Probably the closest I've come to being cut open with a surgeon's knife is when I worked in the meat department of Pence's IGA in Ottawa, Kansas, during college at Ottawa University. It was my first job in the meat business, foreshadowing a career that led me to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. My job was to come in every afternoon and clean up the "cutting room" after the meat cutters had gone home. After washing all the knives and cutting boards in big sinks filled with a mixture of bleach and water, I would lay them out to dry.
On this particular day one of the knives (the largest one, of course) slipped from my hand and dropped straight down (point down, of course) slicing through the top of my boot, top of my foot, bottom of my foot, and bottom of my boot before hitting the concrete floor (at least it was sterile!). After pulling off my boot I learned what they mean when they say, "bleeding like a stuck pig."
Blood was spurting with every beat of my heart as I hobbled to the house phone, picked it up and announced to the entire store that I needed immediate help in the meat department. If I'd been thinking, I would have said, "Clean up on aisle 911," or something clever like that. But it worked nonetheless and it seemed like everyone working in the store came to my aid (something in my voice must have communicated the urgency!).
After being wheeled out of the store on a produce cart holding my foot as high above my heart as possible, I was transported to Ransom Memorial Hospital (affectionately known to students as "Rancid Memorial") where I received stitches in the top -- and bottom -- of my left foot. Somehow the knife had managed to slice cleanly through my foot without hitting either bone or tendon. I was lucky.
But I digress...
I had a pre-op appointment with Dr. Craig Loucks at Peak Orthopedics this afternoon. He went over plans for the surgery, which include cutting me open (we've been over that), putting the pieces of my collarbone back in place with a titanium plate and pins, and filling in the fracture with Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP) to stimulate the formation of new bone at the site of the fracture. As Dr. Loucks described it, BMP is like silly putty with bone cells in it. Pretty cool stuff.
If all goes well I'll be riding on my new bike (on a stationary trainer) by mid-April and back out on the road by my 44th birthday (May 15). Wish me luck...or keep me in your prayers. Whatever works for you. I'll take the good vibes!