Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You're Invited To My Pity Party

I had an appointment with an orthopedist today to double-check that my knee was okay, just healing slowly, and guess what? It's not okay! Apparently when I fell I broke off a piece of bone or cartilage or something, which the doctor said was clearly palpable. It is the reason I am still feeling discomfort and is also the cause of the locking up/clicking sensations in my knee. Also the reason why it hurt so freaking bad when it actually happened.
So, the cure for this is surgery. Only surgery. And the doctor said it's kind of pointless to try to do rehab on the weak ligaments until this floating piece of whatever is removed.
One option is to wait until I deliver and then have it done, and in the meantime wear a brace all the time and limit my activity and pick up Addy as little as possible and most especially do nothing that would make me likely to fall again- so, basically, TRY NOT TO MOVE for the next four months.
The other option is to have the surgery now! I didn't even know this was possible. Basically the doctor came in, felt my knee, announced that I needed surgery, and left the room to call my OB to ask if I could go under the knife during this stage of pregnancy. And the OB said yes, as long as I had a spinal rather than general anesthesia.
This freaks me out so much. (Also, frankly, makes me feel very sorry for myself.) I keep thinking thoughts along the lines of, "Why does something weird always happen to me when I'm pregnant?" The other thought is, "I am never getting pregnant again; this sucks and I have yet to have a smooth, uncomplicated pregnancy. Clearly I am not good at this or someone out there does not like me."
I really, really do not like the idea of having surgery while pregnant. Although I did feel much better when he told me I would not be under general anesthesia, and that the spinal was unlikely to even affect the baby. There's all these pros and cons to weigh, though; it's so confusing. If I don't have the surgery now, I risk falling again, and possibly dropping Adelay or landing on my belly or something horrible. Plus there's the annoyance of having to be all careful and cautious about every step I take for a long period of time. My OB also said that there's a risk of my getting a blood clot if I'm on any kind of bedrest for a long period of time. Hooray!
But the risks and fears associated with the surgery are also scary and valid. I have an increased risk of a blood clot there, too, because that is always a risk with surgery, and I can't take the aspirin they usually prescribe to prevent it because, oh, I'm pregnant! And what if the sedatives they'll give me hurt the baby? Or the pain meds for post-op? And what if I still end up falling again and re-injuring my knee and the surgery was for nothing?
What would you do if it were you? Help!


Jennifer said...

I've joined your pity party. I'm so sorry to hear your news, it sounds very scary.

As far as what I would do...gosh, I don't know. I can't imagine how you're supposed to care for Adelay and NOT MOVE for the next 4 months. If your OB says it's safe...still scary, though.

Lisa said...

If you have to have surgery soon after you deliver then you have to consider having a newborn along with recovering from surgery.

From VERY PERSONAL experience that is NOT FUN. I spent the first 12 weeks after my baby was born in July on crutches after breaking my leg the day before his birth. It was so tough caring for my newborn without being able to move. In my case though surgery wasn't safe while pregnant so I had to deliver first.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, but I would really suggest doing it before childbirth since it sounds like you don't have much choice.

Jess said...

Yay! A party! Oh wait, this isn't a fun party.....I'm sorry, that sucks!!

Well, you probably know what I am going to say, because yuo know how I am about medicine. I would probably opt not to have the surgery just because I am a nut about unnatural things in my body, especially when pregnant. The only way that would really be possible for you (caring for a toddler and all) would be to get some help around the house during the day until Jim gets home. Someone who would be able to lift Addy in and out of the crib and do light cleaning for you.

I'm assuming that wearing a brace wouldn't mean you would have to be on full bedrest like before, so the possibility of a clot like your OB said probably wouldn't be a huge threat. As long as you get up and move around everyday you would be fine. The weather is turning nice, so you could take a walk around the neighborhood with Addy in a stroller and your brace on.

I don't know chica. That's a tough call. I've always heard that surgery should be avoided at all costs unless absolutely necessary. It seems like in this case there is an alternative to surgery for the next few months. Is ther anyone who can help you out during the days?

Swistle said...

If it were me, I would see if I could get an appointment to talk to my OB about it, because I'd want to weep and fret and wring my hands and ask lots of questions repeatedly and hear ALL the possibilities. But...what I'd do in the end is have the surgery now. I wouldn't want to spend the third trimester in a brace and being cautious and feeling pain, and I wouldn't want to have surgery while I was post-partum and had a newborn and a toddler to take care of, and so if everyone agreed that the spinal and the surgery would not hurt the baby, I would have the surgery now. And then I would feel very, very sorry for myself, and I would make people send me brownie recipes, and I would bake ten batches and freeze them to have on hand while I recovered from surgery.

Shauna said...

Tough choice. I've been through knee surgery - it's not easy, but I can't even imagine trying to recouperate from surgery while taking care of two kids on very little sleep (Imagine having to get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby while on crutches). If it were me, I would do the surgery now for my own physical and mental wellbeing.

Also... if you do have the surgery after the baby is born, you'll have Jim around, but he'll be very tired, too. If he's like Gavin, he'll be of LESS help being SO tired taking care of 2 kids and you (vs. taking care of 1 kid and you)...

But that's me and my family...

Good luck with your decision! It's not an easy one. Take care.

Mommy Daisy said...

Oh my goodness, I'm really sorry to hear about that.

If it were me, I would first of all have a long conversation about it with my OB and see what he thinks is best. (I love my OB and would seriously consider whatever he told me.) And for me personally, I probably would not have the surgery while pregnant. I'm very cautious of doing anything that could be harmful to the baby. I never took medication while pregnant (besides occasional Tylenol or Malox). I didn't have caffine or anything like that. That's just me, though, very cautious.

Good luck with whatever you choose. And don't hesitate to call if you need anything.

Mimi said...

So sorry that you need surgery! =(
I guess I would go with what your OB says is ok. That way, your knee can be nice and healed by the time the baby comes and you won't have to spend the next four months in pain.

What a bummer!

desperate housewife said...

Swistle: I do actually have an appt. with my OB tomorrow for my 20-week ultrasound, so I'll do plenty of weeping and wringing my hands and asking a bazillion questions, don't worry. Hopefully I leave his office with more of a resolve one way or another.

Black Sheeped said...

I agree with doing it now, if only to having two kiddies to take care of instead of the one for now. Plus it scares me, the idea that you could fall on your belly or with Addy or with a newborn. Good luck with the decision making, and Swistle's brownie wisdom should never be ignored.