Monday, August 23, 2010

Under the Knife, Round Two

August 4, 2010
Yesterday was surgery day.  This was the second time I’ve had my right ankle operated on, so I had a general idea of what to expect, but there were also some unknowns that could only be addressed once my ankle was opened up.  That left me with a little anxiety.  Turns out that there wasn’t much time for me to become too anxious. 
While my lead nurse was going through the pre-operative questionnaire, my doctor arrived to tell me that his other patient, the one scheduled for early surgery, had an allergic reaction to some medication and needed to rest.  That meant that he wanted me to become the early surgery.  It was time to kick it into high gear.  
At that point, I had no fewer than six nurses in and out of the room prepping me for surgery.  Vitals were taken, questions were asked, and veinS were stuck.  Turns out I have very tiny and very deep veins (I inherited this trait from my momma).  This made starting an IV a difficult task.  When an attempt in my left arm failed (I now have a gnarly blue/green/purple bruise), another nurse was called in.  She placed an IV in my wrist near my right thumb - thankfully, she stuck me with numbing medicine prior to starting the IV, so I didn’t have to deal with the pain of that process.  Then I was off to the OR.  
Before I dozed off, I had a short conversation with my doctor about music preferences and my anesthesiologist about rock climbing.  I was excited to find out that he knew about Yosemite’s El Capitan.  The nurses though I was quite funny when I told them that I had no interest in climbing El Cap since I would have to sleep on the wall.  I believe I said something about my husband doing that silly stuff on his own….hey, everyone has their limits! 
My next memory is of waking up in the recovery room and attempting to answer the nurse’s questions regarding pain and feeling in my feet.  I have no recollection of any additional conversation, but would come to find out more about my time in the recovery room the hard way. 
When I returned to my room, my head was very cloudy and I felt dizzy, but I downplayed that all.  I was finally able to see Brian, and he explained that my doctor fixed my big and little toes (both feet), and removed a piece of bone that had embedded itself in the sheath of my right tendon.  That was about as much info as I could take in before I headed back to the land of sleep. 
When I woke up, my head felt a bit funny, but I attempted to ignore that once agin.  On my reck to the bathroom, a must-do before heading home, I could hide my problem no longer.  It was an ugly scene involving cold rags, lots of stops, white soda, and a very nice nurse’s hairband.  
After that debacle, I was given anti-nausea medicine to combat the effects of the morphine I had received in the recovery room.  It turns out I got quite a bit.  My nurse, Betsy, says she thinks I got too much for my small size.  Based on my spinning head and nauseous tummy, I would have to agree. 
By 8:30, I decided that I wasn’t going to feel much better at the hospital and opted to head home.  The one plus of spending nearly the entire day in the hospital was that I missed all the heat and humidity.  Luckily, Brian and Betsy were old pros at moving patients, and they got me into the car quickly.  Betsy was so great that she sent me home with hospital pillows to prop up my feet, a blanket to keep the chill away, and enough saltine crackers to last me…well about two days as it turns out.  
I’m now home recovering and feeling much better.  Rumney cat is keeping guard at the couch.  She rarely leaves my lap or the floor right below me.  I guess she wants to be sure Brian is being a good nurse :) 
Right after I returned to my room
Once I arrived at the house 
Not my most glamorous moments, I know, but I am sure it will be worth the end result! 

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