On Thursday, I had surgery as scheduled on my left SI joint.
It was different in so many ways from any surgery I’ve had.
The Morning Of My Procedure
When my husband and I arrived at the hospital, we went through our COVID-19 screening and he was allowed to come and sit with me because he was pushing me in a wheelchair (other patient’s caregivers were being sent back to their cars). We waited for quite sometime for me to be called back and – because of the nature of my surgery on an infection in my SI joint – I was in a good deal of discomfort by that time, both from sitting on the hard wheelchair seat and from all of the activity to get ready and get there. At that point, he was sent to wait in the car.
Once I was in the room, my nurse began checking me in and getting me connected to all of the monitors and whatnot. I mentioned to her that I was in a lot of pain – but she was not too concerned. Still, she got me checked in and called my husband to come back in and sit with me.
My surgeon then came in and spoke with us, letting us know that he had another case ahead of me and it would likely be awhile. He also told me that he would be “drilling a two inch hole” in my bone and going through to the SI joint and cleaning out the infection. While he had explained the surgery before, he had not put it that way – and I could have done without that mental picture.
He also told us that it was the first time he had done this procedure – since this is a rare infection. It was also the first time it had been done at the hospital at all.
Since he had told me several times how painful this post-op recovery would be, I was so nervous. It just couldn’t be helped.
And, again, I was in tremendous pain at that time – and expecting to wait awhile longer for surgery.
However, my surgeon said the anesthesiologist could order something to help.
And then he left.
And I was not doing well.
Fortunately, the anesthesiologist did arrive quickly and get my meds sorted so I was more comfortable.
A few hours later, they came for me.
The Procedure & Post Op Waiting
From what I understand, I was in surgery for a couple of hours – and, again, my husband had to wait in the car. I have no recollection of the recovery area. When I came to, I was back in the pre-op room and my husband was with me.
I know I had to be positioned on my stomach for the surgery and it must have been quite the event because my lip is all bitten up and my neck is so sore and I have a scratch on my face and a baby shiner and a big scrape on my elbow.
What the hay?
Still, all went well with the procedure.
My surgeon told my husband that he was able to remove the abscess and a bunch of infection and to place the antibiotic infused bone cement without difficulty.
I was actually able to get up – just to the bathroom – with a walker – as I am non-weight bearing on my left leg, shortly after I got back to my pre-op room. I am so grateful that I was able to be up and moving so soon since I wasn’t sure how that was going to work out.
After that, my husband and I waited for several (SEVERAL) hours to be sent up to my room because there is huge backlog of surgeries due to all the COVID-19 cancellations and it is SO busy – and also all of the COVID precautions that are in place take longer as well.
Still, finally we did make it.
Post Op Recovery
Once we got to my room, we got settled in fairly quickly and the nursing staff was wonderful.
Throughout the night, they kept my pain under control – and I was surprised to learn that – while there is plenty of post-op pain – it is actually an improvement over the pain of the abscess and infection. That pain was almost unbearable.
The next morning, I saw my surgeon, infectious disease specialist, hospitalist, and physical therapist – and they all felt that I could come home with home health and IV antibiotics. I was SO freaking happy.
I was discharged Friday afternoon.
Since I’ve been home, I slept from about 4pm Friday afternoon to about 8am Saturday morning, with just a few wakeups in between.
I. Was. Exhausted.
Then pharmacy came out to deliver my antibiotics and admit me and I have enjoyed the day piled up with the fur babies, watching the astronauts launch, reading, doing some research on functional medicine, listening to some podcasts, and writing.
Just a lovely, at-home day with my family.
Oh my word, am I happy to be home. ❤
I’ll be non-weight bearing and resting for some time – but on the mend. I’m so grateful that this first big step of the journey is behind me.
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Grace and Blessings.