Sounds like a med-fetters' dream come true, right? Well, almost. I've had two sessions of hand surgery in the last six weeks. Both were a total success and had their moments of amusement.
The first was to correct the trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome in my left hand as well as to improve the diminished blood supply to that hand. Time for a hand surgeon that also specializes in vascular surgery. And that's how I met my own personal Dr. Frankenstein. Actually, he's really not and we'll just call him Dr. M for now. He's very quiet and serious, a great listener, and even my partner who doesn't like doctors likes him.
The first time I had a consult with him, it was about the trigger finger, but I also mentioned that my finger tips had no sensation and sometimes one side of my fingers seemed fuzzier than the other. I figured it was just diabetic neuropathy. That evidently triggered a lightbulb over Dr. M's head because he ordered up an entire battery of tests including one that stimulated the muscles and made my hand do things I had no control over. Kinda like estim but not nearly as much fun. So, he determined that trigger finger was the least of my problems and I also had severe carpal tunnel syndrome and reduced blood flow to my hand.
So he scheduled me for ambulatory surgery at 0630 on a Tuesday morning. I like the way this guy thinks; I'd rather get it over and done with early too. And I have to say, the ambulatory surgery center was a dream come true; super-efficient and everything was choreographed. The people in the prep area really understand the meaning of "teamwork". The Nurse Anesthetist was a hoot and when I said I loved anesthesia he said he'd plan a special trip for me.
When we were ready to go to the OR, he gave me my dose of fentanyl and by the time we got to "the room" I was totally looped. Then he put the versed on board and I don't remember a thing after that but I know I had some Propofol in the mix too. The only thing I remember is that a resident did the dressing and bandaging because my surgeon was sitting at my shoulder, not at my hand.
I recovered uneventfully and was home with my hand on ice by 1100. Two weeks later I was back at Dr. M's office. He removed the sutures from all three surgical sites and that's when he earned the name Dr. Frankenstein. It really did look like someone had pieced my hand back together from body parts. But everything is nice and pink and I've been able to use the hand since the day after surgery. It's been almost two years since I've been able to make a fist without my fingers locking into position. I asked him if we could go ahead and schedule the right hand and he seemed to have forgotten that hand was affected as well.
So this past Wednesday at 0545, I was back in the prep area. I had the same nurse but a different NA, and a slightly different cocktail of meds. This surgery was much less complicated and took about 20 minutes. The only thing I remember was the discussion between the docs about what type of suture to use to close. I gave my opinion but they didn't seem to be listening. Imagine! Another two weeks of "don't get your hand wet or dirty" and I'll be back for the Frankenstein treatment on the right hand.
Ain't science great?