On 04-06-2010, I went willingly into that “good night” at 10 AM. Committing my life into the hands of an anesthesiologist, a nurse, and a Neurosurgeon, named Dr. Harold Segal, praying that God would guide his hands.
Four hours later… minus 20 pieces of disc shards… I was in the recovery room. By 3:30 PM I was on my way to Room 249 where I would get acquainted with Eric, a 54 year-old fellow who had just had a knee replacement. As his story unfolded over the next day and a half, he had received what he jokingly called his Obama-knee. They had only replaced the bottom half of his knee joint with a chrome-alloy.
Eric lives alone in a three-story split-level house and was looking forward with dread, to climbing the 15 steps to his front door. Because he would need to be using a walker for a couple of weeks, the P.T. person was recommending that he go to an interim care facility until he could carry at least carry his cup of coffee to the table in the morning. However, when the doctor came in to talk to him this morning, he talked him out of interim -care, telling him he would just be unhappy in a place with people that were all 20 years older than him… he needed to just get way from the walker ASAP.
I thought my idea of hiring a couple of college girls to come to his home to take care of things would help him get up-and-around the quickest.
Every stay in the hospital has its own unique adventure tales, I guess. So, I’ll share a couple. The nurse prepping my for the O.R. was the nicest, freckle-faced kid, possible in her early-20’s. She wanted to find a vein on my left arm to insert a catheter. After placing the tourniquet around my arm and stroking and tapping vein after vein in vain, she decided to try the most likely spot. But I guess I’ve had too many needles in that arm, for after several unsuccessful attempts, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and offered to get another nurse to try it.
”Oh, poppy-cock,” says I, “Just because you’re as young as my grand-daughters, and have cute freckles, it doesn’t mean you an excuse to give up so easily. Try the other arm!”
She did. It worked, and she thanked me for letting her have another chance. Bye-the-bye, she was a pretty good gurney-driver going to the O.R., also.
I had a relatively small complaint that first afternoon. While they were pumping liquid IV’s into me , they wanted me to drink as much water as I could. Being a good patient, I set-to with a gusto. By 8 PM I was on my 5th pitcher of water. A nurse stopped by to warn my about drinking too much water. I guess I was in danger of depleting my electrolytes. Well, anyone can tell you that if start drinking a lot of water, it’s gotta go somewhere. At this point I was still unable to roll over, so using a urinal posed a bit of a problem for me. After tugging and stretching the hose under sheets, I thought I had a good solid bead on the neck of the urinal… but evidently I didn’t, for I lost about half that first shot. When I got the nurse into the room to clean up my mess I bitterly complained that Dr,. Segal must have sabotaged me by shortening that hose from the inside while he was taking out disk parts!
All in all, it was a successful operation. I’ve trade a big pain in one location for a lessor pain in another place. On the way home we stopped for a Big Gulp, and I told Evelyn that I am happy to be trading doctors, too Dr. Segal for Dr. Pepper!
Thank you all for your prayers on my behalf.