Okay, maybe not a cyborg per se, but I did have one hip totally replaced with a titanium implant and the other one resurfaced with a--you guessed it--titanium implant, which may not make me a cyborg, but does make going through the metal detector at the airport a super fun and super slow experience. Since I'm still pretty young, airport security personnel always eye me suspiciously when they have to scan me for metal. It's a trade off: I get to walk, run, and dance again, but I have to suffer the perpetual delay in getting scanned, frisked, and patted down every single time I fly.
But I digress.
I lost a ton of blood during the operation to the point where I went into A-Fib which is short for Atrial Fibulation. Essentially my blood pressure bottomed out to zero and there was nothing left in the heart to pump. The surgeon had already left, but a cardiologist was called in and got my heart started again. Kinda like jump-starting a car that has stalled.
As a consequence of the blood loss, I was super nauseated and I couldn't keep anything in my stomach. But the doctors and nurses thought it was the pain meds, so I didn't get any after surgery. Fortunately, I didn't really feel much pain just lying around in the hospital bed. They finally gave me pain meds on the third day post-op when I went into mild shock and started shaking uncontrollably and feeling pretty darn yucky overall. Amazingly, the meds stopped the shaking and the yucky feeling and I was able to eat and keep down solid food.
So, fast forward now to the flight home cross country from Los Angeles to Atlanta. I didn't want to take the risk of having to throw up on a plane. I hate throwing up. HATE it. So on the off chance that the pain meds might make me throw up while several thousand feet in the air, I didn't take any. The hubs had been super thoughtful and booked us front row seats on a plane that was too small for first class. The idea was that I'd be close the restroom and would have more leg room.
Which was great until I started to feel yucky and shake uncontrollably during the final descent. And since there weren't any seats in front of us, the flight attendant had made me stow my purse in the overhead bin. I could hold a fifty pound Stephen King book in my lap the ENTIRE flight, but I couldn't have my little purse containing my MEDS in my lap. Go figure.
And right before the shock set in, we hit some turbulence and the captain put the fasten seat belt sign on. I asked the flight attendant if I could get my purse to take some medication and she said no. I gritted my teeth and hunkered down to get through the rest of the flight. But as soon as we landed, everyone else jumped up in the aisle and the hubs couldn't get to my purse in the overhead bin. Forget trying to appeal to people's empathy. There was no frelling way people were going to wait a single moment longer than they had to.
So more grinning and bearing ensued and I was counting the seconds before the plane cleared and I could get some #&^ %pain meds in my system.
So, the plane is FINALLY empty and I take my meds. I'm feeling REALLY BAD now and it took about half an hour for them to kick in. I hobble off the plane on my crutches, my hips swollen to the point where it looked like I had on a sideways bustle, and look for the wheelchair we had asked for back in Los Angeles.
"Where's the wheelchair?" I ask a flight attendant.
"There's not one?" she says. "I called for three."
I cuss up a storm in my head. Some lousy person took my wheelchair. Who would do such a thing?
So they call for another one. Now remember that only FOUR days before I'd had parts of my bones cut off and replaced with metal. FOUR days. I could use crutches, but not to hobble the ENTIRE length of the Atlanta airport.
So the hubs and I wait for a wheelchair.
And wait. And wait.
And wait some more.
When one finally arrives, one of the arm rests is dented in toward the seat and I just about have to jam my swollen hips into it to sit down. Of course, this jamming is right on my incision sites and hurts like hell and I start crying. The only thing I hate worse than crying in public is throwing up.
The flight attendant who wouldn't let me get my pain meds from the overhead bin said in this sing songy voice, "Oh look, she's crying."
If I hadn't just had major surgery, I would have leapt out of that wheelchair and kicked her sorry ass from there to Sunday. Of course, if I hadn't just had major surgery, I wouldn't have needed pain meds nor a wheelchair. But still...
So the moral of the story is: take your pain meds before you fly even if you think you'll throw up. Or stash your meds in a fake book on your lap.