Thursday, November 24, 2011

Since I couldn't livetweet it

I had every intention of livetweeting as much as I could of my surgery yesterday (Laparoscopy, for endometriosis). Partly for the humor-I'm funny when drugged-and partly to help me remember things, since most people don't remember much before or after.

So I'm gunna put it here instead, so that I can remember what I remember.

My roommate's mom came & got me just before 8:00AM-8:30 check in, 10:00am surgery. They asked me a bunch of questions that I'd answered before, kept asking how I was (hungry, thirsty, & terrified), kept making sure I was the Neurodivergent K who's chart they had, stuff like that.

The gown was, like, recyclable. Seriously. It was purple and made of this paper/cotton mix. It plugged in & inflated these plastic bag things with hot looked like I had absolutely comically GIGANTIC pecs. Unfortunately it sounded like a vacuum-I would have liked it warmer but it was so loud.

So after I got all gownified the official presurgical nurses came in to do my IV and make sure the incision site was as clean as could be & to take my necklace & bracelet from me. Noooo. The IV lady was really good...most people need a few tries, but it was in before I noticed. They were asking the same standard questions, I was answering the same way I always would (so, most people read me as a bit quirky or obnoxious), and they kept telling me I was adorable. Weird, but better than the people who are dealing with my anesthetized ass thinking I'm a jerk, right?

It took a long time for the anesthesiologist to come in. Like, a LONG TIME. Apparently my chart had walked away. But he told me exactly what they were going to give me & explained how they were going to prevent anesthesia awareness (a rare phenomenon that really really freaks me out). Telling me that it's rare isn't helpful, so are a lot of things that I've experienced, but telling me that even those rare cases mostly occur in emergency surgery when they can't fully anesthetize because blood pressure is already too low-that helped.

Then MY doctor came in & asked how I was. Terrified was apparently a healthy answer. I appreciated my anxiety not being written off-so often it's seen as silly. Also, she had on bright orange shoes, which is the silly kind of detail that I notice that makes things like "getting four holes punched in your abdomen & your innards cleaned off" a bit less intimidating. Weird? Yep. Yep I am.

Then they gave me Versed in an injection & everything got all fuzzy-the first thing to go is always my ability to focus my eyes together. The next thing I knew I was waking up in a room with a LOT of medical people & a lot of groggy people and I felt naked. First conscious word: Naked. Second conscious word: thirsty. Third conscious word: blanket. I took a fuzzy (and frankly offensive, it's covered in puzzle pieces but was made with loving intent, and my cat loves it) blanket & they gave that to me. And then ice chips. They told me to go back to sleep, but it was too noisy & bright.

I only vaguely remember being wheeled back to the room I started in, but I ended up there & kept asking for water & if I should have my noon meds. They wanted me to have a few more ice chips first. So I did. And then I drank. And drank more. And took my meds. And drank more. They left some crackers there, so I ate them. Mmm, club crackers...this nurse was kinda...uh...spacey, or else I was being very confusing, because nothing I asked got an answer without being asked again.

They made sure I could pee & then I got to go home. I was really out of it physically-like it was taking my brain a few steps to connect with my body-so I kept my eyes closed the whole time in the car.

And then the cat cuddled with me, I slept, and that was really that.

Boring blog post, yeah? Less boring, I guess: they took out several endometriosis implants & one of my ovaries had almost no mobility because of scar tissue or something attaching it too tightly to the pelvic cavity, so they're testing the shit out of that shit. So, I am not a whiny baby-there was stuff in there that causes pain. And it's gone now. Bahahaha.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it went OK.

I'm OK with the whole cutting into me part of surgery, it's the being handled while unconscious by people I don't know.

I had an episode of awareness under anaesthetic when I was a kid - it freaked me at the time, but now I'm a bit meh. If it worries you make sure they use a thing called a BIS monitor. It's not perfect (nothing is) but it reduces the chance of you being awake as it monitors brain function.

I will never have surgery in a hospital where I work ever again - some years back I discovered after an operation that there had been about a dozen 'observers'; what freaked me out was that they were all male, middle eastern, had no reason to be there and delighted in telling me about their presence afterward. still makes me feel physically sick just thinking about it.

In Australia the rule is that you have to do a final check with the person on the operating table (Right person/right operation/right side) before giving any medication; it's a control-freakery response to prevent the wrong operation but I always felt it just ratchets up the anxiety and helplessness to lie there with the lights over you and someone setting out trays of surgical instruments at your side.

Most people are nervous about surgery - even doctors; It's more normal to be scared than not, I think!

Anonymous said...

Yikes!! I'm so sorry you had to go through that, OMG that must have been horrible!! I'm glad they found the source of your pain though. And that the doc was able to make you feel better with the stats on when the AA thing happens. And I don't know why, but I find stories about the last thing you remember before you go under and the first thing you remember when you wake up fascinating!! When my cousin was having her gallbladder removed, I asked if she could remember just that, when we went to see her after the operation she was all groggy and still a bit loopy, but she told us. It was so cool! :)

I'm definitely with Autistwriter though: the being handled while unconscious by people I don't know definitely freaks me out more than the awareness under anaesthetic thing... I guess I just feel very trusting that the drugs will work on me. Although during my second birth they tried to give me an epidural, but basically just used my back as a pin cushion, did nothing to stop the pain, and made my right leg go completely dead so I wasn't even able to walk around the room anymore between contractions. But that was the idiot junior anaesthetist. I hate needles and now I hate people with needles at my back **lol**