Dad dropped me off at the hospital early this morning. The anesthesiologist let me decide if I wanted general anesthetic or local, and I picked local, so I could watch the whole thing. He took me in a room and we made wisecracks at each other while he gave me an epidural. It was really strange, not being able to move anything from my ribs down, no matter how hard I tried.
I tried to tell them how tiny my hand veins were when they installed the IV, and how great my arm veins were, but they did not heed. More bruising ahead, I predict.
The surgery was quite cool. The anesthetic made me queasy at first, but that was quickly fixed, and I got to lie back and enjoy the orthoscopic show (my actual knee was hidden from me by a drape). I didn't even feel the incisions, although I could definitely feel him pulling my knee around and jamming the instruments into me (pressure was the only sensation I had). The underside of my kneecap is quite nice, and the doctor happily told me that my knee looked very healthy. The tear ended up being small (7 mm), and so my prognosis for a full, arthritis-free recovery is very high. YAY.
I have lots of pictures with which to gross out my Mom.
The whole surgery only took about 25 minutes. After that, they rolled me over, took out my epidural, and wheeled me into the recovery room. One of the side effects of the anesthesia was that I became unbelievably thirsty...it was a strange feeling to take a drink of water, swallow, and still have my mouth left sandy-dry. They gave me a few graham crackers and I was completely unable to eat them--my mouth just stuck to itself. Five glasses of water later, I'm doing better with that.
Mom came for me when I was in the recovery room, and once the nurses established that I could walk without collapsing into a heap, they bundled me into a wheelchar and Mom drove me home.
I'm now holding court on my parents' bed, playing Kingdom of Loathing, drinking iced tea, and watching nature programs while my knee propped up and iced. It's a little sore, but I'm keeping ahead of it with painkillers. I'll be here for the next three days, taking a welcome break off my feet and enjoying the knowledge that the pain I've been living with for 5 years is finally gone for good.