Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Minor Surgery is Only Minor for the Surgeon Performing It

I just wanted to clarify before I continue my story:
My mom took Cason home Friday night and that turned out to the the best thing ever.  Trying to manage a 2 yr. old in and out of a hospital would have been a nightmare. 

I had been craving some alone time- just me and my thoughts.  Sometimes God answers our prayers in the strangest of ways.  I got some alone time- it was attached to an IV and an oxygen monitor in a place that wasn't my home- but I got to be by myself. 

So Saturday morning I wake up waiting for someone to come take blood and tell me how my gallbladder was functioning.

Instead, my nurse comes in with some paperwork.  She tells me I'm about to have surgery and she needs to have me sign off on some forms.  She proceeds to tell me that they might cut an artery, nick another major organ, give me a blood transfusion that might contain AIDS or hepatitis (uh, haven't we fixed that?), and death is possible too.  Please sign here.

I proceed to have a melt down.  As the tears are flowing she looks at me with a questioning look and asks if I will be okay.

Between sobs I say "those side effects are pretty rare, right?"

She lovingly says "No, not really, just last week I had a patient with some major complications during surgery"

Best. Nurse. Ever.

For some reason I sign the forms and continue to sob.  I was not so much worried about the complications, I mean, if the Lord wants to call me home over a gallbladder than he will.  I just felt that I had no idea what was going on.  What happened to the blood test, the gallbladder function test, who was my surgeon, was my gallbladder really that bad?

Next a surgeon came in surprised to find me completely un-done.  I was looking for some re-assurance and questions answered.  When I asked if it was really necessary to have it removed he responded by telling me that medicine is not an exact science and removing the gallbladder was their best guess. 

Great.  Feeling much better now.

He then went on to tell me it was an easy recovery and I would be able to go to a birthday party that night.  No lifestyle changes needed and I wouldn't miss it at all.  He them mentioned the nurse would be in soon with some paperwork.  Ha.  Got that one a little mixed up didn't they.

I started feeling much better, calmed down and was ready to go.  (Too bad it was all lies)

They come and get me for surgery and I am wheeled downstairs.  I don't remember much about pre-op or the surgery (it's a good thing too).  What I do remember is waking up in pain.  Major Pain.  No one mentioned that I would wake up in pain, I thought I would wake up in no pain and the pain would creep in as the anesthesia wore off. 

I was the only person in recovery that day and there were 2 nurses.  Apparently they shoved a tube down my throat and scraped every side on the way down.  I whispered that it hurt.  She gave me some pain medication that didn't help and then proceed to spend the next 10 minutes complaining to the other nurse about how no one bothered to ask them if they wanted Chipolte.  Hello- still in pain over here.

I think I asked for pain meds 3 other times and finally they said they couldn't give me any more... yet I still hurt. 

After I "recovered" I was wheeled back to my room and got some pain meds that actually worked.  I tied to go back to sleep but kept hearing a loud beeping just as I would drift off.  A nurse stuck her head in the door and asked me to take big deep breaths.  Apparently as I drift off I stop breathing enough to make the machine happy.  I finally called the nurse and got hooked up to an oxygen machine so I could finally sleep. 

The rest of the day was pretty simple with the exception of the million trips to the restroom.  It was irritating because I had to unhook- the leg squeezers, the oxygen in my nose, the oxygen monitor, unplug the iv pole and lower the bed each time.  I think Mike thought I was just messing with him each time I asked until I pointed out the huge bags of water they were dumping in me through the IV pole. 

At some point my nurse came in to chat.  We were talking about the surgery and she tells me how important the gallbladdar was (the thing I just had removed) and how I will have to change my diet for the rest of my life.  I asked if there was a brochure or a nutritionist she could send in.  She said she would check.  How can you tell me all that and not give me some help?

By 11:00 that night I was still in a lot of pain.  The oral pain meds were not working and I was so frustrated.  What was the speech earlier about being at a party tonight?  The nurse said I could have another shot of IV pain meds and I got up to go to the bathroom for the hundredth time and had another melt down.  My expectations were completely different that reality.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Catherine!!!! I am so sorry! That is just awful!!!! Please please let me know if you need anything. Prayers are going up!!!!!

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