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09:35 pm: Arth – arith – arrr – surgery

Surgery went well today, so far as we can tell.

In summary, I highly recommended:

* New England Surgicare.
* Dr. Andrew Chapman

I do not recommend needing surgery … but if you gotta … this is the way to fly.

I was “NPO” (nothing by mouth) starting at midnight last night. The only cause for concern there was my raging coffee addiction … which usually smacks me with a savage headache around 11am. However, redmed enforced a “nothing means nothing” policy with the wily gambit of “you should call your doctor and ask.” Pride won out over fear, and I went without.

We got to New England Surgicare around 8:30, and I was processed with speed, efficiency, and respect. It was stunningly good. Seriously, I would recommend that facility to anyone, for any-thing. For all that we all hate the medical establishment and all its incompetent glory … I figure it’s important to give a shout out to a place that got it right.

* Everyone was friendly, yet professional … down to the nice lady who shaved my knee.
* The staff knew what was going on with me. Every point in the chain was a personal handoff – “this is Dr. such-and-so. He’ll be your anesthesiologist today. See you in there!”

* Crap ran on time. My surgery was scheduled for 10am, and I think I lay down on the bed at about 10:03.

* Word had been passed to the recovery room about my coffee fixation – and coffee was available when I regained consciousness. Seriously. I had made some quip about the coffee thing at some point during intake … and they remembered.

* The nurse in charge of such things asked if I had kids. When I said ‘no,’ she said ‘okay, no need for a sympathy crutch then.’ Like, how nice is that? The idea that yeah, of course the kids will want a crutch if dad’s using them.

Brief digression to note that redmed apparently knows every anesthesiologist in Boston. ‘Don’t I know you?’ he said while they were shaking hands. Yeah. They’re all one big happy family.

So yeah, I stripped down and donned the gown. They gave me a nice recliner to sit in while they shaved my knee. The surgeon came in and reviewed the consent form and then wrote on my surgical knee to verify that we were all talking about the same limb. The anesthesia doc went over anesthesia. They walked me back into the room, and we’re all chatting and laughing. They helped me out of the “front” gown, leaving only the “back” one. I lay down on the bed, and the anesthesiologist started the medication. I remember putting on the oxygen mask.

Next thing I know, I’m waking up in a curtained off corner of a recovery room, leaned back in a recliner. I had the “front” gown back on. My leg is wrapped and bundled. All is well. They brought first water and crackers, and then Jen and coffee …

… and a rose …

Apparently all patients at this place receive a rose when they wake up. Gotta tell you – it’s a nice touch.

Anyway: Gory details – I got the “trim” rather than the “repair.” There were flaps hanging out into the joint, and rough edges all around. I have pictures of the “before” and “after.” This means that I have less meniscus cushioning in my knee … but also that I get the “short” recovery. Basically, I’m on crutches through the weekend “as needed for pain.” They want me moving as soon as possible to encourage the joint to stay loose.

Pain is totally manageable. While I have access to The Good Stuff, I actually have no inclination to use it. Frankly, it hurts less than when I injured it. I tweak my back worse than this on a regular basis. Given that – I see no reason to screw with (a) addiction (b) tolerance (c) constipation.

And with that, I plan to return to my comfy seat in front of the TV.

Originally published at chris.dwan.org. You can comment here or there.

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