Today I had a day surgery. Last night it poured freezing rain and it was still a frozen mess while my son-in-law drove me off to meet my fate. He’s a good driver, BTW.
When we got there I was bemused about the name of the unit. Surgery Day Care – it has a certain cachet to it, don’t you think? We have day care for kids and day care for dementia patients – now there is day care for surgery patients. Who knew?
Really, though, it was just plain old Day Surgery. Maybe the person who designated the name was fond of the sayings of Yoda. Day care surgery you will have. Healed you will be.
Beings as this was the place I had the bad experience with the other day I was pleased to find out that I had a mixed bag of experiences. The anesthesiologist (aka the ‘gas passer’) didn’t know sign, but he knew Deaf and HoH and said I could call him by his first name, which was cool. He also was concerned about the ototoxicity of Tylenol and said he’d be careful. He always looked right at me and he had a great voice.
My prep nurse was awesome – again, didn’t sign, but was easy to teach to talk to me rather than around me. The ER nurse was a loss whether he was wearing a mask or not. Fortunately, Andrew (the anesthesiologist) really ran the communication part of the show.
My surgeon forgot about my hearing loss. We do the “I can’t hear you” thing almost every time we meet, but it is not like he’s my primary care, so I tend to be forgiving towards the ortho who is doing his best to put my various body parts back together with toothpicks and glue. He tries hard and he’s honest with me – which is a huge issue for me. Just tell me how it is and will be.
I went out like a light in seconds – then it is really pretty unimportant what I don’t hear. They had my knee marked (cut THIS one) so the appropriate knee was incised in various places to fix the tear(s) and get a light in to get a look around. I don’t know how many incisions since the knee is wrapped and then wrapped again in a huge ace wrap.
To add a thrill to the day my daughter could not come get me as planned as one of the kids came down with something closely resembling either flu or food poisoning. I texted one of my best friends to come get me and his car had a flat on the way. Why the dickens he drove on it until it looked like a black rubber Christmas wreath neither of us are quite sure about. He changed it in the parking lot rather than where he realized he had a flat. Apparently it made sense at the time.
Nonetheless, he and I communicated by text – and when he’s with me he has a fantastic voice so no problems there. He and my brother have the only voices I can recognize over the phone.
I insisted on walking out of the hospital since the surgeon told me I could. The nurse and my pal sorta shook their heads and walked with me – yes it hurt, yes I’m glad I did it, and really, at that time I wasn’t using my ear. Walking on my ear would be rather difficult. Instead, I was limping down a hall looking determined and testing my stability.
Got home to two nurses from VNA (Visiting Nurses Association) who were here to work with my daughter. Amazingly enough, both of them were totally great for a deaf or HoH person. My fav had a pocket full of homemade dog biscuits and the picky Baby Dog ate two of them. Score. Baby Dog was absolutely insane with joy when I got back, which is as it should be. While recovering I was dreaming about petting her – so the shared joy is mutual.
So, I had a successful operation on the torn bits of the knee, was able to communicate easily with a few folks and with determination with others. The operation was done under a general anesthetic so they could have been whispering in Swahili while listening to We Are The Champions by Queen and I wouldn’t know the difference.