Thursday, January 21, 2016

Inside the Surgical "Suite"

I had surgery Tuesday to repair the ulnar nerve compression in my rt. arm,  This is Thursday and all seems to going quite well.  The half-cast; half dressing is beginning to itch faintly and I am hoping that is a sign of healing and not just an itchy bandage.

A nurse told me I was the only procedure that day and I thought. "Hardly worth turning on the lights."

Very often surgical prep starts with an injection of a drug called Versed which is a combo sedative-forgetter drug.  Since I have never been apprehensive prior to surgery, if given a veto, I'd use it.  I think the forgetter part is so that the surgeon can tell ribald jokes to the nurses and a patient like Sister Mary Patrick wouldn't rise up with a ruler and deal with them all.

The drug is administered in the pre-op room and the patient, now in la-la land, happy as a clam is wheeled into surgery.   I was that but also alert enough to now tell you what I saw.

"Suite" is a misnomer - the room is approx. 14x16 with a very narrow surgical table.  Fat people would make it look like it had drapes. 

The OR lights - two of them - are easily 3 ft. across.  I was interrupted in my examination and told to scootch from gurney to table.  Then a nurse came and put the world's largest blood pressure cuffs on my legs.  They stretched from ankle to just below the knee.  They're automatically inflated and deflated during surgery to discourage blood clots.  Most welcome was the warm blanket.  ORs are apparently also used by the kitchen to hang sides of beef.

I do have to  regress from cane to wheelchair as the sling puts me off-balance with the cane.  This, too, will pass.    

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