Want to know something? Surgery sucks.
OK, so that's no huge revelation. The only other surgery (where I've been put under general anesthesia) I've ever had was a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy -- back when I was 19 years old.
Fast forward almost 35 years. On July 9, I had to undergo another surgery. Back in June, I was sitting in my recliner with one of my laptops in my lap. I typically use the quiet hours of the morning, before my wife and son wake up, to get go through my overnight email and work on magazine "stuff." Nothing too unusual about that. But on that particular morning, I discovered that my left knee was swollen. I hadn't done anything to injure it. It's as if it just swelled up on me, right then and there.
I tried to stand. Man, did my knee hurt!
I nursed my knee along throughout the day, but the swelling persisted. That evening, I put an ice pack on my knee, without the desired results of reducing the swelling. I took off sick for a few days from work, thinking that if I could stay off of my inflamed knee that it would get better. Indeed, a few days later (over Father's Day, nonetheless), it seemed to be improving. So, back to work I trudged, still nursing my tender, but improving, knee.
Mind you, I'm on my feet at the hospital nearly all day long. As you might imagine, that did no favors for my knee. After a couple of days, my left foot and ankle started exhibiting some swelling, called edema. THAT really got my attention. It got my attention enough to send me to the Emergency Room of the hospital that I work at. The edema got me worried that I might have a blood clot in my leg (called a deep vein thrombosis) that was impeding blood flow.
Come to find out, fortunately, there was no blood clot. Instead, I had what was called septic bursitis. Septic means an infection, and bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa. The bursa holds the "lubricating fluid" for the various joints in your body. They referred me to an orthopedic surgeon.
Two 10 day courses of antibiotics failed to resolve the situation, so the surgeon scheduled me for a bursectomy to remove the inflamed and infected bursa in my left knee. Now this isn't a huge or complicated surgery. But, it's surgery nonetheless. It is a surgery that required me to be put under general anesthesia.
He performed the surgery at the outpatient ambulatory surgery center. I even walked out of the surgery center under my own power. With the surgery performed on a Wednesday, and being scheduled to work Thursday and Friday, I only missed a couple of days of work. I returned to work the following Monday.
Now (at the time that I am writing this) it has been nearly three weeks. The surgical incision on my left knee is almost completely healed. The edema in my left ankle and foot has almost completely disappeared. Still -- surgery sucks.
To put July even more into the "suck" column, I had to have my 14 year old cat, Buddie, put to sleep. He lost his battle with lymphoma. We (me and my wife) do feel fortunate to have had him around us for an additional seven months after they made the original diagnosis. They originally said he only had weeks to live, because the form of lymphoma he had was very aggressive. He was in a few pictures in this column over the time that I've been the magazine's chief editor. Cats are a lot like people, and each one has a very unique personality. Buddie always thought he was a four legged human with a fur coat. He thought people came here to see him. He never met a stranger. We miss him terribly.
Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity and prosperity.