After 60 years on the planet, the law of averages caught up with me recently, and I entered the wonderful world of health care.
I went in to have a routine physical, with the hopes of getting some arthritis relief. I came out with a double hernia, slightly high PSA levels and moderately high blood pressure. Just to clarify, I actually went in with those maladies; they weren’t the result of the physical.
Spoiler alert: everything turned out fine. But it was quite an interesting journey.
As I said, I’ve been blessed that—apart from a couple of visits to Urgent Care for a broken toe and a needle in the heel—I’ve been pretty healthy. So surgery and anesthetic was all new to me.
Now, I’m not one to seek out being sliced open. But I decided to approach it with curiosity.
My surgeon—Dr. Joel Friedman—was great. If you find yourself in need of a General Surgeon, he’s your guy. He took the time to explain everything he was going to do and what I could expect. He answered all my questions and approached the entire visit with good humor. I left confident, and armed with lots of reading material, including a very nice picture book which could have been titled “You and Your Hernia”.
Surgery Day arrived at last. Here are some of the highlights:
- Pre-Op was fabulous. I was under the care of the amazing Dana, the pre-op nurse, who had the same cheerful attitude as my surgeon. I got a really comfy gown and nifty socks (no-slip tread on both top and bottom!), and settled into a most comfortable chair.
- Upon being wheeled into the OR, I slid over onto the operating table, and remember thinking it seemed kind of small. And that’s the last thing I remembered until waking up in Post-Op.
- Under the fine care of nurses Erin and Mary, I felt was if I had awakened from a very restful sleep. I got a cold beverage and Lorna Doones. I will never again question the healing power of Nabisco. Eventually I was brought some beef broth. Now, ordinarily, that’s not high on my list of favorite foods. But nothing ever tasted better. Go figure.
- I was given Percocet for the pain, and used it for 4 days. Frankly, it didn’t give me a wild high, so I don’t think I’ll ever be hooked on it.
I laid low for a couple of weeks as the healing process ran its course. I had my Post-Op visit with Dr. Friedman this week, and all is going according to plan. With some prompting, I got his to agree that this was the pinnacle of his surgical career. At least, that’s how I remember it.
Many, many thanks to all the wonderful folks at Park Nicollet and Methodist Hospital. They have the patient care experience down pat. Including a very nice card signed by all the nurses.
Now then, let’s see what we can do about this pesky arthritis…
Today’s Fact Cetera
The original Band-Aids were 2-1/2 inches wide…and 18 inches long.