Bet you thought I was talking about cuts, wounds, operations or such. Well I am in a way, but it's really the scars to my poor, sometimes demented, psyche I am speaking about right now. This one, (my fear of having strange things done to me while in a comatose state)in particular, resulted from having some pins, plates, and screws removed from my left ankle and lower leg bone.
It was a Winter similar to the one we're all enjoying this year. Walking across the parking lot at work today reminded me, not only of a huge ice skating rink, but of the day I broke that ankle and leg bone circa Dec '83. Slowly inching forward on a flat, ice covered driveway, that morning, I suddenly found myself on the ground, not knowing how I got there. My friend, Bob, was with me and I said to him, as I pulled myself up to a half-sitting position, "I think I hurt my ankle." "Hurt your ankle!, It sounded like three shots from a rifle before you hit the pavement!" he said, as he hurried to me, picked me up into his arms, placed me in the car, then for St. Alphonsis emergency room. Before he got me into that car, the pain started screaming at me and my ankle looked like it had a terrible case of mumps...in three or four places. Apparently, my left foot had stepped on a completely dry spot while the rest of me slid in a spiralling dance to the waiting earth.
At the emergency room, I was informed that I had broken my ankle in several places on both sides. In addition, the twisting turn had given me a spiral break in my lower leg, above the ankle. It was the most terrible pain I have ever endured. Childbirth was a piece of cake in comparison. I was admitted to the hospital and had to wait almost two days for the swelling to go down before the Orthopedic Doctor could set and cast the breaks, in the operating room. Then, four more days in the hospital to watch for swelling and to learn to walk on crutches for the next few months.
I'd never had a broken bone and didn't know the pain I was suffering at home for the next week was not normal. As it turned out, rather than mending, the bones were spreading, causing that pain, as my leg swelled tighter and tighter inside the cast.
When I returned to the doctor for my first exam, he was horrified at what was happening, and apologized over and over for the pain he knew I had suffered day and night for that week. Within a few short hours, I was back in the operating room having a whole lot of very expensive hardware placed in and on my bones to put them back together again. (I was luckier than Humptey Dumptey) Thirteen screws, two plates, and 12 pins........I was a walking (well, not quite walking) Fort Knox! Titanium is worth a lot you know. Another week in the hospital and almost twenty months later, the healing was complete.
Since the bones had finally mended, Dr. Johnston said it was time to remove the hardware. That is where this scar to my psyche took place....in the operating room. It would be an outpatient procedure and I would be released that afternoon. Arriving at the hospital early in the morning and in a very good mood, everything appeared to be going very smoothly. I was very optimistic. I got naked, put on everybody's favorite "breeze-back" gown and climbed onto the awaiting gurney. The nurses did their pre-op stuff and I was ready for the anethesia to be administered.
I had told my doctor that I didn't want to be knocked out cold (I hate the feeling of having no control, and I get goofier than a wooden watch) because it had only been a week since I'd had my last anesthesia, but would prefer a "block"or epidermal, to my lower extemities. He agreed, but insisted I have a "light" sedative, which would only put me into a normal sleep. I WAS sleeping... for a while. I started to awaken to the sound of voices talking about SEX CHANGE OPERATIONS, for god's sake! I admit, my thinking was still a little fuzzy, but I KNEW what I was hearing. It was a struggle, but I remember, heart pounding, screaming, "A sex change! Jesus, I'm in the wrong room! Please, don't do that to me, but you can give me bigger tits if you want." Dead silence and stopped motion. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room and asking whether I was still a girl. The nurse, who had obviously heard my story, assured me that my "precious" was still intact. Praise God and Glory Be! And, my 38's (30 in the back) were still their cute little selves. Darn! Even so, I still get a little nervous when me and an operating room come into contact. Well, maybe it's just a little scar after all.....................