Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hurts So Good

This post will likely have nothing to do with India, Dharamsala, or anything Tibetan or Buddhist, but as promised, here's an update on the hernia surgery.

Jed and I got up at 5:00 am yesterday and headed for the surgical center, where I signed a mess of forms that said I had to be okay with dying during the operation. Then they took me back to change into a hospital robe and write "YES" with a permanent marker on the side of my body that they were supposed to operate on. I laid down and got prepped by the surgeon and anesthesiologist, and then the latter of the two wheeled me into the operation room. I talked with him for just a second, and the next thing I knew I was being woken up by a pretty young nurse.

It was funny to come out of this thing and realize I wasn't exactly conscious. I remember asking the nurse if the surgery went all right - she said yes - and then asking the same question again just a minute or two later. She said yes. I vaguely remembered already asking the question, and when I asked if I had she laughed and said I had. I asked my brother, who was in my recovery area with me, a couple of repeated questions as well.

Now I can't tell if it was really what I was thinking or if it was just the drugs, but I was really digging this nurse. A lot of it was that she was awfully confident and had what seemed like a pretty quick wit. I don't drink, so I'm not sure what the "drink 'em cute" phenomenon feels like, but this may have been the closest I've ever come to it. "Drink 'em clever." But then again, maybe not. I'm a pretty good judge of when my judgment's off, and besides, by the end of the whole ordeal I was pretty well back to normal. Anyway, I saw through the curtain around my recovery area that there was a whiteboard assigning the nurses to various patients, and that my nurse was named Breanna. Maybe I should think up an excuse to go back and talk to her again.

I can't tell you how many times Breanna repeated my post-operation instructions to me - when and how to take the drugs, how often to get up and walk around, etc. - but when I got to the pharmacy at BYU's Student Health Center I had to have my brother repeat it all to me a couple more times. I was really spacy.

My local anesthetic was still working, so Jed and I walked around the BYU Bookstore a while - he needed a sketchpad and we both wanted to look for this coming semester's textbooks. Then we picked up a couple of friends, Brooke (who was sick) and Brenda (who wasn't), and came back to my house to watch In Good Company. (The Weitz brothers put out some great stuff, I think, and a lot of it related to the process of becoming a man, which I dig.) Then a couple other friends, Molly from Portland and Beckie from Seattle, brought over Season 1 of Arrested Development on DVD. We watched it for the rest of the evening. I hadn't wasted time like that in a very long time, and while watching TV for 12 hours was painful, it hurt as badly as my groin when the anesthetic wore off.

I was supposed to take either one or two painkiller pills every four hours. I decided I was tough and that one would suffice. But at 4:00 this morning, when I got up to take a dose, I went to the bathroom and nearly wept, the incision hurt so badly. I decided that once I woke up for good this morning I would swallow some humble pie and take two pills at a time. Ouch.

Since then I've been feeling better. Jed has been over quite a bit to help out, I've been filling myself with Godiva ice cream and Fuji apples, and I think I'll be okay for the movie tomorrow night. Until then, I'll be doing some work and prepping myself for the next semester's advent. I'll tell you what I thought about the movie sometime tomorrow night or Friday. Maybe Saturday.

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