Thursday, August 4, 2011

And they're finally off!

Last night was a bit rough.  My fever came back and went up to 100.8, which still isn't an emergency, but was extremely uncomfortable.  I took some Tylenol and monitored my temperature as it slowly went down.  It was a bit gross being awake for my fever breaking, since I got all gross and sweaty.  But I felt better afterwards.  Walking had been just as difficult.

Today has been one week since surgery, which meant it was time to take off the original dressings.  Eeee!  My mom came over, and we slowly peeled away the ace bandages.  I knew that there had been a lot of layers, but I still wasn't prepared for how small my calves would look when I got them all off.  There were so many layers of bandage and gauze, I couldn't believe I could feel the ice packs through all of that.  I also understood why they had no problem sending me home with fresh incisions.  There was no way anything was getting through all of those layers.

First, we did my right leg.  The first incision we uncovered looked fine, and we didn't even notice that much additional bruising.  The second one was similar, but there was some old blood on the gauze that was directly over the incision.

My left leg was worse, as expected.  Both incisions had some dried blood on the gauze, but what was worse was that directly below one of the incisions (below as in closer to the ankle, not deeper in the skin underneath the incision) was a HUGE dark red blotch, with an even darker center.  We immediately panicked and called.  In the meantime, we wrapped the leg up anyway.  We didn't notice anything else weird, just the scary blotch.

Without the old bandages, my legs look so much smaller.  The discoloration isn't that bad, not as bad as we were expecting.  The compression from the bandages must have been ridiculous because even right now, a couple hours later, my (swollen) ankles look huge against my strangely regular-sized calves.  The compression also has left my legs very, very numb.  When I called and left a message for my surgeon with his assistant, the assistant asked me if the blood-colored patch hurt.  I admitted to her that my whole leg was kind of numb, and she replied, "Oh, yeah," indicating that numbness is completely normal.  Besides, I would be shocked if it weren't; I did everything right this week, so if it's because the wraps were too tight, that's they're fault.  But compression is good; it improves circulation.  So I think the tightness was intentional, and the feeling is slowly returning to my calves.

Walking isn't easier.  While the light bandages are much easier to walk with, the numbness is fading enough that the pain is worse.  Arg.  Most of the pain is in the deeper part of my calves, which is unsurprising, but unpleasant.  I can't wait for it to fade; I miss being able to walk!

I am one (figurative) step closer to being able to run!  Next week (on Friday), my stitches come out, and I can start physical therapy.  One week down, 5-11 weeks to go!

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