Random Notions and Stories of Teaching

October 31, 2005

Surgical Experience

Well, I am home and feeling better. Not great quite yet, but so much better than I was. The surgery seems to have been a success. This is Birth Control Pill-Free Day #4 and still no problems. Woohoo!

Having never actually had surgery, Friday was an experience. First, outpatient surgery. Weird. Second, my father had outpatient surgery on his foot last December and proceeded to drive the truck up the snowcovered driveway when no one else could get it up there. HOW DID THAT MAN DRIVE!?

I arrived at the hospital at 9:40. I was supposed to arrive at 9:45 and this is the one time I did not allow myself to arrive 15-20 minutes early. I was scared and I didn't want to be there any longer than I had to. A few minutes after we arrived my good friend, C, showed up. She came to sit with the hubby (and with me). Now, isn't that a good friend?

Around 10:15 they finally called me back to get prepped. So I left the hubby and C in the waiting room, which was actually just a hallway. The nice surgery nurse whose name was Shelly, I think, took my blood pressure (which was super high - shocker) and temp. Then she let me use the bathroom. I changed into my ugly hospital gown complete with pocket and easy access hole (we decided later it was for those heart monitoring wires some people have to wear). I climbed into the bed and she came to start my IV.

I eagerly showed her my "good vein" (i.e. the one that doesn't hurt). She wanted to try "her spot" first. "Her spot" is that crease where your wrist meets your arm, not only does it hurt going in, but it hurts the rest of the dang day too! Everytime I bent my wrist it hurt. Grrrr. I like "my spot" better.

After she had me all IV'd up, she let the hubby and my sister, C, back in to sit with me. Woohoo, I have a sister! Around this time we were informed that my doctor was running late (she's always running late) because her first patient arrived at the hospital late. At this point, my nervous bladder is an issue (at least in my mind).

The hubby, C, and I chatted while we waited. Most of the time with C and I giggling and hubby shushing us so they didn't get kicked out. At 11:45, my nurse went to lunch. At 12:15 she came back from lunch. At 12:20, I had to pee. Luckily, hubby got a nurse's attention and I got slipper socks put on and then she helped me to the potty.

Finally, around 1:30, they came to take me away. I kissed the hubby and said goodbye to C. They whisked me down the hall to the "holding room". There I met, Andy, my anesthesiologist. Andy was about 12. Seriously, he was my age, maybe a few years older. He was very nice. The holding room should be given a game showy name as I felt like I was answering game show questions.

"Quick, what's your name and birthday?" - (I rattled them off...rank and number and all that)
"Why are you here today?" - Hysteroscopy, D&C, and possible polypectomy

The saddest part, they said I was only one to get the "why I was here today" question right all day. Johnny, what do I win?

I feared I would be waiting in the "holding room" (should be called a holding cell, really) for a long time, but before I knew it, there was Barb, one of my surgery room nurses, saying, "All right, let's get the show on the road."

Having never been in an operating room before it was a lot like ER. :) However, it was incredibly COLD. Bordering on FREEZING. It felt like I was in a refigerator. Brrrrr. I huffed myself over onto the table, which was really hard. The things you think about when you're lying on a table. Once I was all situated, they added arm rests for me to put my arms on and some extra pillows to put my head on. They had my head positioned weird. Now, I know it was so that once I was out they could intubate me easier. They put something on my leg to help avoid blood clots. I remember Andy saying he was going to give me something to relax and thinking, "thank god, cuz I am terrified". Then I was waking up in the recovery room. The stupid blood pressure cuff woke me up. Squeezing the stuffing out of my arm every minute or so. Sheesh.

And I hurt. My butt hurt from laying on that awful bed. I just wanted to move so that I could get some pressure off my tailbone. Have you ever tried to schooch up in a hospital bed while you're still loopy? I bet I looked like a big old goober. I remember moaning because I hurt and because I was out of it. I was awake, but I couldn't keep my eyes open.

Then arrives Nurse Talks to Fast. Nurse Talks to Fast was my recovery nurse. However, when under the influence, I need a moment to process things and she left no time for that. She gave me a shot of something. It made the pain go away. Then she told me that I didn't really have to pee. (Uh, yes, I did) She also showed me some crazy pictures of my uterus, which was apparently full of polyps. All I remember is some hazy, bumpy, red and white pictures. Maybe the doc will show me them again at my post op appointment when I am lucid. I had so hoped to use them to make scrapbook pages.

My first coherent question to Nurse Talks to Fast was "when can I see my husband?" To which she replied, "when he picks you up with the car. Are you ready to go home?"

Home! Yes, please.

I barely remember getting dressed and climbing aboard a wheelchair. Then Nurse Talks to Fast became Nurse Drives to Fast and wheeled me out of the hospital. I met the hubby and C in the foyer where I briefly remember C tossing my scarf around my neck and the hubby helping me put my coat on. With that, I got in the car and we drove home.

When we got home, I went inside and back to sleep. About 4 hours after that I was feeling much better. Saturday, my neck and shoulders hurt, but other than that, not to bad. Oh, and my cold was worse. Yes, surgery and a cold. I like to make things difficult.

It occurs to me now, that I never actually SAW my doctor. I mean, she had to be there. But I never actually saw her. Creeeeeeepy. Hubby ran into her in athe cafeteria. So he saw her twice. Again, I say, creeeeepy.

For now...I'm off to find some Advil as my tummy is hurting again.


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