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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Surgery Story

So ... the day of surgery... This was such a surreal day. I was afraid I wouldn't sleep well the night before as I hadn't the night before that. I slept great. I woke earlier than I intended, but got some final work notes sent out, and then... time. Nothing but time. I had to pack my bag still, and shower etc. I wasn't so much nervous as anxious. I was the last surgery of the day at 1:30p - and didn't have to be at the hospital until 10:30a. Finally the time came to leave. We got to the hospital, checked in and within minutes, I was headed back to preop. My parents had to stay in the waiting room for "about an hour". If I had any real complaints, it would be preop. I had to wash my stomach for 15 mins and then wait. And wait. And wait. I should have had an IV much sooner and my parents should have been with me. They waited almost 2 hours to see me, and were there when I got my IV. I'm not a fan of needles, but I'm used to blood draws now. The IV pole was to my left, and I noted that it was easy to get blood from my left arm (they try to use the arm vs. hand in case they need to give Phenergan for nausea), BUT I was ok with my left arm being used. I should have known when the  nurse kept looking over both arms and hands, and then put the tourniquet on me...and STILL had to tap my veins to "get one" that this was not going to go well. I was apparently holding my breath and making faces (there's a pic to this effect that I've yet to see) and my parents were highly amused!). She FINALLY got the IV in...and I almost passed out. I got clammy, white as a ghost and light headed. It passed, but I'd like to never go through THAT again.

IV in... and we waited a bit more. Dr. Fontana came to talk to me and my parents. As he was walking away, Dad said "please do a good job and take care of my girl", as he shook the doctors hand. Awwwww. Next think I knew, Anesthesia was there, they gave me a GREAT cocktail that hit me immediately and we were off to the OR. It was quick in the OR. they started putting electrodes on me, we were laughing a bit...and then  the doctor says "this is just oxygen, take a few deep breaths". The next thing I know, I'm in recovering and I'm moaning that it hurts. The recovery nurse worked quickly to take care of the pain, and I kept apologizing for being a wimp to her. She assured me I wasn't, and also taught me the ways of the PCA pump...full of Dilaudid. I'm sure I hit the thing a million times in between the 10 mins I could, but in my defense, I was pretty out of it and couldn't tell when it was "lit up" to be able to actually get anything. I spent about 3 hours in recovery - not because of me, but because my room wasn't ready.

Once I got back to the room, it was a bit of a blur. (That might be understating things...) My parents and Melinda were there - Dad left to go take care of Molly - and every time I woke up Mom and Melinda laughed at me. I'm pretty sure it was the effect of the Diluadid that made me funny. We'll go with that.

A doctor stopped in, I couldn't keep my eyes open and had no idea why he was there. I didn't like him though, that's for sure. I said something to a nurse at some point... and she must have passed it along because he came in on Friday to apologize - but I couldn't figure out who he was. He was upset I didn't remember him. Hi... Dilaudid, surgery, I pretty much forgot MY name.

So Friday was uneventful...lots of sleeping on my part. My parents and Melinda came in the afternoon ... and I walked some - slept some more... oh and Mel brought the BEST popsicles EVER. (Wylers Light Lemonade)  I really wasn't having much pain at all and wasn't hitting the pain pump must Friday morning. They took it away on Friday afternoon and I had liquid vicodin later in the evening - but my pain was really, truly, minimal. I couldn't believe it.

Saturday I was discharged around 1130a - and headed home. I took one dose of vicodin when I went to bed that night - but really, the pain was nothing. After that I managed it with (minimal) children's Tylenol. I lazed around on the couch trying to get in my water. You can no longer gulp..it's sip, sip, sip. I had some soup, pudding etc. My stomach can only handle about 3oz water MAX ...still.

My recovery has really been uneventful - in comparison to those I know who had surgery around the same time as me. I've had a little nausea - but I figured out that was because water and my sleeve first thing in the morning, not friends. I need something flavored. I have no idea... but I quickly figured it out. I've not had much pain, or soreness really. My incisions itched a lot (they still do now and then) but really... I'm just knocking on wood.

Friday I was cleared to eat "soft foods". I came home... craving a string cheese stick. I was all ready to do some damage...and damage I did. Half the cheese stick demolished... and I was done. Yes... half. Dinner was a piece of deli turkey with 1/3 piece of cheese on it, warmed up. I got through about 2/3 of it. Yeah... that little. My stomach can only handle about 1oz of "real" food still. Full is an interesting feeling now. Maybe not so interesting, but it always shocks me. One bite too much and I can totally feel it, and it's a little uncomfortable. It's an adjustment...slowing down eating, small bites, and learning what "full" for me is. Eventually I'll be able to handle 2oz and slowly up to maybe 4oz at a time.

First Dinner - before and after

I've been hanging out with my Mom - and having fun playing cards, we made it to the beach one night, and I finallllly!! took her for her first ever pedicure. She loved it. She's been a little spoiled - I gave her a smaller Coach purse I don't really use any longer as well. Pedicures and Coach, she might never leave!

So... that's what's been going on w/ surgery and after. I'm doing well - walking... learning to eat again... drinking my fluids. I'm ready to go back to work, and considered going back to work early, but decided I'd take the last few days and enjoy it - as the fall is shaping up to be a busy one!

I'll leave you with my favorite new saying - it speaks to me!

1 comment:

  1. Pedicures and Kate Spade and I'll come take care of you! Glad you are doing well.