You’ll be swell

I am going to post this in two parts. A lot has happened.

In the last post I showed you a picture of my knee and also mentioned how there was a lot of swelling. Shortly thereafter I had a visit from my friend Dief. He is an awesome, funny, caring, loving, lovable man – and, it was a wonderful visit. We chatted about everything that has happened to each of us through our random trips to hospitals and our various surgeries. We chatted about ComedySportz a little, because improv geeks can’t help but geek out about improv, and we looked at my knee. After about an hour, I was drained. Surgery is exhausting. Recuperation is boring. Visitors are welcome. But, when you are tired and in pain and on oxycodone, sometimes you just have to sleep. So I thanked Dief not enough and asked him to go so I could nap, and I did just that.

For about 10 minutes.

Then, suddenly I was hit with a wind of energy. It’s the kind of energy that hits sometimes and makes you put on a pair of running shoes (even if you’d already gone out that day) and do 6 miles. So, I put on my running shoes equivalent – my knee brace, and went for a run equivalent – unpacking the books from my soon-to-be-former apartment. I did about 20 minutes and then had to take a rest. Again, moving around is exhausting.

I went to the couch and Andrew came by to make sure I was doing well and could settle in. As I was bragging about all of my feats of the day I decided it was time to attempt another shower. I was killing the day. I had food in me. I had better energy than ever since the surgery. We were going to make the water temperature lower this time. There was no way I was going to black out in the shower.

Andrew got the shower ready and got me in it. I was in the shower for about 5 minutes and was pretty clean. I was in pain. I turned the shower off and Andrew handed me a towel. I started drying off and was in completely excruciating pain. I started shivering. I got to the bedroom and laid down and shivered. Andrew wrapped me in about 7 blankets and I shivered and had tightness in my chest. It took about 5 minutes for the shock to wear off. I got myself back together and hobbled back over to the couch vowing to never be clean again in my life. Andrew was right behind me vowing to never let me shower again in his life. I like that, ultimately, Andrew and I have the same visions and goals.

I relaxed a bit more in front of HGTV because there is nothing like watching Canadians look for a home to purchase to cool the nerves. I took some of my pain pills and slept. Andrew went shopping. When he got home we discussed going out to the opening of a friend’s show. I thought about it and realized I was exhausted and still in pain. So we decided to stay home and hang out. Andrew started making some stew.

I looked at my leg. It was really large. It was really really large. It was really really really large. And at the ankle it was bruise colored. My leg was so swollen and discolored I was planning my future as a pogo-stick.

I started getting a tiny bit worried. So I called the advice nurse. After about a half hour on hold I was connected with an RN. She asked me if touching my ankle swelling created an indentation. It did. She asked me how long the indentation lasted in seconds. About 12. She sounded impressed with that – I am an over-achiever and found some solace in having my edema impress an advice nurse. The advice nurse told me that what I was experiencing was normal and that I should only get worried if the swelling got bigger, if the whole foot became discolored, if I experienced tingling, pain, or numbness in the toes, or if I started saying boing a lot.

Andrew and I watched the Blazers trounce the Suns. Somewhere after halftime, but before the game was over I noticed my entire foot was now purple. I called the helpline again and was again told that this is no cause for alarm, but that my leg is reacting normally to a busy day. I was given the same list of things to watch for before being concerned again and told to wear a compression sock or panty hose in order to help with the swelling.

I don’t have panty hose because I live in Portland. So, Andrew ran out and grabbed me some and I put them on. With one leg swollen 5-times its size and pantyhose on I looked like I was going to dance the can’t-can’t. Andrew went to bed and I stayed up blitzing the bejewels and not worrying at all about my new tree trunk. I finally fell asleep around 3:30.

At 5:00 I awoke to a vice-gripping pain in my toes. I took off my panty hose and my leg had managed to find another size to expand to and a shade of red-purple-yellow that defied ROYGBIV. I texted Andrew awake. He got me more ice. I took pills. We watched my foot/leg not get better. Andrew kept stating things like, “You will be Okay,” or “I’m sure this is normal” but not in a manner to try to convince – it was more like he was reading lines to an actor who was forgetting his lines. Both of us looked rather worried. Well, I only assume I looked worried because when Andrew would look at me, on top of his own worry he would wear some of mine.

We decided a visit to the ER was prudent. Andrew went out and warmed up the car. He microwaved the stew he’d made from the night before in order to keep us warm. I wrapped myself up in a sweater and a blanket. I hobbled out to the backseat of the warmed car and tried to work on the Friday New York Times Crossword Puzzle between moans.

to be continued…