Ever since I blew out (not up, mind you) my knee, I’m known to everyone around me as Explodedknee, and no longer Explodingbelly. Hence, the title. Even though my belly has been exploding more than before with all that inactivity. This is going to be an extremely long post, because I’ve got a lot to recount and comment, so bear with me.
It has been exactly a week since I’ve been discharged from the hospital from my surgery! A day surgery, which somehow turned into a 2-night stay, because my surgeon has no faith that I would protect his work of art in my knee. It’s weird but I kinda enjoyed my stay there. I somehow find new experiences, no matter good or bad, fun and intriguing.
I used Snapchat for the first time on the 3rd of July, the day of the surgery because I thought it would be fun for myself to keep a chronologue of this pretty cool experience. After all, it is not everyday your doctor arranges an op 1 day after you visit him for the very first time. I was expecting him to schedule it 2 or 3 weeks later because that’s what usually happens. He thought otherwise, because he saw hope in my meniscus, that apparently tore, flipped over and got caught between the femur and tibia. Sounds painful, and yes it is really damn painful especially when I can’t straighten my leg at all. An early repair would increase the chance of recovery of the meniscus, which otherwise be shaved off most of the time! So, I guess I’m really lucky because I would have a rather intact meniscus if it heals well, rather than an incomplete one! Hoho! A Right ACL Reconstruction and Meniscus Repair was then called for the very next day!
Here’s my snapchat of the 2 days, pre and post-op!
Here’s the recount of it in my very own words, although I know a video speaks a 100 X a thousand words, but my narcissistic self thinks you guys will like my writing more. BECAUSE MY THOUGHTS ARE SO FUNNY, RIGHT? HAHA!
In fact, when I heard about how soon the op was, I didn’t know what to feel. I was happy because that means I can start my rehab sooner, however, I know I should be feeling a little apprehensive at the same time because after all, I’m going to get cut up. Yet, I just couldn’t make myself feel nervous. I was literally feeling NEUTRAL, for the first time of my life, towards this random event that has popped up from nowhere on my calendar. The only depressing part was that I had to fast from 10.30am onwards, because my surgery was scheduled to start at 5pm!
My parents then drove me to Mount Elizabeth, where we suddenly got a free upgrade to a 2-bedder. Something that I later regret, and felt extremely stupid for not choosing a single room since hospitalization was covered by insurance. HAHA! We made a huge din in the room because we thought it was empty, and to our horror, we heard snoring after a good 15 minutes of talking at the top of our lungs. Shit, right? Haha! I excitedly got changed into the hospital gown and thought I looked so cute and innocent in it. Then it suddenly struck me that I was actually going for a surgery and I panicked and died a little inside, and panicked even more because I thought my op was at 5.30, when it actually is at 5. A LOT OF DIFFERENCE OK.
When the nurses arrived to wheel me on the bed to the Operating Theatre (OT), all that was in my mind was, WA I WISHED I COULD HAVE VIDEO-ED THIS DOWN because the moving bed, the passing fluorescent lights, EXACTLY LIKE A CHANNEL 8 DRAMA. Entering the OT was an experience of its own because I realized how very fortunate I was to have been conscious and in such high spirits to even survey my surroundings and talk to the nurses there, while there might have been people who were struggling for their last breaths when they were there or have been so nervous for their surgery because there can be so much repercussions on their quality of life depending on the success or failure, while I was just there for a few incisions on my knee. Yes, I get deep thoughts at inappropriate moments.
It was pretty cool to be briefed by the anesthetist and a chat with him about the different methods of anesthesia. I’ve gained so much knowledge through this little injury, I can’t even put in words how happy I am, even though I shouldn’t really be happy about hurting myself. There were a couple of operating rooms in the OT, and I didn’t know it was so huge in there! Everything along the aisle was just so white and clean.
We entered the automated doors and this was exactly how the Operating Room looks like with like 12 other nurses being busy everywhere getting ready for the op. “Being treated like royalty” just like what the anesthetist told me. I was then transferred from the bed I was wheeled in to the operating bed, where I laid there for a good 15 minutes feeling a little awkward, because everyone was just being so busy while I was just lying down there and chilling, and like want to sleep but cannot sleep. So I spent the 15 minutes looking at the screen and monitoring my resting heart rate, which was 52bpm, so I tried getting myself excited to increase it, and while I was having fun playing with my heart rate, I realized that shit, everyone else could also see the huge ass screen at every corner of the room. That, was possibly one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. My doctor then came bursting in 5 minutes late, and I overheard the nurses saying that he was having a chat just outside the room. HEY, AM I NOT IMPORTANT?
He then signed on my right leg to make sure it was the leg to be operated on, which I asked to be left there for me to snap a picture after, but the nurses washed it away unfortunately. I was then told that I would fall asleep at the count of 10, but after counting to 10, I was still pretty awake. Just as I was thinking, WALAO CHEAT MY….
I woke up briefly, felt a tube dripping and being removed from my mouth. Something the anesthetist said would happen because a tube is put through my throat to help me breathe, but I would most likely forget because of the induced amnesia. SO I MADE SURE I REMEMBERED IT and then I fell into deep sleep again, and felt myself being wheeled out of the room to the waiting area.
I woke up feeling extreme pins and needles in my foot, extremely groggy and very hungry. While I was feeling so sick and groggy, my surgeon was all chirpy and loud, I swear if I could, I would have put a hand to his face and said STOP. HAHA! He explained that he placed also injected a nerve blocking thing in my hip to keep my entire right leg numb, and the pins and needles were the effect of it wearing off. I thank every God possible for that uncomfortable sensation because I’ve heard of a COUPLE OF FRIENDS, not just ONE, that they woke up to excruciating pain in their knee because the painkillers wore off when they woke up. HENG AH.
GROGGY is probably an understatement to how I felt. A better description would be FUCKING GROGGY, together with an extremely uncomfortable sensation in my foot, a huge and heavy right leg, and a very uncomfortably numb heel. I was then wheeled out to my favorite faces in the world, my mum, dad, and Benny. At the same time, I was also feeling like shit because I know I looked like shit when they saw me yet i couldn’t do anything about it, but to pray that Benny would still love me. HAHA! Going into my room and being lifted to my bed was HELL, because they just threw me on my bed and my knee hurt like a bitch, I yelled and all the nurses just laughed at me. Up till now, I still don’t know why it was so funny, but very pain ok?
It was 8.30pm. WOW. I was in there for so damn long?! My family then came in and I really wanted to give everyone a hug, but everyone was annoying the shit out of me by talking to me and trying to get my attention. It’s like omg I am fine, I’m GROGGY, my leg hurts, and I’m scared to move my leg, BUT I AM FINE. JUST. STOP. TALKING. Then, my bestest friend in the world, Chew Shian came in with some Japanese grapes and yogurt drink.
I just had to. No matter how much I was dying. These grapes were so poppingly good. YUM.
Oh, I haven’t mentioned that when I realized that there would be an icing machine after my op, I was so excited that I looked for it the first thing I woke up. I still think it is pretty cool because it’s an icing machine! It was wrapped around my heavily wrapped knee while ice cold water was being pumped through the pipes and sorts to keep my knee iced. My brother was so excited to take a look at my knee, but to our dismay, we didn’t get to see anything because of this Game Ready (the icing machine). And I just felt like I had a log for a right leg.
I chased everyone out of the room because my head was so heavy, I swore when i turned to my left, I thought it was going to drop off because it’s that heavy and useless. I tried to catch some Zs while they were gone but I immediately felt better when everyone left, so I just meddled with my phone and hopped on to Instagram as usual, until Benny came back for me. I sincerely did not know that he was going to stay for the night because I thought they said visiting hours till 8pm only what! I had my first munch at about 10pm, a pretty good sandwich from the hospital.. OMG my standard drop, I know.
And then, my 2 favorite people came – Ms Tan and Yao. I was EXHILARATED. Don’t know why I was so happy to see them, but it was like COMFORT PEOPLE. To my surprise and tickles, they suddenly laid out a whole table full of Zi Char spread and I just burst out laughing because it was just a ridiculous sight in the hospital. HAHA! We had a muted dinner, BECAUSE the occupant of the next bed was being a massive bitch by secretly telling on us to the nurse and SECURITY GUARD through texting her father. WE WERE WHISPERING SO SOFTLY I ALMOST COULDN’T HEAR MYSELF, but still kena. I’m sorry I would have offered you some of the spread if you were friendlier, but NO. Bitch. Okay even though it was pretty late then, I understand why she was being a bitch, but she was so unfriendly, avoided any form of eye contact and dao-ed us right from the start, I just could not empathize with her.
The remaining of whatever that’s left of the night was basically hell. I couldn’t sleep at all because my muscles kept spasming and my knee hurt every time I fell asleep. I slept in 30 minute intervals for like 3 sets and stayed awake for the rest. I was so afraid to move my leg, I had no idea why, but was so thankful that Benny was just there for me the entire night. Seeing him just made me feel so at ease and safe. Aww… right? But really, I HAVE MY VULNERABLE MOMENTS OK. Oh, oh I also had to pee so badly at night, but I was handed a bed pan. I couldn’t pee. It was cool peeing in a bed pan though.
Day 2 was not any better. My morning started off with the massive clanging and chattering outside the room as the nurses changed shifts and shit. I had my not-so-cafe-quality french toast and just stared at Benny basically, until my doctor came and decided for me that I should stay for one more night so that he can keep me from screwing up the meniscus repair. The worst part was when the physiotherapists arrived for my 15 minute physiotherapy session.
They ripped away my Game Ready, and I finally saw my log-like right leg. Wow. It hurts just looking at it. And then I was told to lift my leg. I tried with all my might, and I couldn’t. Words can’t describe how devastating what was. I don’t even want to go there because in my mind, it was just fuck fuck fuck fuck what the fuck, I work out so hard for fuck. So, with help I got out of my bed, and feel the blood going into my legs as my knee screamed in pain. WTF. And I tried to walk. Walking felt so new, and stupid as well because my leg was as stiff as it was heavy – a log.
And this was how it went. You know when the physio accidentally poked into the side of my knee, it felt massively swollen, numb, painful, and wow. I felt like I didn’t want to walk again until the pain subsided.
The second day was fun because all my friends came and Chris from Ah Bong’s Italian came with PASTA! I ate so much I swore I gained the 4kg I lost. When night fell, it was probably one of the worst nights of my life because I just felt so extremely emotional, and I was immersed in self-pittance. Stupid, I know. But that makes us human hor. I just thought about how much I was working out just a few weeks ago, thought about how I should be training for sunig then, and the fact that even getting out of bed and going to the toilet was such a challenge for me, I just broke down. Cry and cry and cry and cry and cry and cry. Then I thought about how fucking long 6 weeks is and honestly, the moment when I got injured, I didn’t think I could only go back on court a year later. I thought it would take like 4 months max. So I cry and cry and cry and cry and cry again. Until I got over myself and tried to sleep. When I tried to sleep, every single time I fall asleep, my muscles go into spasm and my knee hurts like, never before. And that happened thrice, before I gave up sleeping altogether, and cry somemore cause it was so fucking tough then. Until Benny arrived. And I just cannot cry in front of people, so I just stopped crying altogether and ate a chocolate bread.
It’s funny how life works out some times. I’m just thankful for all the major ups and downs in life I’ve had on a regular basis, because that makes me feel like I’m truly living and alive. It’s the moments that bring you down that you learn most about yourself, and it is kind of amazing how everything manages to fall into place in retrospect, when you try to make sense out of it.
Like how I feel that taking the module on Advanced Abnormal Psychology last sem is something that fits snugly into my life because the only message I got out from there was the message from the class of Mindfulness in ACT. In mindfulness, my prof often says that, “The wise change what they can, and accept what they cannot change.”. That is, in essence, what we all have to do in life. And that is what resonates in my mind all the time, especially in times like these.
I don’t know, I haven’t found the reason to why I’m so suay like this, but I know one day I’ll look back and realize that it happened to pave way for something else life has in store for me. It sucks that this happened, but I can’t change the fact that it did. The best way out, is to change the way I perceive this seemingly insignificant event in the big portrait of my life, and learn to appreciate the fact that this happened to me and, not to anyone else.
At least I had steak for dinner at a hospital hor. And I have a shape shifter leg. See how my calf can have dents? So disgusting and cool at the same time.