The Surgery – Part 2

10:47 pm by

Part 2: The Early Hours

So we’re up, and I’m getting ready. Enjoying my last hours on both feet. Not enjoying cottonmouth or sleepy head or bad dream hangover. One final pic of the Cutsie Tootsies, and we’re off.

Cutsie Tootsies!

I thought Nurse Rached told me to be there at 6.15a. Doors to the surgery center don’t open until 6.30am. WHAT? Is she out to get me or something? Nope, I think I was just groggy. She said an hour before the surgery, which is scheduled for 7.15am. We couldn’t go out for coffee (I might’ve gone on some sort of coffee rampage if I had to be around anyone sipping the beloved brew – or any liquid – right about then), so we sat in the car: Mr Lici playing PSP while I did my NYT crossword puzzle. We’d had the “Advanced Directive” talk the night before, no need to revisit that depressing convo. My no-caffeine, no-liquid, bad-sleep headache had reduced me to monosyllabic answers to any question, anyway.

Finally, the doors opened. We signed in, sat for 10 minutes looking around the beautiful office (complete with coffee pot and two water stations – AGH, will this torture never end?) and chatting. I read Chip MacGregor’s hilarious “12 Deep Thoughts From My Mailbox” out loud to Mr Lici (I’d’ve cried with laughter if I had any moisture left in my body). BTW, he really is a nice guy, and deeply funny. I thought I detected a very quiet giggle from the receptionist’s desk.

Finally, they called me in. I had to don to requisite hospital johnny (Janey?), which had the requisite confusing ties but was also quite warm and without the requisite breeze in the back. NICE. Plus I got super cute socks! (You’ll see them later, in the post-op). I heart socks. OK, here’s a sneak peek:

So cute, so warm & my favorite color!

My nurse was the exact opposite of Nurse Rached. She was amazing, so professional and soothing and comfortable. Nurse Jenni (hereby designated as Best Nurse Ever) got me situated, then she rolled down my left leg super-cute sock and looked at me. “Which leg is being operated on?”

I suppressed the urge to bolt. AGH! It is Nurse Rached in a nice nurse disguise! After this, I made it a point to enunciate exactly which leg I was talking about whenever asked.

Still being somewhat in command of a clear mind, I said the right leg. She rolled down my sock and wrote NO on my left leg. (You know why, right?)

Nurse Jenni then hooked wrapped a weird pump around my left leg that stimulated blood vessel movement to prevent clots. It wasn’t uncomfortable – that part was yet to come.

Finally, they let Mr Lici in to see me. Turns out I had to take out my contacts “just in case.” I’m pretty sure I turned a slight shade of green, but she assured me I wasn’t going under unless the anesthesiologist decided I needed to. (AGH!) I informed her of my terrible veinage issue (i.e., no one can ever find them and I end up leaving blood draws looking like Pinhead attacked my arms); turns out, the new veinage preference is the back of the hand, where I’ve always my IVs (oh, and ouch). Fortunately, her needle was itty bitty and didn’t hurt nearly as much as the butcher-shop phlebotomist from J’s birth.

Sounds like I’m ripping on nurses here. Hold onto your own purple socks – I’ll tell you all about the fab nurses.

Before I took out my contacts, I noticed Pastor Greg was in the room with Mr Lici. He got up early just to come and pray with me before the surgery! I heart Pastor Greg! (His wife, Marilyn, is one of my most favorite people in the world, too; don’t go getting any ideas – I am not that kind of secretary.)

The Fabulous Dr G comes in and we chat while he goes over my records, and signs my right leg. “Rockstar,” he says. I make a mental note to add him to my Christmas list and maybe buy him a car with my million dollar check – oh, wait, wrong place and time here… the “starter drip” on my IV has kicked in.

Nurse Betty comes in to go over my pre-op. Same questions as usual – by now I’ve got the pre-op answers down to a science. Tynosynovectomy with possible partial plate repair, right leg, no meds this morning, no food or drink since 9pm, sign the consent, yes, I’m comfortable. Nurse Betty, in addition to being amazingly professional, is also adorable. It must be Nurse Ratched’s day off. The anesthesiologist comes in and we talk drugs. (haha.) PS: Note to guys: when you’re talking to people in a prone position, take care of the nose hair grooming, ‘kay? Dr N was really nice, though, and did a great job at keeping the pain and sedation at a manageable level. That may have been the IV thinking…

Mr Lici takes a pic of me just as the “starter drip” turns into a woo-hoo drip, then staff kicks Mr Lici & Greg out (Mr Lici gives me a goodbye kiss and does a great job of hiding any fear. Go, Mr Lici!).

"Give me a thumbs & a smile if you're ready!" I guess I'm ready...

The conversations between me and the nurses has deteriorated into “After that, will I mumble-mumble fall mumble fish tank mumble…” as the IV drip kicks into high gear. I hear something about saline and antibiotic and “IV sedation is better than gas, you’ll come out of this very quickly with a check for ONE MILLION KRONA….” I knew I shouldn’t have finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest last night!

They wheel me into the OR, I’m transferred to an operating gurney, and wrap my right leg in an operating tourniquet. (Something a bloodless operating field. Think about that for a while.) “Just relax,” Dr N says and then it’s…

fade to black...

Stay tuned for Part 3, where the patient:

  • Becomes a Fan of Twilight
  • Finally gets a sip of water
  • Realizes a skirt would, indeed, have been a great clothing option
  • Gets a ride in a wheeled La-Z-Boy
  • Still isn’t patient

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