First: My apologies. I started this post about 0200 the morning after surgery with the full intent of making a daily post of my recovery. Even if no one is/was really interested, because, well, my Blog and all. However, about 1300 the day after surgery the injected anesthesia wore off and the pain hit bad enough to drive me to actually take the Oxycodon, which never really caught up with the pain, but did mess with my mind enough that I lost time. One second I’m trying to read my e-mail and the next second I’m half way through a show on tv.
The onset of the pain was my fault by over-extending myself walking to the end of the driveway and back (you have to walk at least 200 step a day!) and even with the walker it wasn’t that easy. Was doing pretty good though.
So, here we go:
Showed up at the hospital half an hour early. Because. Got checked in and told to wait. Got really checked in and sent to the 2nd floor to wait. Got checked in again then spent nearly an hour verifying EVERYTHING in my health record and all my personal information. Here’s a robe so get naked while we get the stuff we’ll need to examine you out of the fridge. Now let’s look at everything. Again. Hey, your heart sounds pretty good for an old guy…
Surgery was delayed because my surgeon was still surgeonafying his first patient of the morning, but eventually he and the anesthesiologist and head nurse stopped by “to talk.” BTW, we can do this one of two ways, Mr. King. We can totally knock you out with General Anesthesia, OR, we can do a Spinal Block and put you into a light sleep. Actually, the Block sounded the best so I went with that. But I did warn them that if they didn’t put me to sleep, and a good sleep, they wouldn’t be able to shut me up. (Just ask my nose surgeon and gall bladder surgeon both of which I shrugged off anesthesia and started talking to them.) Apparently, under anesthesia, I think I’m a pretty funny guy. So …
Surgery was, from my point of view, one second the nurse has me sitting on the edge of the operating table adjusting my gown when the anesthesiologist says “This’ll be cold.” and spread something on my lower spine (it was very cold!) then, like 2 seconds later, someone is telling me to wake up.
That’s the kind of surgery I like. (If I have to have surgery in the first place; that is.)
Turned out though that they had to give me a general anyway. Because of my sleep apnea, every time they put me on my back I quit breathing. Can you say intubation? Yeah, I knew you could. Which they have to do a general anesthesia for.
After I woke up they wasted no time getting me fitted for a walker and onto my feet up and down the halls. Surgeon stopped by a couple of times to tell me how well the surgery went and how perfect the replacement is.
Couple of hours later they told me I could go home; But I had to pee for them first. No pressure. Literally. Because of the spinal I couldn’t feel anything “down there.” Even with things “in hand” (and looking to be sure) I couldn’t feel a thing. Literally the definition of “numb nuts.” So bladder couldn’t tell it was full and needed to empty itself.
How did I know it was full? They did a ultrasound (neat little device) that said there was 411 cc of urine just waiting. (400 cc is quite a bit actually.) They wanted to cath me but I convinced them to let me try some more. So, almost an hour later: success!
Survived my lovely-young-bride’s driving home. Hit the easy chair. Propped everything up. Crashed until about 0200 Tuesday.
So, why am I disappointed in the robot? Because it doesn’t actually DO any surgery. It acts more as a guide with various implements to guide the surgeon’s cuts. Which is fantastic on it’s own and the surgeon praised it’s assistance and programming and all, but, it doesn’t quite meet the mental image of the robot itself doing the shaping of the bone and drilling the holes and slapping the replacement parts in place then ‘letting’ the surgeon close up.
I’m thinking: if the robot knows where the cuts are to be made (in fact, through programming, planned where the cuts should be made), then slap a drill/router bit on the fucker and let ‘er rip. Guess I read too many of the “I, Robot” series growing up. (All of them in fact.)
Anywho, back to real time: Not doing too bad. Woke up at 0330 this AM with my leg hurting a bit so couldn’t get back to sleep. What a way to start a Saturday.
Oh, the joy. Of course I’m having some of those last minute trepidation’s and anxiety, but literally millions of other folks have had this same surgery and come out fine. I will too. I’m only 71 and reasonably healthy.
And I get a ROBOT to do my actual replacement! How cool is that? Wish I could video it. (Film it? what is the proper word for that now?)
So, if I’m not doing too badly tomorrow I’ll check back in.