Friday, May 14, 2010

hello world!

Yesterday was busy, busy, busy. Kevin was instructed to report to the hospital admissions desk at 10:30 am. From there, we proceeded to the ambulatory surgery unit, where we've each logged some time - that's where Kevin had his shoulder surgery two summers ago, and where I (*cough*) enjoyed my first colonoscopy a year and a half ago. Kevin had his own little private room where we ensconced ourselves for the duration.

First order of business: the attractive hospital gown. Check!
No: there are no pictures.

Second order of business: the removal of jewelry. Check!
I held on to his wedding ring and earring.

Third order of business: the IV. Check!
That part actually went super-well. Kevin's body typically sneers at incoming needles and seals itself off. Two years ago - for the shoulder surgery - it took three people and 45 minutes for them to get an IV started. For the past week or so, I'd been giving Kevin lots of Reiki and having quiet conversations with his innards to prepare for the surgery. (No, I'm not kidding.) In one of these conversations, I told his veins what the IV was for and how important it was, and asked if they'd consider helping out. I also think the nurse's decision to use a numbing agent probably helped, too. It's hard for a vein to mount the Intruder Alert alarm when the first line of defense - the nerves in your skin - have been knocked out. At any rate, we were off to a good start.

Fourth order of business: sit around for an hour and a half. Check!
Various people came in and asked Kevin who he was, when his birthday is, what allergies he has, and which knee was to have work done on it. In between times, he dozed, and I read.

Then a teenager - I mean, the anesthesiologist - came in, and explained some options. Kevin went with "local-with-sedation" (as opposed to "general"), when he learned that this would put him enough under the waves that he would have no awareness or memory of the procedure. (Which was his goal.) I was relieved with this decision, since two years ago, when he had general anesthesia, it took him about eight hours or so to wake up enough to go home, which was about four times longer than they'd told us he'd need.

Then The Surgeon - All Hail The Surgeon! - came in, and literally signed his knee with a magic marker. That was the All-Clear: in came the enormous gurney. In came people with hairnets. They administered Versed through the IV. This is a form of Valium, and one of its side effects is it makes you goofy and unable to form memories. I took advantage of this and made funny faces at Kevin while the hairnet folks looked around for an IV stand. And then off he went...down the hall...through the No Admittance double doors...gulp.

Before I knew it, All Hail the Surgeon was looking for me with a sheaf of photographs in his hand. All went well. This is his kneecap, beautiful kneecap, here's the meniscal tear, here's where I trimmed it, no arthritis, blah blah blah, technical term, you can see his ACL right here, blah blah blah, see you in a week. WHEW!

I scooted back to our little private room just as they wheeled him in....Fast...Asleep... They'd said, in a half hour he'll be ready to go home. But, Kevin's a Brennan through and through, and true to form, he held on to the sacred duty of sleeping for as long as possible. Two hours later, he was awake enough to make the journey out to the car, via wheelchair.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig. We got him situated on the couch with his knee elevated, and he's on a hat trick regimen of aspirin (to prevent blood clots), advil (to mitigate swelling) and tylenol with codeine (for pain relief). And thus it shall be for a few days. They gave him a really cool neoprene knee wrap with pouches for frozen gel packs - awesome surgery swag! He's on my laptop on the couch, and I'm sitting at his desk, using his computer.

Wow, yet more flowers! More Solomon's Seal! Yes, that's definitely a baneberry and it has NOT flowered yet...all kinds of garlic mustard (really! that's its name!). I'll have a more photogenic post soon, I promise.

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