2001/03/23

This time, I'm writing while I'm awake enough to do so. Jessie's out cold in the cot next to the bed, and I have no idea how much longer I'm going to be awake. I hate being up at such an odd hour, even on vacation, but this time
I think I've earned it, at least in part.

As expected, the orderlies arrived this morning at nine o'clock, and after much last-minute fiddling I was on the gurney and headed to OR reasonably on time. When I arrived, I got to watch two of the nurses picking the hairs out of my scrotal skin with scalpels while the rest of the staff got me positioned up onto the bed. The anaesthesiologist came in, opened up the tube at my shoulder and begin administering the epidural drip, just like last time.

Then the fun and games began. The nurses realized that, in their initial positioning, I was too high up on the bed for them to be able to get my legs into the stirrups, and so they started trying to shift me down further onto the OR bed to make room. Because of my size and unhelped by the fact that I was already losing control of my legs, they simply hefted and tugged me down the length of the bed. Shortly thereafter, a loud crash brought all motion in the OR to a stop. The epidural needle attachment at my shoulder had fallen to the floor and broken. My epidural was stopped. 

The anaesthesiologist came into the room, took one look at the situation, facepalmed and begin measuring out backup dosages. Mostly not awake still because of the hour and the drugs already in my system, I didn't say anything to him at first, and I guess everyone must've thought they had some time to get started, so they did. Then I shifted my leg once, and then the other. For those of you who've ever had an epidural, or any kind of proper anaesthetic, being able to move your own limbs is a Bad Sign, because it means the nerves there aren't asleep. Since I was able to move my legs, this meant I would feel it when they began trying to do anything to me. I attempted to convey this much, but the OR nursing staff was by now too stressed to pay attention to the patient babbling in some incomprehensible foreign language, and I don't speak a word of Thai, so there was no way for me to get my questions answered.

The first time the suture needle pricked me and I felt it, I hissed. The second time I did it again and they asked me if I was in pain. I said, "A little" and they began hurriedly talking amongst themselves, and then the anaesthesioloist put something into my IV line. By the time it occured to me that it was more anaesthetic, I was unconscious.

Unfortunately, apparently nobody told Jessie that this had happened, and so when they brought me out of surgery, instead of leaving in ICU to recover like last time, they wheeled me back into the hospital room so that Jessie could get the full effect of seeing someone waking up from a drug-induced sleep, including the shakes and the mostly-incoherent babbling of someone complaining about being too cold. Needless to say, my mate was not very happy about this. When I did finally regain consciousness—around 17h—and explained what had happened, zie calmed down a lot, but we were still both rather upset over what had occured.

At least the only thing I really have left is one packing change. I don't even have the vacuum tube any more, just the catheter. Hopefully by next Tuesday the surgeon will change my packing, and then by next Friday I should
be able to start looking at return flights.

I'm glad I came here, but I'm getting more eager to go home every day.

1 comment:

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