Surgery day schedule:
3:45 a.m. – Mark gets up 15 minutes before the alarm is set to go off and I wake up with him.
4:30 a.m. – We leave for the hospital a half hour away.
5:10 a.m. – We arrive at the surgicare unit and check in. A few minutes later Mark goes back for pre-op preparations while I continue to wait in a very crowded waiting room.
5:45 a.m. – I join Mark back in his pre- op room.
6:45 a.m. – Someone comes and rolls Mark away. A nurse shows me where the surgery waiting area is. I am the first family member there. They give me a pager and I set up camp at the single table in the room.
7:30 a.m. – Mark’s surgery begins. Our daughter Anna arrives to keep me company.
10:10 a.m. – My pager goes off and I am led to a small conference room to wait for the doctor who arrives about 20 minutes later. He tells me that the surgery was an A+ for both legs and that Mark would be in the recovery room about 2 hours.
11:00 a.m. – Anna leaves to get us lunch at Pot Bellys. She brings back the walker and Mark’s suitcase from my car when she returns with the food at 11:30.
12:15 – My pager goes off again and Anna and I are escorted to the recovery room where we see Mark briefly. He is wide awake and very alert. I tell him every single little thing the doctor told me. I read from my little notebook the notes I took because I knew Mark would be asking me questions. The nurse gives us his room number. We take his and our things up. I wipe every surface area that he might come in contact with using antibacterial wipes as the nurse who called from our insurance company recommended.
12:45 – Eric rolls Mark in his bed into the room. Mark’s spirits are high and he is joking with the nurse. The nurse is very busy checking Mark’s vital signs and setting things up. Mark has three bags hanging from his IV pole.. He is wearing oxygen. He has drainage tubes leading from each knee to a receptacle. Later the blood collected will be infused back into him through his IV. I think this is a very brilliant invention and handy device. Mark’s right knee hurts worse than his left. When asked he says it is a 5 or 6 on a scale of 10. He is likely still receiving pain relief from his spinal and the nerve blocks he received post surgery.
1:15 – Our son Mark Joseph stops by. Mark takes a cat nap.
2:00 – Anna and Mark Joseph leave. Mark sleeps and I relax on this nice sofa in his room.
3:00 – The physical and occupational therapists arrive. With the help of the nurse they get Mark into a standing position and move him into a recliner. He does GREAT. The OT said he is the best bi-lateral patient she has ever seen. Mark starts shaking in the recliner and the nurse gets him warm blankets. She assures us it is probably from the anesthia and it is quite common. The therapists leave. Mark falls asleep in the recliner. The nurse stops back periodically.
4:00 – The nurse brings him more pain medicine. She has gotten approval from the doctor to give it to him every 3 hours instead of 4.
It’s 4:30 and we are waiting for the nurse to come with helpers to get him back in bed. He is using his breathing device to exercise his lungs every hour. The physical therapist has just returned. She’s going to have him do some exercises. I’m a little worried it might be a rough night when all the spinal and nerve block medicines wear off. I plan on going home tonight because I didn’t realize I could stay. I may decide to stay tomorrow night and will decide later.
Thanks for all your thoughts and good wishes.