The morning of my surgery was surprisingly calm. I slept soundly. The dogs went into their crates easily. Signing in was quick. Considering that my leg was being cut open and parts of my knee would be missing and/or replaced when I woke up, the whole energy of the waiting area was mellow. When it was my turn to head back for prep, I felt excitement. The thought of being able to move and play sports without fear of buckling my knee was the only thing on my mind. After changing into my surgical outfit everything really slowed down. It felt like every couple minutes someone new would ask me a few questions, always preceded with, “who are you and what are we doing today?” I actually really appreciate the attention to detail. After receiving two signatures on my knee, repeating the answer, “Josh Kober. Left ACL Reconstruction” about 25 times, and about 60 minutes later I was being walked to the operation room. Being greeted by 5 or 6 people, some washing hands, some sticking things on my body, and the anaesthesiologist letting me know he gave me “something to take the edge off.” The room is as white a room you’ll ever see. Everyone is moving and talking; I was very impressed by how much work was going into my well-being. It was impressive how deliberate every movement and word said accomplished a task. As I lay there looking up at bright round lamps, I can hear the slight sound of music coming out of a small speaker in the ceiling. I think to ask what would be on the sound track, but before I could utter a word, I’m waking up.
It truly did feel like I went to bed and awoke the next morning. I remember dreaming or at least felt as if I had been dreaming that I was late for work. Feeling my eyes opening wide then blinking and trying to organize my thoughts and senses all at the same time. My nurse was reassuring me that everything was fine and the operation was successful. I couldn’t believe it was over so quickly even though it took almost an hour longer than expected. As I became more aware, the nurse offered another dose of dilaudid and warned that the numbing would fade and pain would start to show itself. He wasn’t lying. The car ride home was comfortable and climbing two flights of stairs up to my bedroom proved easier than expected, probably because I couldn’t feel a thing. I made my way to bed assuming my position that I would be in for the next 4-6 days.
My first week of recovery was underway. Lots of Percocets, sleep, and ice would be the next week or so. Lucky for me the Masters was starting the next day so I would be thoroughly entertained watching Tiger win in what will be remembered as one of the best Masters of all time. This was the perfect distraction from the fact I wouldn’t be touching a golf club for at least another 3-4 months.
Preparation was crucial for week 1. Know that you will have trouble getting up and down. Have a clear path from the bed to the restroom. Stay ahead of the pain with your painkillers, and do yourself a favor and buy some still softeners!