Monday, December 6, 2010

Surgery Day, Friday and Saturday Too

    By 6:45 a.m. on December 3rd I was dressed in my super-hot and fancy purple hospital gown. Unfortunately though, no one seems to be able to design one without your butt hanging out the back despite how fancy they've become. I had my IV, my blue hat, a pair of sticky bottomed socks (in purple of course) and was perched in my bed waiting for my turn in the OR when Dr. Broome arrived to go over the last minute questions and what-will-happens.
    For the next hour and a half a troop of folks swarmed through asking all the same things over and over again. Everyone wanted to see my throat, hear my heartbeat, look at my bracelet, know what my birthday was etc. etc. Finally the one person I actually wanted to see showed up. The anesthesia dudes. Yay for Versaid is all I can say.
    At a few minutes till 9:00 a.m. I'd said my see-you-laters to K and they dosed me up with sleepy juice which was fine with me since I was feeling pretty antsy right about that time. Rolling out into the hall, it was as busy as a beehive with purple-draped souls like myself being shoved along the corridor to our designated rooms.
    Now the next twelve hours are sort of a fuzzy mishmash of faces and pain so I can't tell you with any degree of certainty exactly what happened. What I can tell you is that I woke up a lot of hours later in a semi-private room that thankfully was private for the moment. Honestly, I had no idea that there was such things as a semi-private room in 2010. Over the next few days I would learn lots of semi-private things unfortunately.
    Mom and I made it fairly well that first night but it was pretty rough. My first attempt to get up to visit the restroom almost convinced me it wasn't worth it. I found that if I held my side and moved slowly I could eventually get there. Mom went back to the hotel after K and Dad came back from breakfast. That was a good thing because I was afraid she was going to slap the hell out of the next nurse who gave us the excuse "I've been really busy" when I called for something. Let's just say the staff response time needed lots of improvement.
    I had a little set back that first whole day I was in the hospital and the surgeon's decided that I needed to stay another night which I wasn't happy about. I was even more unhappy when I found out I was getting a roommate. God love her, she was a nice lady and all but I really didn't want to share my personal space with a stranger. It was a exercise in patience, tolerance, holding on to sanity and Christian love to endure the incessant blathering from her monotone husband. Once he went home, the situation was easier to deal with.
    Anyone who knows me well can understand why I would be so irritated by having a roommate. For those of you who don't, well let's just say my germaphobia really starts kicking in a hospital and goes through the roof at the idea of sharing certain intimacies with strangers.
    If you've ever had surgery you know that there are certain tasks you must perform before they will release you. You can't throw up, you have to eat and drink on your own, walk and use the restroom. Now I don't know about y'all, but my parents didn't raise me to fart amongst strangers. Unfortunately, that's exactly what the nurses wanted me to do. See, this is where the semi-private issue was causing me problems. I was too sore and stiff to hurry to the communal restroom once the urge reared it's head but too embarrassed to blow it out in front of two strangers. Our beds were so close I could literally reach out and touch her so there was going to be fall out one way or another. Her raising must have been different because she had no quam's about blowing it out in front of my people.
    Finally, I'd completed all the requirements in the most lady-like way I could and was prepared to go home Sunday. Mom and I had our fingers crossed at least. Saturday night was difficult again and Sunday morning began early with a five o'clock blood draw. Now that's a rough way to wake up. Sunday deserves it's own page so I will end with this. Vanderbilt Medical Center is the leader in medical science in lots of ways and I'm thankful for all the awesome doctors there, but their hospital room environments leave a lot to be desired. Especially for those of us who don't enjoy playing the fart game.
Till then,

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