#322–It’s actually begun––the good, bad & ugly . . .

The saga of the surgical procedure on the varicose veins in my legs started on December 13 when I had the pre-op for the procedure that was to take place that week. Between snow and a broken laser machine nothing went to plan back in December. (See #316–Much ado about nothing . . .)

Now, it is January, and the laser machine has been replaced with a better one. I made reservations in the same hotel, called a cab two days ahead to get me to Summit Surgical by 7:15 in the morning, and called the same friend who was to pick me up last December that it was on again.

I had stopped taking all supplements five days ahead. I had the four prescriptions I filled last December. I had the necessary compression hose. I had loose clothes and loose sandals to wear as requested. The weather was cooperating. Boy, was I ready!

Summit Surgical is on the second floor. This building is becoming very familiar.

I didn’t stop taking my prescribed medication for my restless legs and felt guilty about that. I thought that I really shouldn’t be taking it, so did not take it the morning of the procedure. And that turned out to be a mistake.

I got up that morning at 5 a.m., got dressed in loose fitting closes with shoes that fit loose enough to handle bandaging on the leg being operated on. Was able to have breakfast at 5:45 instead of waiting til 6. Got back to my room and rubbed one of the prescriptions, lidocaine cream, all over the leg being operated on. Then I had to wrap it in Saran Wrap. That part was creepy. I felt like I was turning into a monster from a horror film.

The taxi came while I was still Saran Wraping and texted me that he was there early. I let him know that I would be out soon. I actually came out exactly at the time I had requested he be there. And we got to Summit Surgical 15 minutes early. The lobby was open and I got in the elevator and pushed the button, and when the door opened, I got out and was surprised to still be in the lobby. The elevators weren’t working yet. Soon a worker came along and got it going. Then when I got to the second floor where Summit Surgical is located, no one was on duty to check me in. There were others in the background busy, busy.

After a half hour, someone came and got me and said it was time to prep me and that I could be checked in later. So, it began. So far, so good!

Here is what the compression hose look like that will be put on my leg after the surgery. And I’ll have to wear it for two weeks. They are very difficult to put on.

I was given a Valium beforehand and another about halfway through. The doctor got started and was moving along nicely and then my restless legs kicked in on the leg being operated on. Oh! No! I should’ve taken my medication that morning.

With restless legs, you don’t have control of the twitches and spasms. It usually is with only one leg at a time. So, I kept willing it to move to the other leg. And it did for the most part. There were still some small twitches. Every time it moved, the doctor would say, “You have to keep your leg still.” At first, he was pleasant, but soon became more and more adamant. I don’t think he understood restless leg syndrome very well. The younger physician’s assistant tried to explain it to him. After the doctor had finished the main long vein, he said that he could not continue with the smaller veins if my legs couldn’t be still. He would do the rest in the hospital where I would be under anesthesia and my legs wouldn’t move. This was bad.

I was to alternate walking and elevating my leg and having ice on it. The blue is a holder for the ice that got moved every 15 minutes or so to a different part of the leg.

Dang! I so wished I had taken my medication that morning. Just as Omicron variant is peaking, I’m going to be in the hospital. Not at all the way I had it planned. If everything had gone to plan, I would be back at Summit Surgical next week for the second leg. Now, I don’t know when that will be. And they will have to finish the first leg and do the second leg probably all in the same day. They will let me know when it is scheduled.

After my friend got me back to my room, I was still dopy and napped. Then did as I was directed. I walked and iced and elevated my leg. Again and again. I didn’t want to get blood clots.

For my two-night stay at the hotel, I had brought plenty of food in a cooler and they offered a wonderful breakfast. So, I ate familiar food for the most part. But I must have eaten something that did not agree with me.

The day after the procedure I slept in and got to the breakfast just as they were about to close up shop. I had eggs and potatoes and chicken fried steak with gravy which I had not had in decades. Then I packed up and drove home. As soon as I got home, I hit the bed and slept for an hour and a half. Then I started putting stuff away.

Now here’s where it gets ugly. About 4 p.m., I had a bout of diarrhea and another and another, which continued for the next 24 hours––no warning and about every 15 or 20 minutes. I got so weak and tired. All I wanted to do was sleep. On Friday, I’d lie down for a nap in the morning and wake up two hours later. And do it again in the afternoon and wake up three hours later. In between, I tried to walk and ice my leg and whenever I was in bed, I would elevate my leg or at least try to. By Friday evening, the bouts were less frequent. And by today, Saturday, much better. I actually felt like myself this morning. No naps today, don’t feel weak, still a little diarrhea but it gives warning and the bouts are hours apart instead of minutes. By evening, it seemed gone.

I elevated my leg on the table, on the recliner, in bed––actually wherever I could.

I don’t think what I went through after getting home had anything to do with the surgical procedure. All I had was two Valium. The surgery was Wednesday morning, and it didn’t hit me until Thursday afternoon. I think it might have been something at breakfast, something I brought to eat, or something I came in contact with. I don’t know. I just know that I never want to go through that again. And it feels sooooo good to be my normal self again!

Even with the best of planning, you just never know how things are going to turn out! Good, bad, ugly, or all three!

Tune in next week for the next chapter in this saga of the surgical procedures for the veins in my legs.

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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2 Responses to #322–It’s actually begun––the good, bad & ugly . . .

  1. I kept thinking it was something I ate that caused the Big D. Then I did more research and found that it is sometimes a response to surgery. So, that is what I will blame it on. Yesterday, hardly anything, and today, back to normal! As to my leg, it hurts but is totally tolerable. Tomorrow, I go back to Springfield for post op and pre op but don’t know when I’ll be having the actual surgery to finish first leg and do second leg. Currently living in limbo-land. Thanks for your concern!!

  2. Evelyne says:

    Oh poor you-so much bad luck inspite of all your perfect planning. And I know how miserable one can feel with that intense diarrhea!
    So glad you are feeling better now!

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