Friday, September 12, 2008

Alive! (Queasy alert: One picture of closed surgical incision)

I was very nervous prior to my surgery on Monday. I've never had a general anesthetic or surgery so it was more fear of the unknown than anything. I was also a little nervous about pain management. They prescribed Percocet (oxycodone) which I had after I snapped a collar bone and it didn't do the trick. It's supposed to be about 7 times stronger than Vicodin, but the vike seemed much more effective that time.

I showed up at the surgical hospital at 10:30 am, filled out some paperwork, and was quickly called back because the doctor was running ahead of schedule. I stripped, slipped into the oh so hot gown, and put all of my belongings into a plastic bag. Then they gave me a compression stocking to go over my good leg. The pre-op area had a row of beds separated by curtains and they led me past a few waiting patients to mine. They took my vitals, put on ID tags, wired me up for an EKG monitor, shaved my ankle, and put in an IV. The doc came by to say hi and we were ready to go. The nurse anesthetist shot some sleepy juice into my IV and they wheeled me out of the pre-op area and down a hallway. I was talking, wondering what was next...

A nurse was asking me if I was OK as I started slowly waking up from a deep sleep. She told me my throat might be a little sore because they had put a breathing tube in. I opened my eyes and I felt a little disconnected, like I often do after a migraine. She sat me up and covered me with a warm blanket. I wiggled my left toes and they were still there. I glanced down and I had a large black boot on my ankle which was gently aching. As I woke up the ankle started hurting so she pushed a pain killer into my IV. I continued to chat until I was feeling pretty alert. Then they helped me into a wheel chair and moved me into the discharge area where they sat me down in a recliner and propped up my ankle. My wife came in, I got dressed, and they wheeled me out the the car. All told I was at the hospital from 10:30 to 2:45, but it only felt like about 30 minutes. The rest of the time I was completely unconscious.

I spent the next three days in bed with my leg propped up while downing oxycodone at regular intervals, surfing the web, watching TV, and working. This is how the world looked:

On Wednesday I decided to see how long I could go without the pain meds and made it through the day without any. I guess I lucked out and am not experiencing really any pain. I haven't taken any more since Wednesday night at bedtime.

I went for my post operative visit on Wednesday and snapped the following picture of my ankle. As you can see it's not too swollen and the incision seems to be healing well. Notice the magic marking writing on my leg to identify that it is the leg they are supposed to be working on.

All's well except I can't put any weight on the ankle for 4 weeks and hopping around on crutches sucks.

Also, the doctor said that the cartilage over the OCD was intact and in good shape so he didn't have to drill out much bone. He did have to cut away some scarred cartilage in the joint, but overall the surgery went well and with no complications.


erlybird said...

Wow, Man.

The recovery begins. I, too, have never been without my full faculties due to general anesthetic or surgery...that would've freaked me right out. Hell, I have never even been drunk on anything but love before. Nothing, no gas at the Dentist, no Shrooms...nothing. And I never drink enough at one time to feel more than a slight buzz. So to go down into the darkness while on the table would take some serious mental preparation, I believe.

Anyway, good luck, Man.

P.S. My wife qualified for Boston next Spring running 3:30 on her bum ankle (just a strain, we hope) in a small town race she would have otherwise won hands down as the female winner was only 12 minutes faster than she was.

Bull said...

Qualifying for Boston is a big deal. I'm impressed. Hope she recovers well.