Monday, December 22, 2008

Time to see the Butcher


Well folks it looks like the surgeon's are getting a bit impatient. You know how it is with people like that. Shiny new knives and nothing to cut.
They'll be throwing me on the table at 7AM tuesday morning. I don't know why it has to be so early. Personally I don't want to be worked on until the doc's had his coffee and cleared his eyes, but I guess they have other ideas.
Beside the lingering fear of my own mortality, the biggest hurdle I've got to overcome is calming my folks. This is a routine surgery (aren't they all) but still there is always the danger of bleeding out as the initial incisions come pretty close to the femoral artery. Anyone who knows about triage from a brawl or knife fight knows that the femoral artery, once knicked, retracts up against the bone of the pelvis, making it really tough to clamp, even in surgical conditions. With my mother being an RN for almost 20 years she knows most of that better than I do, making it all the more difficult to console her that everything will be OK. Even if the surgery goes well, the chances are high that I'm facing some form of cancer, though testicular cancer is the most easily treated form of cancer there is, which is a small mercy.
Being self employed means I've got no health insurance. The only reason I'm being treated at all is because of a charity organization set up in my county, which happens to be one of the wealthiest in the state. Thank God for retirees from up North. (never thought I'd say that before)
Another big concern involves my track record with anesthesia. I'm incredibly resistant to anything which puts me under. I've had 3 gastroinestinal exploratory procedures and one oral surgery over the years. Each time I woke up in the middle of surgery and began speaking to the surgeons, who wigged out of course. Each time in post-op they would inform me that it took enough medications to drop an elephant to keep me under.
I think my most amusing experience was my oral surgery, which required they drill into my upper palate to get at the canine teeth which wouldn't drop on their own. They gave me a nitrous oxide mask to breath into and told me to count backward from 100. By the time I reached 50 the nurse was crossing herself in disbelief and the surgeon muttered "holy shit" to himself. It did nothing, though one of the nurses was promptly knocked out the moment she took a breath from the mask to see if the tank feed was working properly. After waiting for more than 10 minutes, breathing from the mask, the doctor had me hooked up to an IV and gave me a dose of something else, which finally did the trick. It wasn't so funny when I was charged extra for the use of more medications.
In any case, don't expect me to post for the next few days as the recovery process will take some time. Wish me luck.

3 comments:

Joilene said...

Me again. Well, I typed a comment that said exactly what I wanted, then hit the wrong button, and lost it, so here's the short version:
My prayers are with you, as always, and I hope they're doing more good than they appear to be. I'll especially keep the "going under" issue in mind, tomorrow.

Also, thanks for writing and being "real"...that's a rare skill, especially in combination with writing.

I guess I'll re-write the rest another time, as I've got to go now...gifts to bag, a bathroom to clean, kids to feed, some lost files to get back from my computer...

Still, I'm glad to know how to pray for you better.

It's an adventure getting to know you.

Joilene said...

Merry Christmas, John. I hope everything went well with the surgery, and I'm praying for a quick physical recovery for you. Hang in there.

I'm wishing I could do something for you, really, but miles make that a vain hope today. So I'll keep praying.

Christa said...

Hoping all went better than expected. Merry Christmas