Surgery update

Yesterday I went under the knife.  Everything went well, I’m told.

Yesterday started by me oversleeping.  I had to leave my house by 5:00 so that I could check in at the hospital by 5:30.  I had my alarm set for 4:30, but when I looked at the clock it was 4:53.  No pressure!  I skipped the shower, ran a comb through my hair and grabbed the last few things to put in my bag.  Then I headed to the hospital. 

I checked in and waited for a few minutes until the volunteer took me back to the anesthesia unit.  The nurse went over all my medications and allergies.  I changed into a gown, gave a blood sample and then the anesthesia tech came in to start the IV.  He was very good.  I have to give him credit, because after two days of not eating and going through a surgery prep that cleaned me out, I was pretty dehydrated and my veins weren’t exactly volunteering.  We also started talking about where I work.  He told me that with my EMT and MA background, I would already be qualified to work as an anesthesia tech.  That is something to keep in mind for when I start nursing school and I need to find a job that will allow me to work nights and/or weekends.

I also had a pair of compression sleeves put on my lower legs.  They are connected  to a motor that has them alternate squeezing my legs to prevent blood clots.  It was nice at first…kinda like a massage.  But now, they are getting annoying.  I want to be able to move my legs more.

Eventually, they wheeled me into the OR.  I remember seeing a painting of a hot air balloon on the ceiling and that was what I focused on.  The same anesthesia tech was there, so that was comforting.  I wasn’t really scared, but I was just a little nervous.  Someone held an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth and asked me take several deep breaths.  I knew that they wanted me to fill my lungs with oxygen so that they could intubate me prior to the start of the procedure.  The oxygen mask is pretty much the last thing I remember until I woke up in the PACU.

When I woke up, I could still feel the effects of the anesthesia.  I wasn’t that sore from the surgery, but I was definitely still groggy.  It was about 9:30 when I first  woke up in PACU.  I slept off an on for a while and about noon, they brought me up to my room.  The weirdest thing is that the tip of my tongue is numb.  The nurse called the anesthesiologist and he said that he watched the intubation and that everything went just as it should have.  It seems that no one knows why my tongue is numb.  But, even 24 hours later, it is still numb.

I had to wait until late afternoon yesterday before I was able to talk with the surgeon and his team.  He told me that everything went as expected.  The biggest discouragement was when he told me that I can’t have anything to eat or drink for three days and I can’t get out of bed for three days.  It has been one day and I’m going crazy.

Strangely, the massive hunger that I’ve had since Wednesday (my last meal was breakfast that day), has pretty much subsided.  I am not constantly thinking about food.  But I am really thirsty.  I can’t even have water.  The nurses have given me cup of water and a sponge on a stick (about the size of a dum dum) and I use that to keep my mouth wet.  I can’t wait to have a big glass of ice water.

A couple people from the surgical team came to check on me this morning and they said that everything looks good.  I was also warned not to sit up too straight.  I’ve basically been switching for one hip to the other.  If I sit straight, I have too much pain.  And I’m trying not to push my pain button too much.  They have me on fentanyl, but I try to only push the button if the pain is keeping me from sleeping.

About 4:30 this morning, the CNA came in to get my vitals.  My blood pressure is typically low, but it had been even lower last night (duh, I was sleeping).  This measurement came to 78/42.  That is pretty low, even for me.  So, the nurse came in to give me a bolus of fluid.  Since then, my BP has been better.

Today is going to be another day of just sitting around.  I’m so bored.  I’m so glad I have my laptop.  I’m going to catch up on some shows on hulu.com.

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One thought on “Surgery update

  1. Pingback: Looking back on 2011 « (G)O'Donnell

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