Time for the big Post-op Recap…at least in part. Because, as I’m sure you’re aware, I rarely go through any major life changes without sharing all of the gory details with my Darlings of The Dungeon. :cape
This time around, it was a hysterectomy. And I didn’t get to have one of those easy, less intrusive vaginal /laparoscopic hystis. Oh, no—I got to enjoy the full, sawed-in-half, giant incision kind. Oh, joy!
No biggie to begin with. I’d just been through a D&C in August, so showing up at the hospital & going through the whole pre-op procedure was old hat. I wasn’t the least bit nervous.
The only difference this time around was that they decided to give me spinal anesthesia instead of the regular kind. They swore it wouldn’t hurt any more than an I.V. & that I’d wake up much more easily afterward, so I was all for it. And let me tell you, it was no big deal! I’d always been afraid of spinals because I’ve heard they’re really painful, but it totally was not. As promised, it was just a pinch, and then it kind of felt like the doctor was moving the needle around, trying to find just the right spot, but it did not hurt. Then there was a flush of heat down my legs & that’s all she wrote. In fact, I don’t remember a single thing after that, so I don’t know if they gave me the knock-out drug the same way or not.
Waking up from the spinal was not as pleasant as they’d promised, however. They led me to believe I’d just wake up, maybe feel a little groggy at first, the same as I had from the light D&C anesthesia. This was not the case. I woke up shivering like crazy, even though I wasn’t cold; it was almost as though I was having mini seizures because my teeth would chatter, my body would shake, & then I’d go stiff for a few seconds. Over & over again. Not painful, but quite disconcerting. And then when the feeling started coming back to my legs, it was all tingling.
I was okay at first. Very, very groggy; I think they had me pretty well doped up, so I didn’t feel much. Then, when I was more awake, they got me all settled in my room. Wanna hear something ironic? The floor I was supposed to be on filled up while I was in surgery, so they put me in the maternity ward instead. Uh-huh—they put the girl recovering from a hysterectomy on a floor filled with noisy kids & crying babies. Am I allowed to admit I was not happy about that? The babies, actually, weren’t too bad. Whenever they started to cry, somebody rushed to take care of them. It was more the older kids running up & down the hall during visitor hours that made me want to have my uterus removed all over again—& stuffed into my ears! I made sure my doctor knew I didn’t appreciate the joke, either—I have a hysterectomy so I won’t have to listen to babies crying, I told him, & you put me in the maternity ward? So not funny. (Also, when you’re recovering from surgery & pretty much feel like shit to begin with, you don’t want to listen to infomercials on television, let alone screaming children. Am I right or am I right? :elvira )
It didn’t help one whit that the morphine they gave me for pain ended up making me sick. They had me on a morphine pump so I could manage my own pain, but the nurses kept telling me to push the button every ten minutes, no matter what. “Get ahead of the pain,” they said. “Don’t wait until it hurts, just keep pushing that button.” So I did, but it turned out to be a Big Mistake. I don’t handle heavy-duty painkillers very well to begin with. But I’ve been on morphine before, after my jaw surgery, & was absolutely fine. The difference, I guess, is that they administered it that time & this time I was dosing myself. Apparently, I overindulged. I wish I had just gotten a little loopy, but noooooo. My reaction to meds is migraines & massive nausea. And I would much rather deal with actual pain than be nauseated; it just makes everything so much worse.
Unfortunately, when I complained about not feeling well, the nurses told me it was probably a reaction to the anesthesia & would go away. Uh-huh. It did not go away, it just kept getting worse because I kept clicking. Finally, they gave me something for the nausea, which kinda worked, at least a little bit. But as soon as that wore off, it started all over again. Thankfully, when the doctor called in, they told him how I was feeling (I suspect the words “death warmed over” might have been used) he ordered them to take me off the morphine immediately & switch me to something else. Great! If only it didn’t take hours after that for the morphine O.D. to wear off. Blurg.
So I ended up staying in the hospital two nights instead of the one they’d told me to plan for. But I spent a lot of that time napping. I would find something decent on TV, then pretty much sleep through it. And can I just mention was a total pain in the butt the TV there was? There was no channel up & down…just up. So basically, if you wanted to go back a channel or two, you had to click through all 100 channels until the television turned off…then start clicking again. I finally had to make a list of the channel numbers so I could at least try to land on something decent the first time around, because it was driving me nuts. Sometimes, at night, I still hear that sound… Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Oh, how I love my television at home & my remote control. I promise to never leave them again!
And let’s talk about the food. I wasn’t allowed to have anything the first day, of course, & spend the night sipping water & ginger ale. The second day, though, I was allowed to start on soft foods, so they brought me a tray of coffee & cream of wheat. Oh, wait—ask me what two foods I will never eat. Coffee & cream of wheat. My mother told them I wouldn’t eat it & asked if I could have something else. The girl went to “ask”…& never returned. I continued to sip water & ginger ale, & the next tray they brought me consisted of… You guessed it! Coffee & cream of wheat. Seriously, what is the deal, people? I have to tell you, I’ve never actually minded hospital food, but I’ve also never been deprived of choices, however pathetic they may be. Normally, they bring you a little slip of paper asking what you want for your next meal, they don’t just plop down a tray of food you won’t touch.
Luckily, I didn’t really have much of an appetite, anyway, so this wasn’t a big deal except for the fact that I was supposed to take my new pain pills with food, & when you’re trying to recover from major surgery, you’re kind of supposed to get some kind of sustenance to aid in healing. Eh. I forced down the soup they brought me that tasted like chalk (Madame Mommy Dearest tasted it & agreed that it was putrid, so I was not just being a picky eater, I swear!) & delighted in the tiny little cups of sherbet they finally started bringing, & the nurses were nice enough to make me hot tea once in a while.
So that’s the basic run-down of my surgery & hospital stay. Much more to share, & I know you’re dying to hear all about it. :jack
But I’m getting tired now & need another nap. Wonder what’s on television that I can sleep through…
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