Today (Friday, November 30th, 2007), 4 days before the operation date, I went to my physiotherapist. We talked about my revalidation and that he probably need to bring some house visits because the first week I won’t be able to do a lot.
During my visit in the clinic, they gave me some recipes. Two days (Sunday, December 2nd, 2007) before the operation I visited the pharmacist to pick up the recipes. I got some tablets against feeling sick (I think this is only if you go under narcosis). I will do an injection in my back. This means I will be temporarily paralysed from my hips until my toes.
Further I got 2 different types of painkillers for after the operation and something that supports the stomach after taking those painkillers. Because I wont be able to eat or drink 12 hours before the operation I also got a special drink that I need to take 2 hours before the operation to prevent sickness or hunger.
The week before the operation I haven’t been nervous at all. The last night it started. I slept ok but I thought a lot about what would happened the next day. I was the most scared by the spinal anaesthetic. I read a lot of things that this would hurt a lot. I also didn’t knew how I would experience all. Seeing people drilling and hammering in my knee.
Operation day (04-12-2007). After midnight I didn’t eat anymore. 2 hours before the operation I got to drink my pre-op drink. This is to prevent hunger or sickness. They do this to make sure you don’t pie during your operation.
I arrived at the Bergman Clinic. The people where all really nice and I meet up with the anaesthetis. He asked me if I wanted to to get a spinal anaesthetic or a narcoses. I told him I wanted a spinal anaesthetic, like that I could see what they where doing during the operation. I dressed up in a special blue dress and then went upstairs to the operation room. They putted a small drug before they putted the a spinal anaesthetic (for the dutch readers, this means; ruggenprik). Then I slowly started to feel my legs getting warm and a little tingling. I was trying to move my toes and see when I couldn’t do that anymore. Then I saw that the doctor was preparing to cut in me. I told him that I could still move my toes and I don’t think (temporarily) paralysed yet. He told me he already had some cuts in my leg. I didn’t even noticed this and I asked him what he was doing. He was first taking out 2 pieces of the hamstring graft. One of the nurses showed it to me with the small camera that goes in my knee. When he took the graft out he showed it to me. The 2 pieces of hamstring graft went to one of the nurses and they fixed them together and then doubled it so in total it is 4 pieces of hamstring graft that will replace my ligament. Then he cut a piece of my meniscus, cleaned all the scar tissue and removed the old ACL (cross ligament). Then he drilled two wholes. One in my lower leg and the other on in my upper leg. Once that was done they putted the hamstring graft on the place of the old ACL (cross ligament) and they putted some BIO (made out of some kind of sugar) screws in it. Those screws will dissolve after a couple of years. They finished the operation with stitching the wounds. The total operation took almost 100 minutes.
After the operation they brought me to the recovery room. All the patients get here to wake up and get a stable blood pressure again. I stayed there for almost 1,5 hours and as soon as I got feeling in my legs again I could move downstairs to my real room.
They came straight to me with a special cooling machine. They did that for 45 minutes and we repeated that a couple of times. After a couple of hours the nurse came to me and asked me if I needed to pie. According to protocol I needed to pie between now and 30 minutes. Because of the spinal anaesthetic I didn’t had a lot of feeling yet in my ass and neither in my penis. This was really strange. I told the nurse that I wanted to try to pie so we got out of bed and she walked with me to toilet. I didn’t feel well and almost fainted. That’s because I laid down a lot and all those medications didn’t really help. We walked back straight and I laid down on the bed again. She brought me a special bottle to pie in and I could pie in there. I tried and it worked. I didn’t had any idea if I needed to pie but when I started I finished up filling the whole bottle. That’s 1 liter!!
The next day I woke up and got onto the cooling machine straight. Normally you get another machine as well to move your leg after the operation but that one was broken. The next morning another one arrived and they putted me on that one as well. Because it was broken the physiotherapist told me to do some exercises myself. Apparently this helped a lot because when I got onto the machine I managed to overstretch (-10 degrees) and bend (90 degrees) straight. This is normally required before they send you home.
Once at home I rested a lot and I got to take the machine, to bend and stretch, back home with me for the next 6 days. Everything goes really well without any pain. I slept pretty good but my body is pretty stressed out after surgery. I wake up sweating and then being cold again. If I do to much I’ll get a big headache and feel my body being really tired. I try to sleep and get a lot of reset. 3 to 4 times a day I’ll go in the bend and stretch machine.
Two days after the operation I went to my physiotherapist. He took off the press bandage and looked at my knee. He wasn’t able to take out everything because the day of the operation, when they putted the bandage there was a little bit of blood and that got stock to the bandage. Everything is looking really good, my knee is a bit swollen but further everything is fine.
Today (Friday, December 7th) I took out the final piece of the bandage, after calling with Bergman Clinic. They told me to make it a little wet with some water. Like that it gets a little humid and you can take it out easier. After I took it out it looked nice but on two places it looked a little strange. Like a blister filled with liquid. It’s also a little red. I don’t know what it is so I called to the Bergman Clinic again and they told me to visit my local doctor to check on it, just to be sure.
I came back from my local doctor. She told me, like I already thought, it was some blisters filled with liquid. It’s because of the tight pressure bandage. No problem.
The 8th of December. Today I woke up after a good night of sleep. I had some problems getting into sleep last night but I slept almost 11 hours straight! My knee feels pretty warm and is still full of liquid. But that’s normal I guess. After doing my exercises I see that I’ve got the blisters with liquid again. I guess it’s because of my knee, which is still full of liquid and it is getting pressed and there it’s going out into the blisters. Further I lay down on the couch and cooled with ice…
The 9th of December. Everything is going well, no problems. Today is my last day that I can use the machine (to bend and stretch). My brother will bring it back tomorrow. Somebody else needs it.
Everything goes according to plan!!!
Voor meer informatie en het operatie filmpje ga naar www.randyhereman.com