Friday, September 16, 2016

How To Have Your Hernia Repaired 

Find out you have the 9:00 appointment which is not the preferred appointment because that means you're in a line. Lines are not cool in the hospital where you are at the mercy of anything happening to anybody. For myself, if I ever have to go back there and I have no plans to do that, I'd do more frowny facing in regard to being the one who goes first. I like 6:00 AM because I'm still sleepy. This, was classified as out-patient surgery which seemed strange because I knew I'd be there for a day or two but whatever, right? 

I brought a book, P brought the paper and we waited and waited and waited. Coolest thing? My pal Jeanne from New York showed me some text-worthy distraction-type love and if you have the opportunity to do that for someone else, it's really kind of a wonderful gift. 

Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinallly, it was our turn to go up. We know the way. 

Got into the pre-surgical line up. Instructed to remove all my clothes, put on the gown and yellow socks and this was all business. The nurse was bright with a small tattoo and orange fingernail polish and it was she, and me and the computer working our way down the lists. When was the last time you've eaten? What prescriptions are you taking? Previous reactions to anesthesiology. Blah blah blah. 

The anesthesiologist came in. This was one of those situations where he was in change of several patients but it was going to be a nurse practitioner doing the actual administration(and strangely-the only reason I have any inkling about that-is that I've massaged TONS of nurses and lots of them have been nurse anesthetists.) It was very clear he was familiar with my paperwork-I asked him to be the one to put the big line in and that went fine too.

The doctor came in with a cast of-I think it was 5. It's a teaching hospital and I have a crazy feeling I might have been a good starter project for some of these residents. 

I don't remember what the general jibber-jabber was. I know I gave P the 'hey there's no reason for two of us to be stuck in the hospital for the next few days. Get your own stuff done.' lecture where I didn't really really mean it but it seemed like the right thing to do. 

I got my silver beret. It's the hat you wear during surgery-I guess the silver keeps the heat in and of course I put it on like the style master you know I am. The nurse said something about getting a matching one for P and that was all I remember. 

I woke up in recovery. That's never happened before-that I knew I was in recovery. There were two women talking to me. I told them I had to go to the bathroom and they shoved this plastic-it felt like a big dust pan-under my hips and they're all like: Go. And I'm all like, not gonna happen. 

Woke up again in my room. I actually felt great. I ran my hands along my belly and I thought wow, this is incredible. I also popped right into the chair. The hospital people do not want you in recline-they want you up and I remember slipping right into the chair and feeling so good. And then sleep. 

Lots of sleeping. Lots of getting woken up. Lots of that f-ing computer on a stick alarm going off forever. You had to see the charge nurse's face when mine was going off and P reached over and started poking buttons-like I have done every single hospital stay. Hey they don't come when it goes off and they think we're not going to push the OK button? 

Next day, my very favorite nurse ever Vivian came to get me. They're moving you, she said. You've been really lucky. Yeah? Okay. So me and my beeping pole roll our sorry asses 
down a few doors into a room occupied by three gigantic people. And it is hot. 

And the huge daughter/sister is the one in the bed and at some point she starts whimpering about how she's "doing this for you"-here she indicates her huge Mother and her huge brother-and I thought okay gastric bypass, right? But no, we're in the trauma section so she's had some sort of painful attack delivered upon her organs. And the Mother-I think when she saw me-she thought yippee! A whole new set of fresh ears! Which strangely coincided exactly with the exact moment when I began to heave. 

The lovely thing-was that she came over with three Kleenex and she accepted my apology for not being able to chat right then. And the unlovely thing was that I spent an awful lot of time yakking into that grey basin. So much so, that I kinda got a handle on it. It was like riding a bucking bronco. 

The darling Nurse Vivian-I think she was from the Philippines-we just had a wonderful click. Her Mom died as a result of cancer and there was just all this crazy noise going on in that room and we just had a moment. 

The nurses ran the range from being kinda cool and funny to never answering the call light but Vivian was the best. 

The room was squished and by that I mean, two patients, two beds, two dressers, two rolling table top things and 5 chairs. Inside the bathroom, there was more furniture shoved in the bathtub. I learned something very interesting that I never knew and that is, you're not supposed to use the patients bathroom. I guess aside from the cootie factor, they're watching what goes in and out and the average visitor could screw that up. Who knew?

I also heard that you should never get sick in July because that's when the new residents start and it takes a while for the nurses to break them and their giant attitudes in. 

At some point, the giant family got released and they were immediately followed by a woman-in her 60's for sure and her husband. The woman seemed to be having an attack of pancreatitis. That's supposed to be some evil awful pain. AND, she was a nurse herself. Do you know, I felt exceptionally lucky, because even tho I had no family-this nice woman and I sorta looked out for each other. It was cool. 

The gigantic bummer was that she was supposed to off all food and liquids and here, between us-on my side-was everything she would have killed for. The nurses ordered me this platter-I guess-of the liquid diet selections which-because I kept heaving-heard exactly no appeal. You want lemonade after you've been lacking up bile all night? Yeah not so much. 

As the holiday weekend went on, I saw lower and lower levels of physicians. My guy was completely gone. The higher levels of residents began to disappear and I ended up with some lovely high school students. ha ha. Just kidding. 

Tomorrow is a week after I was released. Today is the exact one year anniversary of the first cancer surgery. A year ago, I was sure I was dying. I can't say that I 'feel better'(in fact I'm more than a little annoyed that I've stepped back onto the 'it takes a year to actually feel better' merry go around.)but I am grateful for the care I received, the people who stepped up for me and the clanging of the actual life alert button that I don't think I actually really understood. 

Tomorrow: Do I get this drain removed or what? 

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