Monday, January 26, 2009

Post-Surgery TMI

Thursday afternoon was the Big Day. The two youngest went off to school for finals, the second oldest to work. I stayed up late Wednesday night because I wasn't going to be able to eat or drink after midnight (just call me "Gizmo") and I wanted to forestall a migraine induced by low blood sugar because my surgery was scheduled for the afternoon.

I took a shower, washed my hair, dressed in a button-front shirt, flannel pj pants, and slip on shoes. And after Hubs and I found the correct place to check in, got prepped and... waited.

No laptop. No cell phone. Just me and my latest issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. They finally let Hubs back to keep me company. Plenty of time for a quick Act of Contrition (got to cover all the bases, right?) and Apostles' Creed.

The staff was wonderful. But the questions--Oy! I repeated my name, my medical ID number, which breast needed surgery. I confirmed that certain opiates make me vomit. I confirmed that I was not pregnant, that I did not have to pee (come on--I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since midnight. What was supposed to come out?), that my blood pressure and pulse rate usually are ridiculously low.

"How do you respond to anesthesia?" the anesthesiologist asked.

"I have no idea. This is my first surgery," I explained. I was almost apologetic. "I always thought that was a good thing."

She agreed.

Did I mention that, except for the recovery room nurses, the staff looks like they are the same age as my children?

I remember the anesthetic going into my IV. I remember waking up. I have no idea how long surgery actually took.

When the nurses told me I looked a little blue, I thought it was because I had just come out of surgery and was feeling a little nauseous. But actually I was blue from the dye the surgeon injected to find the tumor. I also had a drain in my armpit.

Hubs brought me home and surrounded me with soup, yogurt, and orange juice. I snuggled into the recliner and fell asleep.

The next morning, I got up and went to the bathroom. What a surprise! Somehow I missed the note in the Post-Op Instructions about how the blue dye gets out of my system.

One of the recovery nurses called me to see how I was doing and to make sure I was managing my pain. Fortunately, I haven't had much--my broken arm hurt much worse. I had a kind of sinus-migraine-type headache and a sore throat (from the tube) and that's about it. The drain is more bothersome than painful as I try to limit the use of my left arm.

I have an appointment on Wednesday to go over what the surgeon found, assuming the lab reports are back. And hopefully to get this drain out. Sometime after that I'll meet with an oncologist to plan chemo treatments and radiation.

Hubs, DD#2, and I went to a movie on Sunday to forestall cabin fever and to make me get up and walk around. I did change out of my post-op attire but am now back in mis-matched gear. I'm am also trying to convince Hubs that I have plenty of "bulk" at this point--I don't need to keep eating constantly. Especially since my exercise level is practically nil.

Thanks to all for keeping me in your prayers and sending good thoughts my way. I appreciate them as I continue down the road.