Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day #394 The Surgery Experience

I couldn't sleep at all on Sunday night. I went to bed at 11 something and woke up every hour until 3 when my alarm went off. I woke up, showered, dried & straightened my hair (no makeup as per hospital rules) and got dressed in comfortable clothes.  I took some pre-op pictures:

I also took pre-op measurements: Bust 40" Waist 47.5" Right Thigh 25.5" Left Thigh 27.5" Neck 14.5" Right Wrist 7" Right Bicep 15" Left Wrist 7" Left Bicep 16".

Then I woke up my husband and we hit the road. It was really early:

I was in the surgical waiting area at exactly 5am and no hospital staff was there yet. After a while someone came out and started handing out numbers. This crazy lady who was sitting behind me was standing at the counter waiting for a number (I guess she has had surgery before?) and wanted to be number 1, even though she was at least 2nd or 3rd case. I knew I was first case and casually walked up to the counter after the other people sat down and got number 3. I chuckled to myself when they called #3 first.

Having surgery at the hospital I work at was sometimes beneficial, sometimes embarassing. They called me back and didn't let my husband come in. The tech gave me a plastic gown and told me to take everything else off and put that on. Then she gave me a warm blanket which felt awesome. At this point it's 530 and my husband was still not allowed in. They wanted to wait until I had signed all of the consents and had my iv in before he could come in. My nurse didn't come into my room until a little after 6. Because I work at the hospital I know where to sign for all of the consents and that went by in a flash. She reviewed all of the paperwork with me and then started my IV. She said she hated starting IV's on other nurses but was really good. She let me pick the site and got it on one try. The only bad thing was that it was an 18G and was near the surface of my skin so any time the tubing was moved it hurt. 

Once they finished all of that stuff they let him in and we just sat and talked until a few minutes after 7 when my CRNA came in and gave me some preop meds for nausea. They took me to the OR and I remember transferring onto the table but then that was it, I don't remember anything else.

I woke up in PACU (where I work PRN) and had severe pain from the gas (the procedure was laparoscopic). My nurse was awesome. She went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable and I really appreciate it, even now it makes me really happy to think about it. There were no beds available so I stayed in PACU until noon. When I got to my room I was miserable. The room was really hot, the sheets were really scratchy and there were linens all bunched up underneath me. I also still had the plastic gown on and it didn't help with feeling really hot. I got a little panicky and started throwing off all the covers. I had my husband help me put my own clothes back on. I called the maintenance line to lower the temp in my room but it felt like it never started cooling. Then I called the front desk and asked for a fan. It never came. After about 30 minutes where no one came into my room I got frustrated and decided to start walking around the unit, hoping to figure out who my nurse was. Halfway down the hall I found her and she got me a fan by the time I got back into my room. When I got back from walking I had my husband change my linens and I felt a lot better.

I spent the day doing laps around the unit and then taking naps. The gas pain was severe. I felt it in my abdomen and my right shoulder. I also had really bad nausea. I kept dry heaving. A combination of toradol and zofran made my day a lot better. My husband has been battling a severe sinus infection since two days before the surgery and had started losing his voice at this point so I sent him home. I had a rough night. The gas pain was horrible and it just triggered the dry heaving. I actually cried which was a little embarassing.

When I woke up in the morning at 7 I got up by myself, peed, brushed my teeth, walked 5 laps around the unit and then waited until 8. This entire time I had been NPO. Nothing at all. I was really thirsty but strangely not hungry in the least. At 8 I called my friend that works in radiology and asked him if I could be the first person to go down for the leak test, he obliged and came for me a few minutes later. The barium tasted horrible! It was like a combination of the smell of pinesol and hand soap. I had to take one small sip and one big sip and they had me turning left to right to check all the angles. I had no leaks! I came upstairs and called my nutritionist friend to tell him I had the surgery and the bariatric coordinator came in around the same time. They gave me more post op instructions and ordered me a breakfast tray.

My breakfast tray had one jello and one apple juice. I struggled to drink half an apple juice from the time they brought my breakfast until they brought my lunch tray. I had two tiny bites of jello also. When they brought my lunch (chicken broth, grape juice and a jello) I was having a lot of pain (and had already convinced my nurse to take out my IV) so I was forced to drink a lortab elixir. Wow, it is definitely not tasty. I foolishly drank about half of it (7.5cc) and right away started dry heaving. That is just too big of a sip for me. Even though I only drank half of it I fell asleep. I even had a visitor stop by and leave me a note but I don't remember anyone coming. I woke up a little after 3 and decided to walk again. I started to drink more fluids but had a really hard time taking in very much.

At 5 I got my orders to go home and called my husband right away who luckily was already walking into the hospital. He packed up all of my stuff and we left. As soon as I got home I tried to drink more liquids sitting up on the couch, but I just kept throwing up. I couldn't keep anything down. I was determined not to have to go back to the hospital and remembered that I had some orally dissolving zofran from a few years ago and decided to take one. It made me really sleepy and I woke up in my bed in the middle of the night. I got up to pee and then came back to bed. I then woke up one more time because I had rolled onto my stomach and it hurt really really bad. I finally woke up for real at 7am and started by eating a sf strawberry jello. I've eaten 1/4 of the cup so far today and have had a few sips of apple juice. I haven't had to throw up yet and am feeling better. I still feel very bloated, and my stomach makes weird growly noises all the time. These are my four incisions:

Pre-Surgery I weighed 221. This morning I weighed 217. Everytime I feel bad I just keep reminding myself why I did this, and the benefits that I will reap from having done this.

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