Ponies and Percocets

May 3, 2009 § 1 Comment

Well, obviously everything I wrote and predicted about the Derby was wrong.

The only thing that ended up saving my bankroll was a hunch about Calvin Borel. The day before he’d ridden favorite Rachel Alexandra to a 20-length victory in the Kentucky Oaks; a little before post time on Saturday, I thought to myself how amazing it would be if he won the Derby the very next day on the biggest longshot in the field, and I threw down a $5 win bet on Mine That Bird, just in case.

When the 8 horse crossed the wire, just like everyone else, I had to consult the lineup; I frankly had no idea which horse it was. Ultimately, I ended up a little bit ahead on the day, but now I’m feeling (in addition to post-surgery pain), the post-partum depression that comes with the end of the Derby.

In retrospect, there was an obvious sign I missed when it came to Mine That Bird; and that was owner Chip Wooley trudging through the muddy track at Churchill Downs on crutches. Ones that looked exactly like the ones I’ll be limping on for the next six weeks.


My knee surgery on Friday turned out to be a more complicated procedure than the surgeon expected — in addition to extracting the ripped-off piece of meniscus, he also discovered that the bone in that area (is it the femur? I’m not even sure) had had its edges ground up a bit without the cartilage, so he drilled three holes in the bone, to make it bleed, to promote healing. The surgery was expected to take about 30 minutes, but ended up lasting an hour and a half.

I felt pretty good after surgery; this is the lovely camera-phone photo my darling husband snapped of me in the recovery room:
I have no recollection of this photo being taken, and I have no recollection of drinking that (non-diet!) Sprite, but I bet it was delicious (being the first thing I’d had to eat or drink in 14 hours).

The pain really kicked up a notch at bedtime, the Percocets didn’t work. I was up most of the night. Saturday morning, all I wanted was a shower, which I had — getting my bandages wet in the process; when we unwound the wet bandages to replace with dry and I saw the three incisions (bloody, oozy, and nasty) for the first time, I broke out in a sweat, tore off my shirt, asked for a trash can and immediately lost my breakfast. Blood and I do not get along. The rest of Saturday I dipped into the painkillers just a little bit, a jangle of Derby nerves. We confirmed with the nurses that it was OK to mix Percocet and Ambien, and Saturday night I was asleep by 9 p.m.

I woke up at noon today, Sunday, and have been in pain. So much pain that I paged the on-call doctor, who advised that, with such a more in-depth surgery and drilling and whatnot, this pain is not unusual. I have not been out of bed, I am almost all the way through both the Sunday Times and the Sunday Post with at least three naps in between. Scott couldn’t possibly be more helpful (he got me a bell). I couldn’t possibly be less enthused about being crutches for the next six weeks. But at 6:30, it’s time for another painkiller, which will make me dizzy and sleepy for an hour, and then maybe afterward, I’ll watch a little TV and drift off to another night of Ambien-assisted sleep. What I’ve learned: There is no such thing as a minor surgery.
Everyone is on their best behavior. Cats are being good; here they are in my recovery command surgery at 2:33 p.m. today; they are in the exact same spot right now.

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