Had a major breakdown in communications with my temporary Drew’s Journal assistant, spare heir Steven. So, 11 days after the last post, I’m writing and posting this one myself… and baby, it’s a doozy!
I AM OUT OF THE HOSPITAL!
Ok, not forever, but in Japan celebrating the New Year’s holiday, known as Shougatsu, is pretty much the biggest event of the year and all ambulatory and semi-ambulatory patients are encouraged to leave the hospital for New Year’s weekend and spend time with their families. Only a skeleton crew of nurses man the wards, and only the most infirm patients remain.
This was all unknown to your brave journalist of course, until Thursday afternoon when the head nurse walked in and demanded to know why I hadn’t submitted my schedule for departure yet…
And twas then that my freedom was made knownst to me, and there was much rejoicing.
I do have to go back though, I return next Wednesday the 3rd before dinner time lest they send ninja nurses to come hunt me down.
So lemme give you a brief update on what’s been happening, and then I’ve got a whole crapload of pictures to share with you that Ma Li has taken during my hospital stay and which, since I’m temporarily back in front of my laptop, I can now upload!
Perhaps the day after my last previous post the doctors deemed me well enough to move back to my old room, the one with the excellent view of monkey mountain and a room reserved for patients on the up and up. My days thereafter consisted of long stints strapped into the merciless knee-bending machine, daily rehab, and lots of down time to chat with the other inmates or harass the nurses. As of today, just about 2.5 weeks post-op, I’ve regained ~110 degrees of flexion in my knee and am walking around my room without any support. When out in public amongst the throbbing masses I must still use one crutch under my left arm to steady myself and guard against the occasional jostle.
The doctors have promised me that I’ll be released upon hitting the 130 degree of flexion milestone, so after returning to the hospital next Wednesday I expect to have to stay perhaps another week / week and a half. Once I’m discharged I’ll begin daily rehab at a local neighborhood hospital and that will continue until I leave Japan at the end of the summer.
With the exception of the absolutely hellish initial 2 days post-op, this ACL repair has been a dream come true compared to the one I had in high school on my left knee. I mean I’m walking without a limp and virtually pain free only two weeks after surgery… I didn’t hit that mark until perhaps two MONTHS after my previous one – which had a very different technique.
Speaking of technique, I have color photos from the mini-cam they had inside my knee during the operation, and a print out of the x-rays showing the two fat staples I have in my tibia now. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to scan and upload those until after I’m back out of the hospital, but I’ll let you know when they go up if you’re interested…
So, enough jibba-jabba, let’s look at some pictures shall we? These start the day before my surgery and run up until Christmas Day, captions are below each picture… enjoy!
Two weeks post-op! My wounds look great and my stitches will be removed shortly! The swelling is also much, much better and of course I can bend a great deal further now.
Merry Christmas! Mom and Dad sent Ma Li and I stockings and some goodies. This present ended up containing a bag of pretzel Goldfish. This turned out to be the first time Ma Li had ever had a pretzel anything before! Can you believe it?! It’s amazing what we take for granted! (She liked them, btw…
The bending never ceases, not even on Christmas! The stockings were the envy of nurse and patient alike and we had about as good a Christmas as one could have in the hospital. Thanks Mom and Dad!
No, you silly Chinese girl! Not *that* kind of stocking!
People tease you when you can’t defend yourself!
And that’s it! Thank you to everyone who kept tabs on my progress through December. Drew’s Journal logged an absolutely insane 1,100 separate visits this month! For comparison, since the site was launched in September of 2005 it’s only averaged about 250 visits per month.
I’ll keep writing, you keep reading!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!