Medical – Journal – Good news
Friends, today is the big reveal. I’m in a much better place.
I had a complication of neuropathy following surgery, and I couldn’t walk or feel my feet unless it was intense pain. Gradually with nerve pain medicine, one foot regained sensation.
Now, five days in the hospital and with the help of a stellar physical therapist, I can walk with minimal pressure on the defunct right foot. I can walk! They gave me a cane and wheeled walker. I also received lessons on a few ways to scoot or crawl up and down stairs if my feet are too weak. I feel confident I can do it– but it is intense exercise!
So why did I get this nerve damage? I was in stirrups for surgery for a little over ten hours, with two teams working on me. When your body is positioned lithotomy that long, there’s a common occurrence of nerve injuries (1-2%). It’s just a risk you take, but most resolve within a few weeks and rarely require surgery. They’re usually caused by swelling that has to resolve. The downside is narcotic pain medicine does not impact nerve pain, so I was pushing the hydromorphone button every ten minutes with no relief. But the pain in the problem foot is now bearable; I just limp for now.
Thank you for keeping me in you thoughts. Thankfully, so much of that pain and tingling has gone away with the help of Lyrica (gabapentin family). The actual areas of pelvic reconstruction– all that went peachy! Almost no pain whatsoever in the surgical sites. It’s controlled with just Tylenol, 1000 mg twice a day, and Toradol anti-inflammatory injections.
I’ve had to sleep with the Abductor device splaying my legs, so I don’t put pressure on anything. That’s been annoying, but knowing how much grief it can save me, I acquiesce.
My surgeon knew I would try to sneak the bandages off the finished reconstruction and peek ahead of time, so he actually stitched the gauze dressings to me! I feel morbidly delighted, like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas:) But my surgeon said that since there are two new areas of full thickness graft, the dressing has to remain on and in precise pressure for five days.
I have picked some grand music and applause sound effects for the big reveal midday today. I’ve been in such good spirits, tidying my hospital room the best I can, singing, putting on nice hand lotion…
And for the very best of all good news, the urogynecologist removed all of the remaining cancerous nodes along unmentionables, and pathology confirmed she did not find squamous cell presence in further exploration. We will follow up each six months for the next few years, but it’s fair to say… Can I say it? I am cancer free. And in the process, a once unimaginable dream has come to be.
I’ll let you know how it goes. This is the end of the second stage, of all the reconstruction. The last stage formally is the addition of some fascinating technology that supports erection, which doesn’t change the existing reconstruction significantly. So for my intents and purposes, stage 3 is icing on the cake. I got all I need, and we will circle back when it is convenient.
As grampa would say, put a fork in me. I’m almost done with all this 🙂