Editor’s note: This is the second segment in a series about Ohio sophomore Kaitlyn Hughes’ ACL injury and her road to recovery.
OHIO — Kaitlyn Hughes remembers the day well when she returned to Peoria for surgery, about two weeks after being diagnosed with a torn ACL in her right knee.
“I had to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning. I was so nervous. Just completely nervous. I cried before I went in. And I was scared.” Hughes said she also cried on the way.
“And you overslept,” her mom, Dee Hughes said.
After being prepped for the operation, Kaitlyn said, “They gave me my IVs. I started getting really nervous, then they took me in and I just passed out. I was tired. I was just out of it. It was 6 o’clock in the morning!”
“When I woke up I was in a lot of pain and I was in a very grumpy mood.”
“Yes, very,” Dee said.
“I didn’t wake up for hours. I was out of it for days,” Kaitlyn said.
“She was not herself,” said Dee.
Asked if she was hungry when she woke she said, “No.”
“She couldn’t stay awake long enough to eat anything,” Dee said.
Kaitlyn added, “I wouldn’t eat because of the medicine. I have a very high tolerance for pain, but the medicine didn’t help. So, they had to double-dose it and it made me sick, so I wouldn’t eat.”
During the process Hughes lost about 30 pounds
“I lost a lot of muscle, that’s the bad part,” said Hughes, who lost most of the muscle in her injured leg. “I didn’t really lose any in my left leg being on crutches. I probably lost 20 pounds of muscle. That’s what the doctor said.”
About leaving the hospital. “I was cranky,” said Hughes.
“Oh, yes.” Dee said.
“I was very cranky. On the way home, I was like, stop hitting bumps. I was just so (angry),” Kaitlyn said. “My knee didn’t really hurt me, it was my ankle. I don’t know why, maybe just from being in one position for so long. But, I couldn’t feel my knee because they gave me a shot to numb the whole leg. I still can’t feel part of my leg from that. I couldn’t feel my knee at all until the third day (after surgery).”
Just four days later Kaitlyn began physical therapy.
See Part 3 of this story in an upcoming edition of the BCR.