February 25, 2010
Early morning (really early!)
Not much sleep last night – too many nerves and last minute jitters. What if I am not doing the right thing? What if something terrible happens and I leave my kids without a mother? What if I’m one of those oddball people for whom the surgery doesn’t work? What if…. What if… What if…
I just about what-iffed myself to death last night.
But now it is here. The day I have been hoping for and wishing for. The day my life begins again. The day I get a second chance.
Our neighbor and good friend comes over to stay with the girls until time for school. SuperMan and I bundle into the car and head out to the hospital.
I can’t wait for it to be over.
We arrive and they quickly whisk us back to a “holding cell” (so to speak) and instruct me to put that lovely hospital gown on and climb into bed.
“Okay,” I think to myself, “let’s get this show on the road.”
The nurse comes back in, verifies that I am who I say I am, and offers a little something to “take the edge off.” Yeah, I’m all about that. Give me the meds, baby.
A few minutes later and I’m comfortably reclining on my hospital gurney, waiting to be taken back to surgery. The meds may have “taken off the edge” but they have a long way to go to stop the butterflies in my stomach. I wonder if they will fly out when they cut into me?
Finally, they come to take me back to surgery. I have talked with the anesthetist and they reassure me they will give me plenty of meds to make sure I don’t get sick after surgery – anesthesia and I are most definitely not good friends – they don’t want me throwing up any more than I do.
The nurses in the surgery theater are in high spirits and cheerfully welcome me. The anesthetist puts the mask on me and asks me to count from 10 to 1 backwards. I’m not sure I got past 8…
I wake up in Recovery with some persistent nurse patting me on the shoulder telling me it is time to wake up. “Really?” I think. I’m not at all interested in waking. I’m sore, I’m nauseous and… urp… well, so much for not puking.
The nurse gives me something in my IV and I’m out again. I think it was something for the nausea as I hear her later talking to the doctor on the phone telling him that she has maxed me out on Phenergan and I’m still throwing up and what would he like her to do? The only upside to the Phenergan is that it makes me sleep, sleep, sleep.
So, I’m in recovery for a while…
Finally, they move me to a room. I don’t remember much about the rest of the day. I was in and out of it – thanks to the Phenergan and the pain meds they kept giving me. I know SuperMan was there, reading and sleeping. And I remember the nurses kept waking me up and making me drink sips of water.
But it was done. I was on the way.
SuperMan brings the girls by for a visit – they are anxious to see their mommy and know that she is going to be okay. They want to climb in the bed with me, but I am terrified of anyone touching my tender tummy, so we settle for hugs from the side of the bed.
Later that night, when the meds start to wear off enough that I can actually get my brain cells to function, this really sweet grandma-type nurse makes me get out of bed and WALK (can you believe her!?!) around the floor for a while. I am pretty groggy but I make it a couple of laps.
I am rewarded with some Jell-O and Crystal Light.
Day 2 dawns with more Jell-O, Crystal Light and some broth. I’m surprised at how much better I feel – especially because I’m not puking anymore. I’m a little sore, but not as bad as I expected I’d be. I manage to make several trips around the floor and watch some TV in between visits from the nurses.
My surgeon’s partner comes to visit me and tells me I did great in surgery. He suggests releasing me and I ask if it is possible to stay one more night. I’m nervous about going home with my little monkeys and feel vulnerable to their loving attention. He agrees and I settle in for the night.
Day 3 I wake and am READY to go home. I miss my family and I’m ready to get out of the hospital and move on with the recovery. SuperMan and the girls come to get me and we are on our way home.
It’s time to get on with the rest of my life.
next installment – Recovery