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Alexis : the surgery
Diary entry posted Sat 8:33am 22 March 2003

In the ambulance, the nice (yes, NICE!) EMT asked me to rate my pain on a scale from 1 to 10. I told him 9 3/4. In goes the IV with the morphine drip. (That's why he was so nice!) We arrive at the hospital and luckily it was not too crowded, and this particular facility practically has a rotating door, ushering in ski accident victims, since it is the only hospital around.

The Ortho surgeon on call was just finishing up an operation and would be with me in 20 minutes. In the meantime, the nurses pry my clothes off, layer by painstaking layer, until they get to the socks. NO!!! Don't cut the socks! They tell me that the socks can stay until I go into surgery. While I am waiting for Dr. F, my cell phone rings. I know I'm not allowed to use it in the hospital, but I do anyway. It's a nice guy who took me out to lunch the day before, probably calling to secure some tentative plans for that night. Uh, I'm actually going into surgery in a few minutes, 'cause I broke my leg so I'll talk to you later. Great.

In comes Dr. F, fresh from cutting and prying and patching someone else's body parts, and he explains my options. Obviously he has some bias (about a few thousand dollars' worth) toward operating, so I decide to go with the rod. But first I fire off a round of questions. You're going to put that where? HOW? When can I walkskirunrockclimb?

Then the nurse asks me if I want to contact a family member. My parents live in NJ. The nurse phoned them first, and then patched me through because she said that most patients lose their composure, and all their parents hear is a stream of wailing crying sounds punctuated by BROKEN...LEG...HOSPITAL...SURGERY. She hands me the phone, and no sooner to I grasp the handpiece..."Hi, um, I (gasp) surgery...leg...really, i'm fine..."

The attractive paper cap goes on my head, I'm donned in the behind-revealing hospital gown, and down the hallway I'm rolled, where another doctor greets me, and proceeds to tell me about the SPINAL sedation he's going to do. My eyes widen like a dear caught in headlights. All I can think of is a spinal tap. OOOOOHHHHHH no you don't. What about general? Too dangerous he says, and then proceeds to shake his head and look over his shoulder at the nurses, saying that all the patients react this way as if I can't hear him talking about me. Um, yeah, you're talking about shoving a needle in my spine! When he assured me that I was not going to feel that part, we finally rolled into the operating room.

All I remember is opening my eyes at some point during the procedure, and hearing sounds that made me think I was in an auto body repair shop. Gross, Oh my god, more drugs please, put me back under!

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 Sat 8:33am 22 March 2003
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