Emergency medical staff are AMAZING. As we rolled into Greenacres hospital in Port Elizabeth a team was waiting, Nuerosurgeon included. Bumping out of the ambulance and into a new bed, wearing a black surfing rash vest, black and blue board shorts and half of the sand on the beach, actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The morphine was working big time and by that time I thought every body was a cool dude. Drugs do work people. ;-)
Staight to ex ray and cat scan. Lying still in the cat scan machine also wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Drugs again. From there to Hi Care and my home for the next few days.
The nuerosurgeon appeared at the side of my bed and out of my very limited peripheral vision looked like a a nice young man...until he started talking.
"You have very serious injuries....have smashed several cervical vertibrae and have what we call a hangmans fracture, we need to do major surgery."
Now folks...do your own research on Google, don't take it from me....people DO NOT survive a Hangmans fracture. Why do you think it's called a hangmans noose...coz it's Guaranteed to kill people.
The surgeon said he needed to stabilise me before surgery and proceeded to drill holes into my head. Lovely, like I havn't had enough trauma. The scafolding followed and I was left looking like and exhibit in some new age art gallery...Mohawk haircut included.
Following stabilisation and a catheter...ouch... I was scheduled for major surgery 2 days later.
I am a very active guy and lying very still on my back for 2 days was a lesson in discipline in itself but I got through it.
2 days later at 7.30 in the evening I sad goodbye to my new friends in Hi Care and was pushed to theatre. The answer to your question is..the nuerosurgeon said he works better in the evenings. Cool let's go.
After a preliminary chat with the anaethesthetist and a suck on some stuff in a mask he gave me , I was intubated and disapeared into the land of nod.
5 and a half hours later at half and hour past midnight, I heard a voice. "Mr Macdonald, Mr Macdonald...are you awake. I came around slowly and the very chilling next question was " can you feel your hands and feet."
"I can" I answered without thinking about the heaviness and extreme importance of that simple question and with that I was wheeled back to Hi Care.
Game over? - successful? - not by a long shot.
THERE WAS MUCH WORSE TO COME
look out for Part 4 tomorrow,