Jenn’s Knee Surgery.

Posted: September 6, 2008 in Life
   The annoying thing about life is that it likes to let you go to sleep on a high note only to wake you up to a low note. Or, as the case was this morning, a shrill note.
   Yesterday was Jenn’s scheduled knee surgery. We went in at just before noon for the run of the mill question and answer sessions that hospitals love to do and got to wait for what seemed like forever for her 2:30 surgery. The surgery itself only took about half of that time and seemed to go pretty smoothly. They were going in to repair a torn meniscus tendon but they found that it wasn’t torn. The pain and swelling issues, along with the knee actually failing to support her standing up from a seated position from time to time, were actually the result of a minor worn spot in the tendon caused by a “stress fissure” on the underside of Jenn’s kneecap. It was something like a crack from the way they described it, they just don’t classify it as such.
   Jenn surprised them by coming around before they had wheeled her back to the recovery room and they watched her closely since her readings (blood pressure, respiration, etc)  were all on the low side. Didn’t surprise her in the least. They’re always low and she told them that before the surgery. After an hour’s worth of extra waiting they finally called me and told me I could come back to the waiting area.
   We did the mandatory sit around and do nothing before they finally let me get the car and load Jenn up for the journey home. Once home, we set Jenn up with a comfy recliner and a comfy bed and let her relax. Last night we waited until midnight for Jenn to be able to take her first pain killer and rack out for sleep.
   About 4:30 this morning Jenn woke up in extreme pain. Her leg was getting worse and worse even after taking another pain pill. She got up and called the hospital about the pain. They told her to take another pain pill and wait an hour or two.
   Now, you have to understand something about my wife and pain. She doesn’t really notice it that much. Because of several medical issues she has she’s been living with a low level of constant pain for over half of her life now. She’s also had two knee surgeries, a broken back, a botched cesarean section that came open the day she was supposed to come home from the hospital and various other painful things in between. She knows pain, she knows what is and isn’t supposed to be right and wrong pain levels when under medication and she usually has a high level of tolerance for it.
   That tolerance was getting slapped into the dirt this morning. After her third (recommended by the doctor on the phone) pain pill in three hours she was in tears and clutching my hand so hard that she was about to put her finger nails through my palm and out the back of my hand. She decided that she wasn’t waiting any longer and that she was going to the ER right then and there.
   Jenn’s mom took her in (she was staying with us to help out) as Jenn wanted me home for when stinky butt woke up a couple of hours from then. The plan was for me to get him up, changed and fed and then go on in to the hospital. Well, three out of four ain’t bad.
   Jenn called a little bit a go. She’s headed for a spot of breakfast with her mom and then coming home. The surgery went a little farther than it should have and the extra work caused some additional pain throughout the leg. The doctor also prescribed the wrong pain medication. On a scale of one to ten he prescribed a pain medication that was around a little over a one.
   Jenn and her mom are picking the new meds up after breakfast. Hopefully, this evening won’t be a repeat of last night and this morning and we can all get as much sleep as stinky butt. We need it to keep up with him.
  1. Sean says:


    Is she gonna be laid up for a while? And who was the braincell that gave her the wrong meds?

  2. Jennifer Chandler says:

    Hey Sean,

    You’ve got to understand that the Doctors were completely surprised by what they found. Most surgeons have everything set up for discharge before they start the surgery on things as normal as a torn meniscus. With how little I was complaining of pain they had no indications of what they found, and I do have a high pain tolerance. In addition I am a lot more muscular than I appear and that effects your reation to pain pills, as well as my years on Dilantin effectiong my absorbtion rate of medications (that’s the reason I wake up so fast). So I don’t blame the doctor, it was a busy day in the middle of a bad storm and I’m kinda complicated.

    I’ll only be down for a day or two until my muscles get used to their new positioning. Then I’ll just have to take it easy. I’ve been through this twice before…so it’s not that bad, and I have plenty of playmates….er babysitters for Ian.

    I look at it as a great chance to finish my book.

  3. Sean says:

    Yeah, the braincell line, PROBABLY not called for. After some of the things I’ve seen happen either to me or my family, I don’t have as high an opinion of medical people as I should.

    Do you know how this happened, or did the doctors give you any idea? Is it possible that your other knee might have it?

  4. Jennifer Chandler says:

    As you might have read earlier on Jerry’s blog, my Mom had both her knee caps replaced a little over 3 months ago, and I have my Mom’s…unique…knees. Basically we have floating knee caps (well Mom’s aren’t anymore). Floaters grate on the wrong things and miss hitting the right things, so are know to have lots of interesting problems. Mine are a little worse than hers due to my athletic nature and high pain threshold. I was expecting “stalactites” and “stalagmites”, which are bits of cartilage or bone that grow out creating arthritis and look like the rock formations on an X-ray or MRI. However I was not expecting all that he found, and he was not expecting it as they normally do not show up in someone my age.

    Unfortunately I’m very experienced with surgery and recovery times and I know what state your body should be in going into a surgery, so I know getting them both fixed will be a long haul. I went with the one that needed fixing right away (it was falling out from under me), the other can and will wait awhile. If you have surgery on your other knee too soon, you WILL re-injure the knee you just had fixed and would be back at square one. It is highly likely that my other knee is similarly inflicted (just not so bad), however I will have to put off finding out for a few years. It will take a year for this knee to fully heal…then I will have to wait until the next pregnancy is over…and to get back to pre pregnancy weight…so it will be awhile.

  5. Sean says:

    All this and you have to put up with not only Ian and all of Jerry’s weird friends asking you stuff but Jerry himself? You should be up for canonization!!

    My sister’s knee got pretty messed up at a beach in the early ’80’s, and every once in a while it goes out so she looks like she’s either curtsying or genuflecting. Knees are nasty things to have problems with.

  6. Jennifer Chandler says:

    Tell her to get it checked by an orthopiedic asap and to insist upon an MRI. Knees are nasty things…and if it’s going out from under you there is a serious problem there that will just get worse and will require more intensive surgery if not taken care of early. If they can’t give her a reason why it’s going out and how to fix it…go to another doctor (took me 4).

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