June 13, 2015
The surgery went fine. The only thing that went wrong the whole morning was that neither the nurse or surgeon had access to a “way back machine”. I told them I didn’t need to go back all that far: just 4 days so I could refuse to play volleyball and have a nice cold Corona and watch the game instead.
The anesthesiologist came and went over the hundred questions for the hundredth time (apparently I’m in really good health except for the torn Achilles tendon in my right leg!) she asked if I’d like a nerve block in addition to the general anesthesia. I know what a nerve block is from my dealings with my horses but after reading the list of what could go wrong I wasn’t sure I should do it. If it works properly it should give me 12-24 hours of no pain or feeling in my lower leg.
Nerve block or regional nerve blockade is any deliberate interruption of signals traveling along a nerve, often for the purpose of pain relief. Local anesthetic nerve block (sometimes referred to as simply “nerve block”) is a short-term block, usually lasting hours or days, involving the injection of an anesthetic.
As as I pondered my lovely wife Lu (soon to be my nursemaid) said get whatever you can get. Lu has been through many surgeries so I took her advice and signed the paper. The anesthesiologist used an ultrasound machine and carefully shot me up.
Wheeled into the OR for a quick how do you do to all present, and nighty night to me. I awoke had some conversations and tests, learned my tendon was “shredded”, got my pain pills and headed back home.
My wife tucked me in to my makeshift and extremely comfortable home care room, fed me some dinner and some pills, leg up in pillows (higher than my heart of course) and I waited for the pain to start. My toes were locked and numb and I felt nothing below my knee. 1 hour 2hours 3 hours….. Pain pills every four hours trying to get comfortable and dozing through a Family Fued marathon.
Around 4am the pain started seeping in. Ever so slowly. And painful. I’d say it went up to around a pain scale 8 (