Two steps forward

I’ll try to keep this short but we all know I tend to write a book. After waiting 7 years I finally got my first total knee replacement last Thursday. We planned a spinal block instead of general anaesthetic as it’s their norm. I got very nervous about it but the Anaesthetist was excellent and said we couldn’t risk damaging my vocal cords any further. As it turned out, it was simple and painless.

Surgery wasn’t till midday so Thursday was a write off. I woke up towards the end of the surgery; younger bones are harder to break and drill, so the surgery can take longer. I could hear the staff and feel the surgeon doing things, but without pain. I told the anaesthetist and he quickly put me under a general.

Friday I got up and had a wash, the physios showed me some exercises and got me walking a few steps. One of my staff dropped off some V; bless you Katherine! Saturday I showered myself and started walking up and down the ward. Roger and Tony visited and I went for a walk with them. It wasn’t sore at all but was starting to itch a lot. A Dr had a look and said it seemed ok.

Sunday I was able to walk right round the ward a couple of times, and the surgeon was pleased, but the itch was getting worse. As I was being released the nurse redressed it, as it had bled quite a lot, and we could see welts. Everyone decided I was allergic to the dressing. Sigh… Roger and my bestie of 52 years, Sandra, came and got me. Home, really mobile, but the itch 😑 They’d given me a script for Loratidine but the after hours pharmacies were all closed.

On Monday Tony took me to Hawera to get the script filled. I’ll skip the details but, in trying to get the wound redressed, we saw two pharmacies, my Dr’s surgery, A&E and the new rural health project. They redressed it, after talking with the ortho team in New Plymouth. Late in the day I got a call asking me to go to Base this morning for the ortho team to check on it.

I had a rough night, in tears a couple of times because the itch was so overwhelming. Again, I’ll skip the details but, after a rocky start, the nurse used her intuition and decided to pull the whole thing apart. Turns out I’m not allergic to the dressing, I’m allergic to the steri strips on the wound itself. When she took the steri strips off we found huge welts under them. The nurse and Dr were horrified – no wonder I was so itchy.

I have a new PICO positive pressure bandage and a great deal less itching already. The surgeon had a look and is delighted with how straight my knee is so they’ll check it again next week. So, it’s been rocky, but essentially things are great as I’m already walking with less pain than pre-surgery.

One thought on “Two steps forward

  1. I’m just catching up. I’m so sorry about all you and Tony are going through. I have to say my band director had a procedure done and had horrible itching like you. She was miserable for days and it turned out to be the same thing, the tape or something of the bandage (I can’t remember) was causing the horrible itch. I hope this all works out!


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