If you had the chance to visit my last post about Raising Healthy Chickens in Fremont-Newark-Union City, you would have know that one of my knees would be out of commission for a while.
This post is a quick humorous look at my post op recovery. I still have both legs. And, this is by no means poking fun at those who have had the misfortune of losing a limb, but my experience has been one that I am ready to poke a little fun at.
To cut to the quick, immediately after the operation, I was escorted out to the back of the Fremont Surgery Center north building. There was only a fear of pain that I think comes naturally to most of us. I dared not put full pressure on the leg, (any pressure for that matter) but the doctor (Dr. Barry Rose, M.D.) said that I could place full pressure on the leg, but to keep it raised for the next 24 hours with an ice pack. I clutched my envelope of post op instructions, receipts and disclosures and hopped in the wheelchair. While being wheeled out, I discovered a new definition of anticipation to be described as: The to-no-avail halting motion as one tries to scoot back further than possible in a wheel chair as a nurse pushes one onward over significant pavement bumps after knee surgery. Wincing, and approaching each pavement line in the sidewalk, we finally arrived at the drop off/ pick up point. I noticed the back of my wife's car at least fifty yards up and stopped next to the wrong building. My wife was told she could pick me up right at the door. She would have to back up a ways. While waiting, I still thought I had my puffy, blue surgery hat on and I asked the nurse if I could take it off. She simply spoke, "It's off." I just replied with, "Oh." Thoughtfully, and relieved I was still alive I'm sure, she put the car in reverse and picked me up where I was waiting.
Arthroscopic surgery has come a long way since even a few years back. Sure I was sore, but I wasn't nauseated, nor was I in great pain. But I did notice something. I noticed when I went grocery shopping a few days later, that many people were limping like I was. Did they just have surgery too? Perhaps they have a torn meniscus, or was it me and my reticular activator (You know, you by a red Honda Civic and then you spot them out of the traffic in huge numbers because you have one too?) Regardless, it seemed like the whole of Fremont was limping on the left except my wife and children who forgot on a regular basis that walking at a regular pace was just not for me at the moment. Since I was a bit incapacitated, we decided to go to a matinée, my wife and I wanted to see Green Zone. Walking to the theater from the parking lot, we would start out together in pace for about 1 second, then, she would walk ahead, realize I was not there, then turn and look at me, then wait in silence until I arrived. The we would do it all over again five or six times until we met up at our final destination. So, phrases like, "be right there" had to be modified to, "give me a minute" accompanied by a wince and a hobble.
I'm sure my story is lite compared to many out there. A Far Side comic comes to mind where two pirates are at a bar and the caption reads. "Oh yeah? That's noth'n. Let me tell ya how I got this one." The real genius of the cartoon is that the one speaking the line is answering the guy next to him who has a wooden peg instead of a head sticking up out of his coat collar.
We are fortunate to have great medical staff and facilities here in Fremont the way we do without having to live in Palo Alto for access to Stanford Hospital facilities. The Fremont real estate http://www.tricityhome.com fits a lot of people's budget better as well. Two very different cites, but I'm glad we share great physicians, staff and equipment between us both.
By Jeff Pereyda
By Jeff Pereyda