It turns out that post-op hurts about 5 times worse than anything I experienced before they operated, even on the high-strength painkillers (oxycodone). The pain has morphed through many forms, all equally ugly and intense: feeling like someone was continually twisting my ankle as hard as they can, and not letting go or stopping; feeling like someone had driven a 1/4″ bolt through my ankle (how big are these screws?); feeling like someone was poking my ankle with a sharp dental implement; feeling like someone had put my ankle in a vise grip. It kind of sucks. I don’t want to know what it would feel like without any painkillers.

At least I’m on this side of the ordeal now.

I’m not sure what to think about complications; I need to clarify with the doctors when they come round tomorrow. They’ve been shooting me up with savage antibiotics through the cannula, so if I get an infection, at least it will be antibiotic-resistant (and I won’t last long thereafter). Necrosis is a danger, since the os talus doesn’t have any muscles or tendons attached which would ordinarily supply it with blood; but the triage doctor said that possibility was 5%-10% whereas I thought the specialist said it would be 75%-90% this morning. The rate of complications of people with these circumstances would seem to be a straightforward thing to measure, so this huge discrepancy just doesn’t make any sense; I must have gotten confused and need them to tell me what’s going on. The specialist also mentioned possible future surgery needed, which thought really doesn’t appeal to me at all. I don’t know what to believe here, so I guess all I can do is follow all the directions and hope to the powers that be that I come out of the other side able to walk without a cane.


About Richard

I'm an American scientist who is building a new life in Australia. This space will contain words about science and math, but also philosophy, policy, literature, my travels, occasional rants, all sorts of things I find strange and awesome. The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer at the time (currently University of Sydney), though personally, I think they should.
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2 Responses to post-op

  1. Scott says:

    Maybe one doctor was quoting p and the other was quoting 1-p?

    • Richard says:

      Given only the numerical values it sounds plausible, but it’s too facile: one’s expression seemed sanguine and the other’s grave. I think it’s more likely that I didn’t fully understand what they were trying to say. Will update soon.

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