The plate inserted into my now bionic ankle.

A brutal day endured.

Yesterday proved to be one of the longest days of my life. The surgery to repair my ankle was scheduled for 2:45 so I arrived at the Mercy Surgical Center in Redding, CA at 1:15 as requested. My very sweet nurse had me prepped and ready for surgery by a little after 2:00 so I had time to kill. Tommy sat with me and we watched HGTV which we’ve missed terribly. Our Direct TV will not work on the property and the seven channels we’ve been watching are getting old.

Catching up on watching some favorite shows would have been nice under any other circumstances. My surgery did not take place until 5:15. I hadn’t been allowed to eat any food or drink any liquids since midnight the day before. I had a horrible hunger headache and my lips felt like they were glued shut from a lack of water. I had taken small sips of water with my pain medication but very little else. At around 4:00 a very sympathetic nurse let me swish a little water in my mouth and spit it out. She told me that she really wasn’t so supposed to let me do it. Thankfully, she could see how miserable I was and took pity on me.

The nursing staff was all wonderful and I can’t say enough about them. I am however a little peeved at whoever it was that decided that the doctor should fix the ankle of a man who had dropped 100 feet to the ground on his dirt bike and shattered his ankle into many of pieces before taking a woman who slipped on loose pine needles on an incline of a dirt road, breaking her ankle in a couple of places. They had seen both of our x-rays and I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out whose surgery was the most complicated and would take the most time.

I didn’t see my surgeon and anesthesiologist until after 5:00. I asked the man who was going to administer my knock out gas if he had been in the previous surgery also. When he said yes my response was, “Oh wonderful. You guys just spent almost five hours in surgery and now I get the sleepy team.” Doctor Osborn had actually yawned as he left me in the prep room only moments earlier. They both assured me that it was nothing to them. They worked twenty-four hours straight on many occasions.

I was told by a minimum of four people that I would be going in for surgery real soon since 4:30, so when the lone nurse came to take me to surgery my husband asked her if she was also there to tell me I would be going in soon. We were both very relieved that I was finally going into surgery, a mere two and half hours late. I’ll confess to being a little snippy because I was just about as miserable as a person can get. I hadn’t had any pain medication in almost five hours. Without the support of my cast on my ankle, which had been removed four hours earlier, I was in quite a bit of pain.

If you read my pre-surgery post you know that my orthopedic surgeon was touted as being one of the best. He told me that surgery would take about forty-five minutes. And guess what? It only took him forty minutes. So if the folks scheduling the surgeries would have had the sense to put my uncomplicated surgery in front of Mr. Daredevil Dirt-biker I would have been home recuperating at 5:00 instead of 10:00 p.m.

In recovery, two nurses stayed with me trying to get my blood pressure down so that I could leave. They were the only ones left in the building except for Tommy, Linda and me. My blood pressure wouldn’t come down because of the excruciating pain I was in. The sweet nurse kept upping the pain meds but it took forever for them to work. She took me to the bathroom at 8:30 which was quite an ordeal but brought more relief than I can tell you. I hadn’t been to the restroom since 1:15 in the afternoon. Between relieving the pressure in my bladder and the pain meds kicking in my blood pressure finally came down so that we could leave the hospital.

For some reason, the people who built my cast made it a heck of a lot bigger than the previous one. They put it so high up on the back of my leg that bending it to rest it on my knee scooter is excruciating. I called the surgical center about it and they referred me to the doctor’s office, who referred me to the hospital. I was told that the nurse that would have to assist me with the problem is off on Wednesdays. I guess I was supposed to happy that she might get the message today. When I told the doctors office that I was a cash customer and better not be charged for them to fix it she said, “Well I don’t know about that. We’ll have to see what they say at the hospital. My blood pressure has again soared. I’m praying to be able to supply a good report when this thing gets sorted out.

The positive thing is that I have a knee scooter. With all my complaining, I do have something to brag about. Whoever invented the Drive Medical Dual Pad Steerable Knee Walker with Basket, Alternative to Crutches deserves a darn inventors medal. I can’t begin to tell you the difference it’s made in this tough situation. It’s a little arduous maneuvering around in the motorhome but the scooter is a life saver.

I hate crutches and don’t do well with them. With the scooter, I am not thoroughly exhausted by a trip to the bathroom ten feet away. I can cook a meal with my leg comfortably resting behind me. At least I could until the hospital put on the new cast from hell. It should not be painful to use the very thing that brought me so much relief. Being able to fix a meal means the world to me so those Buttafuoco’s better fix this problem fast, and they better not charge me. Am I ranting? Sorry.

It’s amazing how doing every day mundane things can be so laborious. I never thought I’d be celebrating things like fixing a sandwich or having a BM. If any of you have been on pain medication, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Those that know me well know that not being able to do simple things like taking a shower without assistance, is extremely challenging for “I do it myself” Tyson. God has a lesson in this situation for me and my husband. Tommy is used to me being the caretaker and this complete role reversal is not easy on either of us.

I want to thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. Please keep them coming. We have a long six or eight weeks ahead of us. We are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and renewing our vows next month. I’m trying to arrange the soiree at the property and that’s proving to be a bit challenging given the ankle situation. I could very well be rolling down the aisle on my scooter. Linda said she’ll decorate it for me.

Speaking of Linda, I can’t say enough about how supportive and helpful she has been. She waited eight hours to take me home in her car. There was no way I could get into Tommy’s truck, post-surgery. She knew how badly I wanted to be back at the motorhome and on my couch so she put the peddle to the medal. I was hanging on to the headrest for dear life to keep myself on the seat during some of those turns.

I’m sure she was just as anxious to get home as I was. The poor thing headed out expecting to be home around 5:30. Dave was fixing dinner for her. As we sat waiting for me to get into surgery she told me she hadn’t eaten all day either. Silly girl, I practically begged her to go and get something to eat. She kept telling me that Dave was fixing dinner for her and I kept telling her that she would starve to death by the time she got home. Linda took the bonds of friendship way above and beyond the call of duty yesterday. I’m going to have to think of something nice to do for her and Dave.

Now that I got the tale of the misery off of my chest I’ll conclude with gratitude. I am so blessed with wonderful friends that have been holding me up in prayer. I’m blessed to have a husband who is caring for me. I was blessed with a very fine surgeon. Now my healing process can begin and I’m counting on a speedy recovery.

Some good news, I only have a plate and 7 screws compared to Tommy’s 9.

I’ve got many fabulous things planned. Our anniversary party on July 21st will be followed by our three-month cross-country trip in early August. During the trip I fly off to Switzerland with my good buddy’s Susie Q. and John and Verana Bell. I fly out from Harrisburg Pennsylvania and Tommy will be enjoying ten days without me. He will continue the venture with our wonderful friends Bruce and Angie Roland. I will meet them in Dallas, Texas, and finish our fun-filled journey.

I am blessed in so many ways and I am very grateful. Thanks for letting me unload about my miserable day at the Mercy Surgical Center. Outside of the scheduling issue, everyone there was wonderful. We’ll see how the cast issue unfolds. Keep those healing prayers coming. God bless, Cat

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