Wow, I can’t believe it has been 5 days since my surgery. What a roller coaster ride it has been. So, all the gory details. Here they are.
My wife and I headed to the hospital at 11AM on surgery day and signed in. They took me back, had me change in to a gown, gave me a shot of blood thinner in my stomach (WHAT – I never read about this step!!), weighed me, took a urine sample to make sure I wasn’t pregnant, put in an IV and then called my wife back in. All of that happened in about 20 quick minutes and I could feel a little panic starting at that point. I asked the nurse if she was going to give me the shot to calm me down and she actually laughed at me and said there was no such thing….okkkkk, not a week earlier the pre-op nurse told me about it….anyway, deep breathing exercises started. Well wishes were coming in from my wife’s phone so she was reading them off to me and that was a nice distraction. Over the next hour or so we were introduced, one by one, to the surgical team. Everyone from the nurses to the 2 anesthesiologists (TWO!?!?!) to the 2 surgeons (TWO!?!?!?) and I can’t even remember who everyone was. All I really remember is the one anesthesiologist who I thought looked like Jane Lynch (of GLEE fame) and the nurse who looked and acted like Martha Plimpton (80’s actress and most recently in Raising Hope). Martha made sure my wife and I kissed goodbye before she escorted her out and Jane pushed me back to the surgical suite. On the way she asked me why I decided to have this surgery and I told her it was because my doctor had basically handed me a 2 year death sentence – YOU WILL DIE IN TWO YEARS WITHOUT THIS SURGERY – or have a heart attack or stroke – same thing at the time….she was surprised. I wanted to ask her why? Did she think I was healthier than my doctor did? Had she seen a test which said I was ok? Should I not get this done?!?!? This all happened in a span of 5 seconds…..
As she pushed me into the OR, which really looked like a big white metal room, my questions were forgotten. Ok, so I watch too much Grey’s Anatomy and have not spent any time in a real OR before!! I remember thinking “Holy Crap, is this sterile enough – I can probably still see the hallway from here!” lol….
I had read on a board that everyone saw you naked almost the entire time so I checked my dignity at the door and was surprised when they kept me continuously covered with warm towels as they moved me over to the OR table and propped me up like a Christmas goose (I don’t even like the taste of goose but I am SO hungry right now, I could eat it – would rather have a big, juicy cheeseburger though…just sayin’) They brought over arm boards so my arms weren’t hanging off the side of the table and then brought over soft egg crates to put under them. Between those and the warm blankets it was kind of like floating on a cloud. Then my nose itched, I went to scratch it and realized they had me TAPED DOWN – PANIC! They also had me laying completely flat, which makes it difficult for me to breathe,so I literally was almost about to pass out when Jane saw my distress, lifted my head and started talking about nothing and everything. Apologizing for the long wait because the others were with other patients. Then, I heard the surgeons talking and the other anesthesiologist came in and it seemed everyone was getting into their places, almost like a theatrical crew backstage. The next thing I knew the table was being lowered again, Jane asked me to open my mouth nice and wide and she slowly placed a mask over my face. She told me to think of good thoughts and I was panicking because I couldn’t breathe again and I thought, ok, if this is it, God, forgive me for my sins, take me away and take care of my wife and my boy. I was still awake so I thought of him playing on the beach and the next thing I know I was awake and in pain.
The nurse asked me for my pain number and I said TEN and she said “Oh, ok honey we are going to get your pain medicine now…” and all I could think was why in the world would they wake me up and not have the damn pain medicine ready!?!? I was crying out loud but I still couldn’t open my eyes and then the nausea hit. Now, I have had an upset stomach before but this was knock you on your ass, you can’t even move a muscle without spewing nausea and it was bad. Over the next few hours I remember them somehow making me comfortable enough to send in my wife to see me. She told me they found a little hernia and had to take care of that while they were in there. She asked me how I felt….not a good time lol. I think I told her it was really bad and she needed to make sure she really, really wanted to do this, lol. Probably not the best thing to say to someone on the fence about it already. They were trying to get a room for me and I think it was almost 10PM before they did. I’ll have to ask my wife, poor thing. No wonder she is still exhausted. A new nurse was introduced and I remember feeling a little more relaxed because she seemed more competent than the last one lol. I didn’t realize how out of it I still was. I remember her going over with me the signs of a heart attack and she was telling me to let her know if I had pain in my shoulders or my neck or chin. The next thing I remember is she was helping me sit up so I could walk over to the chair and sit there since I was apparently not comfortable in the bed. This whole time I was still nauseous. To be continued….