Bonus knee surgery

Back to the hospital for another go next week.
Cover image for the article Bonus knee surgery

I went to hospital to have knee surgery last week. My ACL (ligament in the knee) is completely torn.

I arrived at the hospital early in the morning. I checked into a comfortable room and chatted to the staff in my basic yet enthusiastic German.

I went into the surgery. There were 8 surgeons/doctors ready to perform on me. They said that they would give me a strong opioid and that I would fall asleep. I began to feel as if someone was slowly lowering a weighted blanket onto me. I let them know that it was working.

I woke up on the operating table. I asked to my audience, "How did it go?" The head surgeon replied with frustration: "We did not operate on you. We are very sorry."

It turns out that I had not signed a form. You might ask, why didn’t the team ask you to sign the form before the operation? Answer: they realised that I hadn’t signed the particular form after I was deep in sedated sleep.

So, the highly trained, 8-person team watched me sleep for about an hour. It's a lot like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Except Snow White had a torn knee, and my dwarves were green-frocked German medical professionals.

The surgeons were grateful that I was not annoyed at them. However, they were angry, particularly the head surgeon. 

The situation seemed like a restaurant where a customer orders a meal of chicken and spinach. Even if the customer was happy getting just the spinach, the chef would still be annoyed that his team did not deliver the chicken. Professionals can have intrinsic standards, separate from an individual customer's experience.

So, I got a bonus general anaesthesia. Back to the hospital for another go next week.