Here’s how it all went down…
My surgery was scheduled for 7:45 am this past Tuesday which meant I was the first surgical patient of the day. Normally they want patients to be at the hospital 2 hours ahead of surgery but surgical daycare doesn’t even open until 6:30 so we just had to shoot for then.
Tom and I got up around 5:30, basically just enough time to get up quickly get ready and go. We got there a bit early and had to hang out in the lobby area until the office opened and then we shuffled over with the other early morning surgical patients, stood in line and one by one wrote our names and our surgeon’s name on a white board and sat down to wait to be called up and checked in. I was third in line despite us being the first there. I didn’t want to shove the old lady with the walker or the cranky old dude in the wheelchair out of the way…
Once I was checked in they put on the hospital bracelet and sent me in to see the nurse in post-op care. They basically went through the admission forms and handed me my pre-op kit which consisted of the gown, PJ bottoms, a steri-sponge, a Q-tip and some cloths. I was told to scrub my belly down with the antiseptic sponge let is air dry, clean out my belly button (ironically with a Q-tip that the nurse laid down ON the hospital sink (ewww that has got to be pretty germy!) let it all air dry for a bit, rinse it off with a wet cloth and dry with another before getting into the ever so cool pjs. Needless to say I used the antiseptic cleaning stuff to also clean the Q-tip area..
After I changed I was told to put my street clothes (which were yoga pants, t-shirt and sweatshirt as I didn’t want to have ANYTHING that would squash my incisions for the ride home) into a locker with my name on it. I would be coming back to this same area for a few hours after I had been in the post-surgery recovery area for what they said was usually around an hour.
I was then directed to go hang out in my cool PJ’s in the patients waiting room. Tom and I sat in there until they called my name which really didn’t end up being too long at all. I was given the booties to slip over my shoes and one of those surgical hats. Poor Tom had worked until midnight the night before and as it would be hours before he could see me anyway so he went home for a nap to await their call that I was ready to come home.
I was directed to the next sitting area to await the consultation with the anesthesiologist who explained the procedures for general surgery (I was already familiar from when I had my tubal ligation years ago, not to mention all the medical shows I watch but I listened politely) and then told me they would come and get me when they were ready.
After a while a nurse came along and called my name and guided me down to the operating room. It was FREEEEEZING in there. I had to remove the PJ bottoms and they loosened up the gown and had me climb up on the OR table. They had the IV put in my arm in preparation for the meds to put me out, but wouldn’t actually give them to me until the surgeon showed up. I chatted with the nurses and the anesthesiologist about my job (of all things!) and when the doc showed her face (she had been stuck in traffic) they readied me for the meds. The nurse told me to think about a nice vacation spot to get away from the work stress (they had just finished hearing about) as they pushed the drug in and that is the last thing I remember before waking up again.
When I woke up in recovery I was wearing an oxygen mask and started to cough and holy hell that hurt. Both my throat and my gut. The nurse came over to ask me how I was feeling and to give them a number from 1-10 on pain. I croaked 7 (I’m tough). They came over and gave me a shot of something and a sip of water which was HEAVEN. I fell asleep again and a while later I was given some pills and some more water. I was told by then it would be another few minutes and I would be moved back to the area I had started out in to finish off my recovery.
I must have passed out again because when I next awoke I saw the original nurse who had done my paperwork. She said she was glad I only had to have the laproscopic surgery (they had me sign permission to do a full open one if they found they needed to) and I smiled and said yeah I was pretty glad about that too. She brought me some more water and after a few sips I fell asleep again. I was having THE trippiest dreams while I was out. I would fall asleep and wake up ten minutes later feeling like an hour had passed. I was seeing faces coming at me and I distinctly remember a very colourful fish with a hat and wheels for feet. It was like watching “The “Yellow Submarine” or something in small five minute chunks.. very very WEIRD.
At first I was the only person in the surgical daycare recovery area and slowly more patients started to get wheeled in. I continued to drift in and out until a nurse came up and asked if I felt I was ready to go home. Oh yeah you betcha. I couldn’t really rest there, too much going on so they called Tom, told him where to park and that he needed to come right in to get me. They brought me my clothes, closed up my curtains and I slowly changed back into my street clothes and headed over to the washroom (all that IV fluid!) I found out I was still feeling pretty dizzy after that journey!
They told me to lay back down on the bed until Tom arrived and got no argument from me. When Tom got there they instructed him to go get a wheelchair because I was looking pale (I tried to tell them I’m ALWAYS pale) and Tom wheeled me out to the car. Man it was nice to get home. I called my Boss and let her know all was well and a few other co-workers and then passed out while Tom went out to fill my prescription.
I spent most of that first day sleeping, wasn’t really hungry but did have some juice and some broth later that evening.
Cinnamon has been pretty good about leaving the sore parts alone. She wasn’t too thrilled with the smell of iodine so she avoided the area and just in case she would try to jump on me at night I’ve been spending most of my time sleeping on one side or the other. She did decide that she’d had enough of a steri-strip covering one of the smaller incisions that was half way peeled up last night and ripped it the entire way off. Eek! Good thing she picked the small one!
I have to say day two felt worse than day one, all the bruising started to come through, the incisions were feeling more tight and pulling and quite a bit of swelling both around the sites as well as inside. I feel kind of lumpy and its like things are shifting around in there when I move. There has been TONS of bloat, all the Co2 they pump you with starts moving around inside and up to your neck and shoulders. The other day it felt like it was squeezing around my heart when I took a breath. I’ve been coughing up some phlegm too. All in all not to bad considering.
My last pain pill was last night before bed time. I’m going to try to go without then, maybe just take an advil or something if need be but stay off the T3s. I’m not a big pill popper for pain anyway. I will be really happy when all the swelling and bloat goes down.
So far I’ve lost a couple of the steri-strips but the main mangled up looking one over my belly button still remains. I’m kind of afraid to let that one come off to be honest, it looks gross. The incision there as well as the middle one in the upper abdomen are still painful, though the belly button one is worse (maybe the location?) I have an appointment with the surgeon on the 9th (two weeks after surgery) but I’m supposed to call if I have any concerns before then.
All in all I guess it’s healing up pretty good and I’m feeling considerably better and less tired today. The thought of sitting upright for long periods of time doesn’t sound very appealing (reclining or laying flat feels best) or for that matter putting on real pants but I’m sure that will be a different story in a few days!
A few pictures of the damage (I have no pride) for anyone that wants to click, nothing too gross other than my pasty belly ;)
A nicer picture… here are the lovely flowers from my lovely co-workers: