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28 May 2013 @ 06:40 pm
So i went to the doctor's office for the pre-op appointment today. where they told me all the minor details. Apparently the plate i'm getting will probably be stainless steel, but he says it won't interfere with MRIs or anything like that. (I'm not sure if that's because stainless steel is non-magnetic, or if MRIs do affect paramagnetic materials but the plate just isn't big enough to be an issue.) He also said i probably won't get a cast, but will get a split for a week or so and then go back to the brace for awhile.

He also warned me that the surgery, which is intended to reduce the possibility of something annoying and moderately later in life, may cause my hand to fall off if things go badly. Okay, that's a bit facetious, but something along those lines. There was a long list of potential side effects that were generally much worse than arthritis. I can only assume that the doctor would not be recommending the procedure if the odds of preventing arthritis wasn't magnitudes of order higher than the odds of causing my hand to fall off, because otherwise i'd have to spend days doing research figuring out all the probabilities on my own to try and make an informed decision, and still probably wouldn't do a good job of it.

They wrote "Yes" on my right wrist and warned me not to rub it off, and said if it got smeared i could re-ink it (but just don't admit that i re-inked it myself!) They gave me a prescription for some heavy duty pain killers (but did not warn me to turn around and sell them on the black market, one can tell where their priorities are ;)

And oh yeah, they told me i'm going under general anesthetic. Which still qualifies as an outpatient procedure (thank you for reminding me of the term balivatn!) but they say they won't let me leave without someone there to take responsibility. There's some chance Avalyn might be able to help me out, though i think i'd feel too guilty with the version of the plan where she has to take the whole day off to do so. If that doesn't work out, i'm hoping i can get someone who lives a bit closer to just swing by, lay claim to me, and escort me back out to my car where i will be able to nap for another 4-6 hours till i feel up to driving.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Jacqueline Russell-Terrier: Brodie in a blankettikva on May 29th, 2013 02:16 am (UTC)
Please do not engage in any form of this plan involving you driving a car that day. Thanks. :)
DonAithnendonaithnen on May 29th, 2013 02:50 am (UTC)
Hmm, i guess i could just spend all night in the car. It works fine for Baycon after all :)
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on May 29th, 2013 02:55 am (UTC)
I also puked twice that afternoon. I went from "I'm perfectly fine" to "look out, I'm headed for the toilet" in a matter of seconds, surprising myself, because I don't usually puke much. Of course if you were ok with puking in the parking lot, or bring a bucket or something that wouldn't be so bad, but you don't want to have to run all the way into a building to get to the rest room. I like the Disneyland plan better myself.

DonAithnendonaithnen on May 30th, 2013 07:44 pm (UTC)
I felt a little bit of nausea on the trip home, but it apparently was just some gas and went away pretty quick.
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on May 29th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)
Seconded. Different people react differently to anesthesia. You won't know until it's too hard to make a different plan. Calling a cab would be better than a plan that involves driving yourself home.

If Avalyn is willing to take the day off to take care of you (either your place or hers) you could offer to do something to make up for it, like take her to Disneyland or the San Diego Zoo or something.

DonAithnendonaithnen on May 29th, 2013 03:58 am (UTC)
Well we worked out a compromise. She is borrowing her sister's car for two days (since her own car isn't really up to handling the freeway) and coming down after work to get me at 6ish. Then she'll crash at my place for the night and drop me off at work on her way back up to LA in the morning. Then i can take a short bus ride to the hospital to get my car after work and fulfill their dire "don't drive for 24 hours after the surgery" proscription.

But i will definitely try to figure out something to do to make it up for her anyways, even though she doesn't need to take a day off this way :)
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on May 29th, 2013 04:27 am (UTC)
Yay! If you promise her anything that day though, be sure to write it down. The rest of the day after is pretty hazy. I just remember my mother-in-law making me some delicious soup.


DonAithnendonaithnen on May 30th, 2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
I actually seem to remember everything pretty clearly after the point where i woke up. Avalyn went to Del Taco and got us some dinner and we watched Lego Star Wars and some Futurama.
Steuardsteuard on May 29th, 2013 12:27 pm (UTC)
Others have covered the "don't drive after general anesthesia" stuff pretty thoroughly, so I'll comment on the MRI aspects.

As noted, the metals they use for surgical implants these days are not ferromagnetic (or at least, not strongly so: I've got some metal screws in my knee of the same sort). I'm not sure how that works with anything that could reasonably be called "steel", but it seems to be true. That means an MRI won't yank at the metal and injure you if you need one: you can still get an MRI when necessary.

But you'd better hope you don't need an MRI of your wrist! Conductive materials cause big distortions in the (oscillating) magnetic field nearby, which makes it nearly impossible to get good imagery in that location. (I hear folks are working on new types of MRI that avoid that somehow; Sharon Ungersma evidently did her doctoral work on related stuff. But they aren't out yet.) The good news is that unlike me and my knee, your wrist probably isn't especially likely to need MRIs in the future. (My followup knee MRIs have looked really weird in the middle.)
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on May 29th, 2013 01:48 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of the orthopedic implants have high titanium content these days, but I'm not a surgeon, and I just checked the googles to see if I was totally off. (Look under "surgical stainless steel", which is different than regular stainless steel.)
DonAithnendonaithnen on May 30th, 2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
I didn't remember to ask him about that before the surgery, i'll try to remember to check during the follow-up appointment next week.