The Long Road To Recovery

Its a marathon not a sprint

The past few days have been very hectic, first thing to happen was the pre-assessment for the operation, getting a phone call to tell me about it was two hours prior to the appointment was rather stressful because it takes an hour to get there and I had planned to go to see Evie (my girlfriend) that afternoon, but during injuries plans have to change and the people around you have to be understanding of that.

The pre-assessment went very smoothly, little bit overwhelming I’ll admit but it went well. The nurse asked me about so many diseases in the end I thought she was just jumbling up letters just to test me. By any means I got through that and everything was ok so I was ready for my operation, I had managed to get in on the Friday at 5pm. Everything was in full swing and I could finally get going and get the operation over with.

Friday came quickly, I had a few instructions from the nurse about my eating and drinking pre-operation, meaning I couldn’t eat six hours before my admission and drink within two. This was a challenge because I like my food, so I had to make sure that no one eats around me because that’d just make me feel hungry. I struggled on until the evening, I was admitted at 5pm as stated. Within the hour I saw the surgeon and the anaesthetist, made the choice I’d been fretting about since I got told I could either have spinal or general anaesthetic. I chose spinal, firstly because I don’t like the feeling of being sick, like everyone said would happen and also because I would around quicker.

This is where everything changed, I was all cheerful having a laugh and a joke when the anaesthetist came back in, he had an emergency at home so had to leave. Meh oh well at least the complications are happening now was my initial thought, but this did mean a longer wait before I could have the operation. By the time I’d seen the other anaesthetist it was around 7:30pm, an hour late because I was booked into theatre for 6:30. When I finally went down it was ten past eight. I couldn’t wait to eat I was starving. Anyway enough of me and my stomach and on to the procedure itself.

The nurse did her final checks and then I went into the theatre, I had the cannula put in my left hand, I hate needles so the nurse who was telling me I wasn’t that northern compared to her colleague got me through that. That was all done, now the fun part, I had to lean forward and the anaesthetist would find the spot to inject me. Yeah, as if it would be that easy, I’m sure he tried about three times until I almost fainted, they had to lay me down just so I didn’t, he found the spot in the end and that was done. The surgeon came in and did some final tests on the knee before beginning the procedure.

So, all set. Ready to go. Never did I ever in my wildest dreams did I think I would enjoy being talked through how they were going to reconstruct my ligament, honestly I thought they must have used a bit too much sedative and I was dreaming. I rather enjoyed seeing what was happening, my ligament which now looked a bit like something you’d find in a coral reef being cleaned out and the tendon from my hamstring being put in its place. The weirdest thing about the whole thing was hearing the surgeon drilling the new ligament in place, hearing it but not feeling it baffled me. As it turned out everything else in my knee was alright so everything was very straightforward and everything was a success. 

Onto recovery, well first thing I found out was they was repainting that room so I had to stay in theatre, that was alright, I was so cosy and warm under two blankets and a duvet so I wasn’t going to complain. I got feeling back in my toes about ten minutes after the procedure and all the final checks was done and I could be wheeled to the room. The nurse didn’t believe that I knew my room number but it turns out I was right, obviously. 

Those sandwiches for when I got back into my room were incredible, bacon, brie and cranberry. Delightful. My mum and dad stayed with me for an hour as I talked them through the operation, I could see my mum wheezing as I spoke about it because she doesn’t like the concept of pain either. The amount of support I got was amazing and all the messages I received where breath-taking. It is such a nice feeling knowing you have other people’s support is a nice feeling, you’re never alone and there’s someone always out there for you. I didn’t sleep much that night, oh well I enjoyed watching the TV and seeing someone steal £54000 on golden balls. There’s always an upside, at least I wasn’t the one who chose to split. Another win I had was my cannula kind of came out in my sleep… don’t know how, don’t know why. But apparently that’s one of the most painful things, I am definitely not complaining about that.

The next morning, I had some pain killers, the physio from the hospital came in, gave me a selection of exercises to do for the next few weeks. Then I had some crutches delivered to my room, told I didn’t need to use them all the time and that I’d be off them in less than a week anyway. The club’s physio came in, told me the plan of action and was really pleased with how everything went and that I was well on the road to recovery. I was discharged at 11:15am and I could finally go home.

When I was at home I was so tired, my girlfriend, mum and dad were all there but not all of me was. I don’t remember most of it because I was asleep on and off between the time I got home until the football finished and I was watching Soccer Saturday. Well I say watching, I’m pretty sure I was asleep with my eyes open, I don’t remember most of it, and according to everyone around me I was mumbling gibberish. It’s been difficult accepting other people have to do more things for me but once that acceptance is reached it does make it easier. The main thing is not to get too beaten up by yourself because you need to take in steady, it’s a marathon not a sprint, as everyone has said.

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