29 October 2010

Broken, Fractured...and Dislocated - Part V

12 October, day of the surgery.  Not nervous at all.  Actually, I am excited.  Part of the prep work is to not eat after midnight the night before.  Much like in the movie Gremlins, I might turn into some evil creature if I did.  Anyway, this is my first 'official' surgery.  Apparently, getting your wisdom teeth removed is not a 'surgery'.

First place you go is to the pre-op room.  I got to wear one of those hospital gowns.  Stripped all the way down to my underwear and put on the gown, hospital slippers, and hair net.  It was quite fashionable.  They give you a little bag for all your belongings; regular clothes and shoes.  Then you just sit there and wait.  I realize that there is a lot of waiting in the medical field...and a lot of forms to fill out.

They poked me with an intravenous needle and tube, and drip me with some sodium based liquid to hydrate me.  This stuff works, because just before I go into surgery, I really had to go pee.  Where was I?  Oh, they also stick electro-pads to monitor my heart rate and a finger pinching thing to monitor my oxygen levels.  They did not introduce any pain killer for me since they were going to do a nerve block.  Here is the cool thing...well, actually warm thing.  They have heated blankets!  Basically, there is an oven where they keep blankets.  I was cold, you know, I only had that sexy hospital gown on.  A nurse asked if I was cold, obviously I was.  Then she puts that heated blanket on me...and I tell you it was awesome.

Now, the prep.  Not only will I be completely knocked out for the surgery, but they are going to block the nerves from my shoulder down.  First, I had to mark my arm to confirm 'this is the arm to be operated on'.  So, they made me write "YES" and draw an arrow towards the business end.  The anesthesiologist comes in and begins to pre-op numbing of arm...they call it a block.  Talk about low tech...well, kinda high tech at the same time.  They connect the needle for the blockage to an electric current...and to mini ultrasound device. 

The anesthesiologist pokes the needle near the top/middle of my trapezius muscle, about half way between my neck and shoulder.  The ultrasound is used to monitor the nerve and the needle.  So, he can see when and where the needle will touch the nerve.  Oh yeah, I could see it too...that was actually kinda cool to see an ultrasound of my shoulder.  Resolution was not that great, much like trying to watch scrambled porn, but I could see the needle and the nerve...at least that is what he said it was.

They used a current to test if it was the right nerve.  He would touch my nerve with the needle and a nurse would pulse a current through said needle.  If my arm would react like a dissected frog leg, they got the right nerve.   Well, my arm popped up like a victim being defibrillated...yep, right nerve.  The anesthesiologist would then squeeze the syringe and we could see the juice flow out the tip of the needle. 

About five to ten minutes later, my arm was blocked.  I would not say it was numb, since there was no tingling. No feeling at all.  They removed my splint, it had been there for six days.  Oh yeah, regardless of protocol of washing it before a surgery...it was fermenting in my sweaty hockey funk and the splint...with no shower and/or bath for six days.  Anyway, the nurse cleaned it up.  Keep in mind that I have a bone breakage...I did not feel a thing.  I assure you she was not that gentle, plunge and scrub.  Yep, the blockage worked.  Oh, they also had to shave my arm.  Uh, have you seen my arm?  I have no hair..like none.  The nurse could have just rubbed a vibrator across my arm and get the same effect, no hair.  I have more hair on my upper lip than I do in both arms combined.

I laid there, enjoying my painkillers and blockage for about another five minutes or so.  The nurses came by said it was go time.  They unhooked me from the wall and hauled me into the operating room.  Again, this was very exciting for me.  Oh, like I mentioned before, that drip they had me on really kept me hydrated.  I really had to go pee, but did not want to interrupt the 'flow of things'.  They used the whole bag of that stuff, that liquid has to come out some time.

So, I am off to the operating room...I think this is a good place to stop for this post.  On to part six of the series.


Go to Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part VI - Part VII - Part VIII

No comments: