Arx Hereticus

Welcome to the ramblings of a merry heretic, an ex-pat (Tex-pat?) American living in Maryland after having spent six years in Germany. Arx Hereticus is part travelogue, part cooking, part budo, part socio-political commentary and mostly just me BSing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wednesday, July 18 -- Day of surgery

Early morning started out with a sleepy pill, surgical prep (shaving the thigh and hip and my pubes), and waiting. Kinda like the Army -- hurry up and wait.

Finally, a couple of Schwestern wheeled me briskly into anesthesia where I got and IV, a shot of something else sleepy-making and a muscle relaxer, and the anesthesiologist did the spinal. Two or three shots in the lower back, and immediately my feet got very warm and within minutes, were gone. Weird feeling, but not unpleasant.

By the time they wheeled me into the surgical suite, I was barely awake and the soothing bustle and chatter faded into black.

I awoke on the operating table when they were done, likely due to the anesthesiologist administering an anti-narcoleptic, and felt nothing at all from my waist down. It was weird, being mostly awake and watching the surgical assistants wave my legs around as they applied bandages from toe to waist on the operated leg.

They noticed I was awake and there was some soothing chatter and shoulder patting. The surgical assistant told me all had gone very well.

I think I fell asleep again and awoke en route to the recovery room/pain management center where I was given some very, very, very good drugs. Repeatedly. And was once scolded for not asking for them frequently enough. I was ber' ber' happy for a while there.

However, as the spinal wore off and feeling started coming back, I was less and less ver' happy and was decidedly not bashful in requesting more good drugs.

My OP-leg was encased in elastic bandages from toe to waist, and was further supported and stabilized in a foam form that kept me from moving it around at all.

Most of the rest of that day passed in pain management. I was in and out, napping after the drugs, awake and chatting with the nurses and HW off and on, and got to see the surgeon again. He commented that he hadn't expected so much muscle in my thigh, and we reminded him that I'd been doing martial arts for 30+ years. He evidently had to rethink the situation in the OR and adjust for the more robust structure he encountered. Folks, I got thighs, and they ain't decorative, but they're damn strong. He's commented about how much and the quality of my thigh musculature every time he's been in to see me. He said, "70-year-old women are MUCH easier to operate on."

(HW: yep, he's got legs like a cuttin' horse, and I LIKE 'em! ;-) )

I had a (very) light supper in the recovery area, then they took me back to my room where I spent the rest of the evening in wrapped in druggy fuzzy goodness, but started hurting about bedtime.

Fortunately, the nurses kept me supplied with pain relievers (though not as tasty as the opiates they'd given me in recovery), and I slept most of the night.

I mustn't neglect mentioning the excellent company HW had during the day. Two dear friends came down from Graf and spent the day with her here, keeping her in very good company whilst I was getting cut upon and later while I was heavily doped up.

Once they knew I was out of danger, and HW was hovering at my bedside, I sent them off to have a good lunch. She popped back in after and I told them to go to the local swimming pool for the afternoon. I was mostly conked out anyway, and the nurses knew how to reach her cel phone if she were needed.

I can't thank those two enough. They were an immense comfort to HW and made the day much less stressful, and probably a great deal more fun for her.

(YES! TW and JP, you guys are sanity savers.. thanks for making one of the harder days in my life fun. You are both so sweet, kind, smart and beautiful, you should both get Miz Universe and the No-Bell Peas Prize all on the same day!!)



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