Surgery Adventure Day!



Surgery was scheduled for Thursday at 2:30p.m.  So the pre-op nurse called me Tuesday afternoon to verify things.  Ummm, no, it’s not my right knee but rather my right ankle.  Sigh. 

This is what some would call my eleventh “major” surgery.   The way I explain it is, if I’m going under general anesthesia I consider that “major” surgery.  Of course I’m already annoyed because this surgery is necessary due to numerous bone spurs that developed on the top joint of my ankle.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not annoyed because I have the bone spurs.  I’m annoyed because the VA doctors couldn’t even read the MRI and see the bone spurs.  But hey, doctors have to learn how to be doctors somewhere.  It may as well be on a vast pool of people who have already sacrificed part of their life.

Of course I get the standard instruction(s) about not eating or drinking anything after midnight.  So I got to thinking… if my surgery was at 10a.m. instead of 2:30p.m. I would surely get the same “don’t eat or drink anything after midnight” instruction.  None the less I was a good patient and didn’t eat or drink anything after the magical hour of midnight.

The surgery nurse called around 10a.m. that morning stating that there had been a cancellation could I come right then?  What?   Sure, I’ll just rearrange everything that I’ve already rearranged and see if I can arrange to get there right away! 

So I got there around no0n-fifteen, show them all the necessary documents that assures them that if something goes terribly wrong that my wife and insurance company will still pay. 

During the rearranging time I managed to get a ride to the surgical center to meet my Mrs. and four year old son.  The three of us are sitting there looking at one of those Highlights magazines trying to find the hidden pictures in the big picture.  Now let me just tell you right here; if you are one of those people who circle all the hidden pictures inside the big picture… shame on you!  This lady sitting nearby hands us a newer copy that hasn’t been vandalized.  I thank her.  Our little guy remarks how we can circle the pictures when we find them.  I told him that we weren’t going to do that.  The bizzy-body lady then proceeds to give us her permission, stating that they have plenty of them.  So then, as I understand the situation, if there is this magical number of  copies of Highlights magazines on hand the public can just go about willy-nilly defacing said publications.

I had no idea that our refusing to vandalize the magazines would have such a negative affect on the bizzy-body lady.  After just a couple of minutes she picks up her cell phone and (apparently) is calling her physician’s office.  The call went something like this.  “Hello, this is Jane Doe.  Dr. Smart E. Pants  has me on four Prozac a day.  Well, I’m just wondering how much it would be for six.  Yeh,  six.  I’m on four now but I’m having some issues and I think six would be good.”

Well by now, I’m looking around to see if she has one of those purses that can hide a meat cleaver.  Fortunately (for me) they called me back.  Shew!  I’m not to worried about the Mrs. or our little guy.  I think they can handle her.

So I was pleasantly surprised when the nurse told me that I could keep my left sock and my underwear on!  Now that I’m ready they let the Mrs. and our little guy back.  He is just a hoot!  We’ve taught him his “meeting manners.”  Whenever he meets someone new he stands up, sticks out his right hand (to shake) and says, “Hi, my name is Porter.  Nice to meet you.”  It is so cute.  So sure enough that’s the first thing he does when he comes back.  He met nurse Sue, then the surgeon, then the anesthesiologist and finally the OR nurse who came out to wheel me in.

The surgeon said the operation should only take about an hour to an hour and a half.  WRONG!  Just a little over two hours later I was back in the recovery room. 

Good news.  Bad news.  Good news is he was able to remove all the bone spurs.  Bad news is there isn’t much cartilage left in that joint.  He said he made some holes in the bone and hopefully that would make the bone generate cartilage. 

The surgeon made me my very own pictures of the inside.  It’s pretty wicked looking.

Awesome pain killers too: OXYCODONE-APAP along with the anti-puke, anti- itch meds.  I’ve been taking the pain meds pretty regular.  Except that it’s about 10:15a.m. now and I haven’t taken any since about10:30p.m. last night.  I think I’ll stop sucking it up and take maybe a half dose.

Originally he said off my feet for a couple of weeks.  Now he’s saying at least a month and that he doesn’t even want to see me back for ten days!  I mean look at the size of that friggn cast!  We had to get some specially weirdo fitting elasto pants just to get some clothes.

Well, that’s about it for now.  I think it’s time for some la-la- land.


5 Responses to Surgery Adventure Day!

  1. Joy says:

    I was glad to hear from you today. I’ve been wondering how it went. That is hilarious that you had a nurse named Sue. You’ll have to tell her that. Take care and try and take advantage in any way you can 😉


    Joy: Thanks. I’ve been on some real good drugs the last few days. Even sitting at the computer makes me hurt. 😦

    Don’t worry about me taking care of myself. When I’m “the patient” I’m just like a dairy farmer. I milk it! 🙂

  2. Sue says:

    Hey! Was she really named Sue or did you just make that up??!!! Glad to hear it all went pretty well. I am willing to bet that the surgery itself only took an hour and a half (like he said it would) but you have to remember that it takes time to get you ready for surgery once you’re in the room. (I know, I know. I had to rain on your parade.) Doctors don’t think about how long you’re in the room before they come in to do their part. Sorry, not that you asked for that info:( It’s great to read a patients perspective because I’m the one standing at the back table in the gown/mask/gloves with the instruments all ready to go. I’ve never had surgery so I think it would be weird to be on that side.

    You know why they don’t want you eating or drinking anything after midnight no matter what time your surgery is? For the exact thing that happened to you. Someone cancelled so they could move you up to keep the day going. Yes, we realize it is not convient for everyone to come in early because you have rides all figured out for certain times, but it is nice to give you the option.

    Sorry to hear that you have to stay off your feet for longer than first thought. I wouldn’t like that news either. Take care of yourself and it will heal faster:) I’ll send good health vibes your way so that your bone grows some extra cartilage;)

    mssc54 replied:

    Sue: Yep her real name was Sue (at least that’s what it said on her badge).

    I know how things go in the OR. I ain’t no OR virgin or nuthin. I think he found more stuff then he was planning on. Hence making the holes in the bones to (hopefullu) generate cartilage.

    We got there at noon-fifteen and didn’t leave ’till 4:30. I’m glad I got a nap during the whole thing! 🙂

  3. Sue says:

    By the look of the cast, you didn’t get your matching black booties! Take care.

    mssc54 replied:

    Sue: I go back for the follow-up visit on the 16th. I’m going to push him then for matching black booties!

    Since you mentioned the size of the cast, I’ll tell yu that the Mrs. and the girls have begun to affectionately call it “The Drumstick.” lol

  4. Sue says:

    The Drumstick, that is funny!

    mssc54 replied:

    Surgery Sue: I was wondering if anyone would catch that. When I spoke with his nurse today I told her that my Mrs. and girls call it “The Drumstick.” She howled about that. Nobody seems to know why he makes those things so dang big. I figure it’s kinda like a name “Branding” thing. You know like when you see other people with other “Drumsticks” you can easily strike up a conversation with “So Dr. Ohlsen worked on you huh?”

  5. ransom33 says:

    Hi Michael,

    You did not reply to my email enquiring how the op. went, so I assumed you were unavailable and unable to get back to me. I am glad to read you got through it ok and that you are indeed recovering.

    I continue to pray for a full recovery and that you are allowed to get back to normal as soon as pos.

    Please continue to pray for my husband’ s job situation.

    Thank you,


    mssc54 replied:

    Mercedes: I’m sorry you did not get my reply. I recently switched my email addy and thought I had properly sent you a response.

    I will certainly continue to remember your husband’s work situation.

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