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How TKR Affects Other Surgeries

We all know how trying having a tkr is, from the surgery itself to the recuperation. Personally, I needed to donate two pints of my own blood and was in pre-op mode for one month. To say it was frustrating and tiring is an understatement. It builds character, though. (I like to focus on the positive).

Recently, I was preparing to undergo strabismus surgery to correct an eye imbalance. It is muscle surgery that is performed on an out-patient basis. First, I find out that the surgery would take about 15 minutes…big deal. After undergoing a tkr, what’s 15 minutes? Upon finding out I’d be wearing an eye patch, I imagined the type that pirates wear. (Honestly, I did.) When I found out that my blood loss would be about a “q-tip full”, I figured…big deal. I was sure all would go well. I was definitely cocky about the whole thing. When I was told I needed to have someone with me when my surgery was completed, I got angry. Why do I need someone there when I knew I could walk from the surgery site to my ferry ride? I could handle anything, in my mind. It was only a few blocks and I had done the walk numerous times before. Anyways…I wouldn’t be discharged from the center without having someone with me. (I do understand the safety measurements put into place. I was just being stubborn.) I found someone. And…I’m glad I did.

The surgery prep involved me wearing my jeans and shoes. WHAT??!! My other surgeries have been considered major and had me naked under the attractive hospital gown. (We all know what that’s like). I recall being “put under”. The last thing I heard was my surgeon saying “quit talking, Marie”. (I kept saying I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I was nervous.) I don’t recall waking up, going into the recovery room or getting dressed. Apparently, when I was offered some juice, I barked out…”I’ll take apple”. When I was offered some graham crackers, I barked out …”why don’t you have any saltines?”. Sometimes I can be such a diva.

Anyways, there is no way I could have walked from the surgery center to the ferry as I originally planned on. My eye patch covered almost half of my face. My visual field was definitely impaired. It was the strangest feeling. It was almost like I lacked depth perception. The anesthesia caused me to be very drowsy. I needed to hold onto someone or something to keep my footing. I could talk coherently (at least it sounded like it to me), but talking sapped my energy. This from a 15-minute outpatient surgery. Wow.

I’m writing this in hopes of helping others going through the same thing. Who would have ever thought a “minor” outpatient surgery would have such an effect?

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