Sunday, April 4, 2010


It’s Sunday, I feel like I’ve lost track of the days!  It wasn’t that long ago that it was Wednesday and I was waiting in the pre-op waiting room for most of the day.  I had eaten my last food Tuesday afternoon, some humus and crackers at about 3:30, last drink at 9:00 am.  By the time I spent the morning in the waiting room, I was really hungry and a little dehydrated.  I got into prep at 3:30 PM finally and the fire alarm started to go off in the Hospital and we smelled smoke.  They descended on me all at once, getting all the information and asking a million questions.  They tried putting an IV in my right hand but couldn’t get a vein and so they put an IV in the top of my left hand, then as quickly as they came, they were all gone.  They came in to update us fairly regularly and we waited around until the fire alarm ceased squawking.  Then they took me on a long ride through the hospital to the OR.  I had a look around at all the busy people and all the big equipment, then took a little nap. 

I became aware that things were happening around me, I could hear lots of people moving around and talking to me.  They gave me a morphine button and kept asking me what level the pain was.  It’s really hard to come up with a number between 1 and 10 when you’re not really awake but I finally gave them a number.  Every time I woke up I pushed the button again.  They gave me some zone pain relief which they had explained to me pre-op.  I could feel the ultra sound sensor, then feel the prick.  Then the pain was greatly reduced on that side.  Then I could tell that on the other side the doctor was talking someone else through the procedure.  He said she should feel a layer, then I could feel her needle poke through a layer… and each time he said there would be one, I could feel her work her way through it with the needle.  That one wasn’t as effective as the first, but they helped get the pain back down out of the stratosphere.  Each time they woke me up the pain had let up and I was steadily feeling better and better.  That doctor told the person he was teaching that I had “a beautiful anatomy”, even in my drugged state I thought that was pretty funny.
A friend of mine went through a similar procedure recently, and I read her blog afterward with interest.  She had some complications, only she felt that she hadn’t been proactive and assertive enough with her medical professionals so it got to be a life threatening situation for her.  I was thinking of her when I began to feel that some things didn’t feel right.  I kept sending my husband out to communicate with the nurse, and she took a real “wait and see” approach about the situation, she did not call the doctor.  Hubby was on the phone with his mother when I felt things take a serious turn and I told him he had to get off the phone.  He went for the nurse, I showed her what had happened and she got a crew in there right away.  Before long there were three or four people working on me, they were struggling to get the bleeding stopped.  I had my husband call my parents and pastor, so that people could be praying.  They tried a few things but they were pegging off my ability to handle it and finally decided that they’d better go ahead back to surgery.  They wrapped me up, sent me on my way and before long I was back in the same OR looking around at the very same room and a whole fresh set of staff.  The one exception was my surgeon, who was on call that night.  That was a real blessing because if she hadn’t been there, it would have taken someone else a while to get up to speed on my situation.  As it was, she could jump right in and get started on fixing the problem.  I took another nap while they got the bleeding stopped and sent me back to my room. 
I woke up with three IV ports in my arms, only one in use.  It’s always a struggle for them to find a vein for blood or to put an IV in, and I lost count of how many different locations they tried for IV’s on my arms and hands.  The surgeon came back later on to explain what had happened, one tiny little spot had not been sewed up and it happened to be a spot with an excellent blood supply.  I was able to make a few calls and let people know I was ok.  Due to blood loss, my anemia got a bit worse, but thankfully not bad enough for a transfusion. 
I’m home, my belly is really swollen and it’s always uncomfortable to move after being still for a while, but I’m doing really well.  I’ve taken myself off the narcotics, I can manage the pain without the heavy duty stuff, that is an improvement.  I’m able to shower and I made myself a little lunch yesterday and breakfast this morning.  Each day I try to do a little more without pushing it too much.  My bruises are turning all kinds of colors, my arms have yellow, green and purple patches on them. 

I struggle with knowing what to do with all my alone time, especially when the things I enjoy doing are mostly off limits for the moment. I move around the house and see the dishes I'd like to wash or the bed I'd like to make and I struggle to quiet my inner neat freak.  I've started reading a novel and maybe that will help.  It has always been difficult for me just to sit still and do nothing, this seems to be no exception.  It won't be long before I can get back to my routine and start being able to do more things, that will be lovely!  

Happy Creating,
-Carmen Rose

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