Surgery Went Swimmingly…

…and I didn’t say anything embarrassing on drugs or off. A first for me, I’m pretty sure.

The trip to the hospital was a bit ominous in that we followed a hearse nearly all the way there. I didn’t say anything about it, but when we turned into the parking lot and the hearse went straight Todd said, “Whew!” For some reason that totally cracked me up.

Everything leading up to surgery was totally unblogworthy so I won’t bore you with the details. The operation went well, everything came out as it was supposed to, nothing looked suspicious. I spent more time in recovery than I did in surgery simply because the hospital was crowded and there wasn’t an available bed. Seems like poor planning to me, but what do I know?

I did appreciate their narcotic protocol. A steady stream through my IV AND a pump for a little extra dose when I felt the need.

It’s funny what you notice when you’re medicated. Before being taken into the operating room I had a great view of the pre-op nurse’s office. There were medical books upon medical books and in the midst of those was an InStyle Weddings coffee table book. When I was settled in my room after surgery I kept thinking of Sunsilk (hair products) commercials. That baffled me because I don’t use Sunsilk and I couldn’t imagine why those ads should be stuck in my head. It finally hit me. The white board on the wall in front of my bed had a list of care providers: Nurse, Tech, Assistant, etc. After these the name of the person on shift would be written in so we would always know who was who. There was a frame around the white board and covered the “T” in the word “Therapy”, leaving only “Herapy”. So yeah. That’s where the Sunsilk commercial came in.

Because the hospital was so crowded I ended up sharing a room with another patient. As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve had several surgeries. I think this is the first time I ever had a roommate.

Very sadly, she was an elderly lady who suffered from vertigo, delusions, disorientation and pain in her legs and arm. She cried and moaned and called out and wept. It was very agitating and very sad. I felt so helpless. She finally fell asleep at night and I very soon followed suit, only to be shocked awake by her hollering for her mommy to help her. She was falling. “Please help me, mommy! I’m going to fall!” I hit the call button so they could come wake her up. It was so sad. She did that a couple times and then one time she woke up, crying, clearly distressed and wanting to know where she was. “You’re in the hospital, Honey. You’re okay. The nurse is coming,” I told her as I was pushing the button again.

I was totally conflicted. I felt so bad for her and wished I could do something for her, but there was nothing I could do. I did spend a lot of time praying for her. I was also a bit angry that they put me in with her. I was a surgical patient and should not have been in with such a distressing patient. On the other hand, I think there were a couple times when my voice calmed her until the nurses could get there. They told her countless times how to press the button if she needed them. I could hear her on the other side of the curtain clicking something, but the nurse light never would come on. So I spent half my time hitting my button for her. The nurses would come in and ask me what I needed and I’d just point to the curtain.

It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. I suppose one benefit to it was that it forced me to take a lot more walks yesterday than I would have otherwise. Since I did so well – getting up so much and with a minimum of pain – I was given the option of staying one more night or being released after only one night. Seeing as how my one night was less than restful I opted to come home.

One of the more pleasing aspects of the stay was in the middle of the night – when things were quiet next door – I heard Brahms’ Lullaby. I was a little, um, what’s the word… oh yeah. Drugged. But I remember hearing it, smiling and thinking, Isn’t it nice that they play such sweet music so we’ll be lulled to sleep? After it stopped it started up again. So nice…

Yesterday I found out I was on the same floor as the maternity ward and every time a baby is born they play Lullaby and Goodnight. Twins had been born in the middle of the night – delivered by my very own doctor. Labor and Delivery was pretty busy yesterday as Todd and I counted at least three lullabies. And everyone would stop, smile and say, “Awwww.”

Because of the busy business of babies, I wasn’t discharged until a little after 6:00. We got home around 7:00 and I ensconced myself in Todd’s chair. Though he’s now saying it’s no longer his chair. I spilt coffee on the arm the other day and he thinks that was me christening it like a yacht. In fact, at some point in the near future you all may be treated to a guest blog – no doubt about the injustice of how I’ve weaseled my way into his chair and taken over.

I’m amazed at the little amount of pain I’ve had. As much as I like to talk about my admiration and esteem of controlled substances, I haven’t had to take a pill since this morning. I’m really stunned. Pleased, but stunned.

I am having some skin issues, however. I blistered from the tape – something I’d never done before until these past six months. The seams from my gown and now underwear seem to be causing some hefty irritations as well. Though they seem to be a little better even today so I wonder if it doesn’t have something to do with the anesthesia. I see the dermatology specialist in two weeks so if I’m still dealing with this stuff we’ll see what he recommends.

I do want to thank you all for the overwhelming comments on my last post. I should clarify that right now I’m okay with not jumping. At this moment I’m perfectly happy sitting on the side and watching. Not so much the other day, obviously.

Most of the time I’m okay with my lot. I still know all this is temporary. It’s just taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I’m pretty laid back and it usually takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. But sometimes I find myself full of frustration and sadness and all kinds of emotions. I let them out (as in the case of Sunday’s post) and then I’m good to go for a while.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s the Percocet talking. Not so. Maybe I’ll write my next post under the influence. That might be kind of fun!

22 Comments

  1. Wanda on July 4, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    What a wonderful post Jenster!!! you have a way with words. And bless your heart…to have such compassion for that little woman in the middle of your own pain…You were one of those special agents from above for that dear woman. I’m sure the Lord was smiling down!!Blessings for a quick and final recovery!XOXO Wanda

  2. Eileen on July 4, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Jenster, I am so glad that you posted and are back home! You have been on my mind so much, I kept checking your blog to see if there were any updates! I think you were put in that room for a special reason, that poor woman must have been so confused and scared. I know it was not good for your recovery, the resting part. Stay on top of the pain, percocet is so good for that. Don’t try to overdo it, and get lots of rest. Thinking of you and wishing you a quick recovery. Many blessings and hugs, Eileen

  3. Mummy M on July 5, 2007 at 5:17 am

    HiI just came across your blog via a comment you left for Lainey-Paney and I spent a good while this morning reading through some of your posts. I just wanted to wish you the best of luck and say what a courageous, kind and funny woman you are.You go girl!K

  4. Tara Marie on July 5, 2007 at 8:04 am

    I’m glad to hear everything went fine. I realize finding beds can be a constant problem in hospitals, but there are times you have to wonder what the heck they’re thinking. Not to restful if you need to call the nurse for the neighbor.A “It’s the Percocet talking” post might me interesting :)Take care, prayers and hugs are always with you.Tara

  5. Angry Woman on July 5, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    I’m up for the “It’s the Percocet talking” post. Should be quite interesting!

  6. Bookwormom on July 5, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Jen- Glad to see you’re p and around, especially after such a distressing experience with your hospital roommate. Good thing it was only one night. I hope the skin issues clear up ASAP- there couldn’t be anything more irritating than recurrent rashes & blisters I don’t think. Uck.Thank for the mention about being one of your favorite blogs. It cheered me up alot! Amanda

  7. Barb on July 5, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    I hate hearses. If hearses were in cartoons, they’d be the suave bad guy car. They just have an underhanded, bad guy look to them, the way the top sloped a little toward the windshield. We’ll use SUV’s for any funerals in this family!!

  8. radioactive girl on July 5, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    I am so happy you are doing well. It is a good thing you were there for that woman! She sure seemed to need you!You know, when I had my hysterectomy I was on the labor and delivery floor and after I thought about it, I was a little upset. What if I hadn’t already had kids? What if I had been upset about the hysterectomy? Being right in the middle of babies being born would have really upset me then! I think it is poor planning to put hysterectomy patients right near women having babies!

  9. Jenster on July 5, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Wanda – Thank you for your kind words. I wish I could have or would have done more. But I am glad I was there to talk to her in the middle of the night.Eileen – Nobody around here will let me overdo it. I live with the three most overprotective people in the world! LOL The pain has been very minimal, but I won’t be shy about taking the percocet if I need it. :o)Mummy M – Thanks for visiting my blog! I’ll have to check yours out.Tara – The Percocet post probably wouldn’t be much different than my “sober” posts. lolAim – See what I told Tara. :o)Amanda – The skin issues I’d been dealing with before the surgery seem to have gotten much better. I have no idea why that would be – maybe massive amounts of antibiotics through the IV?? Who knows. And these other “sensitivities” seem to be getting a little better, too. Maybe, just maybe it’s almost over! And I love your blog!Barb – That’s what I think!Radioactive Girl – I hadn’t thought about how being on a maternity floor might be difficult for a hysterectomy patient. But you’re absolutely right. It does seem almost cruel for some women.

  10. Mailyn on July 5, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Glad to see things went well and I hope you recover very soon. ^__^

  11. Kris on July 5, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Glad you are back and everything went well. Sorry about your roommate, that is very sad. About the scheduling. I had a scheduled C-section with my second child and when I got there they told me I had to come back in 6 hours because they were filled up. That was irritating.

  12. Jenster on July 5, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks, Mailyn.Kris – That’s insane! I can’t believe they would mess with an extremely pregnant woman like that!

  13. Monnik on July 5, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    I’m so glad to read that you’re home and feeling better than you thought.You kow what I think? I think you were put in that room to help that poor woman. While it may have been a huge inconvenience to you, it made all the difference in the world to her. Bless you for being so compassionate to her!I love that the hospital plays lullabies when a baby is born. It’s so sweet! Personal question alert: Was that hard for you in a way? Knowing that you can’t have little ones anymore? Even though your kiddos are older, it’s still a thought we women sometimes can’t get over…on that note, I should start to unpack. My house is a wreck and I’ve been gone for a week!

  14. Rosie on July 5, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    I’m just making the rounds to catch up and was moved by both of your last two posts. You write so well…It was great to see you are doing well after surgery. Hopefully the skin stuff will be over soon.God bless you and your patience with your hospital roommate! It’s difficult to be loving and kind when you are recovering yourself. She probably thinks you were an angel. I know I did.

  15. CindyS on July 5, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    Yep, definitely an angel. Anyway we can help others no matter how small it seems to us, can make a world of difference. I’m glad that the last major hurdle is over and that now you just have to heal. Hopefully the weather near you is nice so you can find a sunny spot and read for the next little bit.I figure if I ever have to have a hysterectomy it will be hard because we couldn’t have kids. I keep thinking maybe one of his guys will slip by but nope ;)Bob’s first wife had two miscarriages and both times she was put in the maternity ward – horrific.CindyS

  16. Burg on July 6, 2007 at 12:07 am

    I’m looking forward to the dopey post… :)I’m glad the surgery went so well.. Thanks for all your prayers.

  17. Swishy on July 6, 2007 at 12:25 am

    So glad things went well! You are a better woman than I am. I would have NOT have been happy about the roomie arrangement at ALL! That’s probably why it was you and not someone like me, because you’re so sweet and patient.

  18. Dorky Dad on July 6, 2007 at 12:37 am

    I wouldn’t get caught dead in a hearse …Absolutely glad you’re back, and it’s great that your surgery went well (though I at first thought the headline said “sugary,” which made me think that this was a post about cookies.)I’m a little stunned that any hospital these days has multi-patient rooms. I can also understand your conflict … feel sorry for the patient; get annoyed with staff for keeping you there.

  19. Jenster on July 6, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Monnik – I lost any emotional attachment I had to my uterus years ago. So it wasn’t difficult for me in the teensiest. I can understand how it would be, though.Rosie – I don’t know that I was an angel. There were times I didn’t say or do anything because I really didn’t know if I was helping or not.Cindy – I think it’s horrible that they mix miscarrying women in with labor and delivery patients. And I can understand how it would be hard for you. I’m very sorry. :o(Burg – I hope things are going better for you.Swishy – “Sweet and patient”. HA!! I’d bet my family would argue that point. lolDorky Dad – I wouldn’t get caught dead in a hearse – you silly, silly man. I’m sorry this wasn’t a post about cookies, but I’ll try to manage one in the near future.

  20. Monnik on July 6, 2007 at 10:26 am

    I’m glad it wasn’t hard for you. I had a stillbirth 6 years ago and was on the maternity ward for the duration of my stay. It was hard, but the nurses did their best to shield me from the bustle of the new baby action. Anyway, your lullaby story reminded me of that and I wondered if you had a rough time with it. I’m glad you didn’t. 🙂

  21. Tara Marie on July 6, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    I’m glad to hear you weren’t upset about being in the maternity ward. I almost posted something very similar to radioactive girl. My sister was heartbroken to be in the maternity ward after a miscarriage that had major complications.To Cindy–you never know one still might slip by :), we were married 18 years before we had Junior, it took 10 years but we managed to conceive without the help of fertility drugs.

  22. D.O.M. Dan on July 7, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Hi Jenster, I hope you have a speedy recovery from the surgery. Thank you for sharing your experience with us readers. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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