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Old 04-23-2004, 06:08 PM   #1
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Location: N Kingstown RI USA
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jorob HB User
Hi all - I'm back

Hi everyone!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Kathi and I'm an alcoholic, 49 days sober.

I had knee replacement surgery on the 12th. I spent a few days in the hospital and then on the 15th I went into a rehab. facility. I just got home yesterday. My surgeon warned me that the first 6 weeks I would hate the surgery and wish I hadn't done it and then after those first 6 weeks he said I will wish I did it years ago. So, I prepared myself for the worst and it is actually worse than I anticipated ! I have never experienced so much pain in my life!

I was grateful that they were able to do the surgery by giving me an epidural, so I did not have to have general anesthesia and be intubated. I have had that type of surgery in the past and done very well, but it's one risk that is nice not to have to take. It was funny though, because I woke up twice during the surgery when I heard them using the saw and I remember asking the nurse anesthetist what part of the surgery they were on and she put me back to sleep. I was severly anemic. I had donated 2 of my own pints of blood before the surgery and they had to give me that back plus 2 more in the rehab. facility.

My biggest problem up to this point has been the inability to control my pain. I have always had a very high threshold for pain but for some reason this time I do not. They changed my pain medication nearly every day and nothing seemed to work. The finally left me on 40 mg of oxycontin twice a day and percocet for break through pain, 1-2 every 4-6 hours. They feel that I am on too much pain medication, but with out it, I am not able to do any physical therapy that will move my knee and help reduce the pain. When the physician assistant in the rehab facility was dicussing my discharge, she said that she would be writing my prescriptions by tapering me off the oxycontin. I said that would be good because I'm an alcoholic and I am concerned about getting addicted to pills. So she says "well, even if I didn't taper these pills, you could still become addicted, it's you needing to take responsibility." So much for being honest, what a piece of work she was.

So, she wrote me all these prescriptions that would get me through until 6 days before my first follow-up with the surgeon. So I asked what am I suppose to do for those 6 days and she said call the surgeon - whatever. I have home care for 2 weeks. The nurse and physical therapist both came to the house today. The physical therapist will be coming 3 times a week. The nurse will come 1-2 times a week and on Monday she will take the staples out. I have a 7 inch incision with about 24 staples in it.

The reason I quite drinking in the first place was because of the surgery, so I kept telling myself I couldn't drink until after the surgery. Now the nurse warned me today that you cannot drink at all, not only because of the pain medication but more specifically because I'm on coumadin to prevent blood clots. So that gives me more reason to continue. I have been in contact with my temporary sponsor from AA and hopefully, I will be able Sunday morning to go to a meeting. She will pick me up and bring me since I can't drive.

Karyn has been helpful in doing everything for me. I was really frustrated that she had 2 weeks practically to get the house clean before I came home but my sister and her husband had to come and help the night before I came home because she hadn't done it. I'm still trying to focus on my healing and not our relationship. I know I need to deal with that and I will, but for now I have to remind myself that I need to heal first.

Well, that's about it for now - I'm going to try to catch up on everyone. I know some of you are just back from rehab. - congratulations!

-Kathi

 
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Old 04-23-2004, 06:17 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: MS, USA
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John 808 HB User
Re: Hi all - I'm back

Hope you get to feeling better soon! My husband has had knee surgery and it is no picnic, that is for sure! Hang in there and take care,

Michelle

 
Old 04-23-2004, 06:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: California
Posts: 516
rosietee HB User
Re: Hi all - I'm back

Kathi, wow, you have been through so much, and you are here on this board and you are talking about going to AA meetings! Now, those of us who are able-bodied who think of excuses not to go to our meetings should read your post a few times, painful as it is to even read. You are a brave woman. Before you know it you will have 60 days sober and I know you will make it. I know your head must be very clouded from all the medication you are on and the pain you must be in, but don't let that deter you--you sound like you are on such a clear and determined path anyway.

Thanks for the inspiration, and keep hanging in,
rosie

Last edited by rosietee; 04-23-2004 at 06:19 PM.

 
Old 04-23-2004, 08:57 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,193
Banker HB User
Re: Hi all - I'm back

Yeah, Kathi - we've missed you. I'll write more in the a.m.... TIRED tonight! I really am glad you are back.

 
Old 04-24-2004, 04:36 AM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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feelbad HB Userfeelbad HB Userfeelbad HB Userfeelbad HB Userfeelbad HB Userfeelbad HB Userfeelbad HB Userfeelbad HB Userfeelbad HB Userfeelbad HB Userfeelbad HB User
Re: Hi all - I'm back

Hi kathy.Glad to see everything went well.My dad has had both knees replaced over the past three years due to osteoarthritis,unfortunetly for me I inherited that nasty OA from him and it is in my spine now.YYEEOOCCHH.i know that the pain that my dad went through was pretty severe,believe me, you have my total sympathy.

I am at a loss as to just what that nurse was thinking when she wrote your rxes for only six days before your next appt with the surgeon.Does she suddenly expect your pain to just stop on it's own at that time or what?i know that with PT, the pain will escalate at first but then it should slowly start to subside.My dad only went through two rxes of percocet and then went to motrin and said that he felt the pain was pretty much under control by then,So who knows, this might be the case for you too.just keep up all your excercises.I know it will suck and make your pain worse at first, but this will make you heal much faster as the leg becomes stronger.

Glad to know that there were no major complications to have to deal with.Did you really not have general anesthesia with this surgery?wow.well hang in there Kathi,and really glad to see you back.We really missed you. Take care. Marcia

 
Old 04-24-2004, 05:00 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 1,048
Twinlynn HB User
Talking Re: Hi all - I'm back



Kathi!!! You're back!

Alice and I have been checking the board every morning to see if you were back from rehab after the surgery. WELCOME HOME! Your report sounds as if you had a real "ouch" surgery and an "ohhhhhh" recovery! I'm so glad your're on the mend. And with your pain meds helping you through the physical therapy, at least you know you are healing every day. That story about waking up during the surgery...oh nooooooo.......

What's with some of these medical people....answering your honesty with a commnent like that. Why in the world do such people select the "caring" professions!!! There's always a need for prison guards!

Guess it will take you a while to catch up here. Lots of new posters to read.

Am now going to take a look around the board and see if you posted anywhere else, as well.

It's so good to have you back! Lynn and Alice

 
Old 04-24-2004, 06:14 AM   #7
Senior Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,193
Banker HB User
Re: Hi all - I'm back



Now that I can function and actually type a response (I was SO tired last night)... I cannot believe what you have been through. My ex had both knees operated on (had all kinds of torn stuff and bone stuff going on) and it was the most painful thing he had ever been through. It was awful. However, it has messed him up now... He can't put all of his weight on one of his knees so he couldn't bend down and bathe the kids anymore because of it. I'm sure he's the extreme but just keep your eye out on how you are doing and KNOW that your pain should not last forever. Seriously, his doc has said he would redo his surgery and he just says no.

We really missed you here and I'm glad you can't drink right now. And please, do not do it with the pain meds... Can be very dangerous and I know you know that!

I actually went online and joined an 'online dating service'. This is how I met my ex boyfriend. It actually works pretty good and I get a good amount of responses. We'll just see how it goes. I probably met about 10 guys last time for lunch and only went out with two or three of them more than once. However, I'm still friends with two of them. Anyway, I know my troubles are nothing compared to your's right and I do feel for you.

Gotta get my oldest to the eye doc. Will write more later.

 
Old 04-24-2004, 07:37 AM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: boston,mass.usa
Posts: 466
sadsister HB User
Re: Hi all - I'm back

Hi Kathi-
Glad to hear you are back-and hope you are getting stronger everyday-you've been thru alot-and this can be the end of your "drinking days"-if you stick to it-you got alot to contend w/ but you are going to get better/stronger and w/o the alcohol-you'll have a chance to get some perspective on some of the other issues that have been bothering you.
My cousin was a hardcore-(leaving las vegas) alcoholic-and about 18 months ago stopped drinking and joined an AA group.She is doing really well-and she was literally on the brink of death..i saw her at her worst..and although my drug of choice was heroin-she was entirely incapacitated-her life is so good now..and yours will be too-
heather

 
Old 04-24-2004, 08:07 AM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 1,048
Twinlynn HB User
Re: Hi all - I'm back

Kathi - Re. drinking....A few years ago, I made the mistake of thinking I could combine my antidepressants, pain meds and vodka. Right!!!! Had an instant blackout. One minute I was at Alice's apt....next minute I was scrabbling to get to my feet in front of MY apt. No memory of inbetween. Sick, dizzy, etc. I NEVER took another drink. Would be too dangerous. I was terrified by that incident!!

Banker-- Hey--my best work buddy does intensive on-line dating. She is so funny about all these guys. She's 43, has an absolutely brilliant mind, and is such a creative writer and poet. Every Tuesday we have lunch and she relates the stories of her three or four dates per week. She gets lots of responses--and lots of duds! But SOME nice guys do appear inbetween the losers. :-) Her stories are hilarious and I love our "Tattle-tale Tuesday" lunches!!!

Lynn

 
Old 04-24-2004, 09:14 AM   #10
Senior Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 867
no patience HB User
Re: Hi all - I'm back

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorob
Hi everyone!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Kathi and I'm an alcoholic, 49 days sober.

I had knee replacement surgery on the 12th. I spent a few days in the hospital and then on the 15th I went into a rehab. facility. I just got home yesterday. My surgeon warned me that the first 6 weeks I would hate the surgery and wish I hadn't done it and then after those first 6 weeks he said I will wish I did it years ago. So, I prepared myself for the worst and it is actually worse than I anticipated ! I have never experienced so much pain in my life!

I was grateful that they were able to do the surgery by giving me an epidural, so I did not have to have general anesthesia and be intubated. I have had that type of surgery in the past and done very well, but it's one risk that is nice not to have to take. It was funny though, because I woke up twice during the surgery when I heard them using the saw and I remember asking the nurse anesthetist what part of the surgery they were on and she put me back to sleep. I was severly anemic. I had donated 2 of my own pints of blood before the surgery and they had to give me that back plus 2 more in the rehab. facility.

My biggest problem up to this point has been the inability to control my pain. I have always had a very high threshold for pain but for some reason this time I do not. They changed my pain medication nearly every day and nothing seemed to work. The finally left me on 40 mg of oxycontin twice a day and percocet for break through pain, 1-2 every 4-6 hours. They feel that I am on too much pain medication, but with out it, I am not able to do any physical therapy that will move my knee and help reduce the pain. When the physician assistant in the rehab facility was dicussing my discharge, she said that she would be writing my prescriptions by tapering me off the oxycontin. I said that would be good because I'm an alcoholic and I am concerned about getting addicted to pills. So she says "well, even if I didn't taper these pills, you could still become addicted, it's you needing to take responsibility." So much for being honest, what a piece of work she was.

So, she wrote me all these prescriptions that would get me through until 6 days before my first follow-up with the surgeon. So I asked what am I suppose to do for those 6 days and she said call the surgeon - whatever. I have home care for 2 weeks. The nurse and physical therapist both came to the house today. The physical therapist will be coming 3 times a week. The nurse will come 1-2 times a week and on Monday she will take the staples out. I have a 7 inch incision with about 24 staples in it.

The reason I quite drinking in the first place was because of the surgery, so I kept telling myself I couldn't drink until after the surgery. Now the nurse warned me today that you cannot drink at all, not only because of the pain medication but more specifically because I'm on coumadin to prevent blood clots. So that gives me more reason to continue. I have been in contact with my temporary sponsor from AA and hopefully, I will be able Sunday morning to go to a meeting. She will pick me up and bring me since I can't drive.

Karyn has been helpful in doing everything for me. I was really frustrated that she had 2 weeks practically to get the house clean before I came home but my sister and her husband had to come and help the night before I came home because she hadn't done it. I'm still trying to focus on my healing and not our relationship. I know I need to deal with that and I will, but for now I have to remind myself that I need to heal first.

Well, that's about it for now - I'm going to try to catch up on everyone. I know some of you are just back from rehab. - congratulations!

-Kathi
hi kathi nice to meet you congrats on the 49 days sober thats awesome you must be so proud of yourself i'm sorry you're in such pain though its great you're aware about the pain meds because its so easy to go from one addiction to another i hope you feel better soon and it's nice meeting you kelleigh

Last edited by no patience; 04-24-2004 at 09:15 AM.

 
Old 04-25-2004, 11:43 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: N Kingstown RI USA
Posts: 206
jorob HB User
Re: Hi all - I'm back

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all!

You guys are great and it's nice to be back. Thank you for all of your kind words.

Today is going okay so far. I have been able to do my exercises twice so far today so that is good - hopefully I can impress my PT tomorrow! I also can't wait for tomorrow because the staples are coming out - it should make the pain go down quite a bit.

It was nice that I have had phone calls from some of my AA buddies. They are all so supportive. Two of them have actually had knee replacement surgery so they can share their experiences as well which makes me feel better.

I was looking for Yinksy - am I reading correctly that she has been banned? Tell me it isn't so!

-Kathi

 
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