Okay.....Let me start off by saying I was in the most amazing mood heading to the hospital the day of my surgery. It was so good I would say it was 'bizarre'. It was the morning of October 5th, 2015 and Nikole (my best lady friend, and Shaping Sounds incredible producer) picked me up to take me to the hospital. She had cleared her whole day for me to make sure I was taken care of. I owe this girl a whole lot (and I will always, always be there for her <3 #buddies). Nikole really knows how to love and nurture you while still being completely real and upfront. A rare hybrid of a woman and so so special.
We loaded up the car with my brand new post surgical--10 lb-- knee brace and a glistening pair of silver crutches. I was set. We put the address of the Santa Monica Surgical Center into Wayz and with no questions asked Siri reassured us that we were on our way. About 45 min later, around 9:22 (8 minutes before my appointment). We noticed we did not look like we were anywhere close to the beautiful city of Santa Monica. In fact, we couldn't really read where we were. We were surrounded by symbols. Then....I recognized the korean bbq restaurants and knew we were in Korea Town....ALL the way across LA on the opposite side from Santa Monica. When we re-searched it we found that we were 45 min away. We rushed over and used side roads to dodge traffic. We ended up making it there by 10 am-- Only 30 min late, no thanks to Wayz--
We kept a positive vibe despite all the gps confusion. I had so many friends and family members reaching out to send me prayers and love that I couldn't even think about having stress, nerves, or fear. The vibration between myself and my friends is so powerful. It feels like an army carrying me through, and I know they would never let me fall.
When we strolled into the Surgical Center I immediately got hit with paper work and all sorts of consent forms. I don't know what they said because all I could think about were these huge jugs of water stacked right across from my chair. I stopped eating and drinking (even water) at midnight the night before and I. Was. Parched. I can't think when I'm thirsty. Anyway, that trance I was in probably helped me get through the whole prep process for surgery. I don't love needles and surgery involves a lot of those. I put on my gorgeous hospital gown and even got a hot new pair of panties to go with it. I was feeling so sexy. (I waited until I got my post surgery meds to pose for some risqué photos.) My nurse's name was Carol and she took great care of me. I got to talk to my surgeon before I went under too. I feel really confident in him. He specializes in multiple reconstructions and he works on the US Olympic Soccer Team, he seems trusted in this type of thing. :P He drew a happy face on my leg with a lot of letters that were code for what he was about to do to my knee. If I didn't know better I would have thought they already gave me the drugs to go 'night night'. Speaking of, I also got to talk to my anesthesiologist who was super cool. Apparently he recognized me from SYTYCD and talked all about the show to me. Nikole had to remind me of that when I woke up later....She had to remind me of a lot of things. From the point that I met him on I remember nothing. Until I woke up in the recovery room....
The first thing I remember is telling -anyone who would listen- that I was still craving pizza. I couldn't wait to eat pizza, until the nurse told me I couldn't eat pizza... Too greasy. Boooo! But okay, I accept that. The next thing I remember is trying to bend my knee. I could bend me knee!!! I thought it was a miracle because my last two ACL reconstructions I had little to no movement in it for at least a week or so.
Then the bad news came... When my Doctor went in to take out my screws he removed three screws from my previous two surgeries. One of the screws was biodegradable and so it had dissolved over time but the hole was still present in my bone. The other three screws left very large holes in my bones. They were way too big and didn't leave any solid space to attach my new ligaments. Even if he had tried to do it- it would have caused me a ton of problems with my new ligaments and my bones in the near future. He had no other choice but to give me a bone graft. He used the cadaver bone that came with my ACL/ALL graft. He crushed up the bone and he filled the holes in my knee joint- imagine filling nail holes on your wall with putty and allowing it time to dry and harden. Thats my knee right now. Filled with new bone thats soft and my body is working to harden the bone graft and build new bone within to strengthen it. I now have to wait 3 months in order to give my body time to heal from this. Then, in January, I'll venture in to pt. 2 of my surgery and have my ACL and ALL reconstructed. This 7 month rehabilitation turned into 10. But after this procedure it will be as if I have a brand new knee. The bones won't be brittle, they will be strong and solid. My ACL, ALL, and LCL will all be tight and ready for action. It's worth the extra few months to have the possibility of not going through this, or something worse, ever again. I dream of longevity for my career. Therefore, I don't want a bandaid. I want the source of the problem to be fixed. I really believe that now that I am solidifying not just my ACL but everything around it I have a much greater chance of keeping my body healthy in the future.
This procedure is much different than my last few. The pain is different. For anyone that has had a procedure done to your bones, you know the pain. It is just too-- strange-- to describe. It's intense. It radiates. It's sharp but hollow and very deep. He cleaned up my ACL, meaning I have nothing there now, and so my joint is extremely unstable. He tightened my LCL as well. So my IT band is reacting to that and completely crying for help. I want to be nice and roll it out with my foam roller but my legs are so bruised and tender I can't even bare it just yet. On the bright side my Dr. said I would be walking in 10 days and I got permission to go on tour with Shaping Sound even though I'm not dancing! I'm honestly overwhelmed by the amount of people that want me there-just to be there...I have a feeling I'm going to get really good at taking show notes and drinking wine.......
I was so relieved when I got home and I wasn't as groggy as I was the last two procedures. I had life in me. I wasn't sick and throwing up like I had expected. And I didn't lose my appetite. I've been so much happier with this go around and a lot of that is due to the way I prepared myself and support I have from my friends. I haven't been left alone since my surgery. I feel so loved and cared for...Not to mention this 5 inch feather topper that I like to call "Heaven" and the sheets I splurged on are also contributing to the good vibes. After getting used to my pill regime, getting food in my belly, and processing everything that had change that day it started to sink in....this complication just added 3 more months to my recovery time. My brain started racing with logistics and my my body froze into a partial state of anxiety and shock. I had to talk my self down from the upset and remind myself what the bigger picture is. That helped a lot and yet regardless of how much we understand that it'll "make sense later" or "be better in the long run" Sometimes it just doesn't take the pain away RIGHT NOW. And the RIGHT NOW is what hurts. Not the past and not the future. Thats also the beautiful part.... RIGHT NOW doesn't last forever. It's a moment in time and it's already gone as we speak...
That night a few things came to my mind in my hazy state and I reached to my journal to jot them down...
"My patience is being tested.... remain at peace: My body needs TLC....Love on it: My mind and soul need a breather to step back and clearly envision my new path: I'm comfortable: I'm happy: I'm grateful for this experience: And I'm incredibly blessed to have an army of support behind me and a shower of love constantly renewing me"
Just a few things Nikole reported back:
-Woke up from a nap- had a conversation I don't remember then said to the nurses and doctors "I love you all!!!! Good bye." and ---BAM-- back to sleep.
-Proceded to tell all the nurses and doctors about how I was going to work on improving my Port De Bras (arms) for the next 7 months. (Enjoy video below)
-Insisted on taking photos in my granny panties.
-Had a 20 min conversation with my surgeon and another with my anesthesiologist both of which I remember nothing about and hope I kept appropriate... We were on hugging terms on Tuesday so I still I have faith in myself.
P.s. After she told me some of the things I said and did I remembered doing them, but my time line was all off. I could have sworn everything happened before my surgery. I argued it so hard that Nikole had to point out that my knee was wrapped up in bandages in all of the media she had taken. Dang it, she got me again.
Feel free to leave questions or comments below....