Surgery Remembered

Four years ago today, I underwent knee surgery to repair (okay, actually smooth out) a torn meniscus.

Kurt was wonderful (but I promised not to tell anyone, so we’ll add that to our list of secrets). He agreed to be my ride and sign a form saying he would stay with me until the anesthesia completely wore off. I also gave him my durable power of attorney for healthcare. I definitely trusted him (and still do) with my life. I think I should have waited until closer to the procedure before I told him about it, though. For a week beforehand I kept hearing, “Pull the plug?”, which he said only to make me scream, “DON’T pull the plug”. “Okay, pull the plug.”

I knew I really wanted the surgery performed. My quality of life was so poor: I couldn’t walk around a supermarket without leaning heavily on the cart because of the pain. I wanted my freedom back.  Despite that, I was still nervous going in.

I remember walking into the operating theater, hearing the assistant repeat what the surgery was, on which leg, and then the anesthesiologist saying, “Are you ready?”. The last thing I remember was saying, “Why does my mouth taste like metal?”

Inside Tammy's Knee


An hour later I thought I was having a dream with Carmen cuddling up next to me. Turns out it was the fabulous heated air cushion the nurse was inflating to get my body temperature back up. It was all over. Thank goodness my dream wasn’t of Carmen licking me!

Getting me home was definitely a comedy of errors. First off, my knee did not bend, and the nurse had to work to get a very stoned me into the front seat of a sports car in one piece … plus the crutches (Thanks for the loan, Barbara!). Then, there was actually getting me into my condo. I am on the third floor of a building with no elevator.

I approached the stairs, put the crutches on the first step and tried to pry myself up. No dice. I looked to Kurt. “I think you are going to have to carry me.”

Instead, he enlightened me to the fact that to go up stairs, you place the crutches next to your feet and then push yourself up. Slowly but surely I got to the top, with Kurt behind me to ensure I didn’t fall backwards. Then and there I knew I couldn’t get back down with crutches. I was there for a week.

During that week, Kurt collected my mail, brought me whatever food cravings I was having, and keep me company. I also had many other wonderful friends who came over to visit and bring me food, and a fabulous Florence Nightingale who provided the aftercare that my health insurance didn’t.

Since it was Thanksgiving week, and I couldn’t go anywhere, I did bake a turkey. Try taking that out of the oven with only putting weight on one leg!!!!

Going through all of this taught me so much about the value of friendships. Thank you everyone who helped me then, and since. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

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