14 January, 2016

From Rock Star to Kermit the Frog in a matter of minutes - who knew?

02 January 2016

R. Linda:

So here is what happened such as it was. As you know I fell over one of the kiddo's dirt bikes backwards, and did a number on me mended leg that was once a broken mess. Not only did I undo the repairs to the thigh, but took out me knee in the process which meant a total replacement.

I found meself transported to a large hospital where I was given the news of major surgery and a convalescence period of possibility 12 weeks. I did not care at the time I just wanted to be fixed and out of pain quickly though I knew I could be waking up to even more pain, but at least I'd be mended (I hoped).

A woman anaesthesiologist came to me gurney-side and told me she was a former military doctor. That what she was going to do for me was somewhat experimental but had great results for a quicker get up out of bed and go period. Further, that I'd be getting a saddle block of sorts where they would numb me spinal area so I was not feeling anything from the waist down and I'd have a very restful sleep, nothing like the dark void usually associated with surgical anaesthesia. I was half getting this for the stress I found meself under, but alright lets get the show on the road.

I was given the spinal which was a peripheral nerve block and next I know I am napping. I had dreams of being in Disney World, caught up in the Beauty and Beast cartoon when I awoke, fully conscious, without that drug haze, and I knew exactly where I was and what had been done (which in itself is not usually the case when one is trying to wake up from heavy anaesthesia). I knew who everyone was and I found that totally amazing. I asked if there was music playing while I was operated on, yes there was. Was Disney World discussed, yes it had been. Wow, I thought I was still conscious on another level! How cool was that I wanted to know.

The surgical doctor told me I had a catheter filled with pain medication (also used by the military) to ease me pain and it was inserted in me thigh and would stay there for four days on which time the visiting care service would remove it. This is called the ON-Q pain relief system. It is a pump that pumps the flow of pain killer needed in the area operated on. I was asked if I needed a pain medication and to be honest I had no pain to speak of, so no I did not. When the catheter was removed I did not need the pain meds then either. The catheter had me free of pain so I could move me leg normally. The only slight hindrance was the swelling, but a week of being home and it was near gone because exercising the leg caused the fluids to disappear quicker than normally. This got me into PT sooner and free of the cane within two weeks. I walk normally and some of the area around the knee in particular is still a wee bit numb but as I exercise it is slowly disappearing. After two weeks of outpatient PT three times a week, I be now down to two.

It looks like I won't need the 12 weeks recovery. This new process with a new version of knee that allows pivoting and flex of the knee joint, was all part of a military procedure I was told. Seems with so much going on I assume in Afghanistan and Iraq they needed to get our boys up and out of the danger area and this process was developed to do just that. It was so successful they are beginning to use it on stateside patients. So far the results are positive.

While I was in hospital which was only two days (they could have released me the next actually), I had some very interesting encounters. One was the 4 a.m. vampire call for blood by a jolly blood taker who had a Jamaican accent that was just wonderful to listen to, it was all sunshine and a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean. I had noticed on me hospital I.D. bracelet the letters HAR on the side. I forget now what it stood for, so being me silly self I asked him for the magic word or no blood. I had him "harring" like a pirate each time he saw me. I am sure we woke me bed mate up laughing like too bloody fools, but I blame it on the drug in me leg making me slightly insane. His excuse I dunno, just that he told me he'd become me resident vampire for me stay. He even told me he was so good at taking blood he could do it in the dark, and yes, stupid me challenged him but he at least had presence of mind to just tell me to take his pirate word for it. Har!

I was known as the rock star on me floor because I was up and out of bed the same day I had surgery and walking or I should say running down the halls. Me hospital PT person was at me to "slow it down," but I tell ya I felt really good. It wasn't until the circumstance of the green scrubs came to light I lost me rock star glow. I had noticed the sweatpants I wore were too tight around the then swollen incision. Me PT person told me the material was hindering me walking, so he got me a pair of green scrubs from the supply closet. I put them on. They were comfy and did not cling to the swollen knee. I started out for a stroll I did. It was early and the cleaning staff had come on. It was at first bizarre, me with me walker clopping down the hall and getting these looks from the staff like "What are you doing?" I was perplexed. I came back to me room to find a woman in green scrubs making me bad. She stopped and glared at me.

"You think you're funny?" She hissed.


"The green scrubs." She pointed out slapping the sheet in the air.

"What about em?"

"Those are what WE wear. The cleaning staff. Are you making fun?" She said busy with me bed.

"Uh, no," said I looking down at me green outfit and then at hers. They were the same.

"You should be glad someone hasn't come and got you to change dirty bed linens, mop the bathroom, or push a gurney with a patient in it someplace."

She left me, me bed freshened to contemplate all that. Well, I was going home so me chagrin did not last but for five seconds. I got me coat and belongings as the discharge nurse came in with me wife. She looked at me strangely, but now I knew why. I did not explain, but if I saw me PT person I'd have a few choice words for him, I would. Tonya thought I looked like I was about to perform surgery and said such just as the cleaning woman came back with fresh towels.

"Looks like an over sized Kermit the frog to me." She said still irritated at yours truly's garb.

Oh well, so it was. I went home with me cleaning person scrubs not caring too much for the fall from rock star grace. I might have been feeling a wee bit bad I made the cleaning staff think I was making fun of them when in reality it was me PT person. Obviously, he had a grudge against them and used me to bang that on through. I had seen one of them having words with him for using the fresh towels for exercise equipment a few days before he dressed the best patient he had up in their scrubs. He knew I'd make the rounds (dumb fecker that I was at the time) and THAT would get them. And it did!

I hope for meself I don't have to return to that hospital anytime soon. I be sure I will be remembered by everyone, yes R. Linda, everyone!

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  1. ROFLMAO only you can make a hospital stay Almost sound like fun! I'm glad you're back to writing! You've been sorely missed! So are there new rules about riding toys? Or at least lights outside for dark nights?

    1. Oh yes there be. Kiddos know not to leave anything lying around.

  2. I think you are tremendously brave and to keep such a great sense of humour though it all is admirable. Hats off to you Gabe!

  3. you're back! needed my blog fix thanks get well soon!

  4. You live in a kiddie danger zone it seems. Funny how they never trip over their toys, huh? LOL Sorry you had to go through all that. Mend well!

  5. What a fall from grace, eh? One minute the life of the party the next reduced to the steerage section of the Titanic. I feel for your bro, LMAO.