Chronic Pain, Disability, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, health

Weeks 2 and 3 Post-Op

Disclaimer: This post is part of a Surgery Recovery Diary and therefore there are some graphic photos included.

Week 2 Post-Op

Sunday 27th September (Day 8) to Saturday 3rd October (Day 14)

Week 2 of recovery was spent becoming a little bit more self-sufficient (I managed to shower with minimal help, sit at my dressing table and dry my hair and stand up long enough to get my own clothes out of my dresser. Other than small moments of being a little more independent, nothing much really happened; I slept (a lot), watched the bruising around my knee get even more colourful as the week went on, messaged my friends, cuddled Merlot, watched Grey’s Anatomy and drank a lot of coffee.

I did manage to make it to my sofa (which luckily is only about 10 metres from my bed) and successfully built Berlin out of Lego on Day 10 of recovery, thanks to my friend Tana who is a Nurse. She. set me those two challenges for the day and made me send her photo evidence.

Week 3 Post-Op

Sunday 4th October (Day 15) to Saturday 10th October (Day 21)

Week 3 of recovery saw any positivity I had go well and truly out of the window towards the end of the week. By day 19 I was well and truly fed up and spent the entire evening crying from frustration. Although the pain wasn’t bad and I wasn’t on any pain medication, my legs felt heavy every night, which stopped me from sleeping, I was majorly missing human interaction, completely and utterly bored and frustrated at my lack of independence.

However, Merlot was on hand with lots of cuddles whilst I was feeling so down and he barely left my side so he helped to cheer me up (especially when he turned into a bodyguard and growled at Mum when she tried to come near me 🙈)

Despite week 3 being spent mostly miserable in bed, I did get out of the house for the first-time sine getting home, even if it was only to the hospital to see Mr M.

 Day 17 – Post-Op Follow Up with Mr M

All I wanted out of my follow up with Mr M was to get rid of the compression stockings and see my incision. To my surprise Mr M helped me tick those off pretty quickly. I took the stockings off as soon as he told me I could stop wearing them, much to his amusement at how quickly I wanted to them off (I am injecting myself into my tummy every day with anti-coagulants, which is why I was cleared to take the stockings off so early). He then unlocked my brace to 0-30° flexion and showed me how to unlock it further. I was pretty worried about getting my knee bent but as soon as the brace came off my knee went straight to 30° with no effort or pain, which was a nice surprise.

Mr M took the dressing and all the steri-strips off my incision, although most of them did not want to come off my knee and it took a whilst to remove them all. I was expecting a 4-inch (ish) incision but it ended up being 6 inches long so I jokingly asked Mr M if he got a bit scalpel happy when he was cutting my knee open, to which he told me that he just wanted to ensure I had a proper battle scar 😂.

After getting to see my incision for the first time, Mr M showed me the x-rays of my knee that were taken the morning after surgery. It’s a pretty strange feeling seeing a picture of your knee with a 4.5cm screw through it but the x-rays did show that the TTT was successful and my kneecap is now in the correct anatomical position, at least 15mm lower than it’s been for the last 26 years.

I had asked Mr M to explain exactly what he did in surgery (I know, I am strange but I like to know all the gory details) and I found out that I actually had 4 procedures rather than the 3 I thought I was having. The 4th procedure was a VMO advancement. I’m still pretty unsure as to what this actually is but from what I was told, it is where they detach your VMO muscle and reattach it to a different place to give the patella more support (so that’s 2 parts of my knee that have been detached and relocated… no wonder it hurts so much 🤦🏼‍♀️.)

Whilst he was explaining what happened in surgery, I took the opportunity to ask him why the whole right side of my knee is completely numb to the touch and he explained that the cutaneous (skin) nerves are right where the incision had to be made so they were cut during surgery. Apparently, the nerves can sometimes fix themselves so time will tell as to whether I will regain some sensation or not.

The most exciting news of the whole appointment though is that I don’t have to return to the hospital until the middle of November! I have to unlock my brace by another 30 degrees every 2 weeks and continue to rest and then hopefully I can start rehab after I’ve seen Mr M again.

Onto Week 4 of Recovery…

Thanks for all of your support and love (as always).

Lauren x

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