A night on the kitchen floor

As you know, I had knee surgery a little over a week ago.  It was preparation for the big ACL reconstruction coming up in December.  I’m feeling pretty good, but was glad to go to the doctor on Friday to ask a few questions regarding some concerns.

1.  I have shooting pain that jerks my knee.  Is this normal?

2.  The Vicodin is making me loopy and very aware of my moving my lips and blinking my eyes.  Can I switch to Motrin or some other regular pain relief?

3.  My bandages are pretty gross and bloody.  Can we clean them up and submerge the knee in water yet?

All valid questions if you ask me. 

My nurse Christine was quick to put me at ease.  She told me it was okay to stop taking Vicodin, but I would hurt because the shooting pain I feel is actually from the bone grafting of my ACL tunnels. 

Nice.  It’s better than waking up from a drug-induced stupor wondering how long I’ve been starring at my computer screen that has a half-written article on Rig SVII in India.

She told me I could take a bath (woo hoo!) and that she would re-dress my incision.  The yuck bandages came off and new clean ones were applied.  Oh happy day!  I then asked her about the stitches:

Me:  What am I supposed to do about the stitches?

Her:  Oh sweetie.  There are no stitches for you to worry about.  They are in the inside of your incision.  They will dissolve.

Me:  But what if they don’t?

Her:  Ha, ha, ha, ha…silly girl.

Me:  No seriously.  They didn’t dissolve last time.

Her:  What?  Did you tell the doctor that?

Me:  Yep.  He told me it had been 10 years since my last ACL and that times had changed and not to worry.

Her:  Well then…don’t worry.  But if you see a stitch…DO NOT PULL IT!  Just snip it with scissors and call us.

Me:  Right-o!

I never say right-o. 

Fast forward to last night.  I’ve just woken up from sleeping on the couch and decided it was time to move to the bed.  (Did I mention Vicodin makes me very, very tired?)  My knee was pretty sore, so I decided to soak in a hot bath.  I was shaving my legs (is this too much info?) when I saw it…

What appeared to be fishing line sticking up out of the end of my incision. 

I KNEW IT!  I TOLD YOU SO DOCTOR!  I AM THE FREAK WHO IS GOING TO BE IN THE MEDICAL JOURNALS. 

I get out of the bath and hoist my leg up on the bathroom counter top for a better look.  Yep.  The stitch is now curled.  Great.  I decide pull the stitch taught so I can snip it.  However, when I pull the stitch taught, about two inches of stitch raises from the wound like I’m pulling dental floss. 

Needless to say, I became squeemish. 

I slowly lower my leg and close my eyes.  I kept thinking, “I’ve got to snip it.  SNIP THE STITCH WOMAN!  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?”

Naturally, the scissors were not in their appropriate place.  I was walking gingerly around my apartment, trying not to hurl, while desperately trying to find any scissors. 

Finally, I remember that there are some in the wooden block thing that holds all the fancy knives I never use in the kitchen.  I begin to make my way there when I feel it…the wispy fishing line has brushed my leg.

Must.  Find.  Scissors.

For the second time in 10 minutes, I hoist my leg up on the kitchen counter and force myself to just power through this minor medical emergency.  I hold…not pull…the string…and snip. 

Then my legs sort of went a bit weak and I find myself getting really hot.

I sort of slide down the general area of the stove/dishwasher and sit on the floor with my head wanting to go between my legs, but my right leg can’t really bend that way now.  So I’ve propped my clammy face on my left knee and when I feel the claminess, I become more nauseated. 

So I lay down on the floor of my kitchen.  I saw a dehydrated grape and a lone Cheerio.  Made a note to self to take care of that once I regained consciousness and closed my eyes for I don’t know how long. 

Slowly and surely I got up off the floor and headed to my bed where I texted four people what had just happened:

WebMAN’s response:  Hahahahahahaha.  Gross.

Elliott:  Don’t die.

Rebecca:  Yuck

Jill:  I think I just threw up for you. 

It’s nice to know that these friends would be at my beckon call if needed in an emergency. 

This morning, I called the doctor’s office and asked to speak with my friend Christine.  Sadly, my doctor’s office is really particular about when a patient calls in to ask a question.  The phone responder rarely likes to give messages, thinking that he/she can answer the question without bothering the busy nurses.

Lincee:  I need to speak with Christine please.

Nurse:  Sure honey.  Is there anything I can help you with?

Lincee:  Nope.  Just need to talk to her.

Nurse:  May I tell her what this is in regards to?

Lincee:  My stitches.

Nurse:  What’s wrong with your stitches honey?

Lincee:  They are coming out.

Nurse:  Ooohh girl!  Hold on.

The nurse forgets to put me on hold.  Therefore, I hear THIS entire conversation:

Phone Girl:  Hey.  There’s a girl on the phone that says her stitches are coming out!

Other Voice:  When was her surgery?

Lincee (yelling through the phone):  LAST FRIDAY!

Phone Girl:  Last Friday.

Other Voice:  Was it a knee surgery?

Lincee (yelling through phone):  YES!

Phone Girl:  Um.  Let me look.  I don’t know.  Bone grafting? ACL tunnels?   

Other Voice:  Then her stitches are not on the outside.  Tell her that.  They are on the inside.  She doesn’t come in to have them taken out they dissolve.

Then they laugh at me.  THEY LAUGH  AT THE MEDICAL JOURNAL MIRACLE!

Phone Girl:  Um…Miss Ray?  Yeah…you’re stitches are on the inside.  They dissolve.

Lincee:  Clearly not since I pulled a long string the size of my arm out last night and there is MORE poking out this morning that I just snipped with my handy yellow office scissors.  Now I’m telling you, as I told the doctor and Christine, that dissolvable stitches don’t dissolve in my freak body.  I need to know if I’m snipping stitches that are no longer holding anything together and bone grafting material is going to start oozing out of my wound, because I’d kinda like to know in advance how to handle THAT situation!

Phone Girl:  Let me send you to scheduling and have Christine call you.

Lincee:  Thanks.

My appointment is for tomorrow afternoon.  Haven’t heard from Christine.

To be continued…

Comments

45 Comments on "A night on the kitchen floor"

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Ear
Ear

GIRL! OMG! You had me squeamish…my own knees are weak even reading that story! I hope you heal VERY quickly. Can’t wait for part 2. Hope it’s very good news.

Coltsfan
Coltsfan

This happened to my husband when he had his vasectomy. Nuff said?

Nance
Nance

i was hanging on your every word. looking forward to reading part 2. hope it is good news.

RC
RC

Oh girl, I had the SAME thing happen when I had a laparascopy – I hear you on being freaked out by this, my “dissolvable stitch” (HA!) stuck out near my belly button and in my Percocet induced haze, I was convinced my insides were coming out! Good luck!

adriana

Oh that sucks! I had a similar thing happen – I had “dissolvable” stitches in my mouth and they STILL didn’t dissolve! They just fell out and were all grossly floating around my mouth. Not cool. The DR said it was pretty normal, but I don’t know…

Erin
Erin

Laughing and wanting to hurl all at the same time! Good luck with the appointment!

jen
jen

ugh. yet funny. but ugh!

SGT PANDA
SGT PANDA

Doctors are wonderful. I had a doctor in the Marines (navy doc, since jarheads technically have no medical personel) tell me that I had “tendonitis” in my foot and gave me shot after shot of cortisone/lidocaine injections.

Yeah…funny story – I went home on leave and let a real doctor see it and 6 days later had emergency surgery to remove a necrotic sesamoid bone. Would have developed gangrene (sp?) eventually and I would be hoping around on one foot.

Moral of the story – for all you knuckleheads, liberals, and commies…ok, that is all kind of the same group…anyways if you guys think the government can provide adequate health care to 300 million, just look at the healthcare the 1.1 million on active duty in the military get. If we can’t get decent care, what do you think you’ll get? We have rifles and ammo too.

anonwife
anonwife

SGT Panda, First let me say thank you for your service and I’m glad you got your foot eventually treated properly. However, PLEASE do not lump all military docs together. I happen to be married to one, and trust me, he works his tail off to provide excellent care to his (many) patients. It’s unfortunate that you had a bad experience, but your comments may lead others to believe that ALL military health care is sub-par. They are offensive to those who are serving their country by providing health care to active duty members and their families. If you’ve ever been downrange, I’m sure you were glad that those providers were there! Whatever your personal opinion is on Ntl health care, I doubt Lincee’s readers come here to read and/or debate about it.

Hope your knee is better soon Lincee, and God bless!

MT Nest
MT Nest

I had to have bone grafting after my ACL repair failed THREE TIMES because the dr. I went to had drilled the bone tunnels out of alignment, so I feel for you.

I am also one of those whose body does not react normally to ‘dissolvable’ sutures. They usually use Vicryl, but my body reacts to the chemicals used in Vicryl. I have had several surgeries to remove the debris to prove it.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Chris
Chris

OMG Lincee I was laughing my head off reading this. I am so sorry for all you are going through. I hope you get some answers for sure. I am a ortho nurse not working right now but I am thinking this is not right at all with the stitches. Demand answers!

Get better we miss you!

Sarah

Dissolvable stitches do not dissolve in my freak body either! So glad to know I’m not alone. Mine are always on little moles they’ve removed, and usually somewhere visable to the general public. It’s fantastic. Not. I pull them out. The first one I pulled I ended up taping to a magnet on the fridge so I could prove to people I wasn’t losing my mind when I told the story. 🙂 It’s gone now, but for a long time that visual evidence was really important to my sanity.

Wiz

I think I almost fainted reading that. I can’t imagine going through it! I totally would have passed out right there in the kitchen. Way to be strong 🙂

LP
LP

Oh, Lincee, I could not stop l laughing! Even with a ridiculous situation like protruding stitches and the potential for knee ooze, you tell it so, so well.

Aja
Aja

OMG, I almost threw up twice and passed out while reading this! I’m so sorry, this sounds awful! But you’re too funny. 🙂

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