Wednesday, September 14, 2005

We're not supposed to walk upright, part 3

If you didn't read the first two sections of this, you can catch up by clicking on the links below.

part 1
part 2

Now where did we leave off? Oh yeah, I had just received my surgery date.....


Oh joy!

Surgery two days before my favorite holiday of the year, turkey day 2002.

I love turkey day because you get to see the family, eat great food and you don't have to buy any crappy presents for anyone. It's the perfect holiday, with the exception of the 4th of July. That has booze and explosions prominently involved. Nothing can compare to that.

Anyways, I just sat back and suffered quietly (the Cod Gal would argue with the "quietly" part) while waiting for my surgery date to come. Up until that point I had been getting through the days ok with a steady dose of percosets. It didn't kill the pain completely, but it made it so I could at least move around a little bit.

Then one morning about one week before my surgery, I woke up and the pain had become excrutiating literally overnight. I hadn't done anything the day before to aggravate the injury, so I was a bit concerned because I now couldn't even sit still. Not for more than about 30 seconds or so. I was flopping around like an epileptic mackerel going through withdrawls.

After my wife got ahold of the doctor for me, he told me to double my dose of percosets. After trying that for a day, we came to the conclusion that it wasn't doing anything more than making me feel like I was going to puke half the time. They were probably working a little bit, but I couldn't tell. I was in friggin' agony.

After talking to the doctor yet again, he said that there was nothing more that he could do for me outside of the hospital. He wanted me to check in to the hospital right away and he would be waiting for me when I got there. Doctor Feelgood was planning on loading me up full of morphine until the we had the pain under control.

While being loaded up on morphine for a week sounded like fun, I didn't want to spend any more time in that hospital than I had to.

The reason being that I have spent about 40 days of my life in our local hospital(s) for a variety of illnesses/injuries (one of which you can read about on this little section of cyberspace that I have stolen, here is part 1 /part 2 /part 3/ and part 4) and I have come to the conclusion that I would rather be at home doing nothing than sitting in a hospital bed doing nothing. Although, the bedside service at the hospital is always a plus.

So instead of heading for the hospital, I decided to tough it out in a percoset induced haze and wait for The Day. (insert dramatic music here)


Alas, THE DAY finally came.

Luckily, I was scheduled as the first surgery of the day so I had to be there early. The few times that I have had surgery in the past, I have always preferred to be first, or as close to first as possible. It would drive me nuts to sit around all day waiting, and starving. The Cod Gal had some neck surgery a couple of months ago (trust me, it was from atrophy, (sigh) not from overuse) and she was scheduled for later in the day. It was around 11am, I believe and she didn't end up going under the knife until 3pm and coming out of it until 6pm. That's too late for me. I like to get it over with as soon as possible.

After getting changed into that horrible hospital gown, I had to lay around for what seemed like an hour (probably more like 20 minutes) with my nerves going batshit. Was it going to go ok? Was he going to screw up and paralyze me?... (which is always a possibility when doing back surgery) When the hell are they going to do this? Where is the nurse with my "magic shot"?

Finally, my doctor came in, we went over some last minute details and then off I went to the room of horrors.

When I got into the operating room the first thing that I was struck by was how big it was. This place was huge! Definitely bigger than my first apartment.

The 2nd thing that struck me was "what the hell is that contraption on the operating table"? They had some sort of metal whirlygig that looked like something a mistress would strap her sex slave into for some good, clean bondage fun.

I also wondered how the hell that I was going to get into that contraption of death. The nurse that I was chatting with while the other nurses set up told me that they were going to strap me into it after I was under the influence of the general anestethic.

Now, I am not a petite man. So, being the great guy that I am, I offered to climb up there for them (all the while secretly hoping that they would say no). Thankfully, they assured me that it would be no problem to do toss me up there without my help.

Phew! If I had seen myself in that thing with my bare ass hanging out and sticking up for all to see, I would have had to kick my own ass. (yeah yeah, I know Wheel Gun, I always have my ass sticking up or something like that... har har)

So, I was lying there talking to the nurse for a few minutes when the next thing that I knew...BAM! I was in the recovery room. Not only was I in there, but I was gagging and dryheaving left and right. It was not exactly the best way to wake up.

Apparently, the retching had something to do with a reaction to the general anestethic. I vaguely remember doing that once before when I came out of it, but I thought that was an isolated incident.

It was no big deal, I guess. After a couple of shots of compazine, I was ok and headed up to my room for the night.


The one thing that the doctors didn't prepare me for was the lack of muscle strength that I would have immediately following surgery. I guess I should have thought of that myself seeing as how they had to cut through my back muscles and all, but still... damn. I literally couldn't even roll over. It took every last bit of strength that I had just to do it so the doctor could change my bandage. The only way to do it was to grab onto the bed rail and pull like hell and hope for the best.

Surprisingly, the nurses had me up and walking, albeit quite gingerly, by later that evening. I couldn't believe it, but there I was shuffling over to the bathroom. (And thank god for that! I wasn't up for calling someone to help me out in there. No one should be subject to the horror that is my junk)

The best part of that first day was that I could already feel the difference in pain levels from before the surgery and after. It was quite amazing, actually.

I thought that everything was fine and dandy until I talked to the doc. He said the bad news was that my disc had broken into 7 segments and one of them had actually wedged up against my nerve, thus causing the massive increase in pain that I had talked about earlier in this post. Unfortunately, he said that it looked like it had injured the nerve, but only time would tell that.

The good news was that I was going to be able to leave the next morning after he came back in to check on me and made sure that I didn't have my spine sticking out of my ass, or anything fun like that.

True to form, he sauntered into my room around 8am, changed my bandage again and gave me the go-ahead to get the hell out of Dodge... but with some serious restrictions. No walking up stairs for at least two weeks, no driving for 4 weeks, no water around the incision for 4-5 days, and a few others as well. Basically, I had to take it as easy as possible. That was it.

[That shouldn't prove to be too hard, right? It's not like I have any stairs in my house... oh wait, all the bedrooms and the bathroom with the shower is upstairs. Ok, I can deal with that... I guess. Next, no driving for a month...that'll be a tough one. Has anyone seen the Cod Gal drive? I'm better off risking any damge to my back that I would incur by driving. It beats the injury that I would inevitably get when we get in a car crash with her at the wheel. (just kidding babe, you're the best!)]

I then eagerly phoned the Cod Gal to tell her that I would need a good wheel man for my daring escape from the hospital and that she should get in the Codmobile and get her ass over there pronto! She quickly informed me that she was getting the (friggin') kids off to school and that I should "shut up" and she'll "get there when I'm goddamn good and ready!"

Ok babe, take your time.

She rolled in a little while later and off to the car I went. This was one time that I didn't complain about having to be pushed in a wheelchair to the Codmobile.

Off to the Cod mansion!

to be continued....


At 4:50 PM, Blogger Missy said...

You forgot to mention how much morphine & demerol it took to get the pain under control in post-op (after surgery). Maybe you forget. You had enough in you to knock out an elephant!

You were a very good patient and I didn't kill you on the way home.


At 11:50 PM, Blogger Wheel Gun Bob said...

"No one should be subject to the horror that is my junk."

Man, I taught you well.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Allyon said...

You weren't his only teacher, WGB. After all, it takes a village to raise a child. In Cod God's case, a family big enough to populate a village, each with his or her own wisdom to impart to the wee ones.

Sounds like you are the "junk" expert?

At 6:50 PM, Blogger B-Face said...

One could also say it takes a village to raise the village idiot.

I'm just saying.


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