In Bad Humors

The wires in question.

Thanks to everyone who's visiting here during my time off the bike.

I hope you're finding some helpful (or at least entertaining) stuff in some of my previous posts.

I hope to be back on my bike soon.

On Friday, July 10, I spent the day in Prague's Motol hospital to have the stabilizing wires removed from the reconstructed AC joint in my left shoulder. You'll recall that I had reconstructive surgery on my shoulder at the end of May.

I thought it was going to be pretty routine, but my most recent visit ended up being one of the most sickening experiences of my life.

I was given three shots of local anesthesia in my shoulder while in my hospital room.

Then, I was wheeled into an operating theater in Motol just like my first surgery.

Then the surgeon basically reopened my old entrance wound to gain access to the wires.

At first, it didn't feel so bad. Pretty routine. I couldn't really feel anything. And my shoulder was blocked from my view, thankfully, by a large surgical blanket.

But then the pulling and tugging began.

It felt like the surgeon was trying to pull my entire skeleton through a keyhole using a pair of pliers.

It was more the feeling of what was happening rather than any searing pain.

I got very dizzy and almost passed out while he wrestled the wires out of my shoulder. I was breathing pretty hard. The whole thing took about 30 minutes or so -- a very long 30 minutes.

Both times I've been at Motol hospital for shoulder surgery, a nurse has come in and wrapped both of my legs in bandages just before going under the knife. I asked my surgeon why, and he laughed and said he didn't really know. Someone else told me it is to prevent thrombosis. I looked it up and it said "compression stockings" are often used. The bandages they put on me were wrapped pretty loosely, as you can see. Weird.

I related this story to a good friend of mine in the United States, who had shoulder surgery himself a few years back, and he was incredulous that I hadn't been given some sort of drugs to distract me while the removal of the wires occurred:

"Jesus, Grant, The doctors over there practice medicine as if it were the Middle Ages. Did they bleed you to get the bad humors out? I can understand not putting you under. Anesthesiologists have to be prepared to breathe for you if something goes hinky. But you should have been so loaded up with opiates that you'd have been cracking knock-knock jokes while they pulled out the wires. There's just no excuse for this."

All I can say is, I am glad that's over! Jeesh.

Now I'm in recovery mode again. I'll go through more physical therapy once the new stitches are removed in a week or so and I hope to be back on the bike next month, better than ever.

Thanks for hanging in there.


Anonymous said…
Hope you're good to ride soon. You've missed out a few really nice summer days this month :-/
mommy said…
Glad to hear that you are on the mend. I have been busy getting our youngest son off to a service academy and its been weeks since I have enjoyed your posts. But I have recruited a few good friends to ride in your honor-the quest to find a good beer! Drinking beer is nothing new here in Wisconsin but putting your bike on a rack to find a new source is new and for the summer at least, your good idea has caught on. I gave you all the credit for our new pursuits but locals in the pubs are more used to Harley helmets than bike helmets.
mkreider said…
Amazing story... I hope that things are getting much better for you!
Knock knock jokes. That guy is funny. I can never remember being conscious during surgury. Then again one of the drugs is an amnisiac. You should have at least gotten that.

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