Hey, ya’all. How is everyone? Ready for the holidays? Yeah, me neither. But they’re coming whether we’re ready or not, so like I always say…hang on tight!
Okay, so this week I’m on a rant again about thing that make you go HUH? I had some elbow surgery earlier this week and it brought with it a real head-scratching moment. First, let me say that I have the utmost respect for doctors, nurses, and anyone who works in the health care industry. You guys are rock stars! But I always say that I’m a very intelligent woman with moments of incredible stupidity…well, I guess I’m not the only one.
So here’s what happened. When the doc and I talked about the surgery, I made it clear I had some book deadlines and that I couldn’t afford to be laid up. He assured me that whether they did this surgery laparoscopically or they had to cut open the elbow, either way I would probably be typing again by that night or the next day. Ohkay…I’m trusting my doc ‘cuz he’s a real smart guy.
Surgery day comes on Monday and I am real nice to everyone. They are thrilled to have me there. We are cutting up and having a great time. (I believe in being nice to people who hold your life in their hands. Just sayin…) Anyway, we are all besties and everything is going great. So I go to sleep like a good girl and the doc works his magic. All is well.
Time comes to wake up and I open my eyes and the nice nurse is there telling me I did great, but they had to cut into the elbow, so it’s a bigger incision than expected. No problem…the doc assured me either way was no big deal. So I lift my arm and it won’t move. HUH? I squint and stare at my arm, which is in a half cast from above my elbow all the way to my fingers. WTF? Is this what you call a workable solution? Who did this? I never should have gone to sleep. It was like those pictures where you fall asleep at a Frat party and wake up with a penis drawn on your face!
I am freaking out inside. I say nothing to my caretakers because I can see they are trying to take really good care of me. I know I have a follow-up appointment the next day, so I’ll have a chat with the doc then and get him to cut about 12 inches off this freaking cast! So I talk myself off the ledge and later that night I confirm that I cannot type…can’t even reach the keyboard unless I stick my elbow in the air and dangle my fingers over the top of the keyboard. In fact, I soon realize I can’t brush my teeth, can’t get a spoon to my mouth, nor can I wipe my butt! This is my right arm, and I am right-handed. We have a crisis of MAJOR proportions. I text my friend Patti and tell her if the doc won’t take the stupid cast off tomorrow, I’m coming over and she’s going to help me take this sucker off and saw it down to a more workable size. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why I have this stupid cast on my arm—that was NOT the deal I made with the doctor!!!
Next day I show up at the doc’s office and they’re really surprised. Turns out the appointment I have is left over from the first surgery date that they rescheduled…but they forgot to reschedule the follow-up. So they tell me to come back in two weeks. I say, “Oh no, you have to take this cast off today. I’m here and I need it off. No one ever mentioned it, I have to work, it has to come off.”
Uh….we’ll check with the doctor.
I’m about to hyperventilate when they come back and say I can talk to his PA. Okay, now I’m ready to do battle. No more Ms. Nice Guy. I go back and without any questions, they just start cutting the darn thing off. Oh-kay. I can work with this. So off comes the cast. I ask the PA what the purpose was for that stupid cast anyway, and I swear to God, my hand over my heart, her answer is that it was the only way they could think to keep the wrapping on the elbow. Apparently, it’s hard to keep a wrap on an elbow…and apparently they don’t think I’m capable of rewrapping it. So the solution is to freeze my arm at a 90 degree angle with a half-cast so I can’t type, can’t eat with a spoon, can’t brush my teeth, can’t wipe? She looks at me and serious as a heart attack, this PA who is one-third my age asks, “Do you think you can rewrap it if it comes off?”
I stare at her for a moment and say, “Uh, yeah. I can rewrap it.” While inside my mind is shrieking, “I’m a grown-ass woman! What kind of idiots are you used to working with?” She gives me a look that says she is doubtful I can manage to do it, but she shrugs and is going to let the stupid girl go home with an arm that is only wrapped…and which, apparently, won’t stay wrapped.
It was like being in the twilight zone, so as soon as the door opened, I got the hell outta there like my ass was on fire! I texted my friend Patti and told her the cast was off, so she could pack away the saw. She responded asking why they had put it on in the first place if they were willing to just take it off 24 hours later. I explained the reasoning, and her response was, “Do they think you’re a kid?”
So today is a much better day. I was able to type up this blog, I have rewrapped my arm twice with no problem, I brushed my teeth this morning without getting toothpaste from my nose to my chest, and I am delighted to report that I can now wipe my own butt! Life is Good!
And while I’m at it, I want to send out a special I Love You and a HUGE Thank You to my buddy Bev Petrone. She stepped in at the last minute to drive me, pick up my meds (and a box of donuts and a bag of Fritos), and even stayed the night with me to make sure I didn’t commit hara-kiri over the cast they sneakily put on my arm while I was sleeping. Friends don’t come any better than that!
That’s my story, weird and wacky, and I’m stickin’ to it. So, hang on tight now, ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!