Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Surgery...

....a story in hospital excellence.
(an essay for Emilie)

So, when I walked into the hospital last Friday for my Pre-Op visit, I was pleasantly surprised. You see, I had never been there before for treatment or an emergency since living in KS. (knock on wood) I know, with 4 kids that seems like a miracle!

As I was saying, I was pleasantly surprised. I wish I had brought my camera, but I wasn't expecting such a nice hospital. It felt like a hotel. Nice, clean, classy. A beautiful tall fountain in the lobby and a view up where you can see all the rooms on the inside of the hospital. It was quite impressive. Marinne was with me and she declared, "Mommy, I love that water!" And I agreed, it was very relaxing.

So, we do the Pre-Op stuff and it only took an hour. Not bad at all.

So, on Surgery Day (Wednesday) I was to be there at 10:30am for my 12:30pm surgery. (boy was I glad I didn't have to be there at 5am!) Surprisingly, I was quite calm. (which is not like me at all....) You see, I've been putting off this procedure for over a year because I was so scared of doing it. (ya, I'm pretty much a big chicken)

Anyway, I was calm, until the hospital called at 9:04am and asked "if there was any way I could come right now?" YEA, RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been sitting here at my house just chillin', waiting to get into the shower in a bit. I had plans to shave my legs. I had plans to keep from showing up all "sasquatch" if you know what I am sayin'?! (omgosh, did I just say that out loud?!?!)
But, the fact remains that since they were going to be workin' in the area,
I wanted to make sure things were in tip-top shape! (just doin' what I can do
to help the process at the hospital!)

So, back to the phone call. So, then she explains that someone's surgery got cancelled and the doctor is now running ahead of schedule. So, I say, "Well, if that's what I need to do, I can be there around 10am." (we live like 20 minutes away w/ the drive time due to stoplights at every corner!) And it's now 10 after 9am and I'm still on the phone with the surgery nurse. So, now I am in a HURRY.

I went from "nice and calm" to "panicked and stressed" in about 60 seconds.
(but that was due to the fact I DO NOT deal with change well!)

So, fast forward 25 minutes and we're on our way to the hospital....
(it doesn't take long to "get ready" when you aren't allowed to wear makeup!)

The thing that took the longest was the check-in. When I got there, I had to wait about 10 minutes (still, nothing compared to what I've had to wait at any other hospital. I've waited longer than that for something when I was in LABOR!)

They quickly got me into a Pre-Op Room and I was quizzed and given a hospital bracelet and a gown. (by quizzed, I was asked what my procedures were and made sure I verified the info on my chart and bracelet was all correct.)
Thorough.....I like that in a hospital!!

Before I could even get out of the bathroom and dressed in my hospital gown and my sexy maternity underwear
hey gave me to hold the maxi pad I needed!
(thought I was done with maternity anything.....HA! HA! Guess Not!!!)

(these are disposable underwear that could be cut off me when they were ready for surgery....and yes, my body betrayed me by starting my period again about 10 days early....one finally betrayal before I made up my mind that I was done with these insane and out of control menses. This just help justify in mind that the time is now and that I really need to do this. Even if I am scared to death.)

So, while my 2 nurses were waiting for me to get the maternity undies on, they were already getting things done for my surgery. When I came out, I was quizzed again about my hospital bracelet and what procedures I was having.
(Like I said, they were THOROUGH!)

Then came the anesthesiologist.
More quizzing. More health questions. More clarifications.
Then, a shot in the IV to help me relax.
I think I might love you.....

The part I was dreading more than anything else was here....the IV.
(like I've said more than once, the worst part about having babies is the IV!!!)
I hate needles. And I DEFINITELY HATE IV'S!!!!!

So, while they were looking for a place to put my IV....I was panicking. And I was trying to ignore them. I took that moment to more closely examine my room.
I first see this picture,
which is what I was focusing on while she gave me the IV numbing shot.
(thank you kind nurse for that, even if it burned a little...)

{to Emilie: I have no idea what a school house has to do with a hospital, but at least there was no one getting accosted in my hospital room!!!} To others: if you don't understand this go read HERE.

After she finished, we had to wait a few minutes for the numbing to take effect. So, I let my eyes wander off the schoolhouse to the wall in front of me....and I see this.
(oh ya, I'm in a Catholic hospital.....) And as I was receiving my dreaded IV, I was concentrating on Jesus and I actually forgot to breathe, until the nurse said, "Honey, are you breathing?! Because we prefer our patients breathing!!"

(the funny part was the last time I was near a needle was here and
while I was in pain, I forgot to breathe and nearly passed out! --

p.s. scroll down to the story and pictures of my tattoo story!! :)

And when one nurse asked if I was breathing, the other nurse was done with the IV.

And with that, we were ready to go!

Now, I was scared, but I am very ready to be done with the monthly madness!
So, I was ready to go.

They allowed Big Daddy to walk down the hall with us to the "goodbye spot"
and then we were allowed to say our goodbyes. I was strong (possibly because it was all happening so fast, there was no time to panic.) But, Big Daddy, well, he's an old softie and as he told me goodbye and he loved me, he was starting to cry.
It was so. very. sweet! (this guy never cries!)

So, they wheeled me away.
And I was now more worried about him than me!

The next thing I knew, we are in the Operating Room.
It was super freezing in there!
The anesthesiologist began explaning what they'd be doing.

And when he finished, they asked me if I was ok or had questions.

But, the only thing on my mind was Big Daddy.
So, that's what I was talking about.
And it was the last thing I remember.

And then, I found myself with a nurse by my side....glued to the heart monitor.
I was waking up.
She started talking to me.
Asking me how I felt.

She explained to me that she was carefully watching my heart rate.
Because, apparently, it was way too slow.
It was in the low 40's, about half of what it should have been.

So, she calls the anesthesiologist over. He, too, is concerned and orders
something that started with an R to get my heart going.

After 10 minutes or so, it had not worked.

So, the nurse calls anesthesiologist over again.
More concern over low heart rate which is still too slow.

This time, he pulls out the big guns.....Atropine.
(I recognize it from the show ER....and I get a bit nervous.
Because I know they use it when they have a code blue....)

And even after that....my heart rate only hit the upper 60's, but they were
no longer really concernes as the were with the 40's.

Once I was stable, she was asking me what my pain level was
based on this chart on the wall.
For the record, I said it was a 3 or so.
And she gave me the good stuff. Morphine.

Then, she asked me how old my 4 kids were.

I said, "How did you know I have 4 kids."

"You told me," she responded.

As soon as you came to, you asked me if you were ok....
...because you had 4 kids and a husband who need you.

......Well, if I say something I don't remember saying, I'm glad it was that.

And when Big Daddy was brought to me, I was so glad to see him.
And he was so sweet and loving and so glad to see me.
He was starting to cry again....and he says I'm no longer allowed to be
wheeled away on a gurney. It was harder for him than he had expected.

And once I was stable and awake, they said I could go home.
And seriously, within 5 minutes they let me change my clothes and
they had a person there to wheel me to the car.

Now, that's what I call service!

(When I had my daughter, it took about 3 1/2 hours to be released! Insane!!)

**After I got home I took a L-O-N-G nap! And I was awakened just before 5pm by my cell phone. It was the doctors office. And they had run a urinalysis before my surgery and if you can believe it, I have a wicked Urinary Tract Infection.
Well, that explains a lot..........so I'm now on BIG TIME antibiotics, too!

I just want to thank everyone for your concern, prayers and phone calls.
You guys are just *FANTASTIC*!!

The thing that has surprised me the most was how exhausted I've been since then.
And I'm 6 days post-surgery, and I still don't have a lot of stamina.
But, everyday I'm feeling stronger.

(Now....I've been asked by a few what exactly I had done.....It was a triple procedure that they do together, but the motivating factor was the "endometrial ablation."
This is the procedure that should help with my periods from hell. But, in tandem with that, the do a scope looking for cysts or any other problems that may be causing the bad periods. Then, a D&C has to be performed before they do the ablation.)


Emilie Ahern said...

I'm glad everything was so nice.
But I'm also kind of bitter.

Joy P said...

Glad to hear that everything went well. Hope you are back to your old self soon :)

deiha said...

glad to hear you are getting stronger.

Mandy said...

Take it easy girl and let yourself heal...you know! Your body is probably tired for a reason! I'm glad you are ok and getting better!

Emilie Ahern said...

Whispering Damn You under my breath.

Emilie Ahern said...


Tam said...

OOOO I have been wondering what in the world was going ON!!!! I am glad you are feeling BETTER!

LOVE you!!! YOU are my fav crackalious crackberry HO!!!!!

the real ~Roxann~ said...

Emilie.......you need to look for a better hospital next time! Come to KS...I'll hook you up!

Do you know they even called me 3 days ago to make sure my visit was pleasant and to make sure I was doing ok!! Now, that's what I call service!

(ok...I'll stop rubbing it in now!)

Karen said...

You had me in tears talking about the big guy crying. SO SWEET! I had a moment like that this week when I read Brian's "daddy form" for one of the therapy centers. He said Andrew and I are his world and some other amazing things.
I'm thinking about you and am so glad you're ok!

FlipFlop Mom said...

Oh goodness.. I felt like I was right there!!! lol lol.. so glad you're doing fine!!! Operations wipe me out.. I had one a couple years ago.. it took me 3 months to get my energy back... I was warned... but I didn't believe them.. should have listened.. LOL LOL!!

Tam said...

HOPE you have a great weekend...we have some KICK butt weather here right NOW!

betsy (pharmgirl) said...

Hey Roxann! So glad to hear your surgery went well!

Ds picked your name for some vintage bling! Send me your address and I'll pop it in the mail!


amy h. said...

EEEWWWWWDAMN. That's all one word now because I know what an ablation is and EEEWWWWDAMN. I'm sorry, hon, sounds horrible and I'm eversoglad you're ok.

But the part about Ike tearing up -- that gets a DAMN without an EEEWWWW because, aaaawwww, that might be the sweetest thing I've heard of him doing since he threatened to kick the shit out of Kev when he slapped me into Ike's speaker.

Love you both (and all four of your little mini-yous) and can't wait to see you again....

My Art