I was told to be at the surgical center at 8:30 for a 10:30 operation. Got there a little early. Made mental note that it's pretty bizarre to walk into a place you know you are not walking out of. Kind of like a bar! Approach reception desk. Even though I have filled out what I thought was all of the paperwork online, I am handed even more. Something about not suing them if I die on the table. Am informed I owe more money. Look in purse. Hmm. Wallet not in purse. Husband is dropping off dog and is not there. NO checkbook, no credit cards. What's a panicked, pre-op girl to do? Call Daddy. Daddy fixes everything. Yay, Daddy. Back to worrying strictly about impending doom instead of paying for impending doom. Go to wait. Feel weird 'cause I am all by myself and must look like gigantic loser-dork that doesn't even have anybody to wait with them prior to MAJOR SURGERY. Fuck around on Facebook. Talk to mom. Talk to Dave who is on his way. See patients get called back, some visibly rattled. Decide to appear calm, cool and collected. Get called back. Manage to retain composure. Am told now is a good time to relieve myself if necessary. It is necessary. Pee like the wind, Bullseye! And make it a good one! It may be your last. Am then led back to to curtained area with gurney and all kinds of scary equipment and pokey looking stuff. Make additional mental note to tell all doctors I know that that leaving that shit out is NOT COOL. Hello, GYNO'S? We know what you're going to do with that stuff and where you're going to stick it. Do you really need to remind us? Seriously? Am told to remove all articles of clothing EXCEPT panties and shorts. They don't want to have to wrassle you back into your shorts post-op. Put clothes in plastic bag. Dress in gown that I had been given with explicit instructions as how to put it on and tie it. Promptly forget all instructions and am later chastised for it. Get on gurney looking decidedly uncomfortable. Nurse comes back and states, "You look uncomfortable". Duh. I'm sitting on a gurney in a paper gown and waiting to be cut open. I'm not exactly in line at Panera. I am then asked to write "Yes" on the knee to be operated on. I am asked numerous times by numerous people who I am, why I am there and which body part is to be operated upon. This makes me wonder if there's been a problem. Write "Oh HELL yes" on knee. After this, the nurse insists that I recline and covers me with a blanket. Like I'm going to get a massage or something. I am not fooled. She then takes my blood pressure. 145/95. Asks if I'm nervous. Apparently. Tells me she's going to stick my hand in a warm compress to "pull up a vein". Blood pressure spikes. Now, in the past, this whole IV thing has caused me a lot of anxiety, frankly because it hurts. Well, nurse tells me that a lot has changed since the last time I had one (when Jack was born 11 years ago). She was right. They numb your vein before they stick something in it. It was NO BIG DEAL. So if you're worrying about that, don't. Shortly thereafter my leg is prepped. Nurse says, "Oh good! You shaved". Me: "Yeah, I'll bet that's better than having to prep some big, hairy man". Nurse: "Or some big hairy woman". Wouldn't you think that if you KNEW a bunch of people were going to be looking at your leg for an extended period of time you might want to make sure you don't look like a female yeti? Okay. All prepped. Anesthesiologist comes in. Very cool girl. Put me at ease. Explained the whole process. Surgeon's assistant comes in. Surgeon comes in. Oh, and at some point, Dave had come in. Dave likes to ask lots of questions. He even asked if he could observe the surgery to which everyone, including me, shouted "NO". So at some point shortly after that, the anesthesiologists nurse puts something in my IV. Instant relaxation. Am wheeled into operating room. Am asked to scoot from gurney to operating table. Am not so out of it that I can't do that, by design I'm sure. Mask is placed over my face and it's instantly lights out. It's that fast. Wake up in recovery room in what seems to be a second later. Momentary disorientation gives way to "Okay......" and relief that it's over. Pain is pretty bad in knee but nurse is really attentive and makes it go away pretty quickly. Have oxygen thingies up nose. Am asked if I would like something to drink. Am given DIET COKE. Want to jump up and kiss nurse (with tongue) I am so happy. Hang out there for a while and then am take to what we were told pre-operatively was known as the "Recovery Lounge". Now to Dave and I, "lounge" infers that there will be cocktails involved. There were no cocktails. I did get moved to a chair though. Chilled for a bit longer. A bit longer than necessary actually because THEY COULD NOT FIND DAVE. I figured he had wandered off. Which he had, of course but it wasn't actually his fault. They told him it would be considerably longer than it actually was. They called him. He came. I was wheeled out to the car and sent on my merry way. Yay. And that's the end of Part One. Stay tuned for Part Two......Fun With Pain Pills!!!!!!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Menicus Surgery Part One: Terror at the Surgical Center
Well, it appears as though I have lived through my MAJOR KNEE SURGERY. As advertised, the build-up was far worse than what actually occurred. As a public service, because really, what is "Deep Thoughts" if not a public service, I am going to give ya the blow by blow. I know in the week leading up to the surgery, I just wanted somebody to tell me what was actually going to happen without mincing words. A non-clinical explanation if you will. So here you go: