Well nine days have passed since my gallbladder surgery. The surgery itself was uneventful as far as complications go. However the recovery process has had some glitches to say the least.
Monday March 3rd at 11:00am I arrived at the outpatient surgical center. I was quickly called over to register and given additional mounds of paperwork to fill out and sign. I sat and waited anxiously for my name to be called. At 11:15 I was called to go with a surgical nurse into the back area to be prepped for surgery. Dozens of questions asked, weighed, measured, blood pressure taken, temperature measured, poked and prodded I was ready! An IV was inserted into the top of my left hand. And a concoction of fluids dripped into my nervous body. I sat on the edge of a bed while waiting and the nurse came in and announced the need to do a “pregnancy test”…. oh my god! I thought……well I quickly surrendered said urine specimen for testing. A few minutes later she came back and handed me the results…..NEGATIVE….not surprised!
So next I met with the OR nurse, Anesthesiologist, Nurse Anesthetist, and my surgeon was no where in sight. I answered more questions and was finally given four various medications to relax, sedate, and take away post-op nausea medication. I was told the medication would take effect almost immediately…but I waited…nothing. Then I was given another dose. BAMM, straight to my head and my mouth. I quickly became tongue-tied and started to talk incessantly. I looked for my doctor, once again, no where in sight.
Soon I was whizzed away on the stretcher to the OR. The all was long and lonely until we reached outside the door of the OR. Lots of people in masks, gloves and surgical gowns…..but no doctor! Just as they wheeled me into the sterile and cold room, I quickly thought I spotted my surgeon…”Hi” I exclaimed, as they wheeled me in and had me move on to the operating table. This is the part I hate.
A cold, hard table I was placed on, next people filled the room and where having all of these side conversations amongst themselves. “Do even exist” I asked myself? or was this all a dream of some sort. My only salvation to all of this was Eric. Eric was the CRN-A or nurse anesthetist I had. He was cool’ calm and collected. He appeared me very self confident and in control of the situation. I confided my fear to him and he quickly assured me that he would take care of me. He placed an oxygen mask over my face, telling me to breathe deeply so he could inflate my lungs. But I could not stop talking!!!! I kept talking the mask off to talk to him. Once again he assured me that i would be fine. The nest thing I knew was, IV medication was injected into my vein, I tried to fight the urge to sleep, but soon my eyes close and I was out.
I was aroused by the noise of people talking again. I felt the intubation tube that was placed down my throat, being taken out, I started to chock and cough. The lights were bright, but he room was hazy….I asked what time it was, and was told by Eric that it was all over. My laprascopic cholecystectomy was successful. I wondered if indeed the surgeon actually showed up. Even though I thought I had seen her in the hallway, I was not sure that ever appeared in the OR. My hands slid down under the warm blankets feeling for my incisions. Five small incisions had been created on my abdomen. I was in quite a bit of pain, and was quickly given Fentanyl for pain. I dozed off and on again for over an hour or so.
“We have to get you moving”, is what I heard! we are going to get you up in a chair so your family can come in. “Ok”. Into the chair I went, IV and all. I was given the standard ginger ale to drink and a few crackers to see if I could tolerate anything in my stomach. Nausea came and more pain, thus more medication. But the recovery room nurse, Cynthia was very patient with me.
Soon my mom and sister-in-law came in to join me, as I lay in a near comatose state of medication and heavy sedation. I was happy to have company. My sister-in-law returned my cellphone to me, when my dear husband called to check on me. I was finally ready to leave the hospital. I had my ice bag and pillow with me for the long ride home. The sun was setting in the sky and the famous Maine potholes on the roadway where waiting for me. I climbed into the front passenger seat and drifted in and out of sleep during the ride home……
To Be Continued
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