Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oh, what a week!

I had knee surgery this past Wednesday – you gotta love modern medicine. I got to the hospital at 10:00 am, fifteen minutes before my call time (what can I say, I was anxious) and did the pre-op paperwork. It’s same-day surgery and I’ve brought a book to read because I can see by the scheduling board that he’s already done four procedures this morning and has two in the queue, neither one of them me yet.

But after only a few minutes, my name is called and I’m in my little cubicle changing my clothes (don’t you just love hospital gowns?), getting my IV, answering the same questions for the second time today and the fourth time this week. No, I’m not wearing any jewelry (my husband will put my wedding ring back on me later in a small ceremony we always do when, for whatever reason, the band has to come off). Yes, I was born on January 19, 1957 (Fifty-three is a good age to have this kind of thing done, by the way. You’re old enough to appreciate the few days enforced rest and young enough for it to be only a few days enforced rest). No, I don’t smoke, drink to excess or take any illegal drugs. Yet. Wait till after the surgery and then give me something GOOOOD!

My husband joins me and now the wait really begins. I’m told my anesthesiologist is cute, but when I see him he’s dressed in his blues and I can’t see much of him. He’s kind and, since he apparently is the same guy that gave me my drugs for my other knee last April, he’s figuring to give me the same cocktail this time. Only he says he’s going to up the local and reduce the overall knock-out drug so I can be on my way home quicker. Judging by the assembly line feel of the line of curtained cubicles, I’m not surprised.

He leaves and my husband and I are waiting again. The doctor himself has yet to make his appearance. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been in this cubicle now for only about 40 minutes since the start. And there were two people in line ahead of me for this particular surgeon. But it is while we’re waiting for him that I get to hear the best line of the day.

The woman behind the curtain to my right is apparently going to have a tonsillectomy. This doesn’t worry me. If they get us mixed up her doc’s going to take one look down my throat and know he’s got the wrong patient. My tonsils were taken out when I was six. Back then it was a three-day hospital stay. Today, it’s same-day service. Wow.

Anyway, apparently the woman gave birth two weeks prior and is breastfeeding. Not currently, she left the baby home (thank goodness!). But her anesthesiologist questions her about the drugs he’d planned to use. She says…get ready for it…, “You can use whatever you want. I’m not going to feed him from my breast, I’m going to pump it first.”

Honey, I want to tell her, milk is milk, whether you feed it to him from a bottle or from your boob. That baby’s going to get whatever drugs you get.

My doc came in shortly thereafter, followed quickly by my drug contact. I kissed my husband and they wheeled me out. The anesthesiologist (that word is way too long to keep spelling out) paused the gurney long enough to shoot a syringe of something into my IV. The operating room was a short jaunt down the hall and by the time I got there, I saw they had two of everything inside, including two of my own doctor.

That was it for me. I woke up as they were putting me back in my cubicle. I ate a couple of saltines as the fuzziness at the edges of my vision cleared, had a glass of ginger ale and within another 40 minutes was in the wheelchair being shown the door. Total time at hospital? Two and a half hours. Told you – assembly-line surgery!

But the doc is good (he did my other knee last April). He scraped out 45 years worth of accumulated arthritis and discovered that, somewhere along the line, I’d ripped the meniscus a little so he smoothed that out, too. No big deal for him to deal with. It’s the convalescence afterward that takes the time.

No bending the knee, no squatting, no kneeling of any sort. No pressure on the knee although walking is encouraged (shuffling is more like it at the moment. I walk like I’m 90 now so I can walk like I’m 30 in six weeks). No driving, no biking, no roller skating, no skiing and no skateboarding. Drat! I was going to show off my ollie this weekend! (not!)

So I’m somewhat housebound for a while. My plan is to use the time to write (did you know that the Quickie Love in the Afternoon was conceived, written AND edited in the weeks after my last knee surgery? Nothing like enforced housebound-itis to get those creative juices flowing!). This time around I hope to finish a full-length that I’ve been working on for the last year. I’d set it aside when I couldn’t get the main characters to cooperate and wrote two short works instead (Love in the Afternoon was one, my Naughty Nooner Remembered Love is the other. Have you picked that one up yet? Why not? It’s free!).

But the characters for this current wip are talking again and I’ve written several thousand words in the past two weeks. I’m currently about half-done with the first draft and hope to have it totally done by the end of the month. Keep your fingers crossed!

So that’s been my week! Turn those lemons into lemonade and, as always,

Play safe!


Tielle St. Clare said...

Amazing! I had meniscus (sp?) knee surgery when I was in the 7th grade. I was in the hospital for a week! A week! Glad it went well and I hope get a lot of work done.

Diana said...

A week! Wow, Tielle -- in seventh grade a week is a lifetime! :)