The Aftermath: Part 4
Return to Rehab
After a few days, I was transferred back to rehab, where although very tired and in great pain, I felt as though I was working toward something rather than just wasting away. The little bit of strength I had gained during my previous rehab stay was gone and it was truly starting over which again brought to the surface my negative feelings and exhaustion.
The one nurse that I unleashed on was the nurse who came and woke me up for a shower after I was tucked into bed for the night after a very exhausting day. She had to cover three fourths of my body in plastic to protect my incisions and IVs etc. I was really upset and rude to her and there was no hiding it. I did get to have my hair washed for the first time in several weeks which did make me feel considerably better and by the end of the shower I was thanking her, but asked if it could be done earlier next time. She changed me to the morning shower list, which I also hated, not being a morning person. But it was still better than having a shower after I had gone to bed for the evening.
The parade of people in and out of my room continued. The other person I became really irritated with was the Vocation Rehabilitation Specialist. I had no doubt as soon as I could walk again, I would return to my normal work life. I certainly didn’t need her help in doing my job. Apparently sensing my hostility, she didn’t stay long, but left me her card in case I changed my mind.
So therapy moved on. Some of it, I was almost starting to enjoy. It felt good to feel I was making progress. The wound care nurse did my every other day wound vac change and assessment. A few days later, and shook her head ‘no’. She then called the surgeon who took several hours to actually arrive. The flesh that had been covering the hardware which held my leg together had shifted so when she looked in the hardware was visible. This was not good news. A few hours later, after a long night and many tears, they wheeled me to the now all too familiar operating room. This time, as several weeks of antibiotics weren't effective, he placed antibiotic beads directly in the wound. He said they were often successful especially when combined with the IV antibiotics. The bad news, they would require surgical removal.
They did move me straight back to the rehab floor, let me rest a day and then restarted therapy. The antibiotic beads felt like a sack of marbles right behind my knee, but this did not decrease the exercises I was to do, just made them that much more uncomfortable.
Knowing another surgery loomed in the future dampened my already tear-soaked spirit. The doctor did finally change my pain medication to a slightly stronger, although still, less than effective one.
To be continued…