My First Pre Op Explains A Lot!
Wednesday, January 04, 2017
This afternoon, I had my first pre op and it was with my primary care doctor. I explained that I feel like I'm sitting on a keg of dynamite because this surgery was cancelled once and rescheduled. By the time my surgery rolls around, I will have been waiting almost nine weeks to have it done. We discussed the fact that it was a blessing to have the surgery rescheduled because having this kind of tricky surgery was not a good idea two days before Christmas. This will be a tedious procedure that will require my orthopedist to be at the top of his game. The doctor needs to be available to check on me due to the increased risk of complications. That being said, my primary checked my blood pressure again. The first time it was checked, it was a little bit high. I was aware that my anxiety level had everything to do with the high numbers. So, while I was waiting for the doctor, I spent five minutes doing one of the Spark Coach visualizations. The doctor took my BP a second time and the numbers dropped 38 points after having done the visualization exercise. So, if you belong to Spark Coach, doing the daily visualizations is really worth it. They are motivating as well as relaxing!
I did well on all of my testing except for the test that measures how much protein is consumed. The doctor said since I've already had two major surgeries within a year and I'm having a third, my testing shows that I need to eat a lot more protein. I know partially what causes that. When I'm stressed, I get a knot in my stomach and I eat very sparing and sometimes not at all. Two things have happened, it has caused my thyroid to tank and I'm not eating enough protein to allow me to bounce back from all of the surgeries. It also explains a lot of my fatigue level (stress combined with not enough protein.). This I can and will work on and improve.
During my physical exam, everything looked good except the knee that needs a total replacement revision. This was the first 15 year old knee replacement that my primary had ever seen. So, I removed the brace and let him look at it. He asked me a few questions and I asked him several questions. My biggest question was about the scar from the replacement I currently have. Over the past two weeks, the scar has shifted over to the right about 1-2 inches. I can no longer feel the kneecap in the middle of the knee. Together, my doctor and I gently probed the area until we located what felt like a hard piece of bone. We compared the size and location to my other knee.
"What is going on?" I asked anxiously. The doctor probed a bit more and then frowned and shook his head.
"In all honesty, there are so many issues going on," he said. "I feel scar tissue, I feel a knee cap way out of place and I feel the ends of your two bones."
I explained that the orthopedist told me point blank (at my last appointment) that my knee was really, really bad. My primary agreed that it is in bad shape. I wanted to know what the deal with the shifting scar and knee cap was all about because I've watched the deterioration of the knee during the past two weeks and it scares me. The doctor said that the knee cap is dislocated and scar tissue has formed, so it pulls toward the direction of the kneecap. The kneecap has drifted to the right, so everything related, including the scar from my last replacement has drifted with it. The whole area is also filled with fluid.
My primary and I discussed what I'm doing for pain medication while I'm waiting. I told him that I take Tylenol for headaches and nothing for my leg. If the leg hurts, I go to bed and get off it. Yes I have emergency prescription pain medication but unless something out of the ordinary happens, I don't take it. I've developed a healthy respect for prescription pain medication and don't take it unless absolutely necessary. He made me promise to take it if I get in trouble with my knee. I joked that if that happened, he would probably be hearing from me as I'm on the way to my orthopedist 's office or the emergency room.
I felt good about my appointment today. I'm in good shape for my surgery. My primary was able to answer some of my questions and he told me that after looking at my leg, he can totally understand my anxiety over the surgery. It is in very bad shape. I have promised to be very careful with the leg as I complete my preparations for my upcoming surgery.