Monday, May 30, 2011

Beach Day

Dear Tootsies,

I spent my Memorial Day at the beach on a Naval Base. It was nice to spend time close to those who serve our country, and to also reflect on those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. 

Here is a picture update on my knees. You can tell that my knees are pretty swollen at this point. The purple lines are drawn on my leg before surgery, so that when my knee is stitched back together, the skin aligns properly. My stitching was done by a plastic surgeon so hopefully the scar will look nicer than the last one! I've got dissolving stitches inside the skin, glue to hold it together, and steri-strips on top.

Now that it's been a week, there's quite a bit of bruising that's showing. It will probably get worse and take a few months to clear up.

My flexion is at 60 degrees. I could probably go further but my surgeon wants me to take it easy. The recovery this time around is a breeze because I didn't get the lateral release done. The pain is also well managed as long as I remember to take my meds.

Thanks for all the well wishes!

How did you spend your long weekend?


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Road to Recovery

Hello Grumpalumps,

I'm finally discharged. I was sent home last night so I can continue my recovery. It took a long time because the doctors had to be sure that my digestive system was working, and that I could control my pain without the IV meds.

My At-Home-Necessities:
- Cryo-Pak: A pressurized cooler that delivers compression and ice to my surgical site.
- Continual Passive Motion device: Bends my knee back and forth all day to prevent stiffness
- Two kinds of Oxycontin
- Crutches:  I'm non-weight bearing for at least 6 weeks.
- Ensure: Because I can't stomach full meals with real food :(

 Two incisions on my shins. Left one is the major surgery, right one is the screw removal.

 New IV site. I was stuck six times for IV placement during my stay because I have really small veins.
This is a nerve catheter on my hip. It's not for urination - It's for numbing the nerves in my leg so I don't feel pain.

Thanks for sticking with me, everybody!
I'll keep you posted on my progress.
Do you have any plans for this Memorial Day Weekend?


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hello Pups,

I'm in the hospital now and will likely be discharged either Thursday or Friday.

I didn't receive a nerve block during surgery, and consequently I woke up crying so hard I couldn't speak, and my heart rate could not be controlled. My poor nurse kept knocking me out with morphine until the anesthesiologist could come by and give me a femoral nerve block. He put in a catheter at my nerve at the hip, which provides continuous numbing medicine to the front of my leg. The other half still hurts like hell.

My scar on the left knee is a bit smaller than the other one on my right. My right scar was actually reopened so my doctor could remove my screws from the last surgery.

This is looking to be another sleepless and painful night. The nurse just gave me some prett powerful meds so I'm struggling to type this correctly. Thank hoodness for autocorrect vision blurry Pictures and updates to come later.

Love you all

Monday, May 23, 2011

Today's the Big Day!

Dear Apples and Oranges,

Today is the day of my surgery. Wish me luck!

You won't be hearing from me for a couple of days because I will be in the hospital. I'll probably be back Thursday or Friday, whenever I get discharged.

 Here's a picture of my knees Pre-surgery.
 Here's a closeup of my Right Knee. I'll have a matching scar on the left.

Ciao! Be good while I'm gone.


Sunday, May 22, 2011


Hello Marshmallows,

I took advantage of my remaining days of freedom and took a trip to Disneyland :D :D

Riding the Rockets in Tomorrowland

And I'm glad to see that the world is still around, despite the impending Rapture. I guess Disneyland was a pretty good way to spend my (supposed) last day on earth.

Did you do anything interesting in preparation for the end of the world?


PS. I took your advice and will be naming my bunny Knuffles.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Heheh Look What I Did....

I got a bunny today.


A brown, lop-eared fuzzball of cuteness!

What should I name her??

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Busy Day!

Hello Bluebellies,

I spent the whole day in the hospital. No, not for me. For my grandfather. He's been having some health issues so I took him to the VA hospital. A routine doctor's visit turned into a whole day affair. It was tiring, but I enjoyed the time I got to spend with him :) 

While I was there a heard more than a few off-colored jokes from the old veterans. Here's one:

A guy goes up to a girl at school and touches her head: "Did you wet your hair this morning?"
Girl: "No, why?"
Boy: "Well what did you do this morning, pee through a straw?"


Do you have any dirty jokes? :P please share!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Head Count!

Dear Hit-and-Runners,

I'm overwhelmed by your support! Truly.

Never thought I'd reach 100 followers, let alone this quickly. It's made my day!

On a related note, what is the highlight of YOUR day?

Cheers ~m.m.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Hello, party people!

I had my anesthesiology appointment today. The doctor and I went over my medical history, and the sedation/nerve block options for my surgery. It was really important because last time, I was stuck in the recovery room for hours because my heart rate and blood pressure couldn't be controlled.

Unfortunately, my surgeon doesn't want me to have a nerve block before the operation, meaning there's a good chance I'll wake up screaming. I had a complete nerve block for the last operation, and by the time it wore off (the second night in the hospital), the pain had me maxed out on all meds and I had a sleepless night :(

But my surgeon has good reasoning: he needs me to be able to feel my leg for tests afterward. Hopefully I can handle it! (I'm not nervous. I'm not nervous. I'm not nervous.)

In other news, I'm currently eating peanut butter and cheerios. YUM. It's the first time I've put the two together but it's a great afternoon snack.

What do you like to snack on?


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Took A Little Break

Hello, Friends!

I took a little break (unintentionally).  After I drove back up to school for senior events and graduation, I realized I left my laptop at home! It was all packed up and tucked away.
Now that all the excitement has died down, I have a moment to catch my breath and update everybody :)

Some graduation highlights:
- Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft) was my commencement speaker
- I graduated on stage with Troy Polamalu :)

Here we are, headed towards the ceremony!

Then I moved out of my sorority house and went to an Italian restaurant with my family afterward to celebrate.

I'll be using the majority of my graduation money on a new professional wardrobe and relocation expenses. Woohoo!

What would/did you spend graduation money on?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Hello friends!

I drove home today so I could have my pre-op appointment. The hospital I go to is a teaching hospital, so a resident doctor greeted me when I first walked in. He interviewed me, tested my joints, and then reported back to my main doctor. He seemed super nice, and I'm glad he'll be looking after me while I'm in the hospital.

My main doctor is so boss, and he's super knowledgeable and smart and does all kinds of research with knees. I'm even featured in his latest study! He said I'm a poster child for "lax" knees - meaning my kneecaps slide around and don't stay in place. I guess it's not something to be proud of.

We went over a lot of stuff, including:

-The exact details of the procedure
-The meds I should be administered
- Anesthesiology
- Physical therapy

I've been seeing the same people for years, and I'm on a pretty friendly basis with the staff. Before I left, I made a special request to have the hardware in my right knee removed while they're hacking away at my left knee. Request granted! My physician's assistant noted: "Oh m.m., Dr. S-------- can't say no to you!" I guess that's what I get for being cute :P - jk!!!!

Do you frequent any places so often that you're friendly with the staff? I move around a lot so this is pretty new for me! Share your stories :)


Monday, May 9, 2011

Taking My Last Final

As of 6:30 PM today, I will no longer be an undergraduate! Hello, Real World :)

Many thanks are in order:
- To my friends who have stuck with me through it all
- To my professors who have provided me with a learning experience, not just a piece of paper
- To all the crazy nights I'll (never) remember
- To still graduating despite the frequency of said nights
- To my university scholarships. Without them I wouldn't be here.
- To having a great job lined up in this economy
- And most of all... to my parents for making it all possible. For always saying, "It's not a matter IF you'll go to college, but WHERE."

In the words of Lady Gaga's newly released single: "I'm on the edge of glory and I'm hanging on a moment of truth."

Gonna go ace a final! 


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fulkerson Osteotomy

Hi Everybody!

Happy Mother's Day, and Happy Morning-After-Pacquaio-Wins!!
I've gotten some good questions in my comments, so I'll answer a few basic ones over the next few days. First up:
What Kind of Surgery is this?

I'm getting a Fulkerson Osteotomy. The procedure involves the surgeon cutting a large incision over my knee. Then he saws off the top part of my tibia, where the knee cap attaches. He then moves this bone sideways/up and down until he gets the angle of the joint in its proper place. Once he's found the best angle, he screws down the bone with two screws, and I get a nice 6" long scar down my shin and no more bones rubbing together inside my joint!

Here's an x-ray of what it looks like:


Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Reasoning

Hello friends,

There are a lot of you wondering why I need this surgery in the first place. Well, it's complicated.
Here's a brief history:
21 y.o. Female w/ hypermobility (super flexibility) and constant subluxation (dislocation and partial dislocation)
Formally active in sports - soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, crew.

Past Surgeries:

L Knee (Medial Reefing) 2006
R Knee (Lateral Release) 2008
R Knee (Fulkerson Osteotomy + Open Lateral Release) June 2010

My knees have been a constant source of torture because of malalignment and maltracking. This means that the angle of my knees is off, and when I bend the joint, the kneecap doesn't stay in its proper place.
Because of my hypermobility, surgical procedures involving soft tissue haven't been effective. Why? My tissues are already very flexible, so using my own tissue to keep my knee in place won't fix anything long term: the muscles will just flex and fail to hold.
The last surgery on my right knee was the best decision of my life: I can now walk without limping, drive without crying, etc.

Now my left knee has been slowly deteriorating as the Medial Reefing has started to fail.
It is now more painful than my recently repaired right knee, especially when I squat.
Dr. told me I would eventually need a Fulkerson Osteotomy on the left knee, and here I am!

I played too many sports with knees that don't work properly.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

CT Scan Today!

Hello Party People,

Hope you're enjoying Cinco de Mayo!!
I got my CT scan for my knee today at the military hospital. Hopefully the results help my surgeon see exactly what to fix once he gets inside my knee.

I was feeling kind of bad for myself because of all my knee problems (this is my fourth surgery) but then I saw all the amputated soldiers on the hospital grounds.. it was really sad. A lot of them are my age or even younger. It made me really thankful that at least I can still walk.

Sorry to end on a bummer. Support our troops!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

So, uh... about that...

I was thinking about how to organize my blog, because there are a lot of things I could focus on, and not all of it is on the specifics of my move from socal to norcal. In fact, I won't be moving until September!

I suppose the best course of action will be to hijack my own blog for a bit, and have a little "mini-series." 

It will be titled: "My Imminent Super Painful Invasive Knee Surgery" - or something to that effect.

Yes! In nineteen days I will be on the operating table while a surgeon slices open my knee and shin, then saws off my bone.

Details to come.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My New Blog!

I'm a sorority girl in Southern California graduating this spring.

I'm moving to Northern California to pursue a career in consulting.
This is my blog documenting:
- Californian stereotypes (It's called tongue in cheek humor, you guys)
- The preparation, move, and transition
- My eventual transformation into a liberal hippie
Thanks for stopping by!