Thursday, 12 July 2007

Surgery!

The surgery went well yesterday morning. One minute I was on the operating table and the next I was in the recovery room! The lead up to the surgery was the nerve racking part. I got to the hospital around 6:15 am, checked in and waited to be summoned inside. There were quite a few people in the waiting room at that early hour, some scheduled for surgery and some accompanying them. After I was summoned to a little room, I was visited by a number of people: a physician’s attendant who asked me a number of questions about my medical history and lifestyle, a nurse who give me my hospital clothes and explained to me how I had to wear everything, another nurse who took my vitals and asked me questions about medical history, a nurses aide who shaved my knee, the orthopaedist who went over what was going to happen and what I should do after the surgery until I saw him on Monday, the anaesthesiologist who also asked me questions about my medical history and lifestyle and discussed the anaesthetic options and finally one of the nurses who was going to be in the operating room who asked me a few questions and signed some forms. Most of the others also had me sign various consent forms and in between I was asked to change into the hospital outfit. After that I was led to the operating room nearby where I climbed up onto the table, got the intravenous drip inserted and asked the anaesthesiologist how long it would take before I went to sleep; when I woke up I was in the recovery room with an oxygen mask on my face!

The anaesthetic options were either regional where I would be numb from the waist down or general where I would be asleep. While I contemplated the regional so I could view the procedure on the monitor, the anaesthesiologist said that there was only one monitor in the room I would be in and so I would not be able to see and that recovery from the spinal anaesthesia was longer than from general. We therefore decided on general.

I woke up with some pain in my knee and the nurse reluctantly gave me some morphine. I was groggy so I can’t recall if she give me more when I complained again about the pain but I do remember her saying that they didn’t want to give me too much morphine because it would make me sleepy and I was already woozy and they wanted me to be able to leave shortly! The orthopaedist came around to see me while I was still a bit dazed so I am not too clear about what he told me. Subject to correction he said something about shattered pieces of cartilage which he had to remove. When he passed back he said he would discuss it with me on Monday. Overall the service and care was excellent and very professional. After some crackers and juice and a trip to the bathroom- they have to make sure everything is functioning before release- I was able to leave with my friend who came up to meet me.

So that was my surgery. The orthopaedist prescribed some Percoset but warned me not to take any unless it was absolutely necessary since the drug is addictive and has narcotic properties. I was given me this contraption like a cooler which is filled with ice and water and via a hose circulates cold water through a cooling pad on my knee. It has to be worn for three hours, followed by a one hour rest and then worn again for three hours and so on. I have to remove the bandage on Saturday and take a shower.

1 comment:

Colonise This! said...

I am so glad everything went so smoothly.

I was smiling in recognition as I read each step of the process you went through. I have been hospitalised three times in New York and have had two major surgeries and I have to say that each time I felt very well cared for from beginning to end. Anesthesia is a hoot - the way you suddenly lose consciousness and then regain it in that foggy drugged way with no memory of anything having happened in between.

Anyway, I hope the pain is not to great and that the prognosis is good on Monday.