Thursday, August 23, 2007

Heather's Big O Day

I'm home. I'm awake. I'm half the woman I used to be...or rather, my cervix.

Mom arrived at 5:30am to take me to the hospital, but I had to drive her Jeep because she didn't know how to get there. I checked in, they took me to the pre-surgery where I got to talk to about a dozen different residents. Anesthesia resident popped in and announced he would be putting my IV in. He gathered his junk and we made small talk. He figured out I was a nurse, so asked me where I worked, so on, and so forth. I don't like making general announcements that I am a nurse when I am in a patient capacity. I hate it when people do that to me. Most nurses hate that.

He plops down in a little chair, eyeballing my arm. I'm not the best stick in the world for IVs. I point to a particular spot on my wrist, "That is your best bet." But he is not just any resident. Noooo, he's an anesthesia resident, and they know everything, certainly more than a peon floor nurse would know.

So, he selects a different site on my hand. I just sigh and don't say a word. He injects some lidocaine, which I loathe and despise. It burns like hell and what difference does it make because it still hurt when he put the iv in and fished around. He fished, and fished, and fished. No blood, no vein, no luck. Finally, he abandoned that attempt and looked at me. I just smiled and pointed to the same place I pointed out before.

Resident: But I don't feel a vein there.
Me: You can see it, no?
Resident: Well...(staring at large blue line on my wrist)
Me: (trying to sound encouraging) Try putting the tourniquet a little higher, and go for that spot.

Resident sighs (he doesn't believe me) and repeats all his prep work. The IV slides in. Success!! Sheepish, he apologizes because he should have listened to me in the first place. I shrug. Hopefully, he will have learned a valuable lesson: listen to your patients and don't assume you know everything. I guess that would be two lessons.

Mom is allowed back to see me, and I tell her where the Starbucks kiosk is. She is very excited. Anesthesia Resident returns and I get to have some Versed. God Bless Versed. A minute later, I'm giggling uncontrollably and I have no reason to. That is what Versed does. It makes me happy.

I'm wheeled into the surgical wing, turn left, and go into Outer Darkness. The O.R. looks like it's a throwback to the 1940s, not to mention it's hot...which is odd because operating rooms are supposed to be butt-ass cold.

I'm moved to an operating table, which is about 6 inches wide. They strap me in so I don't fall off the table. They give me oxygen and tell me to have nice dreams. I say I will probably dream about work, so it's probably going to be more of a nightmare. They chuckle. I don't remember falling asleep.

I wake up to the sound of a screaming baby. Not pleasant. I've got a plastic thing in my mouth that keeps my tongue from rolling into the back of my throat. A nurse notices I'm somewhat awake and takes the piece out. I'm freezing and start shaking uncontrollably. I've given a warm blanket. The toddler continues to scream, and I hear nurses talking how they can't find the Mom, Wilm's tumor, and more child screaming. For every scream, my abdomen cramps. Observant nurse notices my grimacing and gives me Fentanyl. Heather's happy...until the child starts screaming again.

More cramping. More Fentanyl. It's a vicious cycle. They finally locate the Mom who comes and holds her baby. This calms baby down, and the tension level of the entire recovery unit lowers. When you are coming out from general anesthesia, a screaming child is the last thing you want to hear. The toddler is ushered out to go to the hospital room they will be staying in. The nurses breathe a sigh of relief.

Still groggy, a nurse takes me to the bathroom where I proceed to change back into my pajamas. Some discharge instructions, and I am sent home. This time, Mom drives. In my extreme post-anesthesia crankiness, I give her directions to get back to my house, convinced she is going to wreck the Jeep and I am going to die. I'm always irritable after surgery, just ask the ex-boyfriend after my knee surgery.

After getting home without incident, I crawl into bed and sleep the rest of the day away.

Now, I am awake. I still feel queasy from the drugs, and I've bitten off Brother's head once. I'm to follow up with my doctor in two weeks. I was told they would call me, but I am fairly certain I'm going to end up calling them.

So goes my big day. I'm probably going to go take more meds, and go back to bed. I just thought I would let you know how things went.

Thanks for all your well wishes and thoughts.


SmedRock said...

If it makes you feel better, I get to go in for a root canal tomorrow morning. Hell of a way to begin a weekend. Either way, get well soon. Hope it worked out well for you.

JustCara said...

Glad to hear it went OK (well, as OK as surgery and a screaming child can be). Why didn't somebody shoot the kid with Fentanyl?

Mark said...

Glad it went well! We're all relieved.

No embarrassing anesthesia stories? I'm told I became quite the comedian before they finally put me under. So much so that someone from the surgery team had to come out and tell my wife why there were sounds of out of control laughter coming from the pre-op room.

Spyder said...

Heather- If you need anything email me. Missed you Tuesday. Get well.

emawkc said...

This is an encouraging report. You've got some recovery left, but it's good that you felt well enough to share. We're all thinking of you.

pomegranate said...

I echo all that stuff.

Faith said...

Yay! Done with the hospital!

Well...until you go back to work, that is.

I'll shut up now.

Xavier Onassis said...

How are you feeling now (7:30ish pm)?

Why doesn't Sheridans deliver?

I would totally do that for you.

Janet said...

Glad you made it through okay. I'll go shoot the resident for you, too!