Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pre-op Nerves

It is unfortunate if only sensible that surgeons must tell you of the worst-case scenarios should your procedure go wrong - so that after you've signed the consent form they are absolved from all guilt regarding any mistake (perhaps the only industry that gets away with it). Still it is enough to put one off, after seeing a large number of rather graphic computer pics of failed procedures.  Horrified, I asked my doc if the multitude of sample pics were from his own files and was somewhat mollified when he touched the wood of his desk and assured me that so far (about twenty years), he has had no such failures. Regarding my eyes then, I am left with only Sextant's warnings about droopy lids and cut nerves and a slight worry as to whether my aging doctor might have shaky hands. It is a reference rather to my vanity than to my fortitude that I have decided to go ahead. Fired with fake courage this month, I have also decided to have my hammer toe straightened. Although I was born with this and mightily embarrased by it all my life, it is only recently since our summers are getting hotter and hotter and I sweatier, that it has started to give me problems. Luckily, this condition is covered by our Medical Aid - just the anaesthetist's fees will have to be supplemented.  Explaining the procedure re breaking the toe, cutting out the affected joint, putting a pin in for a couple of weeks, the doc explained that I would need to stay in the hospital overnight so that the staff could observe the toe, and note should it change color - possibly from pink to white to black. In the worst case scenario, the toe could actually die from lack of a blood supply and need amputation. Observing my face, he hastened to assure me that this has not yet happened to any patient of his. There is always a first time. I do not rest easy at the moment: but I'm still doing it. Wish me luck. This will happen on October 31st. I've decided not to illustrate this post with ugly pics -just one that illustrates my current state of mind.


  1. I've had a toe straightened in the manner you describe except it was a decidedly lesser toe, so no pin. No big deal at all.
    And so long as your eyes don't end up looking like the lady in your cartoon illustration, you'll be fine.
    So when, exactly, is this face thing happening?

    1. Thanks, June. I am encouraged. The date for the toe is 31st October, and the eye-lids - 16th November.

  2. Well you have a lot more intestinal fortitude than I do, unless I am on death's door, I am not about to get any surgeries. The older I get the less afraid of undertakers I become, so even death's door is losing its ability to frighten me. Doctors? Scare the hell out of me.

  3. I understand. Those warnings can give one very cold feet. I have been scared off before. Then, I have been glad I followed though and had the surgery.