Thursday, May 03, 2007

So, I survived my first hospital experience. And in honor of that, I figured I'd share all the icky details with you.

Got to the hospital a little after 10. The admissions person was originally from Latrobe. One of my friends from work waited with me unil they took me back to prep. They did blood pressure, temp, all that stuff, then they had me give a urine sample and change into a gown. You'll be glad to know I'm not pregnant.

The prep nurse asked all the standard questions, I told them I was sensitive to all adhesives except tegaderm, a fact they promptly ignored. he nurse tried twice unsuccessfully to start an IV before she gave up and called the anesthesiologist. The resident tried twice before the attending finally got it started. My arms and wrists are a mass of bruises today.

So, I told the CRNA that I was really nervous about the anesthesia and he tried to reassure me that once he injected the first drugs into the IV, I wouldn't care anymore. He was partially right. Itis just r=that it was so quick between them injecting me. moving me to the OR and sticking the mask over my face. The next thing I remember was being in recovery and asking what time it was (4:10). It seems to me that I did that a few times in a row. I remember asking for ice and water a few times, and the next ting I knew it was after 7. That's when I asked for a blanket. They told me sometime after that that I'd be spending the night in recovery because they didn't have any rooms available. A little while after that, my boss came to see me for a few minutes and brought flowers. I have the best boss ever.

A little while after he left, they moved me into a private room in the recovery room. It was very small, but very comfortable. The nurse was concerned that I hadn't had to pee yet, because I had been drinking water like mad. I think I apologized. She said not to be silly, and said that I was probably one of the easiest patients she had to deal with.

Well, around 2 a.m. they found a room for me, on an oncology unit. I don't want to think about what happened to allow a room to be available at that hour. They got me settled there, and around 3 a.m. I tried to pee and couldn't. I told the nurse that I felt dehydrated (my mouth was soooo dry), so she did a bladder scan, which was inconclusive. So she called the doctor on call, who told her to put in a catheter. She did (not fun at all at 4 a.m.) and they drained about 800 ccs of urine. So yeah, it was my problem. So they told me to keep drinking fluids, and kept the IV going, and told me i wouldn't be able to go home until I peed.

It was right around this time that my oxygen levels dropped a little bit, too, to around 90%. So I got to spend a few hours on oxygen as well.

The also kept moving the PCA thing (the stuff you use to give yourself pain medicine) out of my reach, and then they kept saying how suprised they were at how little pain medicine I was using. I promise that I would have been using more if I could have reached either that or the call button.

Between 8 and 9, everyone on earth was in my room. They brought breakfast, which was eggs and grits. I don't normally eat either, but I ate about half an egg. Just the thought of grits nauseates me. A volunteer brought a paper, another was checking on my satisfaction with the room (which was nicer than my apartment). The chaplain came in, a very nice Baptist minister. I told him I was going home that same day, but that I appreciated his offer to contact my church (even though my pastor is currently in Germany). Then the surgeon's PA came in (I never actually saw the surgeon while I was in the hospital). She asked a bunch of questions, and told me my calcium an potassium levels were a little low, so I would have to take Tums twice a day for a while, and eat bananas and drink orange juice for about a week (no hardship there). After all that, I drifted in and out, and they woke me up twice to take vitals. Then a co-worker came to visit on his lunch around 10:30. He visited for about 15 minutes, then a nursing student and instructor came in to take out a drain. He doesn't do well with icky stuff like that, so he left.

The drain was a whole 'nother adventure. I told her again that I was really sensitive to adhesive, and she ignored me and used big nasty adhesive on the gauze they put over the hole. So now I have a rash on my neck in addition to everything else. The nursing instructor told me it would only have to be there for a few hours, but it is still there. I have to call the surgeon's nurse to see if I can take it off, and she won't be in until 1, so I can't take a shower until then, and I really want to take a shower.

So then they brought lunch, which was a chicken wrap. It was good, but only ate the chicken and lettuce out of half of it. I tried to pee again, but again was unsuccessful.

My boss called a little while later. I told him they wouldn't let me leave until I could pee. Then I apologized for my inhibitions being a little too low. He laughed and said that hospitals have a tendency to do that. He told me to call when I'm able to leave. Not 15 minutes later, I managed to pee. it was a good thing, too, because right after I got back to bed, the nurse came in with another catheter. I just made it over the limit where she would have to cath me. I told my boss that from now on, his name shall be the Pee Whisperer.

So he and another co-worker came to get me and take me to the pharmacy and then home. We got to the pharmacy, dropped off the prescription, and I vomited. Got the door open just in time to not throw up all over his car. Threw up all over my shirt, though. I apologized about 30 times. I hate throwing up.

Instead of taking me to the store then to get juice, bananas and water, they took me home. He went and picked up the stuff last night (he lives less than a mile from me, as do half my coworkers) while I slept, and he called just before he got here. Then I ate some noodle soup (OK, I ate the noodles - the broth was a little too seasoned for me). Then I took a pain killer (I'm not in a lot of pain, but enough that I tend to wake myself up if I move, and I knew I needed to sleep). My bladder is definitesly awake now (I've had to pee a lot). I had a banana for breakfast, and some juice and Cheerios for lunch, and here I am.

So that was my surgery adventure. The staff at Baton Rogue General Bluebonnet is very nice and very professional (even if they forgot to tell me if I can take this dressing off. Even so, I really hope not to repeat this experience any time soon.


LutherPunk said...

Sorry it was miserable, but glad to hear you are recuperating!

tomzgrrl said...

So very glad to hear that you made it through okay. Funny that you lost your inhibitions. I imagine that yours will be back. Think about how bad *I* was when on meds in the hospital -- I don't have many inhibitions to start with. I think I actually made the staff uncomfortable!!!

Glad you're on the other side of it all!!!!