I’m in too much pain to be eloquent or long-winded right now, but here’s a short summary of my day…
8:30 a.m. Arrived at the hospital much earlier than necessary. We were much more successful beating the rush-hour traffic than we had anticipated.
9:30 a.m. Finally headed back to pre-op with Scott, my awesome pre-op nurse, who gave me a sexy green gown and tan socks to wear, asked all the necessary questions, and started my IV. Usually I get IVs in the crook of my arm, so I was surprised that he used my hand, but I’m really thankful for that now because it’s much easier to manage moving around and typing and such.
10:45 a.m. Running behind schedule because of some missing paperwork that Dr. Yen had wanted to confirm that I needed the procedure. After a slightly tense conversation, he agreed to still go ahead as planned.
11:00 a.m. Got a visit from the anesthesiologists. My dad and I had been talking only minutes before about how anesthesiologists are usually really good doctors with horrible bedside manner (which is why they spend their days knocking people out), but these two were surprisingly pleasant. There were another slew of questions, some explanations, and some paperwork. After a dose of Versed to help me start relaxing, we were off to the OR.
11:15 a.m. I thought I was still pretty clear-headed at the time, but my memory of being in the OR is hazy. I think I commented that it looked like a storage room because of how much stuff was in there. They put an oxygen mask over my face, which was a little too big for me and blew almost as much air into my left eye as into my mouth, but I didn’t have long to feel uncomfortable, because the propofol injection came shortly after, followed by a spinning room and then unconsciousness. I think I may have said “see you on the other side” right before I drifted off.
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. I don’t have the most coherent memories of this block of time. I remember being aware that I was awake before I was able to open my eyes and being surprised that I didn’t feel any pain, except for my throat (which wasn’t unexpected due to there having been a breathing tube and a scope down it for the last couple hours). I remember thinking I’d give anything for some ice chips. I’m not sure if I actually asked for them or not, but they appeared at some point and I somehow managed to eat them. My dad came back eventually, and a handful of doctors and nurses were in and out asking me questions that I don’t fully remember answering. The pain eventually hit, though not quite as badly as I’d anticipated, and the nurse was quite to dose me with some drugs, after which I fell asleep until a gunshot-like burst of pain woke me up. More drugs came, but I kept myself awake after that because they told me I’d be transported to my room soon.
4:30 p.m. My chariot (a wheelchair) delivered me to room 724, which I was pleasantly surprised to find is a private room. There’s a sink, a bathroom, two sets of shelves, a computer (for the doctors, not me), a chair, the bed, a pullout couch, and a huge window with a view of Aurora. Dad said he could see Pikes Peak, but I haven’t been over to look for myself.
4:45 p.m. My nurse arrived with another dose of pain meds, and not a moment too soon, because the pain that had been hovering around a 6 or 7 skyrocketed to somewhere between 9 and 10. The drug (Dilaudid — good stuff) was strange: I could literally feel it traveling through my bloodstream, and my body felt simultaneously very heavy and weightless, the room spun for a few minutes, and I’ve been battling drowsiness ever since. I spent the next hour mindlessly wandering the internet and sort of IMing Mark.
5:00 p.m. My nurse’s assistant brought me some water, which was incredibly exciting since I hadn’t been allowed to drink anything since midnight last night. I appreciated the water almost as much as I appreciated the pain meds.
5:45 p.m. Dinner arrived — a feast consisting of beef broth, a strawberry “gel treat,” a glass of ice, chamomile tea, cranberry juice, and Sprite. The last time I ate was last night after I got off work at 9, so you’d think I’d be starving, but I’ve hardly touched any of it. That’s partly because the pain decided to reappear, steadily increasing in severity, but my nurse told me it wouldn’t be time for another dose of meds until 6:45.
To keep myself distracted, I decided to blog, which brings me to now. The pain is still worsening, but I’m down to 13 minutes until my next dose. Whenever that kicks in, I’ll probably allow myself a nap, because I have a feeling it’s going to be a long night.
God is still good, and I have yet to wish I was not in this situation. I’m in very good hands with my doctors and nurses here, but even better hands with God looking out for me.