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Monday, April 25, 2016

Step Three: Don't Follow the Light...

If you haven't read parts one and two, you might want to go back by clicking here.

Okay, no more trickery; this is the part where I see the brightness people often report during near-death experiences.  

They rolled me from the operating room to the post-op recovery area.  I knew at the time that I was still very much enjoying the affects of the night-night juice they gave me for sedation.  Though I was conscious, I felt like I had smoked a pound of weed (if that's what that feels like).  I've seen all these videos on YouTube of people saying and doing silly things after having their wisdom teeth removed, and it was my intent not to do anything stupid.

I was placed in a bed in post-op with my own nurse checking my vitals, keeping me company and chit-chatting as best I could.  I don't want to get too specific, but on the other side of the curtain was a woman I had seen in pre-op.  She was in the room next to me and what I figured out was that she had severe personality issues.  As my nurse would take my blood pressure and such, we would hear an outburst from this young lady, wanting more drugs, wanting to see the doctor, wanting her husband, and generally being crazy.

Some of the things she said were more than outlandish and to be honest, I was impressed with how the staff on the other side of the curtain tried to calm her down and stay positive.  There were several times when she said something extremely crazy and the nurse and I would look at each other and try to suppress our giggles.  She whispered to me, "This is so unprofessional of me, I shouldn't laugh."

"A new knee and free entertainment.  I love this place." We both laughed but admonished ourselves for such insensitivity.

I don't know how long I had been there but it probably wasn't long when I started to feel a little nauseous.  I said to my nurse, "I promise, I won't throw-up on you, but I seriously need to puke."

She quickly handed me a vomit bag and told me she could give me something for nausea.  She then asked me if I was feeling any dizziness.  

It hit about that quick.  I told her, "Yeah.  I'm about to pass out in Three, two, one..."

I'm not sure if I actually passed out or not, but the next thing I knew, there were about ten people standing around me and the commander I had seen before was yelling for someone to get the anesthesiologist.  This tall, very attractive nurse had come over and was holding my hand.  She looked like Callie from "Grey's Anatomy" and she had these big shiny bright teeth.  She was stroking my hand and telling me I was okay.

I know for a moment I saw the so-called bright light but in reality, I think I was staring at her teeth.  During my moments of bliss the anesthesiologist gave me something to reverse the problem and as quick as the crowd of people were standing around me, mostly all of them moved off to other patients.  The commander directed the anesthesiologist to stay with me until he knew I was okay.  The conversation was not pleasant at all and it was obvious that someone had screwed up somewhere.

In the mean time, the nurse on my left was explaining to me that they had given me too much Epidural and that it had gone above my waist and up to the level of my heart.  My pulse rate had dropped to 40 BPM, and apparently that can cause you to pass out.  The nurse on my right (Callie as our family now calls her) continued to hold my hand and smile, though by this point, I realized that I wasn't actually going to die, but I also didn't bother to inform her of this.  

My daughter has told me that any time an older guy prefaces a statement with "I don't mean to be creepy, but...", it is a good sign that he is being creepy.  Thank goodness nobody from YouTube was around to record me, but I did tell the commander that his nurse was beautiful and she had the most beautiful smile and it was so nice of her to hold my hand while I was dying.  He just looked at me and blinked several times and then told the nurse she could go home early.  Traumatized, I suspect.

After all the excitement was over, the anesthesiologist told me that whenever I woke up on the operating table, he must have added a bit extra and as a result, that was why I had the problem.  He was very apologetic and in fact, the following day, he came to my room and asked how I was doing and apologized again.  Honestly, I don't know how serious it really was, I mean, it seems like depending on a person's weight, body type etc., it would seem like a difficult thing to calculate the right dosage.  Either way, I don't have any bad feelings about it.

I really didn't have any concept of time, but I do know that I did not get into my room in recovery until close to 6 PM.  By then, the nursing staff was going through shift change and that led to a really uncomfortable stay overnight.  I'll tell you about that in the next part.  Also, as a way of luring you back, I'll show pictures of my actual knee and the hardware that was installed.  You'll have to bring your own barf bag. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad you survived Dave, but I have to admit you tell a scary story in a way that leaves me with a chuckle. Gallows humor. "...nice of her to hold my hand while I was dying." You can't make this stuff up!

    Be well, heal up and hang tough.

    - Steve

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