Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Saving Sixty-Three or So Stitches

Thomas Fuller, in a book entitled Gnomologia, is credited with the first literary use of the phrase "A stitch in time saves nine," though Louisa May Alcott used it sometime later in a short story. I had always attributed it to Benjamin Franklin since he authored so many pithy expression as Poor Richard for his almanac. (not to be confused with Little Richard, the self-titled "Queen of Rock and Roll.") I meant the almanac version of Poor Richard used by so many as a reading primer and social guide. Anyway, I thought of that quote as I nervously unwrapped by surgically repaired knee for the first time today, expecting a gash fit for a Hallowe'en pumpkin only to find a modest incision guaranteed to engender little sympathy when seen by the heretofore concerned audience.
It is apparent that surgical procedures have come a long way. Procedures that were routinely calling for days of hospital recovery are now responded to with, "What, are you still here? You were done an hour ago!" My first knee operation to remove a small cyst back in the mid 70's required not only a smiley face consisting of enough stitches that would do the Kool-Aid pitcher proud, it also required encasement in a plastic cast for six weeks...which in turn resulted in more bent out of shape coat hangers torn apart to scratch just the right yellow, flaky skin pockets. (OK,OK, too much information).
The latest foray into my knee involved removing floating bone chips that were virtually the same size as Rhode Island. All tolled, I think there were 25 or so. I only got to keep 20 since the rest went to pathology so the technicians there, too, would have something to fill their days.
The best I can tell, all I got was seven stitches, some corresponding swelling, the use of crutches for a few days, and a not-so-impressive scar. Seriously, I've had bicycle accidents that left more of a mark that this operation.
Not counted are the arthroscopic holes in the front placed by Dr. Obma so he could "clean up" a couple of other things floating around. Honestly, it was like he had an extra ten minutes and felt like exploring. Remember, this was the surgeon who was practically giddy to get started on my knee since he'd never seen anything like the accumulation of junk since watching his last outer space movie.There are photos of all of it as well as photos of the big gap where my ACL should be (but isn't)...just in case I ever want him to explore more brave new worlds inside my knee.
For the time being, I think I'll call it good. Any surgeon who walks out and hands my wife a jar of what he just extracted saying, "I know Darrell will want these," gets the nod from me to explore away.
Now, if I could just carry the pain medication around activated by one of those buttons they sometime give patients in order to dispense their own sedative.
At least now I have some some time (and material) to make that necklace I've been wanting to give my sweetie for Christmas.


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