Tuesday, December 23, 2014
off to the spa
So the teams all converged onto the middle of 118 at the prearranged swap spot. As they wheeled me out of the ambulance, there was a helicopter parked in the middle of the highway with an emergeny crew from Alpine there to block traffic. Note: If you are taller than I am (6' 1"), they will have a bit of trouble fitting you into the helicopter while on a gurney. My biggest regret was not taking any pictures from the flight - but the crew was all business at that point. Apparently, their biggest concern is keeping patients alive and not allowing them to throw up in the tight confines of the cab of a helicopter. They gave me a shot for that and I never was nauseous.
Once up in the air, the medic told me if I needed anything for pain to let them know right away because it is easier to keep ahead of it than trying to catch up. Midway to Odessa I asked for a little "bump" and was all warm and fuzzy for the rest of the smooth flight. We arrived at the hospital in one hour.
I got quite a reception when they rolled me into ER. I seem to remember about 15 people there to watch as they unceremoniously cut all my clothes off. I have to say that the worst part of the ordeal up to that point was when the doctor informed me that bones outside the body was not a good thing and they would have to rectify that. The pain wasn't really that bad comparatively, but the thought of what they were doing was not pleasant. My main concern at that point was no one knew where my camera bag was - although they made a point of having security bag and secure the $31 I had in my pocket. I told one of the nurses I hoped that would be enough to cover everything they were doing for me.
They x-rayed me right there in the ER then took me to another room for a cat scan. Another lucky break - no unlucky breaks anywhere other than my leg. The orthopedic surgeon came in to talk to me briefly to say that I would be having 2 operations - one to clean everything up and set the tibia...then a second to check for infection and set a small break in an ankle bone. He told me he was like a very well paid professional carpenter hired to do a renovation - that does the job right so it only has to be done once.
The funny part right before the surgery was the anesthesiologist who introduced himself. He was wearing a big black cowboy hat. He informed me that since it was his responsibility to breath for me while I was under - if my beard got in the way it would have to come off. My last worry before I went "night-night" was the thought of waking up without my beard...
To be continued...