Friday, July 26, 2013

The Other Side of Midnight

The Other Side of Midnight

Despite having been identified by a member of the Asumen Clan as harboring a PAGOD syndrome, I’m eager, willing and happy to report that the promise of a blossoming dawn proved to be what awaited me on the other side of midnight.  It seemed most appropriate that midnight has come to be a perfect metaphor for the temporary sojourn into the realm of the unconscious, as obtains under general anesthesia.

I was out for a total of eight hours.  The first thing I saw on waking up was the surgeon giving me a thumbs-up and informing me that I did an excellent job.  This worried me some because I did not do anything as far as I could remember.  Besides, I had developed the trick of humming a tune before going under and I used to find myself humming the same tune on waking up.  This time around I was a complete blank.  Ergo I was gone for longer than I usually did during my other several trips into midnight.

Three operations were completed in the eight hours that I was out.  They kept me in Good Samaritan Hospital to recover some and was discharged the evening of Wed, 10-Jul-13.

One scary episode brought me face to face with my mortality and jolted my faith on the value of a hospital stay.  At 4:30pm on Tue, 9-Jul-13 I had an attack of chills reminiscent of my bouts with malaria when I was in high school, circa 1960-’61.  I could not feel anything south of the incisions on my groins. 
I reported it to the nurse and she drew a blank on me.  Quoted she: “I heard of malaria but I really don’t have any idea what it is all about.  I left a message for the Dr. I cannot do anything else until he gets back to me.”  She covered me with two more blanket and I just shivered it out for some four hours.  This was when I realized that one can actually die in a hospital room.  Some report will be written up as footnotes to the statistical item that used to be you.

It’s such a delight to have a surgeon with a sense of humor.  I went for my first follow-up appointment on Tue, 23-Jul-13 and to have the staples taken off the incisions, which per discharge instructions was somewhat overdue because both the surgeon and his secretary were out of town on business.

After waiting five minutes on his examination table, the surgeon greeted me with:

Dr.: “Mr. Asumen, how are you doing”?
Me: “Well, I have not been doing much of anything.  It appears I’m still in one piece but I have been living off Percocet and I have taken the second to the last one when I left home this afternoon.”
Dr.: “If I remember correctly, you did have a not-so-trivial surgery.  I know because I was there.”

He gave me another 30-tablet prescription for Percocet and an appointment for a follow-up visit on 13-Aug-13 to assess the overall medical/physical disposition of the stents. 

The main reason this post was so late in coming was because I just could not sit up long enough to be able to write up anything remotely intelligible.