Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Joys of Hand Surgery (10/18/05)

So I had hand surgery on Wednesday. No big deal; there was just a little cyst that had to be removed. They gave me a local anesthetic and did not put up a screen. Now let me tell you something about local anesthesia: While there’s no pain, you can still feel everything. I felt him make the cut; then the nurse-who was new, by the way, held my skin open with these metal hooky things and I could feel her pulling my skin apart. I could totally feel him using the scalpel to cut off the cyst and poke around in there, and I was really freaking out that the anesthesia was going to wear off.

Then when he was finally done, he says, “Would you like to see the cyst?” Idiot me says yes. Sometimes I make really bad decisions. There on the end of the clamps was this milky sac hanging from a piece of my tendon he’d cut off with like bloody capillaries or something too. Totally gross. And you’d think that was the end of it but no! Since Nursey was new, he decided to use my open wound as educational fun for her. “That there’s her tendon! Watch what happens when I bend her finger!” And Nursey says, “Oh cool!” And I’m thinking, Jesus Christ! Just close the damn thing up and let me out of here before I lose it and puke or pass out or both! So when he finally finishes playing with my middle finger, I counted 1, 2, 3 insertions of the needle as he sewed me back up and I had to sit in the room for a long time after before I could think about walking out without fainting.

So that evening, I had to have someone drive me to class since I was all loopy on the pain meds. Class was Econ, which really I’m really bad at, and we had group discussions which we had to present to the class. Since I am normally very outspoken in class, my group nominated me to present. I pointed out that I was currently high but they thought that was okay; they were set on making me the sacrificial lamb. So I did it. I really did okay for most of the presentation but then during Q & A, I got about halfway through an answer and without a breath, continued, “and I had my hand operated on and it hurts and I can’t remember what I was going to say.” Which, apparently, in combination with the completely lost, Where-Am-I-What’s-Going-On expression, was completely hilarious to the class, so much so that Professor Bob later made the comment, “Oh, I forgot what I was going to say, my hand is hurting too!” Nice, Bob-o! Make fun of the students. (Though I must admit, I did laugh at that too.)

The next few days were taken up with trying to find people to look at my wound. I feel that if I must carry around something that gross, then as many other people as possible should be subjected to it as well. Surprisingly, not so many people are interested in seeing a disgusting open wound with ugly black stitches holding the skin together, but the few people that I found to look at it did make me feel quite self-fulfilled with their responses. Whether they were repulsed or not, at least other people had to share the vision. Plus the bandage gets great sympathy attention.

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