It has been one week today since I had Mr. Nasty plucked out of me, and his cause, Mr. Saphenous, shut down by laser. All I can say is, "It still hurts!"
The day of the "procedure" (I guess it wasn't technically a "surgery", it was called a "procedure"), I was a bit nervous. I'm not overly fond of pain. But extremity pain is more bearable to me than internal pain. I'd rather have veins ripped out of my legs than my appendix ripped out of my abdomen, kwim?
The first thing they did when I got there was to start medicating me. I was given liquid Versed, 2 Valium, and a Cipro (anti-biotic) for good measure. I was told to sit in a comfy chair for 20 mins to let the meds start working. The doc came in about 10 mins later with a sharpie. I felt like I was going to have plastic surgery. He proceeded to mark all the spots on my leg where he planned to jab into me. Lovely! He also decided at that point that I needed more Versed. The nurse seemed surprised as she said "Really?" when he asked her to give me more. I must have a high tolerance for narcotics (hmm, my past coming back to haunt me?), maybe I wasn't as messed up as he thought I should be. So I drank another cup of the liquid versed. BTW, it is some nasty tasting stuff.
About 10 mins later I remember being walked into the "procedure" room. I do remember laying on the table. I remember him jabbing into my knee (to get to Mr. Saphenous with the laser) and it really hurt. I know I asked some questions, but can no longer remember the questions or the answers. I do remember asking to see my vein, (I am morbid that way) and the nurse did show it to me. It looked much smaller than I thought it would. (Although it could have been in pieces). It also wasn't bloody which I thought it would be. I suppose when they take it out, there isn't blood in it anymore (duh) so that explains that!
The whole thing seemed to go by rather quickly, but it really took over an hour. What I found out later was that Versed, as well as being a major sedative, is also an amnesiac, meaning it is supposed to promote memory loss of the event. The intent is that you don't remember a lot of what went on. So it seems that it worked a bit in me. I do remember bits and pieces, but I don't remember the entire procedure. Oh well, it was probably pretty fascinating and I might have been able to learn something if I had been more coherent. I am sure that some of the questions I asked had to pertain to what they were doing. They were probably happy to not have to answer me. I am also happy to not have felt much pain during what was probably at least a slightly painful procedure.
When it was all over, they wrapped me up. I do remember most of the wrapping up (my drugs must have been wearing off). I had about 5 layers , starting with gauze and ending with huge ace bandages. And it was tight. So tight my toes kept getting tingly and I couldn't bend my knee. The bandages went from toes to upper thigh. I was not to remove any bandages until Thursday morning ( the procedure was Monday). That was also supposed to be the first time I was allowed to shower. Well, I wasn't going 3 days without a shower. I managed to get a really big lawn and leaf bag around my entire leg. I tied it off with the drawstring from some sweatpants. Then I wrapped a towel around the end for good measure. Luckily my toilet is very close to the shower, because I managed to rest my leg on the closed toilet lid, and take a sideways shower with the curtain open. It was a little difficult, but I did it. And I felt so much better being able to shower. People should know better than to tell me I can't do something......when there's a will, there's a way!
Here's a picture of what my leg looked like after taking off the bandages......this was day 3 post "procedure"
So, now it's Monday again, one week later. It's not as bruised, it's all fading to a lovely yellowish green right now. But it still really hurts. I am still wearing my super tight surgical support hose, and have to for another week. I'm still not supposed to stand still for longer than 5 mins or so at a time, although walking is good. I'm not supposed to lift anything or do anything "strenuous" for at least another week. After next Monday, supposedly, I will be almost cured, and can slowly ease back into normal activity. I'm kind of looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to it not hurting when I walk, or when I don't have my legs up. I'm looking forward to being able to sleep on my right side again. (It's my right leg).
Of course the best news was when I went back for my post "procedure" visit on Thursday. After telling me everything looked pretty good, he informed me that while he was taking care of my right leg, he decided to ultrasound the saphenous vein in my left leg, (he uses ultrasound during the procedure, so he just happened to have it there) as I have a small (very small) varicose vein on the front of my lower calf). It seems Mr. Saphenous in my left leg is shot too. He told me to let him know when I wanted to to have the left leg done! I think I'll wait a while : )