Monthly Archives: November 2015

On The Road To Recovery

You really take for granted the simple things in life like going to the bathroom or getting out of bed until you can’t do them as you once could, but I’ll get to that later.

This post will contain a lot of medical lingo and stuff, so if that isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to speed read through those parts.

I actually got some sleep on Monday, which is shocking because I had a heard time keeping it together when I left for work. Everything was coming together. I was really going into the hospital for surgery. I really was going to be out of work for a month or more. Shit was going down.

Tuesday… S-Day. I remember a lot clearly. I remember finally getting everything together heading out the door for the ride to my parents. What is the one thing you don’t want to drive behind when you are about to go the hospital? A hearst. Yup, this actually happened to me. It wasn’t for the entire drive, but long enough to make me frazzled.

I remember the ride to the hospital. Getting checked in. The hurry up and wait. The lovely hospital gown, socks and compression cuffs. I remember the IV. This was what I was most afraid of. My nurse made me laugh and I remember the I sweet relief when she said it was in. One stick! I remember people asking my about my high blood pressure, my EKG, which showed a minor blip. Nothing major, but something that needs to be checked on. I remember seeing my doctor, kissing my mom and being wheeled of to the OR. I remember the brightness of the hallway and t that his is not a time to go towards the light, but that seemed to be all that was in front on me. Bright lights and windows.

I remember sliding onto the table, the nurse telling me they were going to give me the good stuff, my arm being placed on an arm rest, the sound of velcro and off to dream land I went.

When I woke up, 3 hours later, I was in the recovery room. There were so many people and sounds. I just wanted to see. I didn’t have my glasses so everything was blurry. The nurse brought my mom back and as she dug around her bag, I croaked out “Really”. At that point I knew I was going to be ok. I remember the first time my hand grazed my incision (small it is not). Finally my room was ready and it was time to move to my bed. Slowly but surely, I slid over and was wheeled off to my accomodations. I remember the sexy radio voice that I had, taking to my family and friends. I remember every two hours, people were coming in taking my vitals and emptying my folio (I had a catheter). I would does off and wake up 20 minutes later, I couldn’t stay awake.

I remember the worst night sleep of my life, being woken up by a couple of residents coming in at 5:30am to check my incision, ask if I had passed gas or gone to the bathroom, and regal me of ways to lower my blood pressure. I remember the lovely nurse removing my catheter, and my first experience with Room Service. Seriously, you call in your order and your hostess brings it up to your room. Ingenious. I remember the first time I got out of bed. Talk about an experience. I must say, I never realized how easy it was to get out of bed until it took me all of my energy and then some just to sit on the edge of the bed. The first few steps were not as bad as I thought. I was shaky at first but was soon hobbling my way to the bathroom. Who knew the ability to use the bathroom would be a relief to not only the nurses, but myself as well.

I remember feeling better with each passing moment. Realizing that the human body is amazing. I remember the first time I spoke with my doctor about the surgery, How she told me that my blood pressure spiked for no clear reason. How 5 fibroids were removed. Apparently Frankie had friends living with him that were not on the lease. I remember the shock when she told me that I had lost a liter of blood and Frankie was the size of a baby’s head. I remember her telling me that I can still have kids (my mother was relived to hear that I’m sure), but I would have to have a C Section (Fine by me). I remember my first laps around the nurse’s station. How walking really does get things moving and the second feeling of relief when I passed gas (yeah TMI I know)

I remember Friday morning when my doctor told me that I could home, how I swiftly (not  really) got dressed, packed my bag and waited for the nurse to come with my discharge papers. I remember the joy when the nurse finally removed my IV. I remember how weird it felt to leave in a wheelchair, the first time the air hit my face when I exited the hospital. I remember how happy I was to kiss and hug my puppy and finally have some peace and quiet.

I remember the RNs, PCTs, Doctors, and hospital staff who took such great care of me.

So here I am, almost a week post surgery, and I feel great. I don’t walk too hunched over anymore and getting out of the bed is getting easier every morning. And I actually feel like putting pants on today. Sweatpants. I do get tired easily, but I just have to remember to take it slow.

One day at a time.

Later Days.
B

What I know For Sure…..

 

In my Oprah voice… What I know for sure, having a sarcastic sense of humor
is definitely helping my come to grips with the fact that in a few hours, I
will be splayed out on the operating table.

What I also know for sure, don’t eat a lot of salt and not drink water
before going in for pre-admission testing, but more on that later.

Last Monday was pre-opp day, or “sign your life away day”. I
spent the better part of my afternoon signing consent forms, vitals and blood
taken, and playing an awesome game of hurry up and wait.

First stop, my GYN. We went over the surgery, how Frankie and his lovely
companions will be removed. Blah, blah, blah, and finally then questions came.
How long will it take? Will I need stitches removed? How long will I be out of
work for? For the first time ever, I didn’t have to get dressed after we were
done. A quick elevator ride and it was off to Pre-Admission testing, the last
stopper before my surgery next week. After waiting for what seemed like
forever, I was finally called back to the desk. I was asked to verify
information, give names of people who will be able to call the Nurse’s station
and sign more forms. Then off to the exam room. My blood pressure was taken yet
again and it was still high. The nurse asked me if I was anxious. And with a
smile and twinkle in my eyes I said, ” Why yes, I am in a hospital talking
about surgery.” Her reply, ” You are going home today. There is
nothing to worry about”. Can someone please tell me if anyone has normal
blood pressure when they go to the doctor? Mine is always high and the doctors
and nurses look at me like I am about to explode. I do not have high blood
pressure, just serious aversion to doctor’s offices and hospitals.
Anyway, it was only after my appointment that I realized that I had grits,
with a lot of salt, coffee, and orange juice or breakfast, which along with my
anxiety, could have caused my pressure to go through the roof. Note to self…
don’t ever do that again.

Anyway, while going over reservation form (yes, they call surgery a
reservation. Who knew), Nola, the wonderful Nurse Practitioner noticed a
discrepancy in my form. Here is a piece of the conversation:

Nola: What procedure are you having done?

Me: Exploratory, open myomectomy

Nola: You are not having an ovary removed?

Me: Excuse me? No I am not.

Nola: It says right here but not which one

Me: I am not having an ovary removed

Nola: Let me call your doctor’s office to confirm….

Let’s just say that didn’t help my blood pressure go down. After an EKG,
another blood pressure check, and “day of” instructions, it was time
to have my blood taken. Zakia was amazing and we laughed about the number of
vials that she was going to take. She said that she was not going to drain me
and she would leave me enough to drive home. After a pleasant, as much as a
blood draw can be pleasant, she wrapped my arm in a stylish ace bandage instead
of that God-awful white tape. I felt pretty fancy.

Then
there was the conversation that I was waiting for. My chit chat with the
anesthesiologist. He is not going to be my doctor on game day, just the one
that was on call during my appointment. He explained to me the entire “general
anesthesia” process, which is pretty intriguing:

 

Doc:
When you come in, we will put monitors on you to check your heart, a clip on
you to measure the oxygen in the blood. Then we will put an IV in your hand,
and give you Propofol

Me:
Wait… isn’t that what they gave Michael Jackson?

Doc: Yes,
but luckily for you, Dr. Murray won’t be in the room. Propofol has been used in
general anesthesia for years and you must be monitored and watched. I don’t
have a clue what he was thinking.

Me:
Great

Doc:
Because you will be asleep, we will put a breathing tube in your throat.

Me: I’ll
be asleep when they put the tube in?

Doc:
Yes. You will be asleep when we put the tube in and take it out. You breathe in
a mixture of oxygen and anesthesia which will keep you asleep during the
procedure. Once the doctor says that she’s finished, we remove the tube, and
your body naturally starts to wake up. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

Me: I
didn’t realize that you wake up so quickly.

Doc:
Yes. Some people wake up in the operating room. Some wake up in the hallway.
Some people wake up in the recovery room. That about covers everything so if
that sounds like a plan, please sign here.

Me: I
guess I better sign since I don’t want you cutting me while I’m awake.

After
one more signature, Frankie’s fate was sealed.

In a few hours, Frankie will be served with his papers…. And I will be on the
road to recovery.

 

Frankie’s Being Evicted

You know that moment when you know you have made the right decision, all the parts are in place, everything is order, but you still feel like Alice when she goes thrown down the rabbit hole?

Frankie in his natural habitat

That is me, right now. At first I thought that my expanding tummy pooch was due the fact that I had fallen off the wagon with my clean eating and workout habits, but when I started to feel pressure in my stomach and my clothes no longer fit, I knew that Frankie was getting his revenge. It takes a lot for me to willingly schedule a doctor’s appointment and even more for my to call the “girly doctor” on my lunch break. I had a week before my appointment to wrap my head around the possibility that my doctor would tell me that I needed surgery. If you have weak constitutions, please for the Love of Pancakes and Chocolate Chip cookies do not google the terms, Fibroid removal and/or myomectomy. If you do, please don’t search images. You have been warned and I do not take any responsibility for your reaction.

I must admit, at the beginning of the appointment, my doctor was leaning towards renewing Frankie’s lease. But after being ultrasounded every way possible and examined, it was abundantly clear that Frankie was getting his eviction notice. I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. I had done enough reading and video watching to know what I was in for. What I was not prepared for was my doctor informing me that there is chance I need vertical incision. Yeah, Frankie #1 and #2 (seems that one of my other fibroids decided to have a growth spurt as well) are so big and I am so small, that I need to sliced open.  And I just got a cute new Fendi bikini. There is a chance that this will change when I am splayed out on the operating table, but for right now, one piece swim suits and a Scar Away are in my future.

 

Damn you Frankie

Honestly, the hardest part of this entire process has not been telling people. That truly has been a piece of cake. My family and “circle of trust” have been absolutely amazing. I don’t know what I would do without them. Getting the phone calls, letters, and emails from the hospital have been the worst.It makes everything so real, like “yup, you are going to be under anesthesia, sliced open, crap removed from your uterus, stitched up like Frankenstein and sent on my merry way to spend Thanksgiving convalescing at my parent’s house. While I know that this is a necessary procedure which will improve my quality of life and chances of having kids one day in the very not so distant future. I just want to get everything over and done with. Just yank the bandaid off already and be done with it.

Another thing I am not looking forward to… 4-6 weeks of recovery. The most I have not worked out has been a week, but even then, I would walk at lunch and to and from the train station. What is a girl to do? I guess I can catch up on my knitting, reading, and Netflix binging. Bring it on!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end. Pre-Opp appointment with my doctor and pre-admission testing at the hospital, then one last weekend hoorah before the big slice and dice. Until then, it’s all happy thoughts of unicorns, rainbows, glitter, pixie dust, and blue skies up until S-Day (surgery day) and beyond. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all in the loop about my surgery and recovery!

Later Days
B