The operation happened yesterday- of course I couldn’t take the laptop in with me, could I?!
So, let me take you through my recollections..
A drip in both arms – one for fluids and the other for some antibiotics, then a little ride in the lift to the operating theatre..
I walked through the double sets of doors and was assisted up onto the table.
The anaesthetist spoke excellent English and talked me through the spinal procedure. My legs felt warm as they became heavier and they went to sleep. I was given something to make me drowsy and….
Then, 5 hours had passed and I never felt a thing! (Dr Shim said I snored a lot, though…) Because I only had a local anaesthetic, I recovered quite quickly. I could then apply my own pain relief when needed, through the drip.
Dr Shim and his colleagues worked their magic and whilst I can’t show you any photos just yet, I could not believe these photos were my new legs he was showing me – I must have had a leg transplant!
They looked just like my legs used to be! ( erm…I don’t have hairy legs, this was just the best picture I could find!)
He had removed all the fibrotic scar tissue that had formed in one of my knees and carried out both liposuction, to clear the area and to provide the stem cells, some lymphosuction and finally, the magic brew of centrifuged stem cells went back in intravenously.
My legs were triple wrapped tightly in towels and bandages, so I looked like an extra from the Mummy, but some of you readers out there know this feeling anyway…
Once back in my bed, the fun started… Remember there is the language barrier and in addition, a very different culture…the older person receives greater respect from the younger person..
Well, I wanted to go to the bathroom, so I used the translator app on my phone to say I needed a wee.
The younger nurse looked at me in horror, wondering how she could deliver this request and what on earth was I going to do with a Nintendo!!
Luckily, we all found it highly amusing and it broke the ice.
The nurses have limited English, I can only speak dog training commands in Korean, but we have been able to communicate quite easily. Maybe it’s because I already live in Korea and can understand a little, speak even less, but I know body language and gestures.
So, the next challenge was Korean food- tea time!
I was hungry and very thirsty, but took my time, I didn’t want to make myself sick.
If you have ever tasted Korean food, some is delicious and depending on your palate, some is not! It is also very nutritious, small portions of protein i.e.meat, fish or egg, soups, plenty of vegetables and seaweed, low in fat, and carbohydrates are from boiled potatoes and of course, rice.
I will do a blog page on Kimchi soon, but just to tell you, it is served with every meal, it’s fermented cabbage with spicy red bean paste- and it blows your socks off!
I ate what I could, but the rice filled me up quickly. Note the chopsticks! Luckily I have mastered them already!
So, I am counting my first day of recovery from tomorrow… the first day with my new legs… Dr Shim is satisfied with his work today and I am more than happy, albeit rather stiff, but all is well, so I bid you Goodnight from the English patient!
- Food Fair Highlights Health Benefits of Korean Food (theepochtimes.com)
- Rules of Korean Dining – Fact versus Fiction (derekversuslonelyplanet.com)