Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Surgery On A Scientist Part Two

I went in for blood work today, just to make sure that my liver and kidneys can handle the extra stress of the anesthetics and painkillers that will be part of the surgery. Blood tests can test for different enzymes made by the liver, and it is important to make sure that they are at the appropriate levels before surgery. If they are too low, recovery can be difficult. The liver clears the drugs from the system, so you want to be sure that the organ is performing adequately.

Butterfly catheters are really quite interesting. There was a little prick of pain and then this exceptionally sharp piece of metal went into my arm. I watched it disappear. And then rich red blood came out.

I enjoy understanding and watching things like this. What can I say. The dissection and understanding of any phenomena around me is my way of interacting with the world.

So once I get the test results back I should have all my ducks in a row for the surgery. According to the online forums, a tonsillectomy is a great way to lose weight.

Friday, August 5, 2011

More on The Oslo Massacre

So apparently there was a couple that were instrumental in helping some of the young people escape from the massacre near Oslo. And yet, we in the States have heard nothing about it because the rescuers were A) female and B) lesbians.

I just don't understand why this has yet to hit the American media. Well, I kind of do, and this article explains the narrative that the American media likes to portray, but honestly, I thought we were past this kind of blatant misogyny and hatred of homosexuals.

Considering that I'd never heard of Alan Turing until I was in my 20's, perhaps I shouldn't be that shocked. My home state, California, just recently passed legislation mandating the teaching of the accomplishments of gays and lesbians in history. It's a step in the right direction, but really? We had to wait until 2011 to do it?

New Mr. Deity!

I LOVE Mr. Deity. And it has an excellent guest star this time around. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Surgery On A Scientist

So a big reason why I've not launched wholeheartedly into this blog just yet is because I've not been feeling too great. I went to the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist yesterday, and was diagnosed with chronic tonsillitis. Between feeling like I have a low-grade flu pretty much constantly, not being able to breathe or swallow properly, and having quite sharp pains in my throat, I've not been having the best couple of weeks.

After a lot of consideration, I've decided to go ahead and schedule the tonsillectomy. The ENT says it is elective, but frankly, I can't disagree with him more.

And because I am who I am, I became fascinated with how they excise the tonsils and how the anaesthesia works. Here is an amazing video of excising the tonsil from the ligament. Notice as the surgeon pulls the tissue away how clean and smooth the surgical site is. That is where the scab forms. This is not for the squeamish, but it certainly isn't the worst surgery I've ever watched. ;)

I began this process nervously; I haven't had surgery in years, and certainly nothing was removed. But I find comfort in an understanding of the procedure and the recovery period. I also have found some good tips on keeping myself as pain-free and healthy as possible while I recover. From what I understand the recovery period is not fun. But then, surgery isn't all that fun either.

A side note: when obtaining medical information, I like the NIH website for information I can trust and verify, as well as clarity and organization. This is a pretty good article for general anesthesia. I studied anesthetics during my pharmacology class last semester, and while the drugs may be different depending on what the doctor likes to use and the patient's history, generally an injected anesthetic is used to sedate the patient and then inhalant anesthetic is used to maintain unconsciousness. The patient may also take an oral sedative or antipsychotic to calm themselves if they are experiencing anxiety before the operation.

By all accounts the average tonsillectomy is about 25 minutes. That's not too bad at all. Because we are such big animals, surgery can be a long and complicated process. But tonsillectomies are considered external surgeries, and so sutures aren't used and there is no need for 'closing up'.

Hopefully things will be a bit better soon. I am allotting 2 weeks for recovery time, because I am a wimp. We'll see how soon I can get in and hopefully I will be 100% before school starts.