I’m back home resting this evening after my surgery earlier today. I am trying to write as I grit my teeth and fight through the pain in my left leg. It feels as if all seven pins are being pulled in opposite directions from each other. I haven’t felt this level of being uncomfortable since my first few days in the hospital. I know it is a necessary evil, and that I will never heal without this procedure, but whoa buddy!
My alarm shattered the still of the night at 4:30am this morning. My ever-reliable good friend Deb drove me to the hospital as the sun began to make an appearance. I was instructed to be at the hospital to check-in at 6am, but of course, when we arrived bright and early there was no one to be found. After searching the back hallways we found a lady who was able to check me in and allowed me to precede upstairs to the pre-op/recovery area.
This is why I love the island lifestyle I live out here. Shortly after I get into my very flattering hospital issue gown, get the IV line in the back of my hand I get picked up by an employee who took me to my last two surgeries during my two-week stay in the hospital. She is very pleasant, always smiling and we begin to catch up and joke as I am being wheeled towards the operating area. Right before we get to the elevators I run into an employee who is the husband of a friend of mine. I’ve met him a few times and we say a quick hello, he shakes my hand, wishes me good luck and we continue onwards. That chance encounter as well as the familiarity with the lady taking me to surgery helped take my mind off the future and caused me to live in that specific moment. The butterflies went away and I relaxed for a few moments before we made it into the operating waiting/recovery room.
My anesthesiologist Dr. Smith came over and introduced himself. He gave me the option of being completely sedated (put under) or he could do some sort of spinal thing that numbed me from the waist down and I would be foggy but awake. I explained that I did not want to see anything being done to my leg and that I had no problem being put under for the duration of the surgery. After we talked a bit more Dr. Soma came in wearing his signature Aloha shirt and oddly enough carrying a pineapple. It was an odd site to see in a very sterile, bland, sick green and white environment, but made my smile inside.
The surgery that I went in for is an operation called bone grafting. It is a procedure that replaces missing bone, in order to help patients heal correctly. The bone the doctors graft onto the patient can be obtained from three different sources: a piece of healthy bone taken from the patient (usually from the hip), a cadaver, or in my particular case a synthetic grown in a lab. Dr. Soma used a product called nanOss for the first time on my surgery so I played the part of his guinea pig (no Italian jokes intended).
When I woke up in the recovery room an hour later my leg was wrapped in gauze and blood had seeped through on both sides. It looked like it had when I woke up after my emergency room visit. When the nurses came in we unwrapped the gauze and I got to see the new set of stitches I had acquired. I was expecting at least one new incision, but I now had two fresh cuts in me and they were not quite finished bleeding. We re-wrapped my leg with gauze, wrapped it again with an ace bandage and called Deb for a ride home. After picking up two prescriptions we made it back to my place where I proceeded to lie down and remain unmoved for several hours.