Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Surgery!!

I really need to get Blogger on my Blackberry. I waste a LOT of time on the subway when I could be updating my blog. Sigh.

Anyway, I thought some of you might be interested in my surgery experience, and now that I'm no longer fuzzy (due to antibiotics and Tylenol with codeine) I can actually form coherent sentences.

So, I showed up at the hospital and walked up to the admittance desk and told the woman my name and she goes, "Oh you're Roxanne! We have a room waiting for you! Fill this out!" Apparently since they changed my time (18 hours before I was supposed to check in) they wanted to be sure to get me in at my new time. Awesome. So, I filled everything out, they sent me through some doors where a nurse asked me some basic medical info + my name and birthday. I was asked my birthday about 10 times by about 10 different people. If someone in the medical field could explain to me why this is relevant, or whether it's used to make sure I'm coherent, or whether they just couldn't read it on my bracelet I'd greatly appreciate it.

Then I was given my hospital gown and some fancy puce colored socks with rubber on them (so I don't fall down obviously). I was also given a locker to store my things and asked to change and come back to the original room. First, I opened up my gown, and I'm not really sure how many of me they thought there having surgery. I realize that hospital gowns must be one size fits all but the gown I was given would also fit someone who is 7'0 and weighs 400 lbs. Now before I proceed, this wasn't a TYPICAL gown. It was a lovely lavender colored gown, and by far the fanciest paper gown I have ever encountered. There were vents, and Velcro at the shoulders and a cute little paw print. I put it on, tied it, put on my puce socks and headed back to the main room.

About 5 mins later my doctor came and got me and I left my new friend, the 50 year old man in the lavender one-size-fits-all gown, and walked through the surgery wing. I walked RIGHT past the surgery board which made me feel very Grey's Anatomy for a second. Then he put me on a gurney and left to find my anesthesiologist. BTW, I don't know how a tall person fits on a gurney. I remarked that is was the perfect size for me and that I don't know how a tall person fit (my feet were about 3" from the end) and they said, "one size fits all". I think I need to find the person they're basing all of these gown and gurney measurements on.

Then I found out how cool my gown really was! The nurse asked me if I was cold, and I said, that I was fine. She said, "Are you sure? I can plug you in." I was intrigued and said, "Yes, I am a little cold". She then proceeded to pull what looked like a vacuum hose from the wall and plugged it into my gown. Suddenly warm air was rushing into my gown. Fancy.

My anesthesiologist * came along with her resident who I thought had put in my IV and when I said, "that wasn't so bad" said, "No, that's the shot we give you to numb the area so when we put the giant needle in it's not so bad." THANK YOU DR. JOHNSON! Doctors who numb the area before putting in needles are my favorite. My dentist in KC used to give me laughing gas, then rub my gum with Anbesol before giving me the Novocaine. Favorite. Dentist. Ever.

Then they wheeled me away to outside the operating room where my anesthesiologist said, "Now I'm going to make you work" and made me get off my gurney and walk into the operating room. When I walked in I must have had a "huh?" look on my face because she said, "an operating room can be kind of disorienting". Yeah, the "huh?" had more to do with it being an ACTUAL operating room and not some alcove where they move them in and out quickly. For some reason, because it was an outpatient procedure, I thought it would be like the room where I had my endoscopy. Yeah, not so much. Real operating room. Luckily the drugs were already flowing so I just hopped on the surgery table.

Then some wonderful nurse started laying warm towels on me. I felt just like Oprah. I asked the doctor if they were going to be taping the surgery, and unfortunately they said were not. The last thing I remember is saying to them, "that's too bad, my sisters would have liked that."

My first memory is shivering and my teeth chattering. I thought, well that's rather dramatic Rox, but then I heard them say, her temp is 95, and then they threw some more warm blankets on me. I REALLY need to get a blanket warmer. It's LOVELY.

I had an amazing nurse in recovery named Neven who came every time my blood pressure machine went off. Which I think at its highest it was 178/122 which is my best ever; I usually get an A+ for blood pressure which is what I told her. I think she thought I was still drugged up from surgery. She also gave me lots of drugs and made my first nose diaper for me when I told her my nose was leaky. Loved her.

Then I went to recovery II (no idea what this is called) and Rommi came and hung out with me, I was told what to do/what not to do before going back for my checkup on Monday and sent on my way! By the time Rommi saw me I was pretty coherent and we grabbed a cab and headed up to the Upper East Side! Thanks for coming to get me Romms!

I'll write more about my recovery later since this is getting pretty long, but let me assure you that I'm feeling great 1 week and 1 day post surgery. The body heals very quickly.

* I have nothing but respect for anesthesiologists and them keeping me alive during surgery, etc. I still think this is funny.