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The Road Not Walked: My Quadriceps Tendon Surgery

The Road Not Walked: My Quadriceps Tendon Surgery

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December 4, 2016
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I know I have not been quite active on my blog for a bit. But, there is a reason. See, for the past four months I have been recovering from quadriceps tendon surgery. Please, check out the picture below about what it means to have such a surgery if you don’t know what it is. It’s a real doozy. In addition, I have left the gory surgical photos on imgur and have linked to them via text link instead of posting here in the post. This way, at least those of you who are squeamish can skip over those without reading too much gory detail.

Here’s how everything started, and how things have unfolded since then. It’s quite a long story, with all the details, so if you have time and wish to spend it reading my updates below, I suggest grabbing a quick cup of coffee before you sit down.

An Ill-Fated Trip to the Bowling Alley

The story begins on August 28th, 2016. One of my side passions was bowling. I loved the lanes, the oil, the pins, and I loved upgrading bowling balls every couple years.

I got seriously injured in a bowling accident. I hadn’t bowled in awhile, and I started missing it and figured I wanted to go bowling on Sunday, August 28th. I ended up getting lane 13 which would turn out to be a majorly bad omen a bit later. During the third frame of my first game I slipped and fell while sliding on my left foot. My left foot kept going when I slid. I used my right leg in an attempt to balance myself. Unfortunately, I ended up falling backwards flat on my back all the way, fully bending both legs. I felt an incredibly sharp pain in my right leg and had no idea what happened. I was a bit disoriented and attempted to get up to go back to the chairs. I could not and fell flat on my butt again when I attempted to get up.

My knee was gone. I had to crawl to the chairs and could not walk for a good solid 5-10 minutes. It wasn’t until 10-15 minutes later that I could finally get up with some support. Something was seriously wrong. My stepdad was able to come to the bowling alley to my aid with his truck. I fell several times when attempting to get into the passenger side of his Ford F-150. I figured at that time I should head to the emergency room.

Severe Sprain: A Weak Diagnosis

At the emergency room after an x-ray the doctor said that nothing looked out of place and everything was just fine. They sent me home with Motrin for the pain along with crutches but said I could continue to use Tylenol so long as it helped. I continued to be unable to drive and walked on crutches for the next three weeks. At the very least, I was able to watch the entire series of Mad Men!

Seeing another doctor in a primary care capacity, it was determined that we wait for two weeks for the swelling to go down. Per his information, we can’t even determine anything until the swelling of my knee is gone. At the next appointment, after still not being able to step up on the stool with my right foot, my doctor sent me to get an MRI and to see an orthopedic surgeon.

The Heavy Diagnosis: Complete Quadriceps Tendon Tear

Complete Quadriceps Tendon Tear

Complete Quadriceps Tendon Tear – From: http://www.omahaknee.com/quadriceps-tendon-rupture/

Finally on September 16th I was diagnosed with the complete tear of my right leg’s quadriceps tendon. It was no longer attached to the kneecap. It was determined by the orthopedic surgeon that I needed to have surgery to re-attach it. It was a whirlwind day and completely unexpected. This answered the big question completely: why I could not stand on my right leg at all without crutches, and why I still could not use it even after the swelling had gone down.

I was shocked. Literally shocked not only that I had a complete tear of my quadriceps tendon, but that I finally had an answer. I could not understand or believe why did this happen to me? I was only bowling and only made it through frame 3 of my first game in ages when I fell and tore it. It was unbelievable. Six hundred thousand things started flashing through my mind: what’s going to happen with my job? What’s going to happen with the rest of my life after surgery? Through my research on this subject I am one of the lucky ones to have surgery so soon after the injury. Some have gone a year before they even realized they had a torn quad tendon.

Oh yeah. And I’m definitely not going bowling again. I’m told that it’s going to be a very long haul – could be 3-4 months until I am fully recovered and ready to return to a normal life. The shock of this news would linger for days afterward. 3-4 months? Of being crippled? 3-4 more months of never being able to take a shower, not being able to cook my own food, not being able to drive? Not being able to go to work? It was unbelievable to me. I have never had an injury like this before.

The most I have had was when I fell on my bike when I was a kid, hit my chin, and had to have a couple stitches. The other surgery I had I was too young and could not remember, when I had my tonsils out. I have never had anything happen to me that was this severe before.

What Does Quadriceps Tendon Surgery Mean to Me?

I am quite sure I went through the five stages of grief in the span of a day – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Grief about the situation, about the past 3 weeks. Worries about the future. There is no end in sight, and it will end up lasting for 3-4 months? Mentally and emotionally I was a wreck. What am I going to tell my job? What am I going to tell people?

I could tell people that I foiled a bank robbery but first I would have to actually go INTO a bank to do so. I don’t go into banks – I use the ATM and have direct deposit. It has been a long time since I physically went into a bank. Maybe I could tell people I got injured foiling an armored car robbery. There. That works! Hah.

I am not to drink or eat anything for 12 hours prior to surgery. I am also to make sure I bring clothes that I don’t mind losing or otherwise don’t care about wearing. Also I should have some place to put my valuables like my cell phone, glasses, hearing aids, wallet, etc.

The anticipation of surgery coming is the worst. It’s like you’re on the brink of finally being recovered but not. But you know you’re going to be even more disabled after surgery than you were prior to it. It’s kind of a mixed bag of emotions but on the whole I was glad to have it finally here and to have it over with. I don’t know what I would have done if I had to wait a month for surgery.

 

Night Before Surgery - 9/20/2016

The Night Before Surgery and all through the … house?

September 20th: The night before my surgery my mom and I planned out how I was going to access my technology as needed, how I was going to access my work laptop, as well as my personal laptop. She came up with the great idea to use a technology rack so I can access what I need when I need to. The middle platform is easy enough to move out. I ended up stacking my personal laptop and work laptop on top of each other for easy access for work and play.

I thought about: what if I die from this? By comparison to other types of surgery this is pretty major surgery. What if I don’t come back? What if… all of these and more questions ran through my head the closer I get to surgery. I thought about drawing out a will and leaving a copy with my mom, detailing what she, Maya (dog), Piper (dog), Sydney (parrot), and Keyta (parrot) will all get when I die. Also what my dad, step dad, and step sisters may get. Who knows? Just so much to deal with in such a short span of time maybe it’s time to just say “Fuck it all” and do the surgery. The worst may never happen!

The Day of Surgery Arrives

I was scheduled immediately for surgery at Orange Coast Memorial Surgical Center the following week on Wednesday, September 21st. I had surgery beginning at 11:00 a.m., and it was supposed to last for roughly 2.5 hours. I arrived mentally prepped for surgery at around 10:30 a.m. Paid my co-pay for surgery, and was prepped for surgery beginning at 11:00 a.m. The attending nurse talked to us, explained everything about what to expect, and talked about at least 3 previous knee surgeries she had. Here I am worried about a single knee surgery and here’s someone who had 3 who is still up and at ‘em as a nurse. This shouldn’t be too bad.

Next, the anesthesiologist came in and checked my vitals before surgery and made sure things were good to go. My hearing aids are going to be left in during surgery, so I won’t have to worry about not being able to hear. Of course my glasses would not be left on.

Not much is really going through my mind at this point. I am just glad to be in surgery and that my injury is going to be a thing of the past pretty soon. I am probably a little bit twisted and different than those who went through similar surgeries – who’s glad to go through surgery? To me it meant that the past three weeks are finally coming to an end pretty soon. Although that day I had no idea what the next three months would bring.

I’m wheeled through several doors on a gurney and finally reach the operating room. I see these surgical assistants prepping for surgery, and big white lights when I look up. My surgeon was there to greet me, and the anesthesiologist gave me the mask and had me count back from 100 as he gave me the general anesthesia. I was completely out.

It didn’t feel like much time had passed (I was kind of disappointed — I was actually looking forward to a few groovy anesthetic-based dreams) and I found that I was waking up in the recovery room. I was very groggy and the first thing I can remember saying was saying groggily to the nurse attendant who was there was “Please tell my surgeon I said thank you for the diagnosis and the surgery.” I could not believe I was finally fixed and could begin the road to recovery. Or so I thought. The prognosis was excellent – they were able to fully re-attach my tendon. Under the influence of anesthesia no doubt, I felt like the worst was over. How wrong I was.

I was prescribed some industrial strength pain killers (Percocet I think), vitamin D (I had to take 2,000 IU per day, since I just found out the day before that I had a vitamin D deficiency). And Vitamin D is essential to healing. In addition, I was given Cephalexin, an antibiotic to help ward off infection. I am to take that 4 times per day. So my post-surgery drug cocktail consisted of a daily regimen of about 7 pills per day.

Really, though, as it turned out: the easy part is over. The hard part was about to begin – and boy did I have no idea how hard it would be. I first realized how hard it would be because we had not yet planned out how we were going to get me up the step into the house. Both the front door and our garage are built on steps that are rather high for a disabled person. But, alas, not considered high for those who are able to step up. It felt like a massive hill to me at the time.

We had to ruminate for at least an hour on how we were going to get me up the step. We figured out ahead of time that we would have both my mom and my dad lift me up as we came into the garage. It turned out to be much more difficult than we thought. But, thanks to my recent upper body strength I had built using my exercise equipment, I was able to pull myself up while they lifted and we got me to my recliner.

Eventually, we figured out a way for me to get up and down the steps on my own. Since I am unable to use my piano properly by using my piano bench, we figured out that it is the perfect height for me to get up from the garage. By putting the piano bench on the top of the step, I can sit down on the bench, use my crutches to lift myself up with my left leg, and get up the step that way. Without ever putting weight on my right knee. Easy as pie. I wish we thought of this earlier.

Brian Harnish right after quad tendon repair surgery

Brian Harnish right after quad tendon repair surgery

I was so glad to be in my recliner again. It was such a relief to be off my feet. I could not begin to thank God that I got home from surgery without much issue. I am quite relieved but also so exhausted. I ended up just sleeping over the next few days. I started stocking up on movies with our Amazon Prime access. I figured I was going to be watching a ton of movies over the next 6 weeks of recovery. Boy was I ever right about that. The first 2-3 weeks after surgery was mostly filled with work, sleep, and movies, as I was unable to do much else.

The next recipe for recovery is seeing my surgeon on a very regular basis: every week or so. This way, we can keep an eye on my wound for recovery.

The Long Road to Recovery Begins

September 30th: I found out I had 32 staples from my surgery! My surgeon is not happy with the blistering that is happening on my knee but feels it is nothing to be concerned about, only that we should be keeping an eye on my knee as it heals. I also traded in the brace that felt like a 50 lb. weight on my leg for a much lighter brace. I was told that the brace is exactly the same as what I had previously; it’s just that I likely gained strength since the surgery and I was better able to lift it.

It sure felt like the 10 lb. weights that were on each of the sections was removed, because I could not feel the pentagonal-like hard metal in the wrapping sections of the brace anymore. Anyway, either way, I noticed I was already experiencing gains from surgery. I also found out at this appointment that I could not put weight on or otherwise move my leg for one month until my wound heals – from October 4th to November 4th.

As of October 4th: Oy vey. It’s going to be a lot of resting and watching movies it looks like. I also had to learn to get around on crutches with only one leg. I was (and I am still) determined to beat this thing so I was thoroughly dejected – but not for long. I learned to get around on crutches with only one leg. Now is the hard part – the part where I need to keep myself off my feet and firmly planted on my ass. My wound is starting to turn necrotic.

I saw my surgeon on October 5th. He is not happy with the blistering that is happening at my incision site and wants me to come back again on Friday. It’s a setback – ok. Kind of not thrilled with having something wrong happening to my incision but I guess some things can’t be fully prevented.

October 7th: In addition to seeing my surgeon earlier this week I saw him October 7th. My mom was sick today, likely due to all the stress it has been taking care of me. I’m no dummy – I know taking care of me can be stressful and God bless her for being the person she is. She goes day in and day out taking care of five animals as we like to joke about – two birds, two dogs, and me hahaha. Anyway this update was generally non-eventful.

I also got to have the top and bottom staples taken out today. Surgeon is happy with how things are healing and progressing. I still have to keep my knee 100% straight / can’t bend or otherwise use it yet. I can start putting 50% of my body weight on my leg now. The keyword is start. It will take time to gather my strength in my leg again, let alone actually teach it what 50% of my body weight means. Yeesh! But still, there is progress in the right direction at least.

You would think having the staples taken out would hurt, but surprisingly it didn’t hurt that bad. All I felt was a couple of pinches as my surgeon was taking them out and that was it.

October 14th: I finally got to have all the rest of my staples taken out of my leg. My surgeon still does not want me to bend or use my knee beyond putting 50% of my body weight on it until it heals some more. It’s not until my necrotic skin area heals that I will finally be able to bend my knee. Thankfully, though, I think it is still progress.

Turning Point: Skin Necrosis

October 21st: Happy Birthday to me! However, my appointment today was the worst. We found out that my surgery wound has turned even more necrotic, and has started bleeding. My surgeon had the head doctor come in for a second opinion and take a look at it. They offered me a couple of options: since it IS currently healing and looks like it is pretty superficial only, we could continue waiting and seeing how it heals, or we could opt for plastic surgery. Plastic surgery would involve a skin graft in order to heal the area. However, since it has been so soon after my previous surgery my doctor would prefer to take the conservative approach and see what it does.

October 25th: Today’s doctor’s appointment happened on a Tuesday. Because my doctor is growing increasingly concerned with the necrotic area, he wanted to see me sooner than waiting until the next Friday. There IS some good news coming out of this appointment:

I am finally able to start putting 100% weight on my right leg. I still, however, have to keep it 100% straight without bending my knee. So far everything seems to be healing fine it’s just taking longer than my surgeon initially anticipated due to the necrotic area. The other good news is that my necrotic skin area is NOT infected and it continues to behave as normal and appears to be healing with progress happening every week.

If my necrotic skin area continues to not improve I may end up needing additional surgery to have it corrected.

Progress: I Can (Kind of) Walk Again!

November 1st: Today’s visit was full of great news. 6 weeks out from surgery and I am finally able to (kind of) walk again!!! The end of my appointment saw me walking from room 12 around the corner to the front desk using both legs almost like a normal person – but WITH crutches. I walked 25 feet on both feet with crutches.

My surgery wound continues to heal and my surgeon continues to be happy with its progress. The remaining tape was removed. He still believes the necrotic skin to be superficial. He lifted up some of the scabbing and was able to see brand-new skin regenerated underneath. Based on what he has been able to see, we are still unsure as to what else the necrotic area is not revealing. That is the part my surgeon is concerned about. He wants me to see the plastic surgeon to weigh in on wound care and other things we can do to help get the necrotic area removed.

I am still not to bend my knee until the necrotic area fully heals. My surgeon bent my knee himself though. This is the first day since my surgery I am able to bend my knee in any fashion. To my surprise, there was no pain or apparent stiffness that I could feel. And I was like – hot damn!!!!!!! I can finally walk again!

I am, however, still quite scared that I am going to completely tear my tendon again or otherwise re-injure it, so it has been a challenge getting past that.

November 8th: This past week has seen much progress in my condition. My surgeon wants me to get up and move around in order to help facilitate the most improvement possible before physical therapy. I was able to get up and walk around every day last week and throughout the weekend. Today, I felt great and wanted to walk up to the doctor’s office without the aid of a wheel chair. The unfortunate problem was that I found a wet floor sign at the entrance to the building. I did not want to chance that kind of issue causing me to slip and fall and re-tear my tendon, so I opted for the wheel chair.

This week, I was tasked with walking the distance from my room at the doctor’s office to the front desk again. This time I walked further and faster than the last time. Improvement is coming in every area it seems like and boy is it a relief to see this happening.

He still wanted me to see the plastic surgeon so he can weigh in on wound care. So, my next doctor’s visit is on Thursday, November 10th.

The general consensus: my wound is healing and raising up off my skin faster and faster it seems the more I get up and move around, so I’m going to keep doing that per doctor’s orders. In addition, I am to perform leg raises and quad muscle squeezing exercises in order to rehab the muscle every day. When I was at the doctor’s office I was unable to perform one leg raise without the aid of my left leg. Now, I can perform them quite easily and I can perform them laying down flat on my back. The improvement is encouraging but it is way too slow. All I want to be doing is walking again. But I haven’t given up. At least not yet. No matter how much it is tempting to want to, I keep going. Because I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s coming.

A Visit to the Plastic Surgeon

Brian Harnish visit to the plastic surgeon's officeNovember 10th: I am still feeling better and experiencing improvement so I wanted to walk, hopping on one left leg with crutches, while using the full weight of my right to keep my balance) the entire length of the walkway (pictured to the right). I walked from the right hand curb to the upper left hand corner of the doctor’s building, all the way into the doctor’s office. I was feeling very weak the closer I got to the doctor’s office and felt like I was going to fall. I felt like I needed a wheelchair and my mom, bless her heart, went and grabbed one from the doctor’s office. The only problem: this wheelchair is not built for a person of my size, even with the weight I have lost. I felt like I was going to break my hips squeezing them into the wheelchair, it was so painful.

So, I ended up walking anyway. I had to take a break and rest at the planter in front of the doctor’s office because I was so tired and in pain. Luckily the brick area was just the right height for me to sit down. I was still quite scared and had to mentally prep myself to get up the slight hill going into the building. I have barely traversed one slight hill – the hill 10-15 mins earlier today when we got out of the car. Hills are still very foreign to my feet that have been out of walking experience for nearly 8 weeks, and I had deep anxiety happening every time I looked at it.

Eventually, though, I was finally able to get up the hill and into the plastic surgeon’s office. Oh my GOD the hills. Up and down the entire way almost. Freaking HILLS. I kept thinking I was going to fall but I did not. I drove my mom nuts with “OMG I’m going to fall.”

My plastic surgeon’s diagnosis was that he wasn’t quite qualified to address this, and to continue using dry bandages. He wants to refer me to wound care because of the severity of the necrosis. His main concern is that there is tendon exposed underneath the necrotic area, and doesn’t want to do much to it right now. He did remove some of the scabbing at the bottom of the necrotic area. We will be getting a call from the wound care place and will be making an appointment to visit there immediately.

Turning Point: A Realization of Physical Limitations

The end of my plastic surgeon’s appointment saw my legs completely out of energy. My left knee felt like it was going to collapse, and I could not walk out. The plastic surgeon’s office was awesome at pre-arranging transportation to show up for me. However, the tram was not built for someone of my level of disability. There are bars on the side of the vehicle that prevents someone like me from getting in. I have to keep my knee 100% straight at all times, and there was not enough distance between the seats to prevent me from bending my knee. There was absolutely no way I could even use the tram.

All throughout this nightmare I have repeatedly been reminded about how little things are built for those like me who are physically disabled. My usual disability – hearing loss – is generally hidden and does not interfere with my every day life until I take my hearing aids off and go to bed. This disability, however, has caused me to re-think and think through how to accomplish normal things through many different situations that are normal for everyone else. But, alas…you can’t always get what you want…and you must take it in stride.

One of my biggest fears throughout this recovery is how I am going to get around if it turns out that I never heal, or worse, lose my leg. All of this has gone through my mind at some point during this entire ordeal. It is likely to not happen that way, thank God.

Anyway, we figured out how to get a wheel chair in my size so we could facilitate the return trip to the car.

My necrotic area continues to appear to heal, and all seems to be on the way to recovery.

This Appointment: I Will Walk Even Farther

November 18th: Today has seen even more progress than last week at last, but in a different area than the wound healing. I felt really good and wanted to walk the entire way up to the doctor’s office. In order to facilitate the fastest trip, it was necessary to use the older way of walking (read: hopping) with crutches on one foot. I am still not strong enough in the “new” way of walking with both feet on crutches, and I am still gun-shy of falling, especially on slippery, reflective flooring. This is especially true when I don’t feel like I have enough support.

As I am walking up to my surgeon’s office I am doing well. I reach the elevators, and I am able to navigate my way across the metal surface separating the floor from the elevator. I told my mom to go on ahead and sign me in and I will pay for the doctor’s visit when I get there. I turn around, hit the 3rd floor button, and the elevator door closes. Once the elevator starts doing its thing, I realize OH MY GOD my knees are weak. And my right knee has never experienced this sensation of the rising floor before. It is extraordinarily strong, and by the time the elevator reaches the third floor my knees are gone. They are ready to almost collapse.

Thankfully, the elevator door finally opens and I am able to make it to the chair across the hallway before it happens. My mom comes back but I am unable to get myself back up. Either through mental anxiety (of which I have had a LOT of since then), or physical, I had to have a wheelchair in order to go the rest of the way.

Thankfully, my mom was able to get a wheelchair so I could go the rest of the way.

Mostly everything is the same except we let my orthopedic surgeon know what the plastic surgeon said. My ortho surgeon does agree, he wants me to head to wound care as soon as possible to see what can be done about my necrotic area. That’s the next step in the process.

Turning Point: Scabby is Removed

November 22nd: Today is the day we have been dreading: wound care. We don’t know what will be revealed at today’s appointment. We don’t even know what’s under the necrotic area yet. And we are about to find out. The office is located in Newport Beach. We had no idea what would be happening next, and it would make the next week a living hell in terms of the unknown: what’s going on with my wound?

Today ended up being the full removal of my necrotic area by the wound care place. The physical therapist cut it off entirely. It turns out per her diagnosis that the scabbing was too deep to allow any healing of my skin to happen, which is why it was taking so long. I likely would have been in the same situation two months from now if they didn’t get aggressive with it. This new step is likely to heal much faster.

I spent so much time with scabby it almost felt like a surreal, sarcastic relationship where you never really actually cared you were just in it for the convenience.

Did I mention I was completely conscious and had no anesthesia during this procedure? It wasn’t quite as painful as you would think.

I have a new bandage and a brand-new wound (my knee now has a gaping hole in it but there was no blood and it is full of skin structure (the PT’s words)). She seemed pretty confident it will heal as-is and didn’t sew it back up again. She added some white antibiotic cream in it to prevent infection, bandaged me up, and sent me on my way. I was not to remove the bandage at all until I visit her next week on November 29th.

She also got tough with me on physical therapy. She taught me how to shift my weight to get from the bed into the wheelchair with crutches in one hand and my other hand on the wheelchair!! I like her and I hope she is my physical therapist because she reminds me of my great grandma.

After we called my surgeon to let him know what’s going on, he wanted me to get back into his office as quickly as possible. So, we decided that due to the holiday weekend it would be best to set the appointment on Tuesday, November 29th. I will have an appointment with him and the wound care place on the same day.

Thankfully we had confirmed that the plastic surgeon’s worst fears did not exist: my tendon is not exposed and there WAS skin structure growing underneath the scabbing. Now is the part that is hardest on all of us: the waiting period.

Setback: Possible Staph Infection? No way.

November 28th: I got a call from my primary doctor’s office today with some unsettling results: I have a staph infection. The wound care center took a culture when they removed the scabbing and sent it to the lab for testing. They did not know I am currently on an antibiotic and were frantically trying to get a hold of me. As soon as I let them know that yes, I am currently on an antibiotic my doctor said it’s fine, to keep taking it and see what my surgeon says tomorrow.

Three Appointments in One Week: It’s Getting Hard

November 29th: Today was extremely rough. I had to visit both my surgeon and wound care in the same afternoon. My surgeon was still leaning towards having me put under the knife again for skin graft as the quickest way to heal my new wound after wound care removed the necrotic area last week. But, he is encouraged by how my wound is healing and would rather have us wait a few more weeks to see how it heals before putting me under the knife again. He would much rather see it heal as-is rather than putting me through that.

He also said that there is no way that my wound has a staph infection. If my wound had a staph infection, the area surrounding my wound would be red, not purple. He didn’t see any reason to be bothered by the appearance of the wound, which is great news.

In addition, if I were to go under plastic surgery in order to correct my wound, it would likely be at least another month before it’s healed. And from an orthopedic perspective, we want to have me bending my knee and moving more as quickly as is humanly possible once this wound heals.

Turning Point: Wound Healing at Last

Wound care (same day – 11/29): We have some healing taking place at last. Where last week there was nothing but red tissue, there is now a layer of subcutaneous fat covering it, one of the stages of healing. It’s still not quite where it needs to be in order for things to be kosher, but it is encouraging.

The lady I saw today (different than the owner from last week) did some different wound-healing things. She put more antibacterial cream on my wound, added collagen, as well as some sand stuff that I don’t quite remember the name of. It is supposed to aid in the regeneration of skin cells and other structures that are necessary for full skin regeneration to take place.

Did I mention my surgeon is talking about getting me a cane? Then I’ll really be like Dr. House.

Another Turning Point: Super Wound Healing At Last

December 2nd: At last we had a massively easy day getting to wound care. I have gotten getting ready and getting to the car for doctor’s appointments down to an exact science, able to help things move much more smoothly and quickly. In addition, today also saw me moving much faster in my crutches towards the car. Thanks to a new route we discovered, we were 20 minutes early to the appointment and they ended up calling us and letting us now they were 30 minutes late (haha). We were already halfway to wound care when they called. Oh boy the issues sometimes.

Much good and great news from this appointment: my wound is HEALING!!!!!! QUICKLY!!! Please note in the pics that the left picture of the wound is from 11/29, just a couple days before today, 12/2.

I can’t believe the progress. We have much to be excited about because of how fast the improvement is happening. Whatever wound care did to my wound just on Tuesday is working – it’s working, it’s working – it’s FINALLY WORKING!!!!! And the lady at wound care (same one I saw on Tuesday) does not believe I need a skin graft surgery.

She did say, however, that my wound is not quite where they want it to be yet because she does want to see much more happening, even though we had also discussed that it healing as quickly as it is a very good sign. She has also done so many tendons and bones with this type of wound over the years.

It is so encouraging, exciting, and emotionally positive to have such healing taking place. If it continues at this rate, I could be healed and bending my knee by Christmas. I sure hope so. It is also exciting, after such a period of things not happening fast enough, to see such extraordinary progress in just a matter of days. I could not be happier.

Both mom and I are like this when we think of how easy Friday was. It’s not supposed to be this easy.

Reflections On the Past Four Months

One thing that has been very rough getting used to while being in a recliner 24/7, aside from the recliner, is sleeping on my back. My whole life I have always slept on my side or on my stomach. Sleeping on my back is an entirely different ballgame. I can still only manage 2-4 hours of sleep on average while on my back. There have been some days where I have completely crashed and I was able to sleep a full 8 hours – yesterday morning was a good example of this.

I do have a number of things to be thankful for since my injury, and during my surgery and recovery: my mom, especially who has been outstanding and amazing. My work, ymarketing, who has graciously been superb at their handling of matters associated with with my injury. I don’t know how I can thank everyone involved appropriately with how they have been loyal towards me during this incredibly tough and challenging time in my life.

I have discovered a few new passions and hobbies that I like putting my time into: piano. I learned piano (including a lot of theory and how to read sheet music) back in my senior year of high school and had gotten to a respectable level in the course of a year, but I ended up focusing on other things once high school ended. I wish I stuck with it but I am quickly re-learning and accomplishing my goals. And, video games! Haha. I love retro gaming in general and have re-discovered my enjoyment of retro gaming with a Raspberry Pi.

How, you may ask, am I playing piano when I cannot bend my knee to sit at a piano bench for proper posture? Well, I got an over bed table that fits over my recliner. And it has wheels! I am able to wheel my piano over on demand when I want to practice. I’ve been keeping up on my practice at roughly an hour a day. I’m kind of obsessed. I’ll still be learning but I can then transfer my knowledge to proper posture when I can finally use my knee properly.

Looking to the Future

This whole wound deal has been very rough on all of us. I want to bend my knee again. I want to drive. I want to be back to work. I want to be back doing my normal thing. I want my old life back. It’s mentally draining staying home all the time – the days all run together. That is probably the most infuriating part for someone who is generally not lazy and wants to be actively involved.

Once again, I want my life back please God, if that’s not too much trouble. I want to be back doing everything I was before the injury. That is, everything except bowling. I won’t be returning to bowling anytime soon. I’ll keep my piano and video game obsessions, though. And I might resume drawing once I get a hold of my drawing tablet on my desktop computer (try using a wired drawing tablet on a laptop).

Oh yeah, and I am dying for a shower. Sponge baths are just not the same.

 



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