So today was the big day. I live in Edmonton, so of course Mother Nature opted for a late-March blizzard which made my morning walk all but enjoyable. Still, ~15 blocks in the cold with sharp snow blowing into your eyes is nothing to complain about, right? Right.
I don’t have a picture for today. Those will begin once I get home and have a webcam to capture these oh-so-wonderful mugshots.
Anyways, I arrived at the hospital on time, put on one of those provocative gowns, failed to tie it up properly in the back, got an IV put in, made some chit-chat with the porters and was wheeled on up to the surgical ward. My surgeon came out, shook my hand, answered my few final questions, and then walked away, politely snapping on a pair of rubber gloves like he was about to do a cavity search at an airport security terminal as he did so.
I was then wheeled into the surgerical theater–#2, to be exact–and greeted by about 15 people. Anesthesiologists and their residents, doctors and their residents, my surgeon and his assistants, surgical techs–there were so many titles being thrown around, I became dazed about halfway through the introductions.
“We’re all here for you, Graham.”
If that’s not reassuring, I don’t know what is.
Here’s what they told me during all the appointments leading up to my surgery: “Everything is going to work out just fine.”
Here’s what they told me 5 seconds before putting me to sleep: “This procedure should take approximately 4.5 hours to complete. You’ll have a breathing tube inserted into your right nostril which will run down your throat, so you may have a scratchy windpipe for the next few days. Good luck.”
Here’s what they told me after the surgery: “We ran into a few complications, so the operation took 6 hours. We also had to insert a catheter into you, so it may hurt to relieve yourself these next few days. Oh, you’ll also be eating through a syringe for a minimum of 2 weeks.”
The news got progressively worse, right up to the mention of that God-forsaken catheter. The pain I experienced while trying to pee for the first time after that surgery was like nothing I’ve ever experienced (and remember, I once shattered my foot into 7 pieces after a graceful Superman dive off the roof of an elementary school). It led me to 2 conclusions:
- I never want to contract an STD.
- I never want to get old.
And now for the short talk on pain. There was virtually none… in my face. I was numb from my eyes right down to my chin and, as a result, was drooling everywhere. However, every muscle and joint in my body hurt. Apparently when you’re asleep, your body still feels pain. So if the surgery is extremely painful, your body responds in its natural way by clenching every muscle it has control over. The most painful part? My bum. Imagine clenching your buttcheeks together for 6 hours straight. You can’t, because if you’re conscious, you won’t be able to focus for that long. When you’re asleep, it’s another story. Let me tell you something: it will leave you in a state that absolutely inhibits you from sitting, bending, or moving in general for quite some time.
In any regard, everything turned out okay in the end and, after a few shots of morphine, I have a feeling I’ll be falling asleep in a timely manner tonight. That is, if the nurses stop interrupting me every hour to check on my vitals.