Let’s face it- description of surgery is icky. To try and negate the ick factor of this post, I’m mixing it up with some recent photos of the boys, taken St-Jean Baptiste Day weekend.
Monday morning I had to be at the hospital for 6:45am to check in for the day surgery. The operation itself was booked for 7:45, the first of the day. I was all prepared to have only the right side hernia repaired, and to have to do this all again in a few months. My surgeon came to see me in the hallway as I was being wheeled into the OR, and gave me a quick examination (HELLO cool breeze and flashing the entire hallway!). He hemmed and hawed about doing only what he’d planned, or redoing the whole thing- it’s preferable to do only once side and let me recover before doing the other, but I was in so much pain on both sides that he told me he’d open the right side and see what he could see and decide once he was in.
They brought me into the OR and moved me from my bed to the table, strapped my arms down and then the anesthesiologist told me he was going to give me something to make me sleep. A few seconds later the edges of my vision got a bit blurry…and I never even noticed passing out. Unlike the movies, there was no mask over my face, no “count down”. Just a slow, soft, easy fading away.
I woke up in the recovery room. I remember feeling pain pretty quickly, but the nurses were really prompt and gave me something for the pain. I’m allergic to morphine, so they gave me fentanyl which works, but wears off sooner than morphine would. I think it took an hour or two before they wheeled me back to my bed’s slot in the day surgery ward. From that point on I would be allowed to leave as soon as I could go to the washroom. I was still in a lot of pain so they gave me a big shot of demerol with some gravol and I slept for a while longer. My mom came in to see me a few times, and I had my ipod with me but I couldn’t pay attention to the Cory Doctorow podcasts* I’d brought to listen to, because I kept drifting in and out.
I still had no clue what had been done to me. I couldn’t tell by feeling the bandages if my surgeon had done just one side or both, and the nurse couldn’t decipher his handwriting on the notes in my file. In the meantime they wanted me to go pee, but when the nurse moved away my blankets so I could prepare to stand, she saw I had a catheter in! Eventually everything that had to be moved was moved, and I stood up to prepare to walk to the washroom. I felt fine, and said so, and then all of a sudden nausea hit me so fast- I had no time to react. My throat felt tight, I felt flushed and hot and I had to sit down NOW. The nurse and my mom quickly got me back into bed though the relief at lying back down was tempered by the pain of moving that fast.
I was given an injection of something for the nausea even though I felt better immediately upon sitting down. They made me wait around an hour before trying to stand again, and in the interim the nurse managed to find my surgeon and bring him over so we could ask him our questions. I was a little out of it, but from what I could understand, he had opened the right side as planned, but was able to see right away that things were a mess inside and he could see the hernia on the left too, so he made the decision to completely open my 19-month-old c-section, fix both hernias, and redo the c-section. Had I been any older he never would have done it like that, but since I’m still young-ish, and pretty healthy, he decided it was worth the risk.
After that it was another hour or so before I could leave. A quick (ok, slow, shuffling) walk to the bathroom, some help putting on my clothes, and then it was back home into my own bed, where I’ve stayed for most of the last two days. The living room couch just isn’t comfortable right now, and the one in the den is too deep for me to get in and out of yet, so I’ve been holed up in bed with a netbook my cousin lent me, a puzzle book my neighbor brought over, and my ipod.
Yesterday had a small setback where too much medicine + not enough food = nausea and vomiting, and let me tell you heaving to throw up when you’ve just had your belly cut open is NOT fun. Luckily it passed quickly and now I’ve been careful to eat a little more and take gravol 30 minutes before my pain pills.
All in all, in essence I just had a c-section, so obviously there is going to be some pain. Unlike the last 2 times, however, I don’t have a newborn to care for, and have been getting a lot of sleep, and a lot of rest. My friends and family have been awesome, giving me more support than I need.
Now I think I’m going to try and stay up a little bit longer, and I just *might* pick up my needles…if I can find them before the pain meds kick in.
*awesome free sci-fi, btw.