Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Surgery and the Recovery Room, Part I

So all those pre-op appointments were exhausting. I pingponged from one side of this huge hospital to the other to meet every damn appointment. Physical, anesthesia consult, blood cross and match (for which I got to wear a plastic bracelet for well over a week), more blood, EKGs, more blood. I got a little snippy at one point and said, uh next time please just take a pint and divide it among yourselves. My arms hurt.

Surgery day arrives. My brother arrived at 4:45AM to drive me in because my dad wasn't available. My mom was hurting (she has chronic pain due to spinal stenosis, as well as a host of other problems) but insisted on coming with us. I told her to just sleep and come get me in recovery with dad when he got home from work, but she didn't want me to be alone. It was kinda good: gave me something to focus on, worrying about her and her pain while getting ready in the pre-op section, etc.

Why are those stupid gowns called Johnnies anyway? No one could tell me.

A slew of doctors and nurses came whipping in and out. "Name? Date of birth? Medications? Allergies? Why are you here?"

Wait what? Why am I here? Why don't you KNOW? >.> Just making sure our notes match. That's not funny, medical people. Don't do that.

After an hour or so, mom was in excruciating pain. Dad called to let me know he was on his way. I told him to pick up mom, go home, surgery will take 2 hours or so and then I'll be in recovery, come back around 9:30/10:30 am. Poor Dad. He sounded worried and frantic and kinda freaked out. I sent him home.

My surgeon came in to talk to me and recommended an epidural. Said it would help healing time. I said, well if you say so, but I'm not really comfortable with it, but sure.

The anesthesiologist came in with his team to talk to me. Unlike my surgeon, he didn't want to do an epidural. He said, "You're young, otherwise healthy, and I don't think you need it." I said, "good because my aunt had to be patched, my mom has back problems, I'd really prefer you stay away from my spine. It's not good for my family." He laughed, tore up the consent I just gave, and said, "No worries!" The nurse with him said, "Uhm,'re gonna tell the surgeon, right?" He gave her an evil grin and said, "Yep, once we're in the OR." She sighed and said, "Ah shit." LOL This was a good way to start. I was laughing.

Wheeled me to the OR and the whole time I was thinking how surreal this is. This isn't happening. And what a weird feeling to be wheeled about places. Got to the OR and that's when I nearly got teary. Holy shit but is that intimidating. They had me scoot over onto the surgical table, told me where to place my butt, patted me on my covered hair, and told me they're gonna take my hand and start my IV. I nodded and said okay.

Next thing I knew, I woke up in recovery, afraid to say a word, afraid to unclench my teeth, feeling like I was curled into a ball, but knowing I wasn't, wanting to whimper and sob but afraid that would make the pain hurt even MORE. All I could do is whisper...

"Please. Oh please. Help. Help. Hurt. Pain. Please. Help."

I have no idea how they heard me. But someone came over and blissful darkness took back over.

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