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ACL Surgery Went Well

ACL Surgery Went Well

Originally uploaded by Smash Monster.

My leg and TV – typical view for a while I expect.

Things started out a little rough at UCLA – adminstrative staff there tend to be pretty unprofessional and like to pretend as if they can’t see you standing there waiting for someone to check you in. However, once you meet the nursing staff everything is rosy – fantastic bunch of people!

Details – I arrived on the surgical center floor where a woman with her hair looking like birds had nested in it recently, dirty shoes, is standing there chatting with a co-worker. She pretends I don’t exist for a few minutes, then turns and says, “Yeah?” Since this is the check-in desk for surgery, she can pretty much assume I am there for that, so the “Yeah?” seemed weird. She was rather brusque until she noticed it was my birthday. She then told me about all the people she knows who were born in March. Not sure why I bring this out in people – they just start telling me “stuff” and go on and on.

She told me to take this clipboard and follow the blue line. I arrived in the pre-op area and two staff members were working there. They proceeded to pretend as if they couldn’t see me standing there. Finally, one sort of tipped her head toward me and coldly said, “Someone will be with you in a minute.”

It’s strange that people don’t realize how much nicer their jobs would be if they didn’t create this climate of hostility. A simple smile and “Hi, the person who checks in patient is just with another patient right now. She’ll be right back!” Would completely change the first impression. I stood there waiting, waiting, finally I started to get restless and look around for someplace to sit. The room has curtained areas each with a bed and a chair. The woman behind the desk who still had not acknowledged my presence noticed me moving toward them and said, you can go ahead and have a seat over there. Really? Thanks, I was going to anyway.
Fortunately, once the first nurse showed up the tone changed. A real sweetheart came over to go over paperwork and get me prepped. Then the anaesthesiologist, who looked too young to have finished medical school, popped in. She talked super fast, had a funny little giggle she added to end of every sentence, and was just fantastic. She used medical terminology that was clear and understandable and she was extremely thorough and professional as she walked me through the procedures she was going to do.
They decided to do a nerve block on the leg. This is a really weird experience. As they search for the nerve, you feel your muscles twitching – when they find the one they want to block the whole thing started spasming. It doesn’t hurt – just feels a little bizarre.
She put in the catheter for the drip in my hand – expert job. Sometimes you get someone who has to dig around in the hands a little too much 🙁

Soon I was feeling GOOOOOD and they wheeled me into the surgical room. Don’t remember much after that until I felt them wheel me back to post-op. I think the surgery took about 3 hours because in my haze (and without glasses) I peered up at the clock and saw it was after 12 (I was wheeled in around 8:40 or so).

I get this reaction to anaesthesia of uncontrollable chills. This happened last time too. My teeth literally start chattering. They put warm blankets about me, but my whole body was shaking with chills still. They decided to give me some Demerol to stop the shaking, and that worked really fast. They wrapped a warm toasty blankie around my head – that felt great.

I was feeling quite a bit of pain in the knee (about a 7 on a 1-10 scale) but they gave me some liquid pain med by mouth and the pain subsided.

OK, too tired to tell more at this time… Will update later.

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