Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Big Day

Some girls look forward to planning their weddings. They spend months making sure every detail is in place and the day goes off without a hitch. I planned my surgery with the same fervor. There were so many things that needed to be taken care of. The surgeon told me to plan on taking 6-8 weeks off of work to recover. Since I had only been at my job about a year and a half, I wasn't able to go on short term disability yet. So I was going to need to take sick and vacation time to have this done. I planned it for the Thursday before Memorial Day, with my tentative return date the Monday after 4th of July to buy me a couple of holidays in there. There was paperwork from my department that needed to get signed by me, my boss, his boss, my doctor, the pope, and Elvis himself. I needed to figure out a place to live. My current house had my bedroom and the bathroom on the 2nd floor, and the kitchen and TV on the first floor. My mom would be coming to stay with me for a couple of days and she needed to be housed. I was fortunate that my sister lives in the same town as me, and her apartment had an elevator. Seeing how I was going to be on crutches for a month after the surgery, stairs were going to pose an issue. I needed to make sure that my finances were in order, because my surgery required a $500 deposit from my own pocket, which would at some point be covered by the insurance company. I needed to purchase a lot of loose fitting comfy shorts and pants that would fit over a cast. I made one shopping list prior to surgery that was as follows: "Duct tape. Garbage bags. Baby wipes". I made a note on it, should anyone ever find it and recognize my handwriting, that the purchases were intended for bathing after surgery. Duct tape and garbage bags to wrap my cast, and baby wipes for the days when showering would be too difficult. I was required by my insurance company to complete a pre-surgery physical. I had a very interesting debate with a hospital representative who deals with the insurance as to whether my father was my husband. It was all very whirlwind, and during it all I was working 40 hours a week and finishing up one of my grad school courses. I'm sure you know me well enough by now to know that I was trying to learn everything I could about the surgery I was about to have, and it's true. Now, since this is not my first rodeo with surgery, I can tell you from experience that I am a puker. You get some anesthesia or some morphine in me, and all I do is barf. It's very classy. So for this surgery, I requested to have some numbing medicine injected into my ankle while I was being worked on, so that when I woke up I wouldn't have to take very many drugs to avoid pain. And therefore, avoid becoming a drugged up, heaving, unable to walk, Intervention-style mess. The morning of my surgery was gorgeous. I remember being up around 5, even though I didn't have to be there til 7, and it was only a 5 minute drive. My mom and I hung out and she drank coffee while I pouted about not being able to eat or drink anything before the surgery. I drove to the surgery center since she wasn't that familiar with the part of town we were going to, and I was halfway there when the phone rang. It was the surgery center, calling to tell me that my anesthesiologist wasn't going to be able to make it, and the new doctor did not feel comfortable injecting my ankle with the numbing medicine. And did I want to postpone my surgery.....

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