Week 1: Percocet, Sleep, and Constipation

I was going to watch a movie tonight, but Netflix is letting me down in a big way. I spent about 20 minutes scrolling through several pages of masterpieces such as Kazaam, House Party 3, something called “Transmorphers”, and this:

Yeah, thanks Netflix.

As far as I can tell, it’s a movie about Frank the dog from Men in Black being adopted by a suburban family and becoming their best friend. I’m sure that’s not what it’s really about, but I’m also sure that I don’t want to watch it either way.

So instead, I’m going to write about my first week since having surgery last Friday. Three themes dominated my first week, especially the first 72 hours following surgery. Those three themes are as follows: Percocet, sleep, and constipation. Needless to say, it was not even close to being the greatest weekend of my life. Basically, my first three days after surgery consisted of me taking Percocet, sleeping for 4-5 hours, waking up, taking more Percocet, and falling back asleep, thus restarting the cycle. I was like a Percocet-powered snooze machine. Every once in a while I would stay awake long enough to gobble down some fruit salad or grilled cheese or whatever, but I tried to stay asleep most of the time to avoid being in pain.


I was content to stay on the recliner all day sawing logs and scarfing down foodstuffs, but what I didn’t realize was that the Percocet and my beloved grilled cheese sandwiches were hanging out in my stomach and plotting to make my life an absolute fucking misery. As it turns out, one of the side effects of Percocet is the kind of crippling constipation that makes people blow blood vessels in their eyeballs while trying to force out a turd the size of a small dog’s head.

Not as cute when it's lodged in your colon

Add to that the fact that i had to sit on the toilet with my right leg locked at 0° flexion and elevated on a stool (kind of a pun, I guess), and you have all the ingredients for a thoroughly terrible bathroom experience.

Speaking of terrible bathroom experiences, I took my first brace-less shower today. I wasn’t allowed to take the brace off for the first 7 days, but my doctor told me yesterday that I could start removing it to take showers. He also reminded me to “just pat the leg dry” after the shower. Apparently, he thinks I might somehow forget that I just had surgery, give myself an overly vigorous rubdown, and tear open all my incisions. Anyway, I stepped into the shower and went through the whole rigamarole of getting undressed (taking off socks is harder than you think), taking off the brace, unwrapping my knee, and sitting down in the special shower chair. I then tossed all my stuff away from the shower so that I wouldn’t trip over it on my way from the shower to the tile floor. That’s when I realized that I’d made a mistake; the water would be freezing cold for at least 30 seconds right after I turned it on, and I was sitting in a chair directly underneath the showerhead with no way to avoid it. I did the classic palm-to-forehead slap move, then sat there for a few seconds cursing my knee. Ultimately, I was forced to turn on the water and then sit there in my shower chair and just take it in the face, wearing nothing but an agitated frown. Fortunately, I did manage to make it out of the shower without slipping and braining myself on the toilet seat, so I guess it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

Showers are treacherous, man.

As for as the rest of the week, it’s mostly consisted of me stalking my friends on Facebook and “surfing the web” as the kids would say if it were 1998. My crowning achievement of the week was walking without crutches for the first time today. Yippee for me, I guess. I start physical therapy on Tuesday so hopefully I’ll start regaining some good old ROM (range of motion) and see if I can do something about my current toilet stance, which I would currently rate as “less than ideal.”

Don't take that 90 degree bend for granted

About Andrew Sacks

I'm a 27-year-old former college baseball player, currently working as a strength and conditioning coach in Baltimore, MD.
This entry was posted in Knee injury, Me and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Week 1: Percocet, Sleep, and Constipation

  1. khaleel says:

    jesus christ

  2. Dan says:

    “take it in the face”! Glad you got another chance to use it, other than Zeppelin cover bands. This was a great story to wake up to

  3. Dawn says:

    One would think the fruit would have counteracted the percocet – but I guess it just couldn’t compete with the combined effect of the grilled cheese.

  4. Pingback: Adventures in Left-Footed Driving | Life After Knee Surgery

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  6. Pingback: How to Poop After Knee Surgery: A Practical Guide to Post-Surgical Bowel Movement | Life After Knee Surgery

  7. Austin says:

    HIGHlarious, you described my 1st week pretty accurately except the terrible constipation because i decided not to take my pain meds on purpose to avoid that, ive had surgery before and never wanted to be that constipated again

  8. Cynthia says:

    I know it’s over two years later, but I just had surgery 3 days ago and your journal had me in tears laughing so hard. Very accurate!

  9. Akella says:

    My son had his surgery two weeks ago. Sleeping is the hardest part. Now that he could sleep without the brace, he is worried sick that he might harm the graft by sleeping wrong. He needs to go back to campus this week. Any suggestions about surviving on campus. Thanks.

  10. Pingback: Percocet constipation | Alirazashaikh

  11. Kate Slott says:

    Very funny. Since I’m on day 5 post-surgery I was searching around on the internet to see just how long I should be taking percocet. I found your blog. Hilarious. I can certainly relate to this!

  12. Lou says:

    Bro you had me laughing so hard, while experiencing the worsed of the Percocet. Thanks I needed a good laugh. Hope you are feeling better.

  13. O says:

    Hi there! I found your blog through some google searching and it helped a lot in mentally preparing for surgery. I’m having ACL surgery in may and took lots of solace in your humor. I hope I can take as good of an attitude when I’m going through the same thing! Best of luck with your rehab.


  14. Devan says:

    Shitting with a immobilizer may be one of the hardest acts on earth to complete. I’m on day 3 after surgery and enjoyed your blogged, pretty much described everything I’ve done or had to do. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Stephanie Clark says:

    I actually found it easier to poop with my leg propped up. If you take your other foot and put it up on the edge of the “stool” you take on the zen squat that the Asian culture finds beneficial for such releases.

  16. Dane Harris says:

    This has to be the funniest thing I have read/seen since getting my ACL reconstructed two weeks ago. I was just in the car on the way to get my stitches removed today when I told her I knew exactly what hell would be like. Why she asked for an explanation I told her it was like trying to pass a percocet poop with a leg immobilizer on. I think I speak for everyone when i say thanks for bringing so much humor to an already funny situation.

  17. cara says:

    i had to use my 7 years olds stool to prop my leg up to get one out. lol. i feel the same way day six after acl. will never ever do this again. lol

  18. Carrie says:

    Your sense of humor is incredible. Great post. Hope all is well. 🙂

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