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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

June 13th, Surgery Day

Warning: Graphic surgical photo included. 

We arrive at the Tucson Medical Center at 8:30am and get in the Valet Parking line. The attendant arrives and we head inside. We go up to the outpatient surgery floor, I get checked in and pay my co-pay. The hospital wants their money before surgery. I no sooner get done and my name is being called, so we head back to pre-op.

Nurse Esther gives me the designer one-size-fits-absolutely-no-one gown and says take off everything and put it in the bag, EVERYTHING. She pulls the privacy curtain and I comply.

YumaBev ready for surgery

A few minutes later, a fellow comes in and says "I'm the lab guy."

Without missing a beat, Wonderful Hubby says "Chocolate or Yellow Lab?" 

The labs guy starts laughing, says he's never heard that one before.

A few minutes later, Joey the Medtronic Rep comes in. He checks my current settings and will make sure the new IPG is set the exact same way. He says he'll see me in the OR (operating room) and leaves.

Dr. Norton pokes his head around the curtain. He's wearing multiple surgical masks and gives Hubby a fist bump and me a thumbs up. I ask how he's feeling. He says the cold came on quickly, but he took some Nyquil last night and is feeling well enough to do my battery change but cancelled the brain drill and generator placement surgeries scheduled prior to me. I thanked him. He said it's okay, I can't see you having to drive all the way over here again. He marked an X on my right shoulder (hospital rules, he mumbled) and listened to my heart and lungs. 

I asked him if I can have the old IPG that they are removing? He said he'd ask, but he didn't see why not, after all, you paid for it. 

He said Dr. Robin Kloth, the anesthesiologist who did my original surgeries will be in to see me soon. I'm glad. I like Dr. Kloth, she's nice and wears colorful shoes. Dr. Norton leaves. 

A few minutes later, a man comes in. "I'm Dr. Offerdahl, anesthesiologist. Dr. Kloth is in another surgery, so I will be filling in. Is that okay?" 

Do you have colorful shoes?

He looks down and says just boring brown.

How about colorful socks?

Looks down again and says no, but at least they match today. I've been known to wear one white and one dark. 

I like this guy's sense of humor but I find it funny that he had to look to see what color shoes he had on. 

I tell Dr. Offerdahl about my adhesive allergies and ask him to get the EKG pads off me as soon as possible. I also tell him that I want to be as wide awake as possible so I can blog about it. He says how about I give you just a bit of Propofol when Norton is doing the painful numbing shots? Then I will wake you right up again. I say okay.

I kiss Wonderful Hubby goodbye and Nurse Esther takes him out to the waiting area. 

YumaBev ready to go

Dr. Offerdahl says "I'll give you a shot of whiskey when we get in the OR." 

I say I prefer tequila. 

"Tequila?" he says.

Jose Cuervo Light Peach Tequila, please.

"Wow, you're exact aren't you!" 

And off we go. As he is wheeling me down hallways and around corners, he keeps bumping the gurney into the walls.

Turkey or Jack? I say.


Wild Turkey or Jack Daniels? I say. Which did you have for breakfast, because you're driving like you are drunk! 

He laughs. "This surgery should be interesting."

We get to the OR, they slide me over on the surgical table, tuck my arms in, give me a warm blanket and an oxygen mask.

Dr. Norton says "Dr. Kloth, your voice is much lower and you've gained weight." I pipe in and say "and you have boring shoes." We are all laughing. 

Poor Dr. Offerdahl, he must think we're all nuts.

As Dr. Norton is doing his thing, he tells the OR nurse to figure out how to get me the IPG he removes. He's telling them about my blog and how I kept the drill bit he used on me during my DBS brain surgery six years ago. I say "I wish we could Live Stream this on Facebook. I want to see what you are doing." 

YumaBev's actual surgical site

I ask Dr. Norton if he ever plans to retire? (he's 79) His reply:

"No, I will just keel over during surgery.
Dr. Offerdahl will try to revive me.
He will be unsuccessful.
My estate will then sue him.
And he will end up living in his car."

Dr. Offerdahl says, "I'm not filling in for Dr. Kloth anymore."

I'm laughing so hard that it's difficult to stay still. 

I can feel the sensation of Dr. Norton suturing me. There's no pain at all. He says he's done and going to find my hubby. I ask Joey to take a picture of Dr. Norton and me. Two other male voices chime in and say "We want to be in the picture, too!"

(L-R) OR nurse Chris, YumaBev, Dr Offerdahl, Dr Norton

And we were done. They slid me back on the gurney, wheeled me to recovery, Dr. Offerdahl said this was the silliest surgery he had done and he disappeared. Wonderful Hubby came in. A nurse went over the post-op care sheet with us. Another person said I should call pathology later because they have the IPG in their possession.

Joey came in to make sure my new device was working properly. A nurse sent Hubby down to get the car from Valet and another nurse helped me get dressed. They wheeled me down to the car and Hubby drove us back to the hotel. It wasn't even Noon. 

Looks like the 13th wasn't a bad day for surgery after all.

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  1. That was hilarious. Wish I had been more awake for mine, although they did let me choose the music, which was nice of them.

  2. Bev last I read you were thinking about putting the Boston Scientific with the 25 year battery. Since the Medtronic guy was their I guess it was not an option. Did you go with Medtronic rechargeable battery? If so how long is it supposed to last?

    1. I had never really considered using anything except Medtronic. All my Parkinson's clinicians are well trained on the Medtronic programming and I had specifically asked for Joey from Medtronic to attend my surgery. I don't think Dr. Norton uses anything except Medtronic.