Apropos of Nothing – An age of miracle and wonder

So roughly this time yesterday I was waking up from surgery. So, in the spirit of nearly every movie made these days, we’ll do a flashback sequence.

This will have almost no RPG content.

So I drove myself over and showed up at 6am per instructions at the surgery center – not a hospital – and started in on the paperwork. And to pay the $700 that was my part of the facilities charge for the procedure. That’s not the physician’s time – that’s just the surgical theater, I think. I’d had less than 24 hours to set it all up, since my “let’s meet with the surgeon” appointment on Wednesday turned into “we need to get this done right now” pretty fast.

Forgive me if this jumps around. Pain meds on board.

Anyway, they brought me into the back, checked in my stuff, and I got into the standard surgical gown. I also got to tell the story about fifty times – I was awarded the “best story of the year” prize by voice vote by the assembled staff.

Pretty soon, it was time to start the IV. I’m a needle-phobe, so this was, ironically, going to be the most stressful part of the entire day for me. Thanks to a very, very timely tip by my cousin, I requested a surface anaesthetic – they gave me a tiny amount of lidocaine. So inserting the IV was simply a non-issue after that. That was great.

Then the anaesthesiologist came by (and I told the story again), and asked if I wanted  nerve block. Another needle (a 30-second injection), and he told me what it would do.

I started to refuse, or at least make noises like I was going to refuse. But his body language was funny.

“Your face is giving me a ‘my patient is being an idiot’ look. You really recommend this, don’t you?”

He’s probably not allowed to push it on me. The nurse was way more straight-up: “I’d definitely get one for what’s about to be done to you.”

OK, sold. He sticks the site – the outside of my left thigh – with a bit more lidocaine, and also gives me some sort of sedative through an IV push. I definitely get mellow, and the nerve block starts to take hold, I guess.

I say I guess, because the night before  I probably got only a few hours sleep. I was on the couch downstairs so I wouldn’t wake my family clomping around on crutches at 5:30am, nor have to navigate the stairs. The fracture boot the surgeon gave me that day as a temporary stand in for the second cast was worse in every possible way than the fiberglass.

It’s heavier. More bulky by a huge degree. It didn’t fit right, and would push up against my injury – causing pretty active pain – in a way that the cast simply did not.

So I was exhausted and on some sort of sedative. And then . . .

. . . I woke up in recovery. I don’t know if that was the plan (the relaxant was really to put me out) or just happenstance. But the next thing I knew, I was done. New cast on my foot wrapped over a surgical dressing. I did get to see some post-operative X-rays. I am the proud owner of 5 surgical screws, each of which go pretty much all the way through my calcaneus (heel). Eyeballing it, the doctor did a very nice job realigning the shattered bones of my left heel.

Anyway, my wife and daughter showed up at that time, we got the IV out, got me dressed, and then home to the couch. I’m here for about 48 hours with the foot elevated, no exceptions.

I was expecting the nerve block to wear off at about 7pm last night, but here we are 24 hours later and I still can’t wiggle or feel my toes.

Again: five screws in my foot for the full-on carpentry experience. I’m happy the block lasted this long – I’m told 12-36 hours is normal. Starting to get some tingling in my heel as I write this, so perhaps I’ll be getting some sensation back soon.

Otherwise, things are OK. I can still crutch around, and my collection of electronics allows me to do plenty of computing-related stuff, including keeping in vague contact with work.

So, that’s where we are.

8 thoughts on “Apropos of Nothing – An age of miracle and wonder

  1. I'm glad to hear the surgery went well and you were under the nerve block for the first 24 hours – I've heard that's the worst period.

    As a side note that probably won't help your feel of needles, your problems aren't necessarily over after they've applied the topical painkiller and put the needle in. I've had a surgery team miss the vein when inserting a twilight drop, and basically start dripping the solution into the muscle mass without realizing it. Which becomes excruciatingly painful over time, but since I was trying not be a wimp, I took a long time to report that things weren't going right. So pay attention when they stick you, as much as you don't want to!

  2. Good that the surgery seems to have gone well and relatively painlessly, and thanks for sharing the detailed description the procedure!

    We will, eventually, expect the detailed analysis of the GURPS explosive damage results (a number of points of whole body torso damage) to what actually seems to have occurred (multiple yards of knockback capped at 1/3 HP loss of foot hit location) but this can await your full recovery..

  3. Glad to hear things are going well.

    I had some surgery on my eyes back in August, and they said the anæsthetic would wear off and things would start hurting after about an hour. I'm still waiting.

  4. Good to hear your surgery went well, and wasn't too painful. Here's to a quick and full recovery! (Like others, I await the GURPSification of and rules revisions based on this entire experience)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *