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

26 October 2010

Back to the Future out on Blu-Ray

This is a quick post with stolen picture from BTTF.com.  I just want to have something posted for the month of October.  I have my copy on order, should be here by the end of the week.  Looks like I will be watching all three movies again this weekend.

Oh, I went to the Saturday special screening of Back to the Future...it was fucking awesome!

Side note:  I am working on a multi-part posting on why I have been absent the past month...it is not because I am lazy.  So, check back in about a week for a detailed story.  Thanks.

23 October 2010

Broken, Fractured...and Dislocated - Part IV

With the dislocated wrist popped back in, the next step was to see a specialist.  The breakage in the bone was not lining up easily.  It could possibly slip or shift if not set right and may require surgery, that is where the specialist comes in.  We got out of the ER around 7:30.  Hey, just in time for work.

Needless to say, I went home to get some rest.  An appointment was set up in the afternoon at Kerlan-Jobe, these guys are the shit when it comes to sports injuries.  They work with all the major sports teams in the area.  Heck, on their site, they list the Kings, Ducks, Dodgers, Angels, and Lakers as their clients.  Uh, wait...what about the Clippers?  Yeah, they do not get any love from these guys either.

So, another trip to the x-ray room.  This is the fourth time I have had x-rays in the past 12 hours...I am pretty much considered radioactive by now.  Dr. Steven Shin is my doctor, he is a hand and arm specialist.  We take a look at the x-rays and for the first time I look at the damage I had done.  Dr. Shin said I "did a number on this one", not only was it broken...I had multiple fractures.  Hmm, did not know about the fractures.  This is when I realized that I had an "injury hat trick".  Broken, fractured, and dislocated.  See, when you wait this long in life to break a bone, you gotta go all out.

I was informed that I would need surgery and that a plate would be put in to secure and brace the bone.  I asked if said plate was going to be titanium.  When Dr. Shin said yes, that actually got me excited.  You know I love the titanium.  The thought of having a piece of titanium fused to my bones is just awesome!  Only thing that could have been better was adamantium...and maybe get some claws installed.

Surgery would have to wait a week.  The swelling in my arm has to go down first.  For those of you keeping track, this is still Wednesday, 6 October, about 3:00PM.  I was prescribed some pain killers and given pre-operation instructions.  Until the following Tuesday, 12 October, I am just sitting at home and checking email and posting random thoughts.

Oh, apparently when the people at work found out about me being sidelined for a while, there was mass hysteria as they tried to find people to cover for me.  That kinda makes one feel a little better about one's job when they set up an 'emergency meeting' so deadlines can be met.  Yep, that is job security.  I should be safe for now...also helps when I am the only one in the company that does what I do...and I am fucking awesome!


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

21 October 2010

Broken, Fractured...and Dislocated - Part III

Every bump on the ride over was felt.  My dangling hand is a pretty good vibration meter for the car.  We arrive at the hospital and at the ER.  Again, there was paper work to be filled out and again the receptionist questioned my injury.  Well, if the dangling hand is not obvious enough, I have x-rays to prove it.  So, there.

Luckily, my situation was severe enough to move to the head of the line.  My name was called soon after sitting in the waiting room.   As you know, that means nothing.  I went to another room where a nurse looked at my x-rays and did some paper work.  Then, moved to the actual emergency room.  We are now at about 2:00AM, more than two hours after I kicked that net's ass.

Here is something I did not know.  In the emergency room, there is only one doctor.  One.  One doctor, the rest are nurses and technicians.  So needless to say, the wait was long as priority goes to those with more serious needs.  Broken bone, severe...but not life threatening severe.  Many times the nurses and technicians had me ready to go.  But, the doctor kept on getting called to other patients.  I tried to sleep, but the fear of dropping my arm kept me up.  Funny, I just realized this, they should have given me some pillows to prop my arm up. 

Finally, about 5:30AM, it was my turn.  The crew had already plugged tubes and connected monitoring wires on me.  I was going to be sedated for this one.  Not like I want to be awake for this.  There was quite a large crowd for this ordeal.  There was two nurses monitoring vitals, one was in charge of pumping me with pain killers and anesthesia.  There was also two technicians that monitored oxygen and some other thing.  One nurse that was in charge of getting the fiberglass splint ready.  Oh, then there was the doctor.  Dr. Brian Cameron, great looking guy, could easily be a model for Guess or Armani.  So, there were six people, all for me.

The time is 5:50AM, and the doctor gives the order to sedate me.  Just before that, they  had to cut my Nike Dri-Fit shirt.  This is going to be awesome...not the shirt cutting, the sedating.  He called my name, I responded.  So, he asked for 3 more milligrams.  Milligrams of what?  Not sure, but the next thing I remember is a nurse calling my name and asking me a bunch of questions.  I responded, not knowing that they popped my wrist back in to place.  Let me tell you, coming out of sedation is kinda fun.  I noticed the time was just after 6:00AM.  I was only under for five to seven minutes.

So, what did they do?  The nurse tells me that he pulled on my arm while the doctor pulled on my hand.  The wrist just popped right in.  I could imagine there was some unwanted movement due to having the radius broken, and I would be in a shit load of pain.  My wife said she thought she heard me grunting during the procedure.  Yeah, good thing I was not up for that.

By the way, there is video of me coming out of sedation.  It is quite hilarious as I just kept on rambling as I tried to respond and answer everyone.


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

15 October 2010

Broken, Fractured...and Dislocated Part II

Our first stop was at urgent care.  Yeah, I said first stop.  This is located about four miles from the rink, just north of the airport.  I have taken two classmates there while I was at Otis.  They do good stitches there...but that is about it.  The only thing they could do was take x-rays of my wrist.

I love how the receptionist questioned me on whether or not there was a break.  Hello!  Arm going this way, hand going that way...I think this is more than a little sprain, bitch.  Ah, health care...gotta love it.  We were told that they do not have the facility to do anything, and I would have to go to another a real hospital for treatment.  We should have left right then.  But, they can do x-rays.  Heck, we were there, it is almost 1AM, why the hell not.  Take some x-rays for facebook.

Before they could snap the Superman photos, I had to remove my elbow pad, which was helping in keeping my arm up.  The nurse also had to cut my slashguard, there goes ten bucks.  Once the gear was removed, you could clearly see that there was a problem.

Taking the x-rays was a little uncomfortable painful.  I had to hold my arm in various positions, and my hand was sorta flopping around.  Hey, did you know that (at least for guys) they place a lead apron over your crotchial region. I think this is to prevent radioactive balls.  I guess it would suck if I ended up having a glowing sack...but the potential of radioactive super powers is interesting.

After reviewing my x-rays, the doctor informed me that I had a break and a dislocation.  At the time, I though it was just a break.  I opted not to see my x-rays, he gave us a disc and referred us to another hospital.   My adrenaline was beginning to wear off, so the nurse gave me a shot of pain killer...in the butt.

So, we are off to the ER...


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

14 October 2010

Broken, Fractured...and Dislocated Part I

Finally, something to write about, besides Depeche Mode and Back to the Future.  So, you all know that I not only watch hockey...I also play hockey.  Not just on the PS3, real hockey, albeit inline hockey.  Ice is expensive, still, hockey is hockey.  This season, I decided to play on two teams.  Double the hockey.  Face it, I need the exercise.

Anyway, four games into the Tuesday night games, on 5 October, I did what the title says...to my wrist.  Yep, I broke, shattered, and dislocated my wrist.  Sort of an 'injury hat trick', if you will.

How it happened:

Late in the third period, I got the puck and raced down the right wing.  A defenseman was on me, so I tried to cut around him and around the goalie.  I was going pretty fast, I would say 25-30 mph.  There was no much time and space to make my move.  Not sure if I was pushed, or if I was leaning too hard on the defenseman, but I was heading too fast into the goalie.  To avoid hitting the goalie, I kinda jumped towards my right and ran into the net.  You could say I Hit the Post.  They always say, "crash the net"...and that, I did.

My left hand was sandwiched between the post and my manly chest.  They tell me that I knocked the net 10-15 feet out.  Oh, I was wearing gloves and full gear, but my awesome speed and power was my downfall as it did major damage to my wrist.  I knew right then, I was fucked.  Funny, I did not hear the bone break or any crunching.  I immediately skated off, did not bother to pick up my glove...but, I still had my stick in my hand.

Now, keep in mind that this game started at 11PM.  The accident happened just around midnight.  Anyway, when I got to the bench, I had a better look at the situation.  Arm going one way, hand decided to make a left turn.  It looked bad, the nice girls that were keeping score were totally grossed out by it.  It looked like a Picaso drawing.  Luckily, I had a lot of adrenaline still pumping and did not feel much pain...just the inability to move much.

Oh, we won the game.  I did not participate in the end-of-game-handshake.  I wonder if the guys on the other team though I was a dick, too cool to shake hands with the losing team.  Meh, whatever.  After the game, about five of my teammates helped me undress.  I know that there are much better ways to word that last statement, but I like to piss off the homophobes.  So yeah, five guys helped me undress...it was hot and we were all sweaty. 

One of the guys offered to take me to the hospital. But I figured my wife should do it.  You know, that "sickness and health" thing.  See, I like to piss off feminists, too.  I am an equal opportunity pisser offer.  So, I called the wife, she freaked out, but eventually came to the rink and took me to the hospital.  The guys help with my bag and sticks, and we were off.


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