Friday, October 1, 2010

The Real Truth About My Surgery: Part 5

Knowing the wrong leg was up in a brace in preparation for surgery was a horrible experience.  I was helpless to say anything because the drugs had rendered me useless.   I could not talk or move, but I could hear everything that was going on in the OR that day and at times I could see through the narrow slits of my closed eyes.  Can you imagine the relief I felt when I heard one of the nurses make the observation that Bubba and Tiny had put the wrong leg up in the brace?  It was the right knee.  I don't know how many times I was asked which knee it was.  Thank goodness, someone was listening.   Doc even acknowledged,  "Oh yes, it's the leg with that note to myself--something that my wife wanted me to pick up for her."  He was still standing there with his hands in the air looking like Dr. McDreamy, only he was more like Dr. (Ronald )McDonald.

"Yes Sir, Doc"  one of the nurses said, "REDRUM".  "Your wife wants you to pick up some Redrum."

The nurses  took down my left leg  , put my right leg into the brace  and shaved it from ankle to groin.  I had just done that the night before.  I guess I need a new blade.  Then they swabbed my leg with betadine.  They took a big bandaid-like dressing  with a hole in it and laid it on my knee and began to clamp towels around it.  The anesthesiologist was drawing medication from a bottle with a syringe and the scrub nurse was arranging instruments on a tray.

Doc finally stepped to the operating table and extended a latex gloved hand to the scrub nurse. "Scalpel."  I heard the nurse slap the handle of the scalpel  on the palm of his hand.

Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.  I really didn't want to witness what was about to happen.  Thankfully,  the anesthesiologist reached over and injected  the contents of his syringe into my IV tubing.

  I drifted away into an "I don't care if you cut off my head" state.  I could hear what was going on and occasionally see things throughout the surgery, but I really wasn't too interested.  I felt soooooooooooo good and it stayed that way until little, by little, the feeling of euphoria began to fade and I began to realize what was happening to my knee.  Doc was standing there asking for something................he was asking for............."sponge count."

I could hear the circulating nurse counting under her breath. "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven."  "There are eleven sponges, Doc."

"And how many did you open? Doc asked.  There was an awkward silence.................................."Twelve."

" Count again"  the Doc said.

And the nurse began to count again...................."one, two, three, four.".........................................  There was a long pause after she had counted to eleven.  "We're missing a sponge."

Everything stopped.  The Doc rested his hands on my knee.  "Let's find it."  the Doc said. 

There was a frantic search for the missing sponge.  It began with the immediate area around my knee.  Nothing.  Then they searched on the floor around the operating table.  Nothing.  " OK, everybody lift your right foot."  The circulating nurse walked around the room looking for the sponge on the bottom of the right foot of everybody in the room.  Nothing.   The left foot:  likewise.  They were at an impasse.  Everyone knows that no patient is stitched up until all sponges are accounted for.

"Suture."   Doc said "suture".   He was going to suture me up without an accurate accounting of all the sponges.

The circulating nurse intervened.  "We need to find that sponge, Doc." 

"Oh, it will show up."  the Doc reached for the clamp that was holding a  circular surgical needle.  He began to sew me up.  It didn't hurt, but I could feel the pressure as he placed three tiny stitches into the flesh of my knee.  When the nurse had clipped the last surgical thread, the Doc stepped back from the operating table.  ""That's a wrap."  he said as he tore off one latex glove, and then the other as he began to walk out of the room. 

Suddenly he stopped in his tracks.  I was hoping he was going to do something about finding the missing sponge.  That kind of worried me.  Doc walked back to me, removed some of the towels near my knee and looked at my leg.  "Redrum", he said, smiling, and walked out of the room.

"Tiny..............Bubba."  the circulating nurse yelled, and soon I was back in my little room in my amnesiac bliss.  It would take well over two weeks for me to remember what had actually transpired in the OR that day.  I am still laying around, icing my knee, popping pain pills, waiting for my fever to spike, thinking about flesh eating bacteria, and resolving never to have surgery ever again.  Wish me luck. 

THE END-----I hope you know this was all written tongue in cheek.

1 comment:

  1. Bubba, Tiny....you crack me up....hmmmm, think the sponge is still in there? You are doing better, glad to see...I love you!