I went with Boudica again as I wanted to express the idea that you need a lot of strength and perseverance to get to this point. Add to that copious amounts of patience.
We stayed in Somerville for the night, so I could take the prep and be able to sleep later in the morning. Had we stayed at home, we might have had to leave by 4a to make our 6a check-in to the hospital. The trip from the hotel was mostly uneventful. I would talk about the prep but anyone who has had a colonoscopy knows this stuff to be pure evil in liquid form.
We arrived at the hospital at 6a and had a quick check-in. Soon I was taken into the pre-op area where they hooked up monitors, IVs and all sorts of stuff. Numerous Doctors, Nurses, and Students flowed through checking on me and introducing themselves. This is a teaching hospital, so there were numerous students. I loved that there were two, one Derrick and one Eric. Perfect! There were so many others but to get them all by name especially when you are nervous about beginning life changing surgery would be crazy.
The surgeons came by and checked on me. They joked around a bit and calmed me down. I was basically in the best place I could be for the surgery. I was just going with the flow. They got me wheeled into the OR and before I knew it I was waking up in the recovery room. They brought Cindy in to stay with me as I regained full consciousness. They were very on top of pain. I had a epidural, which helped any pain down below.
Soon Dr. Slama came by to tell me that the surgery went textbook. They had trouble finding a room afterwards, but before long I was wheeled up to the West Wing, 4th floor, room 4. I was taken aback as the view was amazing. I had a perfect view of the Prudential Tower from my room. I also had a private room as they had detected MRSA when they ran tests prior to surgery. I had been run through with antibiotics prior to ensure nothing would be left and on antibiotic IV while in my room. Protocols were taken to ensure I was clear. The day I arrived and the next day were set aside for bed rest, but by Thursday, I was to be up and at some point walking. I had a checkbox on my board in my room stating I had to walk four times. When they first got me up I struggled, the epidural had caused my right leg to be numb. They managed to help me to a chair and I continued to work to get it back working. They had removed the epidural earlier, but the affects were still there. They brought lunch and as I ate I continued to try to move my leg on my own. It soon started to respond. I managed to walk to the bathroom and back. I did manage to walk to the bathroom, so I took the challenge. Not only did I walk the four times, but I walked all the way down the hall and down the other hall as well. I didn’t stop at four and managed to get in seven of these walks. The nurse was astounded.
I did have a minor setback when I started to get bloated. The positioning on the bed had me pushing down on my butt. There was no way for me to expel anterior gas. When Dr. Slama came, he said he knew how to fix it and rolled me to my side and propped me up with pillows. After they all left, fortunately, I let go a steady stream of gas. The gas company would have been proud. Soon, my stomach was back to normal. They were extremely good at managing my pain. There was one time when the nurse couldn’t get there for a half hour and I suffered for a bit until she could get me my pain meds, but it wasn’t the usual case as they usually were telling me when they would give me the next.
The nursing staff were extraordinary. They really cared for you. I noted that there were some that I just connected with for some reason. One, especially, was Steph. We hit it right off and she was really caring and attentive. I really don’t like to call out names, because, should they read this, some may feel I missed them. Well, there were so many people taking care of me and with the drugs and all, sometimes it is hard to remember names. Leave it to say that they all were outstanding.
I just want to add a little note. The doctors are very good at advising you as to what you can expect. Yes, it will take a bit to get used to your new parts. Yes, you will have pain for a bit and expect some bleeding. They even send you home with some extra pads. You also have to deal with the catheter, though that is manageable. You do have to remember to drain it periodically. They also gave me a second, more portable bag, that can be strapped to your leg. It fits nicely under a long dress so that it is hidden. The larger unit hangs which is good for overnight. That is usually the one you had while you were in the hospital. These are easy to switch out and drain.
What they don’t tell you about is that they have to pin your arms back during the operation. This causes your muscles in your arms to be tight and sore late. I could barely move them at first but worked them out. The other is that with the epidural, you may lose some of the feeling in your legs or as I did in your fingers. I could not feel the thumb and first two fingers on my right hand. I had lost the feeling in my right leg. Which affected when they tried to get me to walk.
I really had no problem when my release time came and I just walked out under my own accord. Of course, I was wearing a short dress so the bag showed a bit, but I was able to walk out. Cindy picked me up outside and soon we were on our way home. She stopped on the way and got some Popeye’s for her son Kyle and I to have for lunch. I was soon set up on my donut with all my meds at home. I would return on Monday for the Follow-Up and have the catheter and packing removed. I will save that for the next.
As always, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.