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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Surgery & The Electric Boot

On Monday afternoon, I wheeled Bob over to the surgery center for his foot surgery. I was feeling pretty confident about the whole procedure as the surgeon had said it was "a simple procedure" and did not even require general anesthesia. My thought was since the surgery center is only about a block away from our house, I would leave once Bob was prepped and ready, go home and spend a blissful hour alone. I thought I might listen a meditation tape that I had purchased (for 4 bucks) and had only been able to listen to once as Bob absolutely hates it.

The meditation tape is based on siddhi meditation which deals with "sound vibrations" and basically the whole tape is someone chanting "aaaaaaah" along with affirmations. The only time I played it at home, Bob kept interrupting the "aaaaaahs" by saying "Ooooh!" and "Eeeeeee!" and "Ooh-Hoo-hoo!" and such nonsense that I laughed all the way through it.

Anyway, that was my plan. And you know what they say about the best laid plans...

So we get to the surgery center and the first shocker is that they want $250.00 up front. Two hundred and fifty bucks! I nearly dropped over dead. Fortunately, we still have one credit card that works, and I was able to charge it, but jeepers. There goes my emergency fund, because now that card is maxed out.  Then, they have me sign a form indicating that I understand the $250.00 is just a "down payment" and there will more charges for the doctors, anesthesiologist, supplies, etc. etc. Lord almighty, I am going to hate to see this bill...

Anyway, we get Bob into the pre-op room and find next that the nurse has no way to move him from his wheelchair to the hospital bed. She asks me, "Can he stand and pivot?" I tell her, no. She asks, "How do you do it at home?" I tell her we use a slideboard and ask her if they have such a device. But no, they don't have a slideboard. Or a hoyer lift. Or even a couple of burly guys who could pick him up and lift him onto the bed. So after making a few phone calls, six nurses come into the room. Count 'em! Six! And it takes all six to lift Bob from the wheelchair to the bed and damn, if they didn't almost drop him at one point.

By then, I am really looking forward to leaving and listening to that meditation tape. As I really could use some inner peace about now...

Then the anesthesiologist comes into the room. This guy is like 18 years old, I swear. Either that, or I must be getting old. Because he looked real young to me.  He tells us that they will numb Bob's foot with a local anesthesia and also give him a sedative via the IV. Then he looks through the chart for quite awhile, asks a bunch of questions and says, "I'm going to be honest with you." He says this to me, not Bob. He says, "Your husband is in very poor medical condition and should not even be here. This procedure should be done in a hospital where they are more capable of handling emergency situations. So I want you to know, that if I see anything, and I mean anything, that makes me think he's at risk during this procedure, I am going to call an ambulance and have him transported to the hospital immediately. In fact," he adds, "I had to call an ambulance for another patient this morning. I don't take any risks."


Then he tells me that I must stay close by, in case of an emergency.

So there went my plan of a blissful hour.... So much for finding my inner peace.

Not to mention, now my stomach is in knots.

Anyhow, after all of that, and after spending an uncomfortable hour in the waiting room, being held a captive audience to LIVE Court TV (which was playing some long drawn-out murder trial, where the attorneys kept asking the witness the same question over and over, different ways, just trying to elicit a different answer) and listening to the little girl sitting next to me, who is reading out loud from (of all things) The Old Testament of The Bible, finally the surgeon comes out and tells me all went fine.

And a half hour later, the nurse comes running out asking me to come back into the recovery area as she is having problems with Bob. So we dash back there, and Bob is in the hospital bed crying and screaming, "HURTS! HURTS!" And the nurse tells me that she has already given him five doses of morphine and she does not know what else to do. I tell her that morphine usually doesn't work on Bob,  at least it hasn't in the past, and do they have something else they can give him? She leaves the room, and I tell Bob that he better quiet down or they are not going to release him to go home. And does he want to be transferred to the hospital? And that quieted him down. Because, truth be told, he hates hospitals.

Then the nurse came back with some oxycodone and Bob said, "Finally! Yay!" and after that, and after six nurses arrived again to lift him from the bed to the wheelchair, we went home.

They sent him home with this electric boot:

which is not supposed to be removed until the surgeon sees us next week. Underneath, there are gauze dressings and electrodes attached to a TENS unit and, I am told, there are metal "bones" and screws holding his toes straight and no wonder it hurts like a devil.

He is still in a lot of pain.

And it looks like it's going to be a trying few days here.... for both of us.


Helen M -Wisc said...

Can there possibly be any other ways of torture that you and Bob have not already endured? Your blog sounds like a current-day version of Dr. Frankenstein, who was successful in what he was doing. Good luck to Bob in getting successful results.

Anonymous said...

Good to know that Bob is doing ok overall, though I know the pain is an issue. I do hope he has plenty of pain meds to get through a few days.

You are so right about the best laid plans going "south" so to speak. It happens all too often. Can you listen to the meditation tape with head phones on and still hear Bob if he needs you? When caring for my wife, I had several "easy listening" CD's with soft music and ocean waves, or rain falling, or a river rapids in the background. So soothing that sometimes I'd fall asleep listening.

Prayers and hugs to you both,

J.L. Murphey said...

Email coming.

Rebecca Dutton said...

I really hope this surgery gives Bob some relief.