Surgery Day

Today was the day. By 3pm in the afternoon I’d wake up and have a brand new ACL.

 Not an accurate depiction of ACL reconstruction surgery.

Not an accurate depiction of ACL reconstruction surgery.

Here’s how the first half of the day went down:

  • I wasn’t allowed to eat from 7:00am (I was allowed a light breakfast before 7am – toast and coffee)
  • I had to be at the hospital by 11am for a 1pm surgery start
  • At the hospital I signed in and then saw the nurse. She checked my height and weight (66kg! I’d likely lost muscle weight from not exercising the last few weeks). She also checked my allergies and I received red socks and a red cap indicating I was allergic to something.
  • I was then moved into a waiting room where I was prepped for surgery.

Preparation involved:

  • Getting changed into a gown and cap (I could keep my underwear on).
  • Getting onto a bed
  • Getting my knee shaved by the nurse
  • Getting my knee cleaned with a cold alcohol solution
  • Getting wheeled into a room outside the operating theatre

Just before the surgery:

  • The surgeon checked in with me and signed my leg (to make sure he operated on the correct one)
  • The anaesthetist then introduced himself and I had a talk to him. He was great, I had concerns about waking up during the surgery (which is a pretty common concern thanks to media hype) and he told me it can happen, but it’s rare and no one had woken up under him before.
  • I was then wheeled into the surgery room and moved onto the bed.
  • The anaesthetist injected something in me to make me drowsy and then put me to sleep

Post-surgery:

  • I woke up in bed in a recovery room
  • I was in a bit of pain (6/10), so they hooked up a pain relief on demand system – I could press it for pain relief every 5 minutes

After a while I was wheeled to a room where my girlfriend was waiting with donuts. Awesome.

 2 hours post surgery

2 hours post surgery

 Donuts!

Donuts!

The rest of the night was a blur. I got to eat pretty soon after I woke up. I didn’t get much sleep. Hospitals are noisy places, lots of bells going off and the nurse came to check my blood pressure every 2 hours.

The pain was pretty bad through the night (4/10) but manageable.