So today is post-op day 2? 3? for myself. I don’t know, it was Thursday but Thursday was all sort of a blur, so we’ll go with 2.
They took me up to pre-op, told me to strip and put on a gown and booties I begged the nurse to let me keep my socks on because I knew what was coming. I knew they were going to want to start and IV soon and I know I’m an extremely cold blooded person. So by the time the nurse came in to start and IV she shocked at how cold my hands were and how shriveled my veins were looking. I ended up with something ridiculous like 7 heated blankets on trying to warm me up so they could start an IV. That seemed to be all anyone commented on during the day “we’re going to need to start charging you for blankets” “wow that’s the most blankets I’ve seen”… I just kept saying “Hey, I’m a cold person”
My mom and husband came with me and my mom called a couple days ahead of time to arrange for someone she knew to do the anesthesia. She asked me if I wanted to be anonymous or if I wanted her to call ahead and get someone she knew and I said “Please, after my colonoscopy, I’m desperate for someone good”.
So I had IV sedation (they did get it in eventually, and on the first try no less) and a spinal. Now, honestly I wasn’t even half as worked up about getting a spinal as I was about having a repeat experience of my colonoscopy. (I don’t have the patience to make links today so I’ll just tell you I woke up during my colonoscopy, I remember everything, and it was a horribly scarring experience). So when the anesthesiologist came in to ask me whether I wanted IV+spinal or general anesthesia and proceeded to go through the pros and cons of each, it served no other purpose than to bring me out of my active denial state and get me worked up. I agreed to the IV sedation and spinal probably within the first minute of the conversation, because the doctor told us in the appointment that helps her avoid complications but for some reason the anesthesiologist was convinced he had talked me into it and kept the conversation going despite me going “yes, spinal” “no, the spinal”… and the longer he kept going on about the complications I was finally like “please, can we just do the spinal, I wasn’t nervous about it but you’re making me nervous!”…
The official verdict on the spinal was “No sweat”… My mom’s specially requested nurse anesthetist did a great job of sedating me juuuuuust enough on the way to the OR to make me a very compliant patient. “oh you want me to bend over this pillow? No problem” “Big pinch, No problem” then I remember them having me roll over onto the OR bed on my belly and I remember barrrrely being able to feel them taping my skin apart and then nothing. Sweeeeet sweet nothing. I remember thanking the nurse anesthetist when she woke me up in the recovery room and saying “that was much better”. Then I spent about 2.5 hours in the recovery room because I wasn’t allowed to leave till I could wiggle my toes. Mom says usually people can feel their toes first but, my toes came back last. The procedure itself only took about 30 minutes but we spent a solid 3 hours there afterwords waiting till I had full motion and my pain was under control.
I did fine and even got up to pee straight away, then they handed me two percocet and it morphed into an awful day. I was fine till they put me in the wheelchair to wheel me out and then I got motion sickness like you wouldn’t believe. I managed to not throw up in the car but I had a miserable few hours writhing and moaning on the couch till my husband called the doctor and pleaded for something other than percocet. By the time he got back from the pharmacy I had gotten rid of all the saltines and plain noodles I had eaten and hopefully the percocet. Vicodin is working much better with my poor belly.
I can tell I’m moving around a bit better each day. Thursday, barely. Yesterday I was walking around holding onto things hunched over like an old lady and today I am walking more like a human…. but I’m still afraid to sit in a chair. The big goals for today are:
- Poop- because I already got a few phonecalls from the doctor telling me to start with fiber supplements. Like, on one hand I want to so they quite harassing me, on the other, I’m afraid.
- Start with motrin only- I have (HAVE) to go to clinical tomorrow and I can’t drive with vicodin)
- Sit in a chair- after clinical we have a standardized ATI test we have to take back at campus.
I know, it’d be nice if I didn’t have to go to clinical, but it’s the end of the semester so there’s no time to make it up if I miss and if I skip without making it up, I’m dropped from the program. Not an option. I already spoke with my clinical instructor on Tuesday and said something to the effect of “I have to have surgery Thursday and the doctor SAID I should be ok Sunday, but I just wanted to let you know that’s why I’ll be moving a little slow”
Now… the discharge instructions said no lifting anything over 10lbs, to which I say “good thing we’re working in postpartum and maybe that means I can just play with newborns”
The bad news is the discharge instructions also say “No swimming of any type for 2 weeks”…. So, um, no Mexico for us :(…. good thing I bought that travel insurance.