May I open by saying it is good to be back. It was a much needed two weeks rest. In that time the mind and the knee have slowly recovered.
Especially the mind.
First of all before I get started I want to apologize for my lack of pictures. I had big plans and a thousand pictures to choose from but hospital rules held rank thus ending some great photo ops.
The world is my theater
Looking back I viewed my operation in a way one would view a play. There was the first act involving the planning stages. The second act centering around the pre-op and finally the third and fourth act where all the goodies occurred.
I touched briefly on the first two acts of this rousing play in my previous posts so today, without further ado, I present to you act three.
On the morning of the surgery I wanted to observe as much as possible. I knew the drugs would eventually take over placing myself in a lovely dream known as La-La-Land. Until that time I watched and listened as much as I could.
The big plus in having an operation is that you are the center of attention. The protagonist is me and with the help of a few side characters I am the spotlight of a one act play.
Thankfully the ending did not end in tragedy.
Covering up and Smiley faces
I was forced to wear the ridiculous hospital attire where one spends most of their time trying to cover up than they do wearing it. With my IV hooked up and my wife told to say goodbye I knew it was curtain time.
Within minutes my surgeon, Dr. Schabel, and her team appeared. Three men followed in a perfect line and listened as she calmly smiled and said her hellos.
I watched as she looked me in the eye and asked how I was. Satisfied with my answer she proceeded to the business at hand by exposing my knee to the three men and giving instructions.
Her team leaned in. Not a word spoken. They listened to her orders and drew a purple mark on my knee.
I was able to get a smile out of them when I requested a smiley face. Sadly no smiley face was drawn.
Dr. Schabel patted me on the hand and promised to see me in an hour. The moment her and her team left a young man came in and wheeled me away.
Last walk with an old friend
Going to the bathroom is a big deal when one is headed for surgery. At least it was in my case. As I exited the bathroom, doing my best not to trip over my IV tubes, I came up with a brilliant idea.
I requested a final walk on my old knee. A last lap with an old friend, I explained, who has seen it all. Laughing and admitting he had never heard of such a thing he allowed me a final walk down a long hallway.
Long Needles and High Fives
I entered a busy room full of people, bright lights and machines. I sat on a gurney where I was immediately acquainted with the head nurse. His role was clearly identified. He was there to answer and inform. He was also there to calm nerves if needed.
I smiled and called him by his first name. My goal was to present to him a low maintenance patient. In a matter of minutes we both began to relax.
I found myself relaxing more than normal. He admitted shortly after that I was given a drug cocktail. It was a nice feeling but not overwhelming. I was still able to think and observe.
My leg was exposed and a long needle was inserted into my thigh. A TV screen nearby allowed the needle man and his two assistance a chance to observe the journey.
I was asked if I wanted to lie down but I said no. I was winning the battle of the drug cocktail and besides, this was the best TV action I had seen in months.
Soon I was joining in with the needle man’s assistance. Once I understood his target I was yelling like the rest – “Left! Right! No, your other right!”
With his target reached I joined in with high fives. I wasn’t sure exactly why I had a long needle in my leg but I was happy in his successful effort.
The End of Act Three
Within minutes the team brought over a device that resembled a head rest. With my legs hanging over the gurney and my body leaning forward it was time to administer the spinal.
I was warned there would be a sharp pain in the center of my back. I was also warned it may not work. Some people have bodies that make the procedure impossible.
My body was not the case.
Within minutes, maybe seconds, my legs began to feel heavy. My feet stopped moving and my toes were no longer mine.
A feeling of claustrophobic followed. My name was constantly being called and somehow, without my knowledge, my legs were placed in a lying position.
With their job complete and act three a success the members of the team wished me well. Within minutes two assistance wheeled me down another long hall where the fourth and final act awaited.