Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Surgery

Spent the next day getting the house ready for me being out of it.  Went for pre-op exams, x-rays, ekgs, blood work to be typed, and dropping off my portion of the pay to the hospital.  My longtime friend Bobby flew into town to see me before my surgery.  It meant a lot to me that he made the trek but I really wasn't up for much company.  I was still in a lot of pain and very exhausted.  I felt it must have been alarming to see me this way.  It was still good to pick him up at the airport and spend some time at the house before he went to his hotel.  He was with me when my son was very little and was a huge influence on his beach life and attitude.  I shared some of my son's photos with him that he kept in a photo album.  He found it touching Ethan had found a special place in his life for him through the years.  I'm nervous about the surgery and distracted.  Couldn't really focus on having quality friend time with him to catch up.  Still re-assuring he was going to stay through the week and check in on me.  Had a good team around me, near and far, cheering me on, wishing me well.

The morning comes too soon.  I am up and in the shower.  I just have to wipe myself down with the pre-op towels they gave me, get dressed and drive to the hospital.  I can't wipe my own back down so I ask my sister to come in and help.  She takes a moment to take shots at my body telling me that it's so sad I have no butt.  She may think she is teasing me to lighten the mood but it's an old jab well worn at and does not help to settle my nerves or put my edginess aside.  The ride seems unbearably long.  Summerlin Hospital is way on the other side of town from Henderson. We get to the hospital, find a place to park and go in.  I check in and we wait.  The nurses station will take me back first, then my husband and sister can see me before I go under.  I give my sister my phone and give her last minute instructions to keep my friends posted with updates on Facebook.  She's always got her nose buried in her laptop anyway so I thought it was the perfect task for her.  The nurse calls me back.  My husband looks scared.  My sister is looking at books in the free library unconcerned.  She tells my husband she is going outside to smoke.  I am in a bed with my sexy white thigh high stockings and hospital gown on.  They are explaining the procedure, how my legs will be hooked up to this machine that will massage them so I don't get dvt, put in a pickline iv, put my hair in a cheese cloth shower cap.  They are asking me questions about my meds and basic info that I already answered on all the forms. I am immediately wondering why they had insisted I do them at all.  The place is beginning to fill up around me with other patients.  I see beds being wheeled in here and there, curtains being drawn between beds.  I wonder why they haven't asked my family back, I've been here a while.  A tear rolls down my cheek as I call in my mind for my son to come be with me, I'm scared.  I don't want to be cut on and I don't really want to lose the one organ where I created and nourished his life.   Even that is being taken from me.

My husband is in the waiting room, they have called him to come in but my sister is not outside smoking.  She has decided that she would go and get breakfast in the hospital cafeteria.  He decided to take one more sweep before he left her and found her about to order.  They finally came in and I felt relieved, wish they had been able to come in sooner.  It seems like we barely had time to say goodbye, to take my things and they were wheeling me back to the operating room.

My normal reaction is to make light of the situation by making comical comments.  As we wheel into the operating room they have the music cranked up and the boombox is blaring "Do Me Baby"!!!  There seems to be about 6-7 people in the room.  I start yelling over the music, "There's a pahty going on up in heah!  Groovy!  Music is cranked up, ya'll have your party hats on, where's the cocktails?!"  Dr. Lee turns around and says, "I'm ready for you right over here."  They transfer me to the other table, I see the DiVinci machine taking up a third of the room.  It looks like something straight out of Star Wars.  They will place 4 little holes in me and operate from about 3 feet away from my body to take out my uterus.  The nurse asks if I could swing around and lean over on this side table with a pillow on top.  Everyone is smiling and happy I'm there.  I see this huge horse syringe and ask if they are going to use that on me and Dr. Lee says yes.  I tell him I pray I am knocked out when he does.  Then they put this oxygen mask on my face.  I pull it up long enough to say "May God guide your hands, I love each and everyone of you for being here for me, now party on!"  I take two breaths and I am out.

I don't remember recovery at all.  I only woke up long enough to see my sister and husband bring flowers to me as they place me into my hospital room.  I am in a quarantined room alone.  I want to talk but have a strong urge to just sleep.  My husband wants to stay but my sister can see I am not up for company and doesn't see the need to stay.  I wake up some time in the morning with a nurse beside me.  She says my blood pressure is sky high, says something like I am almost in arrest.  I tell her I did not take my meds last night.  It should be on my chart that I take certain medication.  She asks me if I got up and went pee, she needs to measure it.  I told her no, I just woke up.  Then she discovers that I have a catheter.  A Catheter!  I didn't even know.  I saw the iv in my hand, felt my legs hooked up to some machine, a breathing tube in my nose but had no idea I also had a catheter.  Asks if I'm in pain and I said no so she goes off to get me a BP pill. Another nurse comes back a little while later and says she will be taking care of me today, gives me the pill.  Seems like its been hours since I saw the last nurse.  She unplugs my legs from the machine, takes off the breathing tube, eases out the catheter.  Then she tells me I am getting up and taking a little walk with her!  I remember them telling me I had to do this and go number two or I was not going home today.  I put on a robe, grabbed the iv and we went for a stroll!  She was so cute and perky for that time in the morning and we said hi to all the nurses as I went past them on the floor.  I was even amazed with myself that I was up and walking.  She told me if I felt I had pain to take something, not to try and suck it up and bear it.  I told her "Oh okay, I'll take something", then went back to sleep.  Had to remind them I was gluten free so they would tailor my breakfast, seems they didn't have much about me on their chart.  I was able to go home after seeing the Doctor at around noon.  I made it through the surgery.  I just had to go home and heal, if only I can make it up the stairs to my bedroom.

I stay in my bedroom for another few days and my sister is a very kind nursemaid.  I eventually start coming down and spending my days on the couch watching dvd's of a funny series my brother sent on British TV called "The I.T. Group"; he sent all four seasons.  My sister is bringing me liquid and making me food although the gluten free diet was never high on her priority list to find recipes for.  I know she felt I was acting like a princess on holiday but the fact was I had just gone through major surgery, not to mention losing my son.  This was no picnic to me.  My dance career was out the door, wasn't sure if I would ever have a sex life again, and these four little incisions were killing me!  I only find out two months later that one of those medical wraps would have done wonders those first few weeks.  What's important is the cancer in my uterus is gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment