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Sarah_K : Surgery
Diary entry posted Wed 2:12pm 23 June 2004

My surgery last week went very well. I LOVED my anesthesiologist (he was the same guy who helped with my epidural during labor), and I had a lot of confidence in my doctor.
I was hoping that I would be able to go home the same day, but now I realize that an overnight stay with the morphine machine was a must. My night basically went like this -- push the button, push the button, push the button, fall asleep for an hour or two, wake up in pain, push the button, push the button, push the button, fall asleep for an hour or two, . . .

I didn't get any single solid stretch of sleep, but still I think the morphine helped me rest.
Of note was using a bedpan for the first time. I was given no instructions and actually ended up making a little bit of a mess. Oh well, I got the hang of it eventually.
Also of note, great nurses who anticipated my every need, and a few insensitive jerks.

Nurse Jerk 1 -- (after I threw up) "You wouldn't be nauseous if you didn't take so much pain medication. You should only take what you need."
thank you, but that flys in the face of all contemporary pain research which says you need to stay "ahead" of the pain and take a little more than you need, because once you feel pain, the neural pathways are conditioned to feel pain more easily and thus you set yourself up for more acute and potentially chronic pain. And besides, I was always falling asleep after a couple button pushes anyway, since it was the middle of the night.
A real nurse came by later and gave me anti-nausea medicine.

Nurse Jerks 2 and 3 (Mildred and Jane) -- basically refused my requests for a bedpan, actually claimed that they had already given me a bedpan, so why did I need another, and then when they did give me a bedpan, pulled it away and moved my leg out of place, rushed out of the room and refused to respond to my calls that my leg was in pain because it fell off the elevated pillows. after ringing the call button repeatedly, I was reduced to crying out in the hopes that someone would hear me. Fortunately a physical therapist walking by eventually did. That was an incredibly dehumanizing experience. It made me really feel for the elderly and others who probably get this kind of treatment more frequently.

Okay, enough venting. Overall it was a a very good experience. My anesthesiologist sat by me the whole 2 hours and talked with me. Of course I can't remember what we talked about, but oh well. It's the good feeling I got that counts. I even lifted my head and checked out my knee at one point. Pretty much just a bright red mess, not as interesting as I thought it would be.

I know that I was in the gray zone as to whether to perform surgery or not from what my dr. said and what my internet research showed (see the link below) Basically less than 6 mm depression = no surgery; more than 10 mm, definitely surgery. Of course I'm right in the middle at 8 mm. But the only risk of surgery for me (after surviving it, which I did), was increased likelihood of stiffness. But since that is also going to happen from my injury itself, I'm very glad that we did surgery. I want to be as whole as possible and if the doctors can fill in that 8 mm depression, then go for it!

This is what I've been using as a reference. It's obviously geared for doctors and so much of t is over my head, but it still has some useful facts that I can glean from it.

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 Wed 2:12pm 23 June 2004
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