John is now on his third day in hospital and well fed up with being (a) patient. According to the doctors, the surgery went well with a slight complication due to a lot of bleeding, apparently. Instead of lasting one hour, it was nearly five hours later when he was brought to the recovery room.
It was scary to see him immediately post-op, and of course a relief just to see him. He was still under the effects of the pain medication and the first words he managed in between exclamations of pain and long exhalations were, “I’m retiring!” He couldn’t seem to get his leg in a comfortable position, and his face was a bit swollen, especially around the eyes. But the surgery was over, and I thought that meant the worst was behind us. He proceeded to crack jokes about how his dancing career was over, and was exceedingly complimentary to me about what a wonderful wife I am and how lucky he is to have me - I’m documenting this well ;)
Little did I know at the time how big this surgery really is. I think compared to the last accident where we were looking at scary life-altering possibilities from the brain injury and initial memory loss, etcetera, we both underestimated this surgery to repair the calcaneum (heel bone).
It required a synthetic bone graft and a titanium cage-type thing (see above image) that looks like a bunch of bicycle chain links (oh, the irony) all stuck together, and which they screw into the bone to hold it all together (in my layperson’s paraphrased version). Because he bled a lot, there was a tourniquet used above the knee, which resulted in many complaints from John post-op. He is constantly complaining of how much his right quadriceps are hurting and they were in spasm for the entire day after the surgery.
At the moment, he is eagerly anticipating release from this place. We are just waiting (always waiting) on the doctor to come back to check on the bag attached to his foot which is draining the rest of the blood from the incisions. They said the wound is healing normally - which evidently can be problematic. To me, it looks like the blood has stopped draining, which means he should be released this afternoon. Unfortunately, it takes at least two hours to be discharged, and John has already surpassed the incredible patience he has been able to muster over the past two weeks. We still need to see the doctor who will give the order for discharge, and who knows when that will be.
For two impatient people, this is a real test! We know we are meant to learn from this, so perhaps that is the lesson. We’re still in the middle of it, so it’s hard to see the light but I am trying to find ease and lightness where possible. Much harder for John who is dealing with all the medical issues and understandable concerns about recovery, his cycling future, and his health in general. On top of everything, I’ve caught a terrible cold which started with incessant body-racking sneezing, and led to me being up all night unable to swallow without immense pain. This is quite possibly the worst timing for me to fall ill considering the task ahead for both of us to get John situated, safe and as comfortable as possible given his injuries.
We’ve had lots of messages of support and well-wishes. Keep sending your love and your humour - John will need it especially through the next few weeks as he learns to rest and let his body heal again.