April 26, 2010

the experience

***detail warning***
JUST A WARNING that i talk about my experience with surgery in this post- and i include some details that are personal and may not be comfortable to just anyone to read. proceed with that in mind, thanks.

I was definitely nervous thursday night...i was so glad todd and joyce stopped by with the flowers and distracted me a little. no eating or drinking afer midnight...only one sip the morning of to take my meds....we got to the hospital and everything went pretty quick. checked in and went back to pre-op area- had to hand the pre-op nurse my paperwork- she looked at me funny and asked "are you jessy?" turns out one of the pre-op nurses is my step-mom's BFF! i hadnt seen her since my dad's wedding when i was a kid! crazy! this did help put me at ease-  felt like i had a friend on the inside. my main pre-op nurse- theresa- went my "Resa" and she was super nice. they had my strip down to nothing and put on a gown and some slipper socks, then i hopped into a mobile bed and i was covered with what looked like a paper floatation mat...warm air was being pumped through it to keep me warm. a really nice guy, i forget his name then came over to start my IV. he asked me where i wanted it and really took his time and made sure i didnt hurt- he was the best and knew what he was doing. the funniest thing was that morning i could not get one of my pairs of earrings out. they are the kind of earrings you use to peirce your ears with so they do hold more securely, and i havent taken them out in a really really long time...so they were sort of fused on there...my mom tried, wes tried, i tried, the nurse tried, another nurse tried...nothing. the nurse decided to put tape over them and let it go.

just as dr. kahn came to talk to me my sister showed up and it was good to see her. wes and mom were there too and we just sort of hung out while the nurse did the paperwork (both nurses complained about the paperwork and how patient care is compromised by it)....pretty soon the anasthesiologist came to talk to me. i told him i was prone to nausea and wanted to avoid it if possible and i did not want to count backwards. he seemed real nice and compliant to my requests. pretty soon they gave me a sedative to relax me a little and wheeled me into the OR. I remember thinking it was very big and there were tiled walls....thats all i remember. this was about 830am or 9am i imagine.

I think it was around 3pm that i woke up...someone said i woke up smiling, but i dont remember that. i was  in the recovery area and a nurse was very very attentive. i was the only post op patient and the other nurses/docs seemed real busy at the desk area while this one male nurse was near me asking me questions and making me comfortable. i felt very drowsy and i think he was going to take me to see my family, but i dosed off again. i remember i asked to see them, but they had to wait for me to get a hospital room. they said people are usually discharged round 3pm, so i could get a room at 330pm. And just around 330 they took me up to the 6th floor and i dont remember if wes and mom and hannah were already in the room or came right after i got there, but i got to see them very soon . at some point someone came by with a bag of my clothes and things and ...my earrings! I didnt even notice that they got them off- they managed to get them out while i was under sedation in the operating room...too funny!

one of the first things i noticed was that i could simply look forward lying down and could get a clear view of my feet! no mountains to block the view! i also noticed the drains sticking out over my shirt with blood collecting in them- gross!

mom and hannah presented me with some cool gift shop items (motorcycle clock and orange daisy!) and hannah brought me a beautiful scarf from morocco! going to the bathroom was a challenge the first time and i needed a lot of help- hannah helped me through it as well as the nurse. i was still pretty hazy and didnt feel much pain. now the timeline gets a little fuzzy but i think hannah left and mom and wes stayed until about 7pm, which is when i zonked out. i woke up again around 10 and watched TV until i could fall asleep again...the nurses kept waking me up for meds ro vitals or what-not and sometimes i could fall back asleep sometimes not. at one point- i think sat morning- they decided to try morphine for the pain adn i got a rash on my chest/neck area so they gave me benedryl and saline to flush it out...i remember it burned going into my arm.

i went back to taking two vicodin at a time and going in and out of sleeping. at one point they tried to give me an anti-biotic and it immediately made me very nauseous...this is when garrett and christine came to visit me. i had my first emotional breakdown from feeling so lousy from the nausia. i soon got some anti-nasusea meds and felt better...so two things i now cannot take- morphine gives me a rash and keflex makes me naseous...now i know! witht he weird reactions and me just not feeling good they let me stay another night.

wes stayed with me till late that night and i slept fairly well. waking up sunday was a different story. since i couldnt take the keflax, which the doc perscribed after i go home i needed to take a different antibiotic through the IV. they woke me up around 7am to take that and the nurse plugged it into the IV and left...it burned like nothing else! i had to call her back in to stop it- turns out the IV was bad..not sure what that means, but the line to my vein in that arm no longer worked. she said she would neeed to start a new IV in my other arm...since i was supposed to go home that morning i was none too pleased with this- i asked if there was any other antibiotics i could take in pill form and she said this was my only option. so she brings back IV supplies and asks if i can wait until after the IV to get my vicodin...i said i could wait (bad choice). then she looks at my arm and says she may need help getting my IV started...oh boy...she called a nurse friend to come help but then went ahead with it without the other nurse. this is when i started to lose it. i knew it was only a matter of time before my emotions came into play and i woke up sad that i was alone then proceeded to be poked by the clueless nurse who couldnt wait for help...so i started to cry. she had to get her bad IV out, then the other nurse had trouble finding a good spot for an IV....all my veins look so deep she said. she said the one inside my elbow looekd good, but then i coudnt bend my arm - i told her i was OK witht hat and to go for it- esp if it will be easier for her and cause me less pain. she had trouble too and before you knwoit there is a huge pool of blood on my arm...i continue to cry. the nurse was nice about it but left me when she was done....i continued to get upset and texted wes to see when they were coming. i needed my support system and felt crappy. when he came i cried some more and he made me feel better. mom came soon and i started to get ready to leave...i was done with this place!!

leaving the hospital we took them up on their offer for the wheel chair and the aid helping with the chair turned out to be a harley rider in a biker club that said he would call wes for some bike work! that was nice. after we got home i got to veg out a bit, wes made me a snack- i had strawberries and grapes and a drink - aong with a pain pill...but this pressure in my stomach started to build and i got really nauseous again. before you know it i am having some pretty violent vomiting...the strawberries and anti-nausea syrup came up like zombie pudding. it was gross...i was very sleepy and napped for a little bit only to wake up to the same pressure and nausea....threw up again! another nap and more of the same...after three sessions like this i was totally over it. i couldnt get out more than a whisper and i was in so much pain i couldn't stand it. mom was on the phone with the doctor, with other medically knowledged family friends, etc and all we could come up with was that i  was constipated and my stomach wouldn't let me forget about it- that and this is all a big reaction to the vicodin and the anastesia....i have never felt such uncomfortable pain like this in my life and it lasted hours and hours....i dont know if it was time, or mom's tricks (heating pad, breathing exercises, etc) that did it, but the pain finally subsided enough so that I could sleep. I ended up sleeping through the night last night and mom and i went to see the doctor this morning. He removed the drains and I looked away while he showed my mom the results, what to look for as I heal, and how to change the dressings. I asked them to take photos so I can look later when I feel more brave. When you feeling whats going on...I cant imagine it looks better than it feels...but I did look at a photo and it really doesnt look so bad...aside from some crazy bruises I look...normal.....

I also conquered the constipation this evening and managed to take it easy- day went by pretty quickly and ended with mom making all of us a really nice dinner - thanks mom!

what would i do if i didnt have such wonderful people in my life?

sorry this ended up being really long...but thats my whole story until now!

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