Operation day

The day of the total knee replacement finally arrived. These are my tips-:
  • Make yourself a schedule for the day  so you are not running around panicking all day long                eg Alarm, 6.10am, Breakfast by 6.30am, Leave house, 12.15pm Arrive hospital 1pm. Operation c3-4pm
  • Set your alarm so you can have a drink and some food before the time when you are not allowed to eat or drink anything if your operation is later in the day
  • If you don’t feel like eating, (I didn’t), have a hot milky drink to fill you up
  • If your operation is later in the day, leave some easy errands to do so you keep your mind off the thought of the operation , eg cook some food for when you are coming home, buy some magazines, pack your suitcase
On arriving at the hospital and the admission ward, I -:
  • changed into the surgical gown and pants,
  • was weighed and had the normal medical checks of pulse, blood pressure etc
  • was checked to see that I didn’t have any cuts or bites or bruises which could cause an infection
  •  was given  an identity bracelet and another special red one as I am allergic to penicillin
  • had a TED stocking put on my non operated leg to prevent DVTs
The anaesthetist came and explained how -:
  •  I was to be given a spinal anaesthetic which would paralyse me from the waist down
  •  I would be sedated which would feel as if I was asleep and would not know what was going on
  • this is preferred for lower limb joint replacements because it is easier, more effective and much safer.
  • I would still have control of my  airways and breathing and be able to cough and swallow, just like when being asleep.
  • When I woke up, there wouldn’t be any after effects as you may get with a general anaesthetic.
The surgeon came and -:
  • checked my identity
  • asked if I had any last minute questions
  • asked if I had any incontinence issues so I would need a catheter afterwards                          (three people asked me about this afterwards  and the answer is you don’t need a catheter  unless you have continence issues)
  • explained the consent form which I signed it for my agreement to the procedure
  •  drew an indelible arrow on the leg to be operated on.
When it was time for the operation-:
  • I was wheeled in silence along a seemingly never ending corridor to an ante room to the operating theatre. This was the scariest bit.
  •  the anaesthetist gave me the injections for the spinal anaesthetic and the sedative for the operation
  • Sting was playing on the radio;  ‘Every move you make, every breath you take, I’ll be watching you.’ As the sedation took hold, I was floating happily down a psychedelic staircase. I woke up to the sound of people wrapping bandaging round my knee.

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