SACRAMENTO, Calif. 3 p.m. PST - Seven hours ago (from the moment this is written) I was wheeled down the hall of the UC Davis Medical Center five miles from my house, babbling about sailboats and sailing to several amused nurses before the anesthesia took over.
At least I think they were amused.
An hour later, I woke up, back in bed next to Nurse Annie (in the photo with me), asking when they were going to fix my right knee, hurt last summer doing the Twist. (Round and round, up and down, one-two-three kick, one-two-three kick!)
It was quite a difference from my last encounter with surgery - getting my appendix yanked about seven years ago in a semi-emergency situation. That time the anesthetic was about the same, but I spent three horrible days in the hospital, pumping the call button seeking pain medication, but rarely getting any response.
That was at a different hospital and the day I left, they couldn't find me a wheelchair to wheel me out in so I shuffled out under my own power, walking about 400 yards to the car.
Damn that was a long walk.
This time the staff at UC Davis was professional to the point of scaring me to death. I'm not sure I needed to know all the possible ramifications of the anesthetic, surgery and the drugs I was given. If they hadn't given me a sedative as soon as I plunked down on the bed, I'm not so sure I would've gone through with the whole deal.
The nicest part, however, was not having to use crutches at all. I do have a fancy bandage and a huge ice pack that makes my knee look like it belongs to singer Kate Smith. Still, I can walk on it, bend it and have been encouraged to keep flexing my knee from time to time to avoid blood clots.
Jaysus! Blood clots.
But no twisting, the doc said - not until next summer, at least. It will take my medical insurance that long to catch up with the payments on this repair job before we have to fix the left leg, too.
Round and round, up and down, one-two-three kick, one-two-three kick!