April 06, 2005

In Praise of Good Drugs and Doctors of Faith

I am among you. For that I am grateful. Even moreso that I'm basically pain free today, even put away some laundry, walked around the driveway, and marveled at what it's like to have a surgical encounter go right.

From a mortal perspective, so much of surgery--even more I think than the skill of your doctor--depends upon the anesthesiologist. And man, did I have a good one. Oh boy oh boy. I don't even remember the OR. I was gone before they wheeled me in, or gone enough that I remember only two things: The Big Round Light and The Big Black Leg Holder, left side. And I remember my one pre-deep-sleep thought: "Wonder why there's only one leg holder?" night night. (I'm now assumng it's because they put the other one up once they have the poor woman on the operating table).

Before they wheeled me off to the OR, the very understanding anesthesiologist nurse--he was swell--got my cocktal ready for my IV. I'd had to wait about quite a while down by the OR, because they were wrapping up cataract surgery, and apparently you don't need leg holders for that, so they were switching the OR over.

Anyway, I start explaining to the nurse with the needle full of goodies that I don't like the feeling of being put under, that I hope whatever drug he's using is a gentle relaxer, because if it hits me like a ton of bricks, I will resist it. And he says to me with a smile, "You resist all you want, honey."

I imagined departing this realm with those as the last words uttered to me. Interesting. But alas, I awoke a couple of hours later, back in the same spot, wondering when they were going to take me to the OR. Imagine my surprise when the lady nurse said I was all done.

There's a comforting hymn--one I'd been humming to myself all week--that I spent a lot of quiet time humming to myself during the long wait before and after surgery. My OBGYN is a man of faith before he is a surgeon. He says a quiet prayer before he takes his patients into the OR. Me, I like that. The best surgeon's skill can stand some guidance, as can the most difficult patient's healing.

I learned I "went hypertensive" during the surgery, at one point I was like 196 over somethng, and they had to give me medicines for that. I guess I'm okay. I think I'll check my BP this week to be sure. I know that I was 120/80 at the doctor the Thursday before, so it must have been something about pain, bodily invasion, and or intense terror that made my pressure go haywire?

Anyhow, at least it's done. Now we get to watch the progress over the coming weeks and months to see if it worked.

If not, I know what anesthesiologist I'm going back to. Let's call him the Night-Night Doctor.

I'll spare you the truly gory details, but I really do feel good, and I really did feel you guys pulling for me. I felt some others sticking needles in their blogger voodoo dolls too, but they can just go back and write about politics and aggregators. I'm still here.