DISCLAIMER: THE EVENTS IN THIS BLOG HAPPENED IN 1997. I AM FINE TODAY
I broke my foot on a Wednesday. If you remember from Part One, the doctor put me in a walking cast and told me I could put weight on it come the weekend. However, late Friday afternoon, I got a phone call from the orthopedic surgeon at Bassett Army Hospital on Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks. The doctor asked if the doctor set my foot.
“No. He put it in a cast and told me I could walk on it by this weekend.”
He chuckled. “You can try.” Being the wise bone man he was, he knew from the break that walking would never happen. “I need to see you first thing Monday morning.”
The Good Chaplain said, “You’re going to have to have surgery. I saw the break and there is no way that is going to heal on its own.” Thanks Mr. Positive.
On Monday morning, the doctor removed the cast, shot my foot full of Novocaine and attempted to set it. Nothing doing. “Yep,” he said. “We are going to have to operate.” But when? The Good Chaplain had a four-week TDY scheduled starting Friday. We scheduled a same-day surgery for Wednesday, a week after the injury occurred.
After filling out all the paperwork, getting the requisite blood work done and meeting with the anesthesiologist, I was ready for surgery. I opted to have a spinal to deaden my legs but be awake during surgery. I would get lots of “la-la land” drugs to put me in a semi-conscious state so I wouldn’t hear the procedure, but wake up a lot easier than under general anesthesia.
We arrived at the hospital early in the morning and the nurse prepped me and settled me in a bed to wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, at about 1 p.m. the Good Chaplain asked when my surgery would happen. The nurses didn’t know. Everyone was at lunch. The doctor apparently forgot. Soon after that, the nurse wheeled me into the operating room and put me under.
I only remember one part of the surgery. I heard the doctor ask how long he had left, a nurse answered it had been 90 minutes already and then someone tapped my hand as I tried to take the tourniquet off. When I came too, I was in a ward with other patients. The doctor came by, concerned about the pain I would have when my leg woke up and admitted me for the night. “Will she definitely get out tomorrow, because I leave first thing Friday morning,” the Good Chaplain said.
I begged him not to go, but apparently a spouse with a non-weight bearing cast for eight weeks is not enough of a reason to get out of a TDY. Mostly I worried about eating macaroni and cheese for the next four weeks because that was the only thing the girls knew how to cook. I’ll save how we resolved this situation for the next time.