Friday, February 25, 2011

Medieval Torture Treatments?--Surely Not!

So, yesterday we removed the stitches and set the cast.  I truly had mixed feelings anticipating this day. . . Last year, between tweezing 50+ stitches over 45 minutes and then attempting to push a swollen, broken foot upward into a 90 degree angle, I shed quite a few crocodile tears.  I knew the day would not be complete without a lot of pain, but I also knew that getting a cast also meant ditching that bulky, heavy splint and the prospect of more mobility (and showering, who wouldn't endure a few moments of discomfort for a long, hot shower, right?)  But, surprisingly today was easy-peasy!  The only torture I experienced were a slew of zingers Dr. W kept slinging my way . . .

In what seemed a matter of seconds, Dr. W's new surgical resident had removed all the stitches and was asking me what color cast I wanted?!  I opted for boring black.  (After all, I have to return to a place of business in a few weeks; I have to appear somewhat professional and the scooter and backpack don't help the cause any, believe me. . . I mean, I look more like a 3rd grader than a Marketing Director!)  A few minutes later and with dry eyes, I sat up, viewed my new cast and wiggled my toes.  And, the good news I told Dr. W is that I am already feeling better than I did at the same stage last year!

After getting myself up and wheeling myself out of the exam room, I asked him if I could go bother his assistant Karen (my other BFF, by the way . . .).  He bid me adieu by saying, "Yeah, just stop bothering me!  Will you just leave already?"  Did I mention that my appointment was nothing but an onlsaught of zingers?  But, even funnier than he was his entire staff today.  From the x-ray tech to the nurses, every person I encountered kept asking me, "Is this another surgery?"  Yes, indeed; it seems I have not had enough of his torture--either physical or emotional--yet!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Surgically Speaking . . .

Well, Tuesday, February 15th came and went without a hitch!  I was first up on the OR schedule at 8am, which meant a very early arrival at the hospital, but also a limited window of hunger pains! After checking in with the nurses, redeeming my frequent visitor rewards with the QA consultant, and getting a warm "welcome back" from the anesthesiologist (we've practically become BFFs after the number of times I've visited her operating room over the last year), 'the mad scientist' finally arrived to greet me at 7:58am.  I had joked with the rest of the OR staff that he wouldn't arrive until 7:59am, so you can imagine our surprise when he showed up so early!  Of course, when I saw him approaching my bed still wearing his white coat and carrying a pile of about 10 patient files, I exclaimed, "You're not even in your scrubs yet?!  Are you going to be the one to make us late today?"

Luckily he managed to make up time, shaving about 45 minutes off his normal procedure time.  I woke up in Recovery just in time to nosh on a tuna salad sandwich for lunch and to take a short nap--fortunately, I had just local anesthesiology, so I avoided all the awful nausea and exhaustion of last year's surgery!

By dinner time, they moved me to my room on the Orthopaedics floor.  And, with all the gym time I put in over the Summer and Fall, I was able to successfully lift and transfer my body to my bed all by myself!  The nurses continued to be amazed at my adept "bedpan" skills during the remainder of my stay.  But, despite my need for independence, they continued to check on me every few hours, making sure my pain was under control and my belly was well-filled during my stay.  I couldn't have asked for a more attentive nursing staff; they were amazing!

After a rest-filled night, Dr. Weinfeld surprised me with a quick visit to my room Wednesday morning before he left for the airport.  "Did you really think I wouldn't come and see you today?" he said as he entered the room.  He ordered me to return a week later to have my cast set; and, feeling virtually pain-free and full of energy, I was glad to be released home a few hours later.