I had to be up by 4:00 yesterday to get to the hospital by 5:30. Let me tell you, when you’re on the road before the morning DJs start their shift, you know you got up too early.
The surgery went amazingly well, and boy are those hospital personnel sticklers for making sure they’ve got the right person. When they asked my name and birth date for the 60 bajillionth time, I told them I was Johnny Depp. “Wow, those are some good drugs!” my sister said. Yeah, my little sis showed up, bless her heart. I totally wasn’t expecting that and it really touched me.
As I was lying there after surgery, waiting to go home, I realized that I felt pretty good, no nausea or other problems from the anesthesia, and that it was only 10:15, so I could make it to Chrysalis, my writing group that meets from noon until 2:00 on Wednesdays. My husband thought I was crazy, but finally agreed to let me. Naturally it took until 11:30 to get out of Dodge, not for medical reasons, but just because they were slow about processing me. Who’d have thought that there were other people in the hospital to take care of that day? I showed up a bit late and had to have my friend Barb read for me because my throat was sore from the tube they rammed down it so I wouldn’t choke to death if I upchucked from the anesthesia, but I was glad not to miss a meeting. I’ve only missed four in the 4 ½ years I’ve been attending, and that was because I was out of town on vacation.
Some miscellaneous facts:
- The surgeon had to remove 50% of my lateral meniscus. I figured he was going to take the whole thing, based on the MRI photos and summary, so it was no surprise to me. But apparently it was to him.
- The cyst was bigger than he thought. Again, no shocker to me. That sucker’s been stuck to the side of my leg like a conjoined twin for years. I could tell from the MRI that it was huge.
- The pain hasn’t been nearly as bad as I was prepared for. In fact the nausea and headache I got from the Percocet were way more incapacitating. Fortunately I still had some Vicodin left, so I switched to that.
- General anesthesia apparently sucks your saliva glands dry as LA when the Santa Anas blow through. Never stick a cracker in your mouth when you have no saliva. You’ll never get it back out.
- I didn’t really need the crutches to get around, and in fact they encouraged me to put full weight on my knee, though they want me to use the crutches while doing it. So I will, at least for today, but then I’m losing those puppies. You can’t carry anything while using crutches.
- Pulse oximeters, those things they stick on people’s fingers on Grey’s Anatomy to measure the level of oxygen in their blood, work by shining a light through your fingertip that allows the meter to “see” the ratio of oxygenated hemoglobin to deoxygenated hemoglobin. Pretty cool.
- The anesthesiologist didn’t really give me any warning that he was putting me under. I was just looking around the operating room, and the next minute I was waking up in recovery. It’s totally weird, knowing people were touching me in a really personal way like that. I mean, I expected that they were going to cut open my knee and all, but somehow all the monitor tabs seemed invasive. I know to them I was just another warm body, and it’s not like I was afraid of anything out of line, it was just the total vulnerability, the loss of control and composure that felt strange. Like they took my walls down before I could let them down myself, if that makes any sense.
Once I got home from Chrysalis I tried to relax and read, but boy was it tough. I’ve been pushing so hard to get things done before the surgery that my brain has psyched itself into this go-go-go pattern. Not that it isn’t pretty much there most of the time, anyway. Yeah, just a bit obsessive. Anyway, I felt incredibly guilty lying around and kept wanting to get up to work on my outline or something. I had to tell myself I was supposed to be lazing about. For the love of Peeps, how lame is that?
I didn’t sleep worth a darn last night. In fact it was probably one of my top ten Worst Nights Ever. Not because of pain, which as fairly minimal, but because I just couldn’t drift off. Which was weird, since I had a hard time getting to sleep the night before and had gotten up at 4:00. I guess it had something to do with the anesthesia or the other drugs they gave me, but boy, did it suck. I was totally aware of the time passing and finally got up at 5:30 because I couldn’t handle it anymore. So I’m probably due to crash any minu—