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Apparently there are rules in surgery

I am going under the arthroscope on Tuesday.  Which isn’t nearly as exciting as saying that I’m going under the knife.  But I’m every bit as nervous.

For the last 3 weeks I’ve been thinking of the pending date as simply a spa day, in which I will receive a much deserved nap. Because avoidance is my best coping skill. I was deluding myself because over the weekend I actually got out the pre and post surgical rules and regulations that my orthopedic surgeon generously supplied to me.

Y’all know how much I enjoy reading directions.

The list includes mostly a list of DON’TS, all in bold.  I really don’t care for people telling me what to do.  And especially what NOT to do.  It’s a basic rebellion issue.

But I prefer to think of myself as SASSY.

Anyhoo.  I have a few questions that I will need to pose in order to clarify the rules given me.

Pre-Surgical Instructions:

1.  Do NOT eat or drink ANYTHING after midnight the night before surgery.

Q: Does this include coffee?  Because if it does, y’all had better schedule my surgery for 6 am.  Because the not eating anything is bad enough, but you take away my morning caffeine, and someone may get hurt should surgery not occur IMMEDIATELY.

2.  Please leave all valuables and jewelry at home.

Q: Does this include my iPhone?  Because playing a round or 17 of iPhone Scrabble will take my mind off of my woes.  And the fact that you people will be CUTTING me with SHARP things and then there’s that NEEDLE issue for the I.V. and…I just made myself throw up a little.

3. (This is my personal favorite) Patients are responsible for removing all their body piercings before the date of surgery.

No Q: This law does not apply to me.  Since I’ve only endured one piercing in my life.  And that was in my earlobes.  One hole per lobe, thankyouverymuch.  I cannot fathom how anyone can willingly have a hole punched into, say, a tongue, nose, belly button, or wherever the heck else people get piercings.

This would be where I launch into, “Back when I was a girl…”  Thusly firmly establishing that I am really 90.

4.  Do NOT wear any makeup.

Q: Why? It’s not that I’m vain.  Really.  It’s just that makeup makes me feel a little better.  And if you’re going to take away my breakfast and coffee, at least I can look good.  For the mug shot.  Just in case I accidentally become violent.

5.  Wear loose, comfortable clothing (including underwear) that will fit over whatever type of dressing you will have.  This is especially important if having “knee surgery”.

Q: Why do I need to remove my underwear AT ALL?  It’s not like you’re operating on  my hoohoo, and frankly, I think the drafty hospital gown will be humiliating enough.  What happens when I need to get up and go to the bathroom.  AND YOU KNOW I WILL.  Have you seen me try to walk?  I cannot hold the drafty hospital gown closed AND walk on my crutches.  This is really for the sake of anyone near me WITH EYESIGHT. I don’t want to hear a fellow patient scream out in pain, MY EYES, MY EYES.

And by “loose and comfortable”, you might as well say it.  Granny Panties.

Since I have underwear dating back to the Carter administration, and void of elastic, I might be all set for Rule #5.  But I’m not happy about it.

Post Surgery Instructions:

1.  You should plan to go home and rest for the remainder of the day.  You will be given medications that will temporarily impair your judgment and reflexes.

No Q: This is not unlike when I am celebrating my menses!

Therefore, for the next 24 hours:

•  Do NOT drive a car, operate heavy machinery or operate power tools.

Q: Does heavy machinery include MY BLENDER?  BECAUSE I WILL BE NEEDING MY BLENDER.  And by power tools, will my electric toothbrush be contraband?

•  Do NOT drink any alcoholic beverages, take tranquilizers, or sleeping pills.

No Q: Crappity crap crap.  I rescind the blender question.

•  Do NOT make critical decisions such as signing legal documents.

No Q: Yer preaching’ to the choir on this one.  Tell it to the children, as they may attempt to have the “no pet clause” revoked.

2.  You may resume your diet as tolerated.

Q: Is there a Starbucks with a drive-thru close to the surgical office?

3.  For your safety and protection, it is required that you have a responsible caregiver with you for 24 hours after your procedure.

Q: I am so screwed.  Seriously.  My family has had to put up with me whining, complaining, and generally making everyone miserable for the last 2 months or so.  I fear they will use this opportunity to mess with me.  Because that’s how we roll around here.

Can’t I just stay there?  Close to the anesthesia?

And by the way, is it really necessary that I begin torture physical therapy THE DAY AFTER SURGERY?  Seriously.  What kind of day spa is this?

Who does not make for a very pleasant patient.

20 Responses to Apparently there are rules in surgery

  • Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Oh, and this post was HYSTERICAL. On the plus side, just think of all the blog material you’ll gain from this surgical experience.
    Happy healing,

  • I would ask your doctor if you could have crackers handy after surgery. I don’t know why doctors / nurses don’t think of this, but after going so long without food too many are bound to throw up shortly after waking. (Which isn’t pleasant AT ALL.) A couple of slowly eaten crackers could help OH-SO-MUCH.

  • Hope you have an easy day of it, and heal quickly!

  • I had a small cup of coffee before surgery once and assumed they’d never know. My husband busted me to the nurses … I thought they were going to send me home they were so upset with me. Definitely wouldn’t advise that one, lol.

    Good luck tomorrow. Won’t be long and you’ll be putting those crutches in the closet with the walker. 🙂

  • Okay, so this cracked me up and was oh so appropriate. Last week, I had the pleasure of undergoing surgery to fix a detached retina. The good news was that in the span of one day, I was at the eye doctor, then the retina specialist, then having my pre-op for surgery early the next day so I had no time to freak out. But my instructions were exactly the same and ticked me off at well. I was a horrible patient, I implied to the iv lady that it was just a stupid career choice, I argued with the nurse about wearing no panties—it is an EYE surgery, and I became belligerent with the post op people who thought that ice chips were an adequate substitute for water. And to top it off, I demanded more morphine and when the doctor sent me on my way way too early in my opinion and told me that tylenol would work for the pain I demanded something stronger. He relinquished and I got loritab. Which I never took, but I was comforted by their presence. Anyhoo, I tell you all this because I am normally a happy, positive, optimistic and overly polite person. You can be expected to behave rationally when someone is about to cut open a much used body part. Just saying.
    You are my people. I fear that all of my repressed anger could be unwittingly unleashed upon someone with ties to a bedpan. Just sayin’.

    And if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. IT’S SUCH A RELIEF TO KNOW THAT I’M NOT ALONE!


  • I’ll be praying for you…and the hospital staff! Heaven help them if there are any of the typical delays in getting you in and out….I know the effects of caffine deprevation and its not pretty.

  • I meant you can NOT be expected to behave ratinally. And I forgot to tell you that I threw up in the drive through line at Walgreens waiting for the loritab prescription to be filled?

  • I’m laughing with you, not at you, truly. 🙂 I hope and pray it all goes well, and I look forward to the debrief (tee hee) later in the week!

  • Praying that all goes smoothly for you tomorrow, DeeDee. Your list cracked me up.

  • Best of luck tomorrow. I’ll say a prayer. By the way, they wouldn’t give me coffee, but when I went in for same day surgery, I did get cookies and juice afterwards. It was better than nothing. Also, they say no makeup so they can tell if your color is changing, at least that’s what they told me. ( I wore the makeup, somethings are better not unmasked).

  • You never fail to make me laugh. This is the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

    Good luck with the surgery.

  • My dd had surgery a few years ago..very minor.. and they did NOT make her take off her dainties.. or her clothes for that matter. Maybe the grown up surgery places should take a cue from the kiddie places.

    Look at it this way.. a whole different genre of blog fodder. If the drs and nurses only knew….

    Hope all goes well tomorrow!

  • Hahahaha! I can laugh because I had my own bout with those very SAME rules last week. Of course, they were doing only the good Lord knows what to my sinuses while I was out. I was obedient (because unlike you I’ve been cursed to be a rule-follower- aka. I’m a chicken) and did what they said. It was rough, but you’ll make it through ok! I pray you have a speedy recovery, and that your family is MUCH nicer to you, than mine was to me. “What? There’s no dinner? What surgery? We were in school/at work all day. Oh, that was TODAY? ” Seriously.

  • Oh DeeDee! I’ve laughed all the way through your post (and feel slightly guilty because I don’t have the redemption of a surgery of my own to claim). I also LOVED the comments! Too funny!

    Oh no. Now I’m going to have horrific surgery in my near future as payback. You see any wood nearby that I can knock on?

    Hope all goes well for you!

  • OK I can totally relate. Also I can tell you DO NOT CHEW GUM. I delayed my bunion surgery by hours because I had one little measly stick of gum (I had a stinky breath after not eating or drinking all morning and thought I was following the rules by not having a breath mint) and they FREAKED out. I mean, it’s NOT FOOD OR DRINK, right????

    And I too for the life of me cannot understand WHY I couldn’t wear panties under the gown when they were cutting open my foot.

    I don’t make a good patient, either.

    Have a good surgery and try to get some good pain pills. We’ll be waiting to hear how it goes and praying for success. 🙂

  • Good Luck! If you want a scrabble buddy, I’m beckyb0326!

  • Perhaps they will let you keep your dainties during the surgery (unless you need a catheter during the anesthesia.)

    Is it possible they are thinking about you trying to take them off (over your slightly larger knee) when you return home?

  • Good luck! I think I should’ve enjoyed my medical procedures more. I was having a biopsy one time and I had to be there about lunchtime (I prefer a very late morning appt, might as well sleep in!) and I thought I was doing pretty well then the dr couldn’t see anything and could I wait please. Meanwhile, I get to hear all of the nurses talking about lunch and smell people eating lunch. Then they want to look at labs and blah blah blah, let’s try again, oh no could you please drink this “it looks like mtn dew but it’s not” cleans out your system drink (meanwhile you get to use the hospital toilet paper, isn’t there a Charmin machine around here somewhere???). Then calling the babysitter (wonderful lady from church), no we’re not done yet, not sure, thank you so much for watching our children. See, perfect day away from my kids and I didn’t enjoy it at all! More tests, consult with surgeon, long delays, boring day at the hospital when it should’ve been over hours ago. But I got to go out to dinner too! 🙂 Hopefully, your husband will remember that Carrabbas is on speed dial!

  • Been praying for you! By now I hope your’re happily on the meds. Be nice to your PT tomorrow!

  • Glad to see your Tweet that you’re alive and, well, maybe not kickin’, but Tweetin’! Hope you’re propped up relaxing with coffee in one hand and your iPhone in the other.