Tag Archives: Anesthetic

Stick-Assisted Perambulation Thanks To Surgical Intervention

There has got to be a better way of getting a close shave on my right knee.

Right now, the area above and below my knee is a baby-skin smooth surface, with only the slightest of stubble beginning to poke its way through. It’s also a swollen mess, but I guess I can’t get one without the other.

The other day, I went in to have what turns out to be my fifth knee surgery on the same knee. I recently added up the number of times I’ve gone under the knife and it’s appallingly high, especially for such a healthy-seeming dude.

I strutted into the out-patient surgery center this time so an orthopedist could do some carving and smoothing on both my lateral and medial meniscus. The meniscus is the shock-absorbing cartilage that prevents bone from bumping up against bone.

During the 20 years or so since my last knee surgery, I’d managed to do some more damage to the meniscus on both sides of my knee. I’m sure it was something that happened over time and in no way was influenced by my decision to learn snowboarding this past March with Hyper Lad.

Definitely no connection. Just can’t be.

Regardless of cause, I needed to go in and have the damage remediated so I could start walking without (as much) pain because, let me tell you, dudes, that’s getting to be a real pain in my fundament, as well as the knee.

So I’m back in the pre surgical waiting room and the nurse comes to prepare me by plugging in an IV and then whipping out the electric razor. Knowing what was coming, I just stretched out and relaxed while she got to work.

It’s become a depressingly familiar ritual, during which I lose all the hair around an op site and then have to tape my hands to my sides so I don’t scratch the wound open as the hair begins itching its way back to full length.

I decided that I’d go through this surgery with only a regional anesthetic as I’d been knocked out more than enough times already. Relatively speaking, I was somewhat clear mentally after the surgery (although maybe slightly loopy) so that was good.

However, the aftereffects of being chemically paralyzed from just above my waist on down was. . . strange. Looking down at my legs and seeing them there, but not being able to move them or even feel when someone touches them is an odd situation in which to find myself.

No sensation and no control. Post-surgery, the nurse tried to move me to a recliner as fast as possible so they could reuse the bed, so she tried to lever me off even though I told her I wasn’t ready.

She assured me my leg would support my weight and then swung both legs off the bed. I managed to stand for less than a second before collapsing over on her. Fortunately, a second nurse was there to catch us both and put me back onto the bed for more recovery time.

So, eventually, I was released and went home to relearn how to get around on crutches. I recovered enough to quickly move from crutches to a cane and that’s where things stand now.

No pun intended.

Still in pain, but getting better. Looking forward to the pain going away.

Now all I have to do is keep myself from scratching my knee raw from all the itchy hair growing back.

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Funny. He Doesn’t Look Any Less Smart.

So, in a fitting capper to the end of his year, Zippy the College Boy had to go to the oral surgeon and get all four of his wisdom teeth extracted.

Well do I remember my own time in the oral surgeon’s chair, my veins slowly filling with general anesthetic and passing into the darkness, only to wake the next hour or so, with gauze stuffed into the back of my mouth and a curious numbness all over my face.

Zippy the College Boy has it better in one respect at least. The aftercare is much better for people who get their wisdom teeth yanked these days. Instead of having to sit in the car while my mom drove me to the pharmacy to get the underpowered pain abatement meds, we filled Zippy the College Boy’s prescription the day before. Plus, he came home with an elastic pouch that is designed to be strapped over his head and around his jaw, so the freezy packs can be put right up close to his aching bits.

While I’m certain the scene when I was recently wisdom-tooth-less was much funnier with me dripping cold water that used to be ice all onto the bed, I think I would have preferred the freezy pack route that Zippy the College Boy took.

It was funny, though.

When I was called back to the recovery room, he was sprawled in his chair, his head off to one side gazing blankly at his futurephone. It seems he’d been trying to post to Facebook and send a text. Oddly, most of those attempts consisted of random strings of unconnected letters.

Then, when the nurse and I walked him to my car, we tried to get him to bend at the waist so we could sit him down, but he wouldn’t. His head almost hit the top of the door, until he flopped it back on his neck and slid inside, almost whacking his jaw onto the doorframe. As he did so, he shouted, “Limbo! How low can you go?”

And then he giggled.

A lot.

Yeah, good drugs.

Still, some things never changed. The one thing he wanted to eat that he could eat, was a milkshake. Any excuse to live on milkshakes for a while is a good excuse.

If you’ll excuse me, though, he’s ringing that darn bell again. I think his pillow needs fluffing.

Either that or he’s asking to be smothered with the pillow because he’s sorry he keeps ringing that bell. Again and again. I think I’ll go see which he gets wants.

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Shoulder To Shoulder

by Richard

I don’t know the name of the movie, but that doesn’t really matter, because this thing is everywhere. I was watching some sort of generic action thriller movie and there was a gunfight. To show just how tough our hero was, he got shot and then kept fighting and won the fight. So where do you think our hero was shot? (No fair peeking at the title of this post.)

Yep. You guessed it. He was shot in the shoulder.

A little blood. A tight close-up on his face as he grimaced in pain, moving out a little to let us see our hero clutching his shoulder with his good hand. And then a snarl as he launched himself immediately back into the fray.

At which point I just turned the television off. Because, really? Enough is enough.

If our hero was really shot in the shoulder? Have an idea what he would really do? Scream, cry, whine, bleed a whole heck of a lot, scream some more, writhe around on the floor weeping in agony, call for a time out, beg for a doctor. Just about anything except clutch at his shoulder for a second, smile mirthlessly at the bad guy and then start beating people up, usually using both arms.

Nuh uh. Not gonna happen.

I know this for a fact. See, I went in for shoulder surgery. I was under general anesthesia. I had a catheter dripping a local anesthetic into my shoulder for two days after the operation. I had pain pills. I had a highly skilled (and I do mean highly skilled {Howdy, Dr. S. and thanks!]) doctor performing a minimally invasive surgical procedure. I had everything in my favor to make my shoulder surgery as low-pain as possible.

And here I am today, having just bumped that shoulder pretty hard into a wall (Buzz, the garbage disposal that walks like a dog, decided it would be a lot of fun to try and practice his ski slalom skills using my moving legs as flags), and I’m in agony. Five weeks after my surgery.

When a bullet enters your body, it’s traveling at a pretty fast clip. All that kinetic energy gets quickly transferred to your flesh, the hydrostatic shock (the power of speed converting to movement, thus causing hugely explosive ripples to expand outward from the bullet’s path) is what does most of the damage. It is rough. It is not something you just (you should pardon the expression, especially since I just got back my ability to do it) shrug off.

I know getting shot in the shoulder is action-movie shorthand for “our hero is in danger, he’s been hurt, but he’s strong enough to overcome any obstacle to continue fighting for (insert movie’s objective here). he’s tough and you should like him and want to be him.” I get that.

Doesn’t mean I have to like it, though.

Maybe we could pick another designated tough-guy-gets-shot-but-overcomes-pain-and-keeps-fighting spot? The ear? Or maybe a foot. Yeah, that would be good. We could see tough-guy action dude hopping and skipping around while they fight. That should be good for a laugh or two.

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