Thursday, December 10, 2009

Surgery story . . .

Surgery was December 1st. I woke up too weak to stand up for longer than 5 minutes at a time. That would make getting to the hospital very, very difficult. I had had a bad reaction to one of the antibiotics I was on the day before and I had personally stopped everything going into the PICC line. My skin was inflamed everywhere and I was a bright red and intensely itchy. I was swollen. I lay in bed that morning and put an SOS out on Facebook. Luckily, I got an answer right away from a co-worker, J that he had no problem picking me up and driving me to the hospital. Thank you J.

I get there and make it to the pre-surg clinic with a little help from some volunteers inside the hospital. I was taken into the back right away (so lucky, since I didn't have the strength to sit in a chair.) I lay in a stretcher while nurses and doctors came to look at me with pity for what was hours, but for me, was a well-earned rest. I slept a lot of the wait.

I was brought into the hall outside the OR room and met with the surgeon and his residents. They used me as a teaching example of a bad drug reaction. The anesthesia person and her medical student felt sorry for me and gave me IV Benadryl. I could not stop scratching the inflamed skin. I would have scratched more, except I would have frequent waves of weakness. Finally I was brought into the room. I could not wait to be 'put under' if only to be taken away from the torture of itching and pain for a brief time.

I woke up in the recovery room in an instant. That is what it always feels like, that you close your eyes in one second and wake up in the OR in another. The time on the clock looked like 5 hours had passed. I was spending the night in the recovery room, but I was rolled to the other side of the recovery room. I had an IV going, pumping fluid into me. I had counted 3.5L of fluid going into me during the night, but I didn't pee hardly at all. I slept rarely, and when I did, it was only for a half hour at a time. I got pain meds and benadryl every 4 hours. I texted K and she would pick me up in the morning to bring me home.

I looked horrible over the next couple of days. The drug reaction continued. My skin swollen, then shrunk as I started peeing again. Some of the rash looked permanently tattooed to my body and is still there to this day 10 days later. The top layers of skin all started falling off. I gradually started seeing my eyes again, everyday the swelling started going down and down. The weakness continued for days and just these past few days that I have started walking in the neighbourhood, 3K, 5K, etc. Hopefully, my strength comes back and I can start running again. The IV PICC line is still in my arm, but they have started me very slowly on another antibiotic and I am just nervous that I start having another reaction, or the infection comes back with a vengence.

Day by day.


Spirit Flower said...

Thanks for the update Carrie! You are an inspiration to me.

Ian Timshel said...

So glad to have the update on your progress. Let the healing begin.