Thursday, August 20, 2009

Surgery went well

After surgery I woke up in the recovery room in a daze, looked at the nurse and said to her, "Have we met?" She laughed and said, "No, I'm Ellen, the recovery room nurse." I realized then that this was an odd thing for me to say, but always seem to do this when I wake up from surgery.

I had a strange feeling of peace and contentment when I woke up from the anesthesia, and sort of secretly enjoyed being babied for a little while. Hot blankets, someone feeding me Sprite through a straw, animal crackers. For a brief moment I reverted back to being a infant.

This is quite different from an experience I had with anesthesia when I was twelve. I was in the hospital with a broken femur that I sustained a month earlier in a skiing accident. I had been in the hospital for a month in traction (basically in bed the entire time with my leg bent up in the air).

In order for the doctors to straighten my leg and then put me into a cast that would extend down both legs and up to my chest, I had to be asleep for a few hours. When I awoke from surgery it was a very different scene than what happened today. I didn't know it at the time, but now that I'm older I can say it felt like I had drank about 10 shots of tequila in one hour and then tried to lay down and go to bed. You know the spinning, nausea, feeling like you would rather die than feel like this, and the "I promise I will never drink again if this feeling would just go away!"

They wheeled me back into my hospital bed and what happened next conjures up images of the bedroom scene in the Exorcist. I was in a lot of pain and beating on my cast, yelling at everyone who came in the room, including a nurse who I called a "Bitch!" when she turned on a really bright light in my face. I think that's the first time I said that word out loud. My mom still to this day thinks I said, "Witch!" but I'm pretty sure that is not what I meant to say.

The room was spinning and they tried to sit me up and feed me ginger ale while I continued to whine and spew obscenities. Then all at once the phone rang (it was my friend Lesley from school), the spinning got worse, I said, "I'm gonna be sick!" and they put one of those crescent shaped bowls in front of my face as I projectile vomited all over the place about six times in a row, getting only a portion of it in the bowl.

Suddenly I felt great. The spinning stopped, the nausea was gone, the sun shone in the window, birds were chirping, I was smiling and sitting up. My mom handed me the phone and I said, "Heeellloo!" like nothing had happened. In the meantime my mom and the nurses all stood around the room speechless. Mostly because up until that point I was an extremely quiet patient (and little girl) and hesitated to even tell anyone when I was in pain.

I guess anesthesia is sort of like a truth drug. I am somewhat reserved, but my real personality comes out when I have been under.

So, the surgery went well. When I was waking up the doctor came in and said that they were able to find the two ends of the tendon and attach them without having to take a piece from my adjacent tendon. He said something like, "That baby is not coming apart this time, we really sewed it up!"

Now I'm at home resting and relaxing in a recliner. I've discovered the Netflix option to "Play Movies Instantly" and have been working through a large stack of magazines and books that have been piling up next to my bed.

It's really nice out right now, though and I'm feeling like I want to go outside for a run. Not gonna happen, but if this weather holds, I'll have to find some outdoor activities that don't require moving at all. Picnic anyone?

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