The Swedish law governing the health care system states that no one should have to wait more than 3 months to see a specialist and begin treatment. However, the tight fiscal budget means that the people working in the health care system are crumbling under the burden to keep the queues short. In reality, it’s a mission impossible, and many people have to wait up to a year for surgery. The university hospital in Umeå has therefore launched a drive where they offer simpler surgery during weekends. I talked to a nurse today and she said that on a good day, they can do up tp 20 procedures in one day. This means that many people who’ve been on sick leave for a year for e.g., Artrosis can go back to work within a relatively short time. Fantastic. The people working in the Swedish health care system are truly fantastic.
Today it was my turn to lay my now not so bony leg under the knife again. As I’ve said before, I don’t really qualify as a patient in dire need, but I won’t say no if someone offers me a silver spoon (or scalpel).
So anyway, with a complexion resembling the shells of a Ground pangolin (after my close interaction with the Descutan swabs) and with a stomach loudly complaining for the lack of coffee and toasted bread with marmalade (and cheese, and butter), I entered the 5th floor of NUS right wing at 10 am this morning. At 3.30 pm I left the same floor with these in my pocket.
I can’t say that it was a painless procedure, because it hurt like hell when they set the local anesthesia, and I did feel the first cut through my skin… but then I got some magic intravenous shit and that made me all warm and fuzzy and happy as a bumble bee. With the pain gone, I could totally indulge in watching what the surgeon and the OP-nurse did to my leg. It was frantically fascinating! I wish I could show you all the gory details, because I did see them all, but Västerbotten’s county council has decided that photos during surgery is forbidden so I have to keep all my sneak peaks to myself.
I know I sound like a maniac, I know, it really cannot be normal to find pleasure in watching someone cut into the flesh of your own body. But this whole thing about getting excited about surgery is my way of handling my own fear and worry. By taking on the role of a scientist looking at my body, I keep a distance to it. It is as if it is not at all my body that the surgeon is cutting through (more like one of those worms we dissected in high school). And by acting as if I am all brave and cool about pain and gore, I actually feel like I am. It’s like I by focusing on the fun parts, I don’t have to worry about the bad shit. So far it has worked really well.
In this case, I was also extremely well taken care off. The OP nurse and the OP assistants were as a strike of luck the same people who took care of me when the inserted the intramedullary nail into my leg. It felt super nice and extremely safe to have them pinching me and cutting me again. I also liked the surgeon a lot. He used almost as many cursing words as I and my sisters do. It made me feel just like home.
So anyway, after cutting through my skin, the surgeon took out the screwdriver to take out the screws. Yes, a screwdriver. Orthopedists are proper crafts men (or women) :).
They had to work quite hard to get all the screws out since my body had grown a substantial amount of scarring tissue, but in the end they all came out and so they could sew be back to one piece again. Ah, I wish I could posts photos of when the screws came out, it was surreal!
Then, I could finally eat and have coffee. And have a non-alcoholic beer and a snus.
Now, after a filling dinner at my parents, I’m sitting in my sofa with my feet on the coffee table. My leg is pretty sore and full of holes, but the pain is not that bad. They tell me that I can take out the stitches in 10 days. That means that Spain is still on unless something unexpected happens. So all in all, I must say that this Sunday, although a bit bloody, was a really good one.