Monday, June 04, 2007

Surgery #2 Down

As of Friday I'm minus one two-inch screw through my tibia and fibula. Yeehaw.

Except that I hate surgery. Just glad this one's over. (Final one to take out plate and screws in October.) First I don't like not being able to eat or drink after midnight. Especially drink. I'm a water person. The surgery was scheduled at 12. Of course the doc was running late, and I kept getting thirstier. I think he was out surfing. All that water, and I get nothin'. I finally got in to the first room sometime after 1:00.

The nurse starts asking me questions. I fall into a rhythm, staring at the floor, my head wagging with each answer.

"Got hepatitis?"




"Had a stroke?"


"Heart palpitations?"


"Smoke, drink, medications?"

"No, no, no."

"Any accidents resulting in broken bones lately?"

I cut a look up at her. "You're kidding, right?"

Nope, she's not. She's just following her list of questions. Apparently she has no idea who I am or why I'm there.

"Any recent surgeries?"

No, I was born with the screw you're about to take out of my leg.

"Uh, yeah."

I have to explain.

Questions over, I get dressed in a lovely gown. I ask for one with bling, but they don't have any. KEO (knock 'em out) doc and Bone Doc finally appear. They're only a couple hours late.

I swallow hard. This is really gonna happen. "Hey, you guys--long lunch?"

Bone Doc nods. "Yeah. It was great." He surveys me. "So. What are we doing for you today?"

Okay, now I'm really nervous.

"You're taking a screw outta my leg."

"Right." Like he knew that. So why'd he ask? "Which leg?"

Maybe we ought to just call this whole thing off. He's acting like he's never seen me before. Rationally, I understand. Too many docs have operated on the wrong side of a body. It's a law suit thing. They want to be extra sure. They want me to sign a paper saying what they're doing for me--exactly where. Still, when you're about to be put under by these guys--you just wish they'd act a little more informed.

"Left one"


Nurse takes out a pen and writes on my left leg. I don't see what she writes until later that night. It's profound.

I'm wheeled into the operating room. Thing's big and packed with equipment. They tell me to move from my comfortable bed to the operating one. It's narrow. It's hard. I complain. They strap me in.

"How in the world you get a wide person on this thing?"

"You'd be amazed what we can do."

KEO takes my left hand. "Okay, this is going to sting a little."

It does. And does again. And again. And again. He can't find my vein. I make faces at the ceiling.

"Oh, hey, doc. Forgot to tell you 'bout the 10-ounce, medium rare steak I had for breakfast."

He ignores me.

The IV's finally in. My adrenaline pumps. My legs start to shake. Drat. I hate this part.

This is when I start quoting Psalm 91:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, "My rock and my fortress,
The God in whom I trust..."

They put a mask over my mouth and nose. No more quoting. "Okay, breathe deep."

Yeah, yeah, I'm breathin', I'm breathin'.

"All right, just a little initial medication now. Might make you feel a little sleepy."

Yeah, right, just a 'little medication.' I've heard that one bef--

I wake up.

Takes awhile before I can open my eyes. I'm in a recovery room, curtains all around. My legs are shaking to beat the band--I mean smacking against the table like a regular grand mal seizure. Most annoying. It's the anesthesia. Does it to me every time.

A nurse comes. Helps me get dressed. "Nice bra," she says. "Where'd you get it?"

What, I just fell into a Victoria's Secret commercial? I look around for the hidden cameras.

I'm wheeled out to the car. Hubby drives me home.

So here I am. One screw loose--actually totally gone. Back in the boot for a week. Good news is, I don't have to go to physical therapy for a few days. Take that, PT.

Speaking of my physical therapist. The one who puts me through so much misery because it's "good for me." So can she take a little stress herself?

I gave her one of my books. Whatdya think she did?

Read the last page first.


Read Part 13


Pam Halter said...

hi Brandilyn ~ I usually lurk on you blog, but had to tell you I laughed right out loud when the doctor acted like he didn't know what was going on. I went through that with my hysterectomy 5 years ago. They even questioned me AFTER the surgery! Like they would be able to fix it then. HA!

I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with the medical profession. My daughter is autistic and has a seizure disorder which they cannot control after 9 years of trying. And I mean TRYING. Let's try this and let's try that.

Guess that's why they call it "practicing medicine."

Happy healing!

Nicole said...

She read the last page first???!!!

Oh what I would want to do with that little boot . . .

Where DID you get that bra? Just kidding!

C.J. Darlington said...

Glad to hear there's finally starting to be light at the end of the tunnel with this whole ordeal.

Sally Bradley said...

It should be illegal to read last pages first! Someone invent invisible ink that only shows up after you've read the page before it. Grrr.

Brandilyn, glad you survived the surgery. I get those bad shakes right before and after surgery, too. Weirdest thing.

rose said...

Brandilyn--your writing can make anything interesting! I laughed out loud at the Victoria Secret conversation! Glad to hear you are making progress and can't wait to see you in September! rose

Eileen said...

Does that boot have sequins? Glad you're making progress, lady!

Carolynn W. said...

I feel for you!
I going through the same thing your going through this year.
I also broke and shattered my left ankle and leg in two places. Also cracked my heel.
Had to spend New Years in the hospital, had to have surgery...put in a plate and 5 screws.
I still can't walk that much hurts so much. So I limp Doc never did send me to Physical Therapy.
Did you also take out the plate and other screws or is it all staying in?
Just curious:)
Well I wish you the best with everything!!

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Carolynn, I'm SO sorry you're going through this. I feel your pain!

The plate and screws can't come out until at least six months. I do plan to have them taken out. That's the surgery that will occur in October.

margie said...

I had to answer those same questions just this morning before my eye surgery. Felt the same way when the doctor asked me what kind of surgery I was having today. Hmmm. . .Then when I answered correctly I got a smiley face above the correct eye. I don't get the shakes, but anesthesia sure does make my tummy upset. Didn't today, thank goodness. I guess for eye surgeries they like to have you semi-awake. That was weird. But at least I knew they were working on the correct eye! And thirsty??? You bet!

Glad to hear you're a step further along the road to complete recovery. Praying for you!


Ane Mulligan said...

LOL - literally! Oh do I feel your pain! I hate surgery, but worse I hate anesthesia! Last time, they brought in 2 nurses and another doc who were hanging around outside - just to listen to me talk in my sleep. It seems anesthesia brings out the writer in me and I start telling stories. The worse part is they thought it was ABOUT me. Sheesh.

Also, I don't wake up easily. I have really low blood pressure. Really low. And it's hard to wake me up. Really hard. Just as I started to come around, someone in the recovery room flatlined. I thought it was me.

So when I broke my hand doing my stunt in the play - I told the doc just put a splint on it and I'll go home quietly. No more stunts, I promise.

But no more surgery. Shiver.

Katie Hart said...

My mom severely broke her ankle several years ago (well, 14) and had two screws removed while she was pregnant (they just numbed the area).

By the way, you might want to keep an eye out for signs of RSD - both my mom and another lady at our church have this nerve damage disorder due to ankle injuries. It's treatable in the early stages, but my mom didn't find out about it until the last year or so. After three major surgeries (two of which were not aligned properly) on the ankle, she's been in a wheelchair for much of the past 14 years and is on heavy painkillers.

Oh, and my mom also reads the last page of books first - drives me crazy!