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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Surgery Synopsis (Pts. 1 & 2)

Thursday June 23rd, 2011 - Libertyville, IL

   Surgery day. That’s never a small issue, especially to the person facing it. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a wee bit concerned, but it’s apparently necessary so I have no choice. I am very thankful to be in such a top shelf medical facility, especially when it concerns what it does. When ‘surgery’ and ‘scrotum’ are in the same sentence, neck hair tends to stand up.

   For all I know, I could come out a eunuch. Who says the surgeon won’t sneeze when he gets the scalpel right at the precise point of pivot and gouge a gash in my gonads like he’s doing a commercial for a Ronco vegetable slicer? I don’t want to be living Julianne Fries.

   It all becomes a waiting game now. At first, they told me surgery would be at 8am sharp this morning. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything since midnight and they told me to ‘get some rest’. Oh, sure. Waiting for a guy I don’t know to carve on my crotch causes me to drift off to sleepy land every time. There was no way I’d get any restful sleep last night. 

   I did drift in and out for a few minutes, but that was with the TV on. That’s not a quality sleep because I always have dreams I’m part of the show. Some of the time I was catching king crab on ‘The Deadliest Catch’, and the rest I was making plays on ‘SportsCenter’.

   Nurses kept coming to my room to change I.V. bags, and would ask me what time I was going to have surgery. I kept telling them 8am, as that’s what I was told. Then, it got to be a little before 7 and one of the nurses told me I wasn’t on any list and it had been delayed.

   As it turns out, it got bumped to 4:30pm. I have no idea why, other than one doctor said there are many reasons surgery gets delayed, and it’s always good to wait until everyone’s ready. I wholeheartedly concur. I don’t need a guy with a hangover slicing my ball bag.

   When the time came, a lady with a rolling bed came to pick me up and I felt like I was a dead man walking. It’s very dramatic, at least it was to me. They attached all the I.V. stuff and off we went. There’s no turning back, and I had no idea whatsoever what to expect.

   I have to say the entire staff at the hospital was wonderful, but the operating room crew were especially humane. They told me not to be afraid, and that they’d do their very best to take care of me. How they said it was perfectly placed, and it totally put me at ease.

   I was told how long I’d be under anesthesia (an hour) and how long the procedure itself would take (8 minutes). I don’t know why I needed to know that, but I was glad to hear it. They also said they’d be inserting a tube in my mouth and throat to help me breathe, but it wouldn’t be installed until after I was completely unconscious. It all made me feel at ease.

   The doctor was late getting to the hospital, so they put me in a waiting room for twenty minutes or so, and that’s when the mind really starts spinning. I had all I could do to keep from throwing up with angst, but then they started wheeling me in and that’s the last thing I can remember before waking up in the recovery room sore as hell and not able to move.

Friday June 24th, 2011 - Libertyville, IL

   Well, I made it. I’m in a lot of pain, and I can barely move two inches in bed, but I’m in the ranks of the living, and more importantly (at least to me), I still have my giblets intact. The nurses told me the surgery was a success, and that the ‘twig and berries’ still existed.

   That could have really been a nightmare, and I don’t want to think about it. It’s about as scary as I want to get thinking about what they did do. Apparently, there are two incisions in my groinal area and although they’ll be painful and difficult, they should heal up well.

   The doctor who did the surgery came to my room this morning and went through all he did, and said he got all the infected tissue. Then, he proceeded to change the dressing on the wounds which had me screaming like a little baby begging for mercy. I have NEVER felt pain like that, and when I started screaming he called the nurse to give me morphine.

   He didn’t give the morphine thirty seconds to kick in, and he was back down there like a maniac ripping the gauze out of the wounds and I was right back to screaming for mercy like I was trying to get out of a mob hit or something. That was the most pain I ever felt.

   The doctor calmly told me that was by far the hardest one, even though I was crying like a little girl when he said it. I dare anyone to sit through that and see how they react. I’m a self admitted wussmeister when it comes to pain anyway, but this was way off the charts.

   I don’t ever want to feel that kind of pain again, but there are no guarantees that say my days are done. When I had my infamous car accident in 1993, I broke my sternum twice. I thought that was the most pain possible, but this was a whole lot worse. I hoped for death, knowing it was the only way I’d feel any relief. When morphine doesn’t work, it’s over.

   Then, I started to laugh uproariously as I looked at the TV in my room and saw the story of Jack Kevorkian starring Al Pacino on HBO. Of all the movies to have, that was the one that would be on in Mr. Lucky’s room. It really was funny, and the laughter was the exact thing I needed at that moment to divert the pain if even a little. Humor really does heal.

   The next few hours I had a lot of time to just lay there and think. I don’t know how pure my thoughts were since they were tainted with so much pain, but I was able to process my life and come to the conclusion that the only reason I’m here is to help others and give my all to that cause. I also realized just how little I’ve done with my life and I was ashamed.

   I had such big dreams as a kid, and then everything hit the fan and all these years later it boils down to me laying in a hospital, uninsured, with gangrene on my junk. That was not part of the plan, but that’s where I ended up. Now, I have no idea where life’s path leads.

   I can’t dwell on what went wrong or what’s wrong now. I can only hope I’ll have a little time left to reach out and serve my fellow human kind. Fame is no goal, but fortune is my goal because I know I’ll use it to be of service. Right now, I can use some help myself.

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