Thursday, February 19, 2009

Burp, Baby, Burp!

This is about surgery. May be TMI if you don't like bodily functions especially when they aren't yours.

When we arrived at the hospital, mom said it looked more like a spa. I had to sign a "confidentiality waiver" whose sole purpose was to allow the doc to go tell my mom I made it through surgery, because that was the only confidentiality break they would do. Kind of makes me wonder who else gets work done there.

Surgery went well. Anesthsia was no trouble. Pain meds for scratchy throat made me throw up. I warned the nurse twice that I was on the verge. Not "I feel nauseous", like when they hit some sympathetic nerve with the IV that stayed tweaked the entire time, but "I think I'm going to throw up." And when you are full of pain meds that make you feel like you've downed one too many shots? (Not that I would ever do that during a process engineering pub crawl.) No impulse control. And because the other reason I was puky was due to swallowing dripping blood, it was a pretty good mess that I didn't have to deal with aside from letting them put a new gown on.

It was kinda interesting. After talking to all the major players - surgeon, anesthesiologist, and head surgical nurse with whom I confirmed for each one which surgery I was expecting, they had me keep on my shoes and socks then put on shoe booties and a hair bouffant, just like pre-gowning at work. Then they walked me into the operating room. I've never done that before. Not bad; less mystery and uncertainty. The crucifix arm placement was actually pretty comfortable. I am apparently the first patient to ask if the forearm bloodpressure cuff was appropriately placed. (Yes, they do that in case the surgeon leans into your upper arm. Refer back to crucifix positioning.) And they had no trouble providing my requested pillow for under my knees to keep my back from straining.

My nose doesn't hurt at all, but I have a super attractive under-nose sling which keeps gauze pads tucked up to my nose because it's still dripping some blood. Even so, I can breathe really easily. My mom has to look to see my shoulders rise in my sleep because I'm not straining or noisy in my breathing. I do wonder if I'll have to learn to breathe slightly differently because I'm also swallowing a lot of air and have done some really impressive burping.

That could also be due to the funky back of throat issues. The tonsils, which I think I remember the doc coming in to describe as "pretty ugly". Good riddance to bad rubbish. But in the meantime, my throat is pretty scratchy and there's a consistent sensation that I have to hock a lougie. I'm taking the pain meds with popsicles. Found a mango soy-creamsicle at trader joes last night, and of course, otter pops.

plastic tube popsicles with cartoon otter decoration

Which I'm feeding to myself because mom has been snoring on the sofa for the last 2 hours, waking up with a start and yelling "don't bend over, I'll get that for you" whenever she hears the freezer open, then immediately passing back out. Between the mom-stress, the time difference, the 5am wrong number, the 7am call from dad, the 7:15 alarm, sitting up all day in the hospital, and me being mite testy before my nap, I'm not at all surprised she needs the sleep. I just wish she'd let herself do it.


mic said...

Oh, good! Glad to hear that things went well and most importantly, that you're breathing better.

Big hugs at ya!

Anonymous said...

OMG, the *crucifix* positioner for surgery. When they strapped gynormously pregnant (and hopped up on morphine) me to that thing for my c-section...the urge to belt out Jesus Christ Superstar was so overwhelming!! Did they tilt you to the left or is that just a pregnant thing??


p.s. sorry about the barfing

CrankyOtter said...

If only I'd thought of breaking into song. I was out before they did any arrangement of me aside from putting the pillow under my knees and my arms wide.

Frankly, the barfing wasn't so bad for me. It was a mess and a half for the nurse who had seemed pretty disinterested in my or my condition up until then (so I wasn't too sorry). And it got all the gross out of my stomach. Still and all, Fentanyl is not for me.