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GOT SURGERY DONE FOR MY ACL
May 28th, 2003 - I arrived at the hospital today @ 11:30. I went to my room 15 minutes later. I put on my breezy hospital gown and watched some TV until I was greeted by 2 nurses, a surgeon's assistant and the anesthesiologist separately. All were very helpful and answered a lot of my questions. An IV was inserted into my hand and I signed a bunch of consent forms. Finally, I had to put a black X on the leg that surgery was to be performed on. They were very thorough about this, asking me at least 5 times what procedure was to be done on my knee and making sure that they were going to operate on the correct leg. I was actually relieved that they did this after reading some hospital horror stories. At about 12:45, I was rolled from the waiting room to the operating room.
On the way to the operating room, I was rolled around loads of expensive machinery and other patients through long, cold, white hallway. Finally I arrived outside the doors of the surgery room and the nurse pressed a large silver button. 2 giant doors swung open revealing a large room with 5-6 people in full surgical gear waiting for me. My breezy hospital gown was then unfastened behind me which made me a little uncomfortable. At this point I was moved from my cozy yet ample rolling bed on to a cold, narrow surgery table. It was so narrow that I was afraid that I would fall off. Thankfully my arms were strapped to the sides of the table away from my body at a 90 degree angle and a large seatbelt was buckled around my waist. An oxygen mask was placed over my face and the sleepy medicine was administered to me through the IV. My doctor came in to greet me. The last thing I remembered before going under was a burning sensation working its way in through my hand and up my arm. By the time the sensation reached my shoulder, I was out for the count.
My next memory is of waking up in the observation room while 2 nurses chatted beside my bed. I drifted in and out of sleep for about 30 minutes in this room. At at some point I got a drink of water from the nurse and 10 minutes later I took 2 pills of Percocet (pain killer). The water was refreshing because I was not allowed to eat or drink anything the night before the surgery. Soon I was carted back to the my original room. After 2 glasses of apple juice, a very slow and tentative trip to the restroom using a walker, and the ordeal of putting my clothes and shoes back on, my friends Chris and Angela arrived to pick me up. It was good to finally see friends during this trying time. We chatted and watched TV for 10 minutes while we waited for my crutches to arrive. Finally, they helped me drive home and were nice about making soup for me to eat and making sure I was ok. Thanks guys :)
I am now writing this entry from my bed, where I will spend the majority of the next 5 days. I have a laptop set up here so that I can surf the web while elevating and icing my leg. For the next 2 days, I will have to eat simple foods like soup and bread. I will also have to wear a brace that locks my leg straight for the next week, only taking it off to bend my leg slowly for 3 times a day. In addition, I will be taking 3 kinds of medication for pain, itching, and to prevent infection. I also have a cooling device that runs cold water through my brace. My leg is still very numb from the local anesthetic and when I touch my leg it feels like a piece of meat instead of a part of my body - which is a very odd sensation. This is a result of a nerve blocking chemical that they put in my leg. I'm slowly learning to use crutches. I'll have to learn fast because I live on the 2nd floor with no elevator. The first time I took the usually short walk from my car to my door it felt like it took forever. I think going up the steps will be easier than going down, but we will have to see. All I know is that I get a few more days off work and will have much more to write about tomorrow.
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