run long lake runs with my friends and do Olympic triathlons.  Without sounding like Pollyanna, I’m grateful for hard things that remind us how to be compassionate to others, that help us draw closer to the Lord, that help us know what true friendship is, that remind us what is really important. 

12 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for letting us all know how you are getting on. Good luck with your recovery and Im so glad you are getting lots of good help.

DaNae said...

Bummer, but you sound so positive about it all. Wishing you a smooth recovery.

Lauren in GA said...

Oh, Jessica...I'm really sorry that marathons won't be possible. Really and truly.

I'm so grateful that Ryan was with you...and cried with you...

I'm sorry that you didn't have a pleasant nurse in recovery. I had a nurse right after little John was surgically removed that was awful. I called her, "mean nurse" behind her back...you know 'cause being petty behind her back really taught that hag a lesson. ;)

Love you, girlie.

Ashley C said...

I'm so sorry that you won't be able to do marathons anymore. I'm sure that was devastating news. I'm glad you're feeling somewhat upbeat though, and that you've had so many people helping you recover. You really do live in the best place ever. :)

Lesa said...

This made me cry--for your sad news but also for your upbeat attitude. Thank you for sharing. I wish you the very best.

Michele Alger said...

I don't know how you would not dread a surgery/recovery like that! I'm sorry for your bad news. Sometimes the Lord allows us to lose things we love because of things that we wouldn't gain otherwise. It is so neat to see how much your recognize the blessings in your life! I pray your family will all be well quickly and that your recovery will be complete and speedy.
Oh, and I agree, you do live in the best place on earth! ;)

Ilene said...

Hang in there, my friend. This too shall pass. I appreciate the Pollyanna remarks. Good luck with the recovery!

Brooke Romney said...

I am so sorry. That is just such a bummer, especially for someone who loves to run like you do. I am so glad the surgery is over and recovery is starting. You have a great attitude, great family and friends, that's a big bonus. Thanks for reading my family blog...pretty sure you are one of three who still do :). Want a talk to ponder? This one was a life changer about trials: https://www.lds.org/liahona/2012/04/the-atonement-and-the-journey-of-mortality?lang=eng

katie said...

I love your attitude about this whole thing. I can't imagine going through that surgery and having to take care of 5 kids afterwards. This was a great post and helped remind me of the good that can come out of my recent trials. *teary smile* I'll keep you in my prayers.

Cami said...

I applaud your courage. Courage is a attribute I've always felt is a word that applies to how YOU, Jessica, face what is given you.

jessica said...

So our little...I mean super long...chat motivated me to get on the computer and check out the blog. Even though I know all that has gone down, seeing the pictures and reading about it all over again makes me so mad that I'm not there! SOOOOOO SOOOOO MAD.

So now I will try and move past my anger and be like Pollyanna and go hang some rainbow makers...even though it's raining outside ;)

xoxo

Adrianne said...

Aye, this is a doozy. I love what was said about taking away things we love so we can learn to love other things. I especially wish i lid closer so i could be a better friend. Love you!