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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 6:33 pm 
Limp Gimp
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2002 1:34 pm
Posts: 187
Location: Mountain View, CA
On Dec 31, 2005, I tore my ACL, in my first ski injury since I learned to ski 18 years ago. On April 4, 2006, I got it fixed. I wrote a trip report, illustrated with a few arthroscopic photos (linked at the bottom of the page):
Two interesting moments are excerpted below. Most of the rest of my web page is medical details of the procedure.

The first incident that makes a good anecdote is about the 4th year med student who practiced putting in an IV on me:

She thought she could, she thought she could, she thought she could... a sweet girl. First, she tried to anesthetize the area with a lidocaine injection. She put the needle in my skin and realized that she was holding the syringe too low and couldn't reach the stopper to actually make the injection. She tried to slide her hand up the syringe and in the process wobbled the needle out of my flesh and stabbed me elsewhere. She got it right on her second try. Now came the time to put in the IV, which thankfully went smoothly since IV needles are much bigger than lidocaine needles. The last step is taping the IV in place so that it doesn't fall out. She'd thought ahead and left a sticky piece of clear plastic laying on my bed for this purpose -- and then forgot and placed her forearm on it, sticking it to herself. Oops. Apparently thinking ahead to just such a scenario, she had brough a second complete IV kit, dug out a second plastic sticky, and affixed it to me. About an hour later in the OR (operating room), after the IV needle had done much uncomfortable wiggling, a resident showed her how to tape it more securely.

The other interesting moment was in the first minutes of my spinal, when the anesthetic started to drift up my spine and suppress my heart rate:

I started to feel slightly woozy and really sleepy. I noticed that my heart rate was 45, well below my normal resting rate of 60. "Why is my heart rate so low?" I asked Jasper and Dr. Kent. They glanced at the monitor displaying my vital signs and one of them commented: "Oh, your blood pressure is low, too." The bipivucane seemed to be moving up my spine. "Are you feeling nauseated?" They sat me up a little so gravity would keep the anesthetic down and gave me some ephedrine (a stimulant) to increase my blood pressure and heart rate. My body tried to vomit a few times but nothing came out (I hadn't eaten nor drank for 12 hours, as instructed). When the ephedrine kicked in, I immediately felt better and my heart returned to a normal rate.

That's all. I can walk now. And thanks to the miracle of this forum, I'll be able to borrow a bike trainer to work on my range of motion and get some exercise while my knee heals.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:16 pm 
UW Climber
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 11:28 am
Posts: 440
Location: Seattle
Hi Ania,

Sorry to hear of your second surgery. Best of luck with your recovery.


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