I’m officially bionic

I may not be the Six Million Dollar Man, but I am now artificially enhanced with the addition of a plate and five screws in my clavicle.

After walking up “triathlon early” to make my 5:45 am appointment I had my clavicle transformed from a “worse than expected” (according to the doc) break angle to nice and straight once again.

The entire process went pretty smoothly. It helped that I was the first surgery of the day. After stripping down and changing into the bare-assed hospital gown, I was given a nerve blocker to stop all nerve messages from my arm/shoulder making it to my brain.

The nerve block process was pretty interesting. An anesthesiologist used an ultrasound machine to find a vessel upon which the nerve sat. I was able to watch the ultrasound screen as the device was guided under my skin through my shoulder/neck area. Once the doc thought he had found the nerve, he electrified the needle/device and my arm jumped, meaning he hit the spot, similar to how your leg will involuntarily jump when hit it just below the kneecap.

After a few minutes the block took affect and I was wheeled into a futuristic operating room. Elmhurst Hospital is quite new and I was blown away by the look of the room. I even made the anesthesiologist’s day by noting the “loss of pressure” display upon entry. Apparently I was the first to ask such a question and he had been wanting to tell a patient about how during the operation, the OR it is kept under positive pressure, keeping out any outside dirty air.

Rather than a single light for illumination, the spotlights were made up of hundreds of individually-lensed LEDs. All-in-all, it looked pretty cool for the few seconds I was awake. I wish I had more time to explore.

Once moved to the operating table I was put under general and left without anything else to write. Despite my pleas to have some photos taken for this blog, I’m unfortunately short on graphic surgery picts. The best I have is a selfie of me after I got home.

The dressing was at least 1″ thick.

For those with inquiring minds, I did find a video of the same operation on YouTube. It’s pretty neat, IMO. FF to about 12:20 to see the plate going in.

Thankfully, it looks like my incision is a fair amount smaller than the guys’ in the video. It also looks like the massive wound dressing was unnecessary, as there was essentially zero leakage from the relatively small incision.

Nice work Dr. Chudik.

Now comes the hard part, doing next to nothing for a few weeks.