Cory Got His Knee!

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North America » United States » Florida » Kissimmee
October 7th 2021
Published: October 8th 2021
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That’s right. Monday, October 4th, was surgery day for Cory. Using robotics, Dr.Johnston gave Cory a left total knee replacement. Everything went super. He spent one night at the Celebration hospital as an observation out-patient. He was almost in the same room I had one year ago!

Before I get into the minute details, I have to finish up with our eating extravaganza we were enjoying prior to his surgery. Because we had a free coupon for a desert at Cheddars, we made that a definite stop. Our main course was their yummy chicken pot pie. It’s always a winner! The free desert was their legendary Cookie Monster…..Scratch-made chocolate chip cookie, baked to order, with vanilla bean ice cream, homemade hot fudge, whipped cream, chopped nuts and a cherry on top. Actually, we got two cherries on top and two spoons. Oh, God….it was sooooo good. Unbelievably, we couldn’t even eat it all. I’m sure you are as shocked as we were!

We had one more night and one more place to try. We went to Capone’s in Margaritaville. Remember how I said they had HOMEMADE pasta? We had to try that! Cory ordered their spaghetti and meatballs. I ordered their rigatoni with meatballs. The meatballs were super! The homemade pasta was good but almost had the texture of al dente and a hint of flour in the flavor. It was okay but I wasn’t as thrilled with it as I had hoped to be. Probably won’t go back. Olive Garden has better!!

And, of course, Sunday was our football and pizza day. Both were winners! The Buffalo Bills won and Pizza Hut Pizza won, too. Since Cory has come home from the hospital, I’ve been Julia Childs slaving away in our kitchen area. But I’m not complaining….I had it too good for too long.

Cory had to mail a letter at the Celebration post office. When he returned, he said that some of the Celebration folks were having their yard sales. They usually have them in March. He wondered if I wanted to go….I was in the car before he had to say more. We did a lot of looking. If we had a big house, there was a lot of stuff we could have bought but in the RV, space is sacred. Nearing the end of our yard sailing, I spied four nice, wheeled chairs. We had bought two padded folding chairs for our table in the RV….trying to conserve space and weight….but these chairs were sooo nice! Cory is so weary of buying me chairs…I love chairs and small tables. But, with some simple whining, he agreed and we bought two of the chairs for $10.00 each. They are so comfy and match perfectly in our RV. Cory is such a sweetheart! I love him!

Okay….let’s move along and review Cory’s medical experience. One pre-admission call said to wear jackets to the hospital. Whaaaat? Remember, even at night here in Florida the weather feels like you are in a sweat hut. But I packed my sweater and Cory’s jacket. We arrived at 5:15AM….yawn! Cory had pre-registered but still had to sign in, sign papers and get his ID band. We waited a short time in the freezing cold waiting area before his buzzer went off. Just like being in a restaurant except the maitre de NURSE said “your stretcher is ready, sir”.

Cory was escorted through the “restricted” doors and I found my way over to a reclining lounge chair. Brrrrrrrrr! Now I understood why they said to bring a jacket! They should have suggested a snowsuit! It must have been 20’ below 0! And I was wearing shorts! Oh, no! The woman next to me was wearing just a tiny sheer top and was about to die from hypothermia. I offered Cory’s jacket to her but she said she would go get a cup of coffee and try to warm up in the cafeteria. I put Cory’s jacket over my legs. Finally, they called me so I could be with Cory while he waited to go into surgery. It was still cold in the pre-op area but a tad warmer. I sat close to Cory’s stretcher and used part of his blanket to cover my legs. The doctor and anesthesiologist came in to see him. He made sure they knew he wanted general anesthesia instead of a spinal. I encouraged him to go this way. They preferred a spinal. The nurse had started his IV and shaved his left knee area. By now it was 7:00 AM and the wait began. Just before 9:00 AM, the OR staff came for him and he was off to get his new knee. I crawled back into the walk-in freezer waiting area. Why? Why? Why did they have to have it so cold? I have no idea! The doctor called me at 10:30 AM and told me he was done and Cory was good and everything went just fine. He was been stitched up and then would go to the recovery room….good. I waited and waited and waited to be called to see him in recovery. I was never called!! They had a board on the wall that gave a number for each patient so you could see where they were at different times….only they did a poor job keeping it updated. Half the time, Cory’s number wasn’t even on the board! Finally, at 1:30 PM, they called me to say he was being transferred to his room and I could go there. Forget seeing him in recovery! Frozen and stiff, I made my way to his room: 350. He wasn’t there yet. It all looked so familiar from when I had been in with my knees. Soon, a nice fellow wheeled Cory in his bed into the room. He looked good and was alert. Before the transport guy left, he asked if we knew about Magical Dining. Nope….never heard of it. Orlando's Magical Dining, featuring three-course, prix-fixe dinners from top restaurants for just $37 from Aug. through Oct.17th. There are @ 75 participating high-end restaurants to select from….Ruth Chris, Morton Steakhouse, Sharks Underwater Grill, Capitol Grill, etc, etc. You can Google this to see everything about it and all the great restaurants and their menus. We probably won’t be able to make it this year but next year….here we come! I’m smacking my lips already just thinking about it.

Everything went smoothly for Cory during his brief hospital stay. The nursing care was excellent. He had the same nurse who cared for me when I was in: Brody! It was wonderful to see him again. He was so competent and pleasant. The same hospitalist was there too, Dr.Kahn. Dr. Johnston came by to see him, again stating how pleased he was as to how everything went. When Brody changed Cory’s dressing, I was right there to snap pictures. Hmmm…what are those two small dressings above and below the surgical dressing? Brody explained that was where the robotic machine was anchored during his surgery. We had not known it was done using robotics. Dr.Johnston wanted to use it on my last knee but the machine was broken. He’s been using it ever since. He hasn’t had enough data to know if it’s better or not. Physical therapy came in and walked him to the bathroom and all around the hall. He did great.

The Celebration hospital is a big hospital. Cory’s room was now at the furthest end so I had a nice hike to get back out to our car. Not complaining though. I did ask the staff if I could park close to the ER entrance and come up that way in the morning. It was closer to his room. Sure…no problem. Okey Dokey.

After supper and before it got dark, I said good night to Cory and made the long trek out to the car. Now I was on my own…..driving alone on the FLORIDA roads. Eeeek. I can do this….I can do this…..I know I can! Fortunately, our park is not far at all from the hospital. I remembered which lane to get into with every turn. Whew! I made it back to the RV in one piece and no worse for the wear. It was so quiet in the RV without Cory there. I went to bed early cause I was whipped. We had gotten up at 4:30 AM…..that’s like the middle of the night.

In the morning, I headed back to the hospital. I was sure and confident in myself now… sweat driving at all. I made my way past the ER and saw where it was ER parking for patients only. I drove a ways down the road to another big and almost empty parking lot. Easy Peasy. I hoofed it up to the ER entrance with my mask on. I was immediately greeting by a formal, stern woman who asked if I was there to be seen in the ER. No…I’m here to see my husband in room 350. Oh, no! You can’t come in this way! You have to come in through the main lobby (a mile away). I explained I had asked specifically about that and was told I could. Oh, No! She was going to have to talk with that charge nurse so she would inservice her staff that the ER entrance could not be used by visitors. I was dealing with Nurse Ratched Boss! And where had I parked?? I’m sure she figured I was just outside the door but I said where I was ….she sighed. I just stood there….my feet were not going to retrace my steps. Finally, like she was awarding me a prize, she said she would let me pass through but she would walk me to the elevator! Of course, I had to answer the usual Covid questions. And then, we were off. I was like “Dead Man Walking”….just without chains… she marched me through the hallway and to the elevator. GO! ….she said. I felt like I was being released from a prison….and ran onto the elevator. Whew….she was not a pleasant person. Probably a supervisor!

Cory was sitting up in the chair when I arrived. He looked and acted good. Another physical therapist came in to walk him and have him do the stairs. I said she looked like the therapist I had had and that I had her photo. I showed it to her and she laughed….said it wasn’t her but another Asian woman….she said (not me) “We all look alike!”. Of course, with masks on….how can you tell anymore?

She had Cory get in and out of their car model they have in a room for practice. He got in…she had forgotten to put the seat as back as far as it would go…so she hit the seat button. Zooom…Slaaam…..Cory went flying back into almost the back seat - IF it had had one! Of course, I laughed….so did she! No compassion but Cory laughed, too.

Eventually, 3:30 PM arrived and Cory was discharged. We had to get his prescriptions from the hospital pharmacy. I went down first cause I would pick them up plus….I had to walk miles to get the car that I had parked beyond the emergency room in the morning. Thank God I had two good, new knees! I had two big bags loaded with everything I could take from his room that I know they would toss out if we didn’t take it. The bags were heavy. The medications weren’t ready so they gave me a buzzer and I waited in the main lobby. Pretty soon, Cory was rolled up to me in a wheelchair. He showed up faster than planned. The transport aid skedaddled. I left Cory with the buzzer and instructions on where to wheel himself when it went off. I started my long journey to the car. I walked and walked. The bags got heavier. I came out in a truck delivery area. I had to push my way through bushes to get down to it and across…..more bushes to squeeze through and a faint path on the grass to follow. I was dragging our bags now. Oh, where am I? Finally, I got to a sidewalk and could see the parking area in the far distance. As long as I could see the end of the tunnel….I knew I could make it. No choice, I had to! Remember when I complained about being so cold….not anymore. I was almost dying from heatstroke now! Wa, Wa, Wa…..blubber ball!

At some point, I made it to our car! Hallelujah! Now I had to drive around to the front of the hospital. Easy Peasy. I got there. I drove into the area for valet parking cause I knew Cory was right there and I would just go get him. I explained this to the guy wanting to take the car. Okay…If he’s right inside….he followed along with me. What is all this anyway? Well, where is he? My eyes darted like ping pong balls around the lobby….NO Cory! I said he couldn’t tbe far….he’s in a wheelchair. I said he must be getting his pills at the pharmacy (which was right off the lobby). Well….you can’t leave your car there if a fire truck had to come up. I said: I don’t want you to go park our car…we are coming out. The valet wanted the keys to the car….I said they were in it. Oh….that’s fine….we just need to be able to move the car just in case. I found Cory getting his prescriptions and wheeled him out to the car. I had the seat pushed way back! He got in nicely. And we were off. I didn’t even think about any fear of driving. I was too exhausted from hiking miles and arguing with the valet. Our RV looked so good. Up with the good; down with the bad….that’s the step routine used by Cory. He got up and into the RV just fine.

We have followed a good routine. Ice packs, elevation, exercises, pain meds….even though he has little to no pain. The doctor injected a medication called Exparel into the surgical wound. It numbs the area for 72 hours. It’s wonderful! Cory has been a good patient…..I don’t have to record him as a non-compliant patient…yet! Lulu has been a super helper. She has stayed by his side the whole time. What a Godsend she has been. She has found her calling. Cory goes tomorrow for his physical therapy evaluation with a Miranda tomorrow morning. Then he’ll be going twice a week for an hour session back at the hospital. I checked into their fitness center and think I’ll go there while Cory is in PT. With all the eating we have done, I have to do something. My arduous march to our car was a beginning.

Cory will see Dr. Johnston’s PA, Christa, on October 19th for his first post-op visit. We are hoping she was able to get a photo of his diseased knee. We need it to go with mine. A family photo: the three Guenter knees!

We appreciate all your good wishes, thoughts and prayers. They all worked! Thank you. We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful friends and family who we know are there when needed. Each one of you is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

See you next time!

Additional photos below
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8th October 2021

Happy everything went well for Cory! Prayers for good healing!
8th October 2021

Thank you, BJ
He went to PT and his therapist was impressed how well he’s doing so soon post-op.
9th October 2021

Cory got his knee
We really enjoyed reading about all your experiences. You made us both laugh till we had tears in our eyes! Felt like we were right there with you! We are so glad that Cory’s surgery is behind him and he is now ENJOYING physical therapy! Where else could he have such fun, thinking of you both and sending Get Well Wishes! Take care,,
9th October 2021

Thank you
Glad you enjoyed the blog. We appreciate your well wishes. Cory’s next outing is to Walmart….my favorite….he’ll just sit in the car while I RUN thru the store….yeah…right!
9th October 2021

K nee
It sounds like your off to a good start. With that great nurse you will be fine. Hope to see you this winter.
9th October 2021

That would be great!
Are you returning to TP?
10th October 2021

Tropical Palms
We will be down by Haines City. They will let us in won't they? We really miss our old friends. That was a great 5 yrs for us.
11th October 2021

They should. Pam & Tim have returned to visit as well as others that we know. It will be nice to see you both again.
15th October 2021

Hi Sandy and Cory. So happy to hear that Cory's knee surgery went well. Please let him know that Dad and I are thinking of him and wish for a speedy recovery. I love your blogs Sandy. They always make me laugh and I love hearing about the fun places you go to eat. Take-Care Love, Linda and Joe
16th October 2021

Thanks, Linda
Appreciate your good thoughts. We think of all of you often. Hope Joe is doing well. Not sure if we’ll make it down but will try. Miss you all. ❤️❤️❤️
18th October 2021

Love your travel blog! It was really nice spending time with you both the other day!!
19th October 2021

Thanks, Jeanette
We were so happy you stopped. Hope you come back again soon.

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