I should really be careful what I wish for.
On Tuesday, Mom and I arrived at the hospital around 7:00AM. We checked in and sat around for a few minutes until I was called into a room. I was instructed to change into the gown and hairnet. I noticed this particular hospital didn’t have those awesome socks like the last one did. A little disappointing. I had a bit of trouble tying up my gown but after contorting a little bit, I got it together.
Two nurses came in, one older, one younger (and pretty) came in and the older lady tried to start my IV. I’m not scared of needles but veins freak me out so I kept my eyes closed while she stuck me. It seemed like it was taking her a while so I wondered what was going on. Then I felt a burning pain in my hand she said, “Oh, I think I blew the vein.”
“You didn’t get it?” I asked with a wince.
“Nope. When you don’t eat or drink before surgery, it can flatten your veins. I stuck the needle into your vein and it went through the other side.”
“You mean the other side of my hand?” I thought. It burned. Then she tried my other hand and inserted the needle with no trouble. Then the nurse brought my mom in and we waited around for a while. Then the anesthesiologist came in and talked to me. I told him the last time I came out of surgery, I had severe nausea. He noted that and after he left, the young pretty nurse came in and injected something into my IV that she said would help me relax. But it only made me feel nauseated. I felt a wave of sickness flood my chest and fog my head. I broke out into a fit of giggles before I lolled my head around and hit the pillow. I couldn’t keep my eyes open or talk because it made the sickness worse so I just lay there for around 45 minutes until a different nurse came in and wheeled me out.
By this time I was shivering. The room they put my mom and I in was freezing. And I don’t get cold. So I know it was chilly in there. The lady stopped and pulled out two heated blankets and wrapped me up in them. They felt fantastic. Then she wheeled me into the surgery room. One nurse untied my gown and asked me to shimmy onto the operating bed. I did so while other nurses got to hooking me up to the different machinery.
I kept comparing this hospital to the last one where I had my previous cyst removal. By the time I’d made it to the operating room during my previous operation, I was already knocked out. This time around, I was awake and coherent while they hooked me up. I felt self-conscious as the nurses pulled my gown down to attach the sticky pads to the different parts of my body. Of course, these ladies have seen it all. But they haven’t seen me. No one has seen me before. I was ready to be put under already.
And as if on cue, the anesthesiologist came in a bit later. They put an oxygen mask on my face and then the anesthesiologist said he was going to give me something to help me sleep. “Now, this is going to burn,” he said. Two seconds later, it did. I felt the medicine as it entered through my hand and worked its way up my arm like a poison. And then I was out.
I woke up and remember being wheeled back into the cold room where my mother was. The nurse who was carting me around asked if I was a vampire because I was so white. I said I was and then she wheeled me back into the room with my mom and asked my mom if I was always this white and if I ever got out and went anywhere. In my sleepy stupor, I said, “But there’s nowhere to go.”
I remember them pushing a small green can of ginger ale in my face and I drank it most of it. Then I sat up and someone gave me a small pill, told me it would help with the nausea. I took it and it was bitter. I drank up the rest of the ginger ale and then everyone was gone. My mom helped put my clothes back on. I went to the bathroom and peed and then came back out. Everything happened so fast and I had the impression they wanted us to quickly get out. Fortunately, my post-op nausea wasn’t too bad so I gave the all clear to be wheeled out to my mom’s vehicle. It was a 45-minute drive home and I thought I had been awake the entire time but I must have dosed off ’cause it didn’t seem to take long at all to get home.
I plopped into bed and slept for several more hours.
My cat Moses took it upon himself to take care of me. He slept in my bed the entire first night (he usually goes to bed with me then slinks off after a while) and at one point he even turned to face me, which he has never done before. Just watching out for me, making sure I was breathing, I guess. He’s stayed with me during my recovery.
It’s been a few days since the surgery, a swirl of unconsciousness and pain. My throat hurts, obviously, but it’s the kind of pain akin to a very sore throat. It’s hard to turn my head, talk, or swallow. I haven’t been able to eat much. At first, I didn’t even want to eat. But now my appetite is starting to come back but my throat hasn’t quite caught up yet. All I can get down is mashed potatoes and tomato soup. Oh, and coffee. It’s so soothing going down.
I was hoping I’d be able to catch up on my Netflix shows and movies. But the pain pills have made me groggy and unable to concentrate on anything. And while being in bed the first day or two was nice, I’m starting to feel restless. But I can’t move around too much ’cause I get dizzy. So back to bed and back to sleep it is.
I was supposed to go back to work today but I just wasn’t feeling it. When it comes to recovery, you just never know how much time you’ll actually need. I took two vacation days but I definitely should have taken more. The problem is I don’t think I have that many vacation days left. I’m scheduled to work tomorrow and I will make an attempt to go. I’ve stopped taking the pain meds because they weren’t working to reduce the pain, only to make me feel dizzy. So maybe with those out of my system, I’ll actually be able to stand. It still hurts to talk, though, so I guess I’ll just try to get by without speaking too much.