I'm back in the land of the living.
Here's a little account of my experience:
Hubby and I arrived at the hospital at 8:45 AM. I had checked in and settled up the previous afternoon so we went right up to surgery, where we waited a little while, less than a half hour. The pre-op nurse, Pam, came to get me and she did THE best job inserting an IV needle ever. Even though it hurt going in (I think that part is the worst) I had no bruising on my hand. She helped me on with compression hose (for blood clot prevention) and got me settled in with warm blankets. Hubby came in to wait with me until it was time to go.
Surgery was scheduled at 10:00 and by 10:20 I was wheeled away down to the OR suites. I saw my surgeon, Dr. Vyas, the anesthesiologist, Dr. Chuck, and my OR nurse, Bethany. They all individually made sure I was who I was, that I was indeed born on my birthday, and what parts I was there to have removed. I passed all the quizzes and was rewarded with more warm blankets. Naturally, as soon as I was all warm and cozy Bethany moved me into the OR and welcomed me to "The IceBox". (It's cold in there so the patient's metabolism slows down.) Dr. Chuck asked me about my job as I swapped guerneys...
...and I woke up in recovery.
The recovery room is really nice and warm. The nurses talk to you in loud voices, and keep waking you up. I didn't mind; one of the times I was awake I learned how to use the PCA pump, heretofore referred to as "the Button". The Button, when pressed, delivered unbelievably good medicine (dilaudid) into my brain. I was in pain, but hot damn!, I just didn't care.
The next thing I remember is my room, and the nurse fussing over me and Hubby arriving. I was stoned out of my mind by this point...Hubby says I was pretty happy...so did my folks when I called them as well as a couple of friends. The Button allowed itself to be pressed every 10 minutes, and by golly, I can tell time. Hubby fed me apple sauce, and I had so much fun waiting for the plane (spoon) to arrive laden with yummy mush.
Then it was night. Pete, my night nurse, put compression cuffs on my calves which alternately squeezed and relaxed my legs, moving the blood around. It sounds torturous, but was actually very soothing and kept my feet nice and warm because of the forced circulation. The nursing aide, Marcos, came in and took my vitals; he joked that he'd see the nuns in my room in the morning as my blood pressure and heart rate were so low. In between interruptions I pressed the Button, drank cranberry juice, and slept.
In the morning I felt pretty good as long as I didn't move, which of course everybody wanted me to do. After breakfast--eggs, bacon, juice, coffee and a muffin--the day nurse Irma
cajoled ordered me out of bed and we cruised the halls for a bit. Dr. Oliver (another surgeon) came in to see me and give me the thumbs-up for release. Irma removed the catheter and IV. I went back to bed, ate an excellent lunch, and had a long nap. I woke up in some "discomfort" and I was given a pain pill...not the Button's caliber of pain-killer, I can attest. Another nap, and Hubby reappeared, this time to take me home. I was a little afraid to go home, I wasn't sure I'd be OK, I was really hurting by now. But home we went, and four days later I'm feeling fine as frog's hair. I've got some nasty bruises around my incisions, but no stitches--the Docs glued me shut! I took one more pain pill the night I got home and after that I haven't needed them. I imagine by next week I'll be bored out of my mind. Thank goodness for all of you to keep me occupied. Thanks for thinking of me this week. Thanks for all your cards and emails and comments. They mean the world to me.
Thank-you Hubby, for being my rock.
And Thank-you Pam, Drs. Vyas, Chuck, & Oliver, Bethany, Pete, Marcos, and Irma for taking such good care of me when my life was in your hands.