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September 24: Another Surgery! Can’t I get a break? (...)

Yep, go that break. And then some.

Well, my August 30 hardware removal led to the development of a hematoma, or pooling of blood outside of the vascular system, in this case in my calf, and swelling blocked its routine draining. Last week the doctor addressed this by squeezing the area to permit a lot of drainage to be released, and then he super-glued the incision! I thought all was working out fine until Friday night, when the incision re-opened.

So yesterday the Dr. Egol went back in, through one of the same incisions (my poor, poor leg!! Three times in the same incision) and debrided and irrigated ,and set me up with an external collection bulb and drainage pump (kind of a colostomy for my leg), so now I have the latest in surgical fashion dangling from my knee.

But here’s why things got off to a great start: Our son Ray was in New York to celebrate his 30th birthday, and Dave flew in from California for the occasion. For a surprise, I had lined up tickets to eat at the restaurant on top of the World Trade Center (ok, top of the One World Observatory) for last night. Ray leaves today, and last night was to be the only time when it would just be the four of us. When the surgeon (who is going out of town tomorrow) squeezed me into his schedule for 4:00 pm, I knew I couldn't make the dinner. It was one more emotional hit. We lined up a friend to take my (prepaid) fancy meal ticket and I went to the hospital at 2:00, as requested.

At 3:30 my surgeon came for the pre-procedure check-in and I told him, a little tearfully, what I was missing at 7:00 pm. He said, “Why miss it? We’ll make this happen!” The surgery was only 30 minutes, and he left instructions with the recovery room nurses to fast-track my discharge once I was ready. I came to from the general anesthesia around 5:30, Larry showed up with our wheelchair at 6:00. At one point I had three nurses simultaneously removing the IV port and various tubes, dressing me, fast-talking discharge instructions (old hat by now, of course), and having me sign paperwork. They couldn’t believe what I was doing, but I reminded them that it was the doctor’s idea.

We were out of the recovery room by 6:25, and arrived by cab at the WTC at 6:57, where we surprised Ray and Dave. Then we had a glorious visit to the observation deck (floor 102) and the restaurant (floor 101), where we had a surprisingly delicious dinner and great conversation. We shut the place down, being the last ones to leave at 9:45. I’m sure we disappointed the wait staff by not ordering any alcohol. My leg was elevated, I was on painkillers and a nerve block, my family was all together, I felt truly on top of the world! I recommend this strategy to anyone facing surgery 😊.  See the photo in the “gallery” section - or maybe it's below.

Now I’m home, behaving myself, resting, elevating, icing, etc. If all goes well, I’ll get the sutures out in two weeks, and can return to (mild) exercising in the third. It’s been a long, long time and I’ve become a blob. But as always, my surgeon says, I should make a full recovery.

I feel like I got a wonderful launch into this repeat recovery phase, so I’m not feeling down.  Don’t want visitors or phone calls for a while - next week?

Please, dear friends and family, don’t fret over this development. I’ll get there, I know  -- wherever there is!

Hugs and thanks all around - Deborah

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  • Jane Allen : I hadn't seen the picture of all 4 on top of the world, in NYC! What a memorable birthday for Dave (?) and all that night.
  • Jennifer Stephenson : Sending warm wishes for continued recovery, hope recent times have been completely uneventful!
  • chris allen : Hi Deborah. I don’t know if you’re conducting business on this site. If so, Anita and I want to send you our regards and ask how things are coming along? Love- Chris
  • Bill Teen : What a crazy day...but I love happy endings. Seeing you guys all together in that photo says so much. I am so glad that you wondrously made the event. And with all going on...you were concerned about the wait staff. Deborah you are something else.. factorial! My positive thoughts are of course with you, and thanks for your inspiration.
  • HEATHER BURTCHELL : What a journey Deborah! I miss you guys so much!
  • Dory Streett : Amazing!
  • Gloria Jacobs : Wow! what a story. You're an inspiration. Will call once you're more up and about, which clearly will be soon, given your will power. Happy Birthday to Ray!
  • Georga Accola : You are blessed with family, friends, faith and an amazing medical team. With your determination and the loving support of those around you, you’ve begun the journey toward complete recovery.❤️
  • Jennifer Stephenson : Leave it to Deborah to get to the top of the world no matter what obstacle, I fully expect to see you summiting Mount Everest by next week...