About a week before leaving the United States to visit Spain and Portugal I broke my patella (knee cap). Unfortunately, it would require surgery to repair the knee cap. Fortunately, I was still in the U.S. and not on foreign soil trying to get medical help and surgery. This happened in April 2020 and because of the coronavirus, I had to wait over a week to get a surgery date. My rendition of the day of surgery.
It’s the morning of the surgery and hubby prepares to “Drive Miss Crazy” to the hospital. All went well until the car GPS system said: “you have arrived at your destination” and we are on a dark backstreet with no hospital in sight. Hmm. I fire up my phone GPS and with a call to the nurse’s station and my GPS we got to the drop off area. (Shall I mention Hubby’s first attempt landed us in the parking lot of labor and delivery – geez that ship sailed decades ago.)
Inside and settled in the oh so lovely hospital gown – shades of green and gray (I knew I should have worn my gray shoes). Now that I’m in the state of undress, I can really feel the flesh-eating Velcro from the straps of my leg brace. I curse and hug the person who invented Velcro as it has many useful purposes but attaching to my thigh should not be one of them!
Next, the nurse comes in to shave my knee. I politely ask her to shave my whole leg while she is at it. I was too timid to ask her to shave both legs. She examines my knee and decides there isn’t any hair on it and leaves. Oh well.
The anesthesiologist comes in next and explains the two procedures he and his colleague would be doing – a knee block and spinal. Oh yeah can’t wait – NOT. This part is really interesting tho – he did an ultrasound to find the nerve to the knee. As he is probing about I asked if this was called “my last nerve”. He looked at me weird so I explained, “my hubby is always telling me I am on his last nerve – I just want to know where it’s located.“
While the anesthesiologist was setting up tubes and such, I did mention that I was in the middle of a Netflix series and I’d like to finish it – so please do a good job.
Pump to the knee installed, the anesthesiologist gives me instructions on how to use it. Pain meds are regulated but I have a button I can push to get an extra boost of meds. Oh, I like that. And when we are done with this contraption, I can dispose of it. Not likely! In an effort to be a good citizen and recycle, I see this converted to a wine pump. Fill it with wine, put the tube in my mouth and I’m happy – pumping sips of wine throughout the day and blasts when I want/need them. I’ll have to find the manufacturer and talk about the recycling opportunities with this pump.
On to surgery. They wheel me into a room with so much machinery and stuff I can’t believe there is room for people. However, my eyes are quickly averted to the young tall handsome doc helpers that are standing around. Well, they might have looked tall since I was lying flat on a gurney. Anyway, they line up the gurney and the surgery table and tell me to hop over. Do I not look my age? They should know that no one over 65 hops anywhere, especially with a broken knee cap AND in the laying down position. I’ll be gifting an online dictionary and thesaurus to the surgery department so they can use more appropriate language when giving instructions. Example: Scoot your body onto the table (under his breath saying “we need a good laugh today”). The Beatles song, “I Am The Walrus” starts playing in my head.
I examine the surgery table. To me, it looks like the width of a pencil. How am I going to get this body onto something that is so small? I huffed and puffed my way onto it and miraculously I fit. Or it could be the drugs are kicking in and I’m having an Alice in Wonderland experience.
Surgery is done, I’m back in my room recovering. Before discharging me, I had to walk to the bathroom and pee. Now I haven’t walked in over a week and just had surgery and they expect me to walk to the bathroom that looked like it was two football fields away? Why yes they did. So Physical Therapy was called to show me how to use a walker. Sad to say I am reduced to a walker and trying to perfect the granny lean and goosestep since my leg is in a full cast.
After the long walk and visit to the bathroom, I’m washing my hands when I feel something on my leg. I try to twist around to see what it is. Ashamed to say it was the toilet seat cover clinging to me. I know you are laughing because it is such a laughable moment, but understand that my thigh and butt are still numb from the pain block, so I can’t feel where it is attached. Do I call for help – oh god no – the help string is on the other side of the bathroom and I can’t bear to walk back over there. So I kind of do a little twisty dance, shaking my booty to try to get it off. It finally worked and I could carry on with my hand washing.
Finally, back in my room, I’m discharged and able to go home. The journey home is uneventful (thank goodness)!