My Husband's Challenging Post-Op

So in my first year of nursing school, a lot of interesting things began to happen in my personal life, medically speaking. I did not have a medical background per se going in, but the longer I was in, the more I realized I had done just about a little bit of everything already--Depression, Mood Disorders, Parkinson's, Cancer, DVT, Septoplasty, C-section, Wound care, MRI, and the list goes on) with either myself or someone in my family. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

My Husband's Challenging Post-Op

My husband had become a disabled veteran after spending some time deployed to Saudi Arabia during his tenure in the United States Air Force. One summer, while driving his Humvee through the desert on patrol, he made a sharp turn. These Humvees do not have their doors attached-presumably so the airmen can stay cool without air conditioning.

His vehicle took one turn, and his body (according to him) continued going straight ahead at 60 MPH. His knee was wrenched and swollen in the process, and wouldn't you know it--our quality military health care sent him back to work the next day with a bag of ice, some Motrin, and a three day "standing waiver". No follow up work was done in the service.

Needless to say, after getting out, my husband's problem eventually grew until he had a torn meniscus, snapped ligament, and required knee surgery. After many appointments and X-rays, and some referrals later, he found himself at Sutter Center for Surgery for arthroscopy pending follow-up physical therapy.

When he was discharged home, the cats were deeply worried for him; they followed him, paced back and forth, licked his wound, swarmed around him constantly, and he could not sit on the couch for a minute without co-dependent feline all over him.

I am also a notorious insomniac. Not only do I not typically sleep in the bed (rather in front of the television), but I have strange dreams where I sometimes act out physically.

That night, as I lay in bed with him (I had decided I wanted a good rest on a quality mattress) I had dreamed that I was heading down the Garden Highway near our house in my Tracker and, for whatever reason, steered it off the embankment. My fear of being vehicularly submerged hit home and I simultaneously gasped and brought my hands to my chest.

This gesture awakened my husband, who is a light--and very defensive--sleeper, and he instinctively jumped out of bed. Or tried to. His knee, which he'd been told to go easy on post-op, had jerked in preparation for the jump. My first recollection of being awake was him moaning and grabbing at it, saying, "God ****it, Jen, get me some ice!"

By a stroke of coincidence, I later ended up working in an operating room alongside my husband's doctor, who was performing the exact same type of procedure on another patient. I introduced myself as James' family and told him--and all the other doctors in attendance--this antidote.

He was amused.

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