Thursday, January 3, 2008

December 23rd. Recovering slower than I would like . . .

I'm at my parents' home in North Bay. It is Sunday, and the surgery was last Tuesday. I should bring everyone to this point.

I got to the hospital with my dad and I can honestly say I wasn't nervous. Life cannot continue as it had without this crossing of the road and I think that was inherently understood within my mind, having suffered so much with all these seizures. You present your card, fill in the forms, and go wait in the room for your name to be called. I thought it was amusing that the form that I had to fill out, the pre-op health form, had a lot more writing on it than the other guy in the room, who looked like all he did was check all the "no" boxes and didn't write a thing. Mine had a lot of "yes", and in places, I had to write small to fill in the pertinent information in. He looked really nervous, I looked happy. It just was a visual contrast about how surgery can change your life. I got changed into the little blue paper slippers and over-sized blue hospital gowns and said "bye" to dad. He was going to stay until after the surgery since the lady at the desk said that I would be out in about 3 hours. I walked down the hall to the day unit, got on a stretcher while they made sure I was consenting to the surgery I signed for, took my blood pressure, and I waited on the stretcher for a porter to come and take me to the OR. I heard a voice call my name. It was a patient that I had at work! I asked him what he was "in" for and he was getting a skin graft on his leg. He asked me what I was here for and I told him. We chatted briefly while they took me first. The porter and I were telling funny stories while he was bringing me to the OR. I parked in front of the OR while a nurse met me and went over my health information. It was really cold and I was starting to shiver. The anesthetist came out and talked to me also. Both of them didn't understand the surgery that was about to be done on me and were asking me what it was all about. I explained to them what it does and how it was supposed to work. The surgeon came out last and talked to me how I felt. I told him I felt fine and he left. I saw him all for about a minute. They rolled me into the OR and it was cold as a refrigerator. I started to shiver. I don't think I was nervous at this time. I think the cold was making me shake. I got to move to the OR table and the anesthetist started an IV in the right arm. He didn't have any trouble doing so. They gave me oxygen and started giving me something through the IV and that's all I remember. The next thing I remember, was I was having a dream that I can't recall right now and I woke up in post op. I started sitting up right away aware I was in post op, wondering if they actually did the surgery, since I couldn't feel any pain except for a sore throat. I felt below my right shoulder and there was a dressing on it, so I knew it was done. A nurse told me to lie back down and called for a porter to take me back to the day unit. I rolled back to the day unit thinking that this was the best surgery ever. I waved to my dad as we went back to the day unit. The porter told me it was my dad. I couldn't see very well since my glasses were off. I got back to the day unit and that guy that was originally in the waiting room was there. He had something done with his knee. I heard the nurses talking about me. They didn't understand what my surgery was all about, but they were saying that they couldn't believe that I was a nurse. They had misunderstood that when I said I was a "nephrology" nurse, I was a dialysis nurse, because she said, "can you believe that someone like that needles people all day?" They were saying that that my last seizure was Monday (true) and it was too dangerous to let me work. I wanted to yell and explain myself, telling them I was a good nurse and I hadn't been working since October, but my throat hurt and the drugs I was on made me not care as much, but what they were talking about made me angry. Someone came over and gave me two Tylenol#3 and the magnet pack that comes with the stimulator. I lied there with my sore throat, drinking some coffee and toast that the nurse gave me, wondering when I could go home. I was going home no matter what. Finally someone came over and wanted to see if I could walk and I showed them I was fine. I got dressed and had to wait in a chair at the door for my dad to pick me up. A nurse came over and asked me about the stimulator and how it helps and I made sure I told her that I couldn't be a nurse without it and that I was a good nurse. Finally, dad came to pick me up and we went to pick up my Tylenol#3 downstairs.

I was drowsy all day and started to finally feel pain that night. I rarely took the Tylenol#3 because after taking them, I couldn't eat and would sleep for 4 hours. The dressing was bleeding, but I left it on because it was stuck right on and it hurt to try and change it and I didn't feel like going through all that. The next day the pain was bad and the nausea was bad, and I was really drowsy. Dad was shoveling the driveway with the snow blower. I think he liked the machine. Peanut and Latte came to have naps with me in bed.

We drove back to North Bay on the 20th, if that was a Thursday. I was drowsy all day and the sun was in my face. CBC radio was on. When we stopped to eat, all I had was fries and ginger ale and that stayed down fine. My surgical area didn't hurt if I didn't move it. The dressing was finally off because it got full of dried blood and was scraping against the incision, which hurt. I could feel the oozing from the incision all day which didn't hurt, but felt gross. I took Tylenol#3 at home because it was so uncomfortable to sleep on my bed at my parent's house.

Today, December 23rd, I'm still feeling incisional pain and today, I can feel a "pulling" sensation, which is mildly uncomfortable. If I bend over, it feels like the stimulator will explode and fall out, I think because of the pressure. I could feel last night before I went to sleep that this stimulator is smaller than the last one. I think it feels half as thick and smaller in circumference. That would be great. It won't feel so bulky under my skin as the last one did.

I am keeping away from the boredom I feel here in North Bay (specifically at the parents' house) by bringing a lot of activities with me. I brought my quilting, which I'll start doing when my arm is more mobile, lots of books, my laptop with three new loaded games and I'll keep up-to-date with this blog, and my iPod, which I can block out the 20 hockey games a night that dad has to watch, regardless of what everyone else wants to watch in this house. So far, it has been going on 4 days and I am keeping up my sanity so far. I am lucky my post op neuro appointment is January 3rd, so I don't have to spend weeks and weeks here on end. X-mas takes up a day too, plus New Year's, and we'll go out to dinner x-mas and New Year's eve. There is no vegan food here in the house, which means I am eating cereal with soy milk, noodles with margarine, and ground soy, and bread. Last night, mum made a bagged (she opened the bag) iceberg lettuce salad and a baked potato. I get crabby when I eat such food vaporous of nutrients for days on end. Dad said she bought a Tofurky, so I might break that out early so I can get some nutrition and leftovers for a couple more days. I am missing my fresh fruits and vegetables though. The dogs are having a good time. They have a new relative. With Tasha dying after our last visit this summer, mum and dad got another toss away dog named Ozzy. They haven't had a male dog since I was born and he is very aggressive. Or so they say. I haven't seen any aggression in him since I got here. He is even playing with Latte.

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