Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Guarded


drivers seat, originally uploaded by boxersiciliano.

"Welcome to surgery room 102" said some guy in blue scrubs with his back to me...it might have been the doctor...

"Welcome!" i said, gazing at the big round lights, table and sterile sheets...

then i just had enough time to wonder why i said welcome...you know, he just welcomed me..so why would I say welcome?? then bang, I was waking up in the recovery room...yep..knee surgery...The night before I was in a panic thinking i had a blod clot in my left calf which i then proceeded to scare the crap out of myself by reading too much on Google about them...blood clots can result in a pulmonary embolism..meaning that the clot clogs your lungs and you can die...crap...I had 6 hours to live before i went into surgery...at least that was my mind set...i found myself getting so angry that this stupid injury had now grown into a life threatening blood clot...so lame how we can freak ourselves out...upon showing up at the surgery center that morning i had an ultra sound and the nurse said, " i wish everyone's blood flow was this good, you are totally normal."
ok..then i felt that old familar feeling of self embarrassment that I had let myself get so worked up and been so hard on myself...now I could breathe a it easier and as they shaved my knee and put the IV in and asked me tons of questions, i was able to joke and say stupid things like:
Nurse: "you are 5'8" 160 lbs correct"
Me: "who told you that?"

or

Nurse:"do you wear any hearing aids?"
Me: "what?"

followed by the usual snicker from a nurse who was probably somewhat amused, but mostly annoyed...and then my surgeon, whom I, wrongfully, judged to not really care, spent time with me before surgery discussing Picasso and then proceeded to pray over me..not the type of bible thumping prayer that I can't stand, but a true heart felt prayer that was as much for me as it was for him and his realization that we are only human and that there is something we need to latch onto at the most critical moments in our lives...it may be the first time that I actually felt a real prayer in my life go through my body and out. 5 minutes later i was out, in the hands of people that do this type of thing every day like i used to make phone calls...it truly is amazing what these doctors and nurses and people do...truly...

When i woke up, i felt totally stoned and asked for a steak i think...that was it...it was over just like that, but my left leg was wrapped from ankle to toe with a special wrap that Dr. Stoll does to promote fast recovery and then the good news...they cut out some of the meniscus which, although may present problems down the road, promotes very quick healing...like a week and then i'll be riding a bike...wow..i was prepared for 6 weeks of recovery...I couldn't help but think the universe has tested me again, to see how prepared I was to go the distance...which i was...prepared to be laid up for 6 weeks...i think i got emotional at that point, but only the type of emotion that is at the surface in our body where the tears get right to the tip but don't actually fall out...thankful that i was ok..that I still have my leg and my family and my health. Even that minor time spent in the hospital is enough to boost your momentum....get up and take advantage of each day type of enthusiasm..which I plan to do...thoughts of travel and things I want to do are swimming in my brain...thoughts of photos, and bike rides and motorcycles and food and walking.

Today, i am tired and pretty sore and a little spacy from the doses of Vacadin, which i don't really like...contrary to most people's desires, I don't feel that good on them...it is a beautiful day outside and i am on the mend...eager to get out, but willing to take it easy for as long as i need to so i can heal, thankful for everyone that has thought about me and called or written. These are those times when you see how much you are loved. I am a lucky man.

4 comments:

Vintagedivva said...

What a great blog! You are such a strong, yet gentle man and it shows in your writing! Each day is a gift and sometimes hardships show up, but you continue on embracing each day as a learning experience and that is admirable! Easy on the knee ok meatball??

Ms. Conley said...

What...couldn't you think of any knee jokes??? like......
knock knock
who's there?
knee
knee who?
kneed you ask!!
ha ha ha......
Happy everything went so well..
:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
That's me happy.
xoxo

melissa said...

So glad the surgery went well and your recovery will not be as long as expected. Make sure to take it easy though and not push yourself to fast...you don't want to re-injure yourself (boy did that just sound like a mom or what?!!).

amanda said...

justin...
I am always psyching myself out with the events going on in my life...when don't I have an upset stomach and a pounding heart!!!!! The trip I'm on began like that a week in advance- God- I'm such a head case... I wish I wasn't so emotional all the time but then I guess I wouldn't recognize myself!! Hee Hee I remember the feeling I had after my surgery in 2005- the same as you...one minute I'm looking at the nurse - the next I'm staring up at bright lights in the recovery room...very surreal...where are we during that time lapse???
I laughed out loud while reading your passage...I can relate in so many ways...I hope the pain remains at bay when you awake to a brand new day with the nagging of this surgery behind you. See- you already have a day of mending accounted for...soon you will be peddlin' away with the breezes of relief whipping through your body.

You are in my thoughts with smiles...BREATH
Amanda
Romel too!!