By Walt Whitman 1819–1892 Walt Whitman
Kindness was in the air today.
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If you read my blog regularly, you are aware that I was scheduled for right wrist surgery. To decrease my exposure to anesthetics, I elected to have this cyst removed with only a local anesthetic.
I’ve been under general anesthesia 14 times since 2009. Each time, it appears to take longer for the anesthesia to get out of my system and it also takes longer my body to recover. My responses are slower after each surgery. I have tried everything I can think of to flush the medication from my system, but I can tell I’m less responsive, each time, for a longer period of time.
Trying a local this time was an experience. Dr. P. Is a very nice man and excellent physician, as I found out during this surgery, quite a comedian.
He numbed my hand prior to surgery. My hand looked like half of a pear with all of that Lidocaine injected into it. Dr. P. stated, “prepare to feel your finger nails go numb. See you in there soon.” and walked out of the room.
A few moments later, I was wheeled into the surgical suite and placed on the table. The staff prepared me for surgery. The nurse stuck my right arm into a giant sock and then through a hole in the drape. They used some kind of belt to strap my arm to an extension on the table. I guess they were making sure I could not pop Dr. P. in the chin, while he worked on that wrist.
After they had the strap in place, they let me know what was about to happen. After they get the drape in place, the plan was to cut the sock away and to clean my right arm for the operation. When they completed that task, the doctor would be in to start.
Dr. P. entered the suite. The comedy started the minute he walked in.
“This is the right arm amputation, isn’t it?” He said as he peeked under the drape, and asked me, ” Did they ask what you want for lunch? They will be serving in about 20 minutes. Can’t let the staff get hungry, can I?” He giggled and walked over to my right arm to get started.
They started the procedure. About 20 minutes into the operation, I hear Dr. P. say loudly, “What the?” and then total silence. My question was of course, “What what?” He told me not to worry, “just a little blood”. He continued with the operation.
At a certain point in the procedure, he picked my right hand up and had me bend my fingers. The purpose was to test his handy work. When I bent my fingers, something popped. Dr. P. peeked in the drape and stated, “you are strong. I’ve got to redo it, might take a sec.”
I dozed off for a bit and was suddenly awake at another “WHAT?” I asked what was wrong, and he started trying to get me to let him take the drape down to watch. He said I was so full of questions, he said I should watch. As a nurse, it takes a lot to make my stomach turn. But I have never been able to watch a doctor work on my body. I have passed out cold watching a procedure on myself. My saving grace was I couldn’t see without my glssses, so he left me alone.
When finished, the drape was removed, a hard splint was applied to my wrist and I was finally discharged. A procedure scheduled to take 30 minutes, took 3 hours. At least he kept it interesting. I’m not sure how I feel about another local anesthetic. My wrist is healing well. I get my cast tomorrow. I think I’ll get hot pink. Might be a good color to wear into chemo.