On Tuesday, May 6th, I finally went in for surgery to fix my hamstrings from the exit wound.
It’s hard to believe that it has been over two years since it happened. After trying everything non-surgical…this was my final option on trying to get back into the shape I was before I got shot. It isn’t a given but I didn’t want to have regrets later on trying to fix it. Especially given that the doctors were ready now as well.
April 6, 2021 – Emory Surgery Center, Dunwoody, GA
I got an early time which was good. My wife and I woke up at about 4:30, got ready and left the house. Per the hospital rules thanks to COVID, she could not go in with me. That not easy. She has been there through every step (including saving my life in that hallway). It was extra quiet in the lobby waiting room.
At 6:15am, the Emory nurses took me back to get prepped for surgery. It was all of the usual stuff. The gown that is breezy in the back, the rubber grip socks, net hat and all over your stuff put into plastic bags below your bed. They got the IV hooked up for anesthesia and I was rolled back into the operating room.
It was the first time I had ever been pushed into a waiting room. I do not remember much from the actual incident past falling down in the hallway due to lack of blood. I don’t know why…I felt really alone. Luckily, the medicine was quick and I was out pretty quickly.
The Trip Back Home
The surgery took a couple of hours and before I knew it…I was waking up in the recovery room. When the doctor asked me if I get nauseous from the medicine – I should have said yes. I had to stay in the recovery room for an extra hour just to make the ride home bearable. I didn’t really believe it affected me like that because the last time I blamed it on the tube down my throat. At least now I know for a next time that I hope never comes.
It was great to see my wife’s fact when I got rolled out to the truck. The ride home wasn’t all that bad either because most of my leg and hip were numb. We got out my trusty walker from last time and I was on the couch ready to not move.
When my surgeon talked to my wife as soon as I got out, we got some more details on what is going on in my hip and leg area. He had to clean up a lot of the bone. It had gotten pretty messed up with the hip. He did think that he fixed it all as best as we can get it. There is also a TON of scar tissue in the area which complicated things a bit.
They ended up using 4 anchors to reattach my hamstring to the hip bone when they were originally slated to use two. I haven’t had a chance to go into that in detail with him. I will sometime at the end of this month or the beginning of the next. For now…he is very happy with the way the surgery went.
The Progress Two Days Later
I think we really underestimated how much nerve damage there is at that part of my leg/hip. The ride home was fine as well as getting on the couch for the first time. My wife propped me up and we were good to go.
Everything seemed to be going really well. The first couple of trips to the bathroom went as good as they could have. That is when the local pain meds started to wear off and the nerve pain came into play.
If I do not stand up to get to my walker just perfectly…it feels like my leg is getting burned in a line inside to out past my knee. It’s terrible and I actually got stuck on the couch twice. We made a call to the nurses, surgeons and my physical therapist to make sure everything is ok. They had mentioned before that I would probably get this pain and it would be worse than someone just coming in from a torn hamstring.
It is worse and it hurts like hell. They are confident that I didn’t make anything worse and it is just the state of the nerves that were probably already damaged to begin with before we started messing with the area. It will go away but it could take up to about 10 days.
So what now?
A lot of couch time. If I can get my leg to settle down some, I might actually get a shower in today. My first PT appointment is next Monday with the follow up/post op appointment set for Wednesday. In the meantime, I was given some instructions on how keep the blood flowing and I can not stretch my hamstrings at all which equals to some really funny looking movements to get around.
Just like everything else with this…we have to try to focus on the positive and take it one step at a time. Surgery is never fun and there is always a risk/reward factor that is just part of the game. Everyone is still very positive about the way it turned out. My wife is also in rockstar mode taking care of me and my very unpredictable mood swings. I am just looking forward to getting this behind us and hopefully back to the life we knew before this happened. Life will never be the same…but we should be taking the right steps to optimize it the best we can.
Side note: While we are having to go through all of this, the guy that shot everyone now as 3 lawyers on payroll and is trying to go for insanity. Apparently every time their good lawyers say he not going to get a better deal than this, she hires another lawyer. And now they want the state to pay for his competency evaluation which the DA will be denying. It is just a mess.