Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Right after recovery

I think my legs may have still been partially asleep here.  This is a couple hours after I got out of recovery and had some dinner.  Hospital meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, and canned green beans never tasted so good.  This is the desert, a chocolate shake.  Happily I was on anti-nausea meds, and happily no one forewarned me that the narcotics pretty-much stop the main plumbing.  I think I made some phone calls to people that night, not sure why I was so talkative.  

Like I said, I was super anxious before surgery and blogging was not the first thing on my mind, so we simply did not record some of the pre-op stuff.  I'll summarize it here:

When we got into the pre-op area, they gave me a prophylactic dose of Celebrex (for the joints), Oxycontin (for the pain in recovery), and some other things.  I'm surprised they didn't give me any benzo's (i.e Vallium, Xanax).  However, being a light-weight with heavy narcotics, I needed nothing more than the oxy to make me sing sea shanties as they rolled me into the OR.  I had the choice of general or regional anesthesia with some heavy sedatives.  I chose the regional (spinal) which is supposed provide an easier ride out of anesthesia than general.  Surprised I did that,  but I had total confidence in Don (my anesthesiologist), probably aided by the narcotics.

All the stress and anxiety and there I was rolling into the OR and the whole time I had an overwhelming sense of calm and confidence.  Everyone was chatty and so was I.  They were happily preparing instruments and pouring solutions into stainless steels bowls.  The bench was not much different than mine, tools all marked and organizing nicely.  Don and a nurse asked me to scooch over on the operating table, which was flat and thin and was more of a workbench than bed.  I received the spinal and my feet began to tingle and fall asleep.  Pritchett (my surgeon) was there setting things up.  He got me on my side and clamped my pelvis into a, well, a clamp, a really big clamp.  Don used a cold stethoscope to check on where my feeling was.  I couldn't feel much below my navel, but I could tell that the surgeon and assistant were setting up my hip for surgery, probably looking down the length of leg, sizing up the angles.  Don then gave me some benzo's in an IV, and then I think some form of another sedative.  That was about all I remember.  I was awfully chatty and it's possible the surgeon gave the Don the wink, "this guy is asking too many questions".  Pritchett assured me later on that I wasn't bugging him.

When I came to or remembered coming to, I had an awful set of the shakes.  My recovery nurse, named Beth, reminded me that I had asked her her name three times prior to me actually remembering her name.  I kept asking for ice chips, who knew ice chips would taste so good.  Warm blankets never felt so good, even though I didn't feel cold.  Beth and I had a little discussion/argument on my BP.  She had a bit of a tough outer shell but she was really sweet after you break through the shell.  I kept putting my head up and looking around and she kept telling me to lay down and rest.  I ate three cups of ice chips, probably because I was so dehydrated.  She was a little concerned about the slow recovery of feeling in my legs.   After she got the go-ahead from anesthesia to release me, I gave her a hug for being so troublesome. 

Then Irving came to wheel me back to my room.  He was a little more chatty.  On the way out of the recovery room, I noticed the dude recovering next to me wasn't very talkative and wasn't lookin' too good, but he was awake.  As we passed by, I was thinking "must've had the general".  When we got to my room, Irving said there was a beautiful woman waiting in my room.  Sandy suggested to me and Irving, that I should have replied, "don't tell my wife".  Geez, even when I'm not all hopped up on goofballs, I'm not that witty.


  1. Hey! I told you to go with a BM-friendly diet before surgery in your post asking about pre-op exercises! Getting the plumbing going is the worst, but what a relief when back in business. :)

  2. Yeah thanks, I know, I should have heeded the warnings more. I think the pre-op jitters hosed most of my sound-thinking capabalities.