Thursday, June 26, 2008

Flashback to Friday the 13th - Surgery Day

I had to be at the hospital at 6am. Checking in took mere minutes and then I was sent back to be prepped. The anesthesiologist was a kind sweet caring man that I can not say enough about. He came in to talk to me after I changed into my lovely gown wear. I have special needs and we addressed them in a very dignified manner which I greatly appreciated. He spent whatever time I needed to explain and feel comfortable, very refreshing. Then I was given Versed (my request) and the next thing I remember is waking up in the PACU asking for a bed pan so I could pee. This is not the normal protacol. Usually they leave the catheter in until the next morning. Again, this was my request before we got the party started and I do contribute my ability to leave less than 24 hours later partly to the fact that I had to get up and use the facilities. The more you move, the sooner you feel better. So true.

Anyway, I was given Fentynal and Morphine in the PACU by the lovely and beautiful nurse Jill . (Wanna make sure I also shout out to Wendy who was my pre-op nurse and a lovely lady as well.) I had a wonderful time in the PACU for the couple hours or so I was there. I was doing so well, I got to skip Step Down which apparently is where patients head until they are doing well enough to go to a regular room.

So, I was off to my new room. Here is where it gets sticky. I was completely ignored by my new nurse, I think her name was Linda. This other nurse, who was only supposed to be there to do paper work or something, came into our room (all rooms are semi-private which means roomate :) ) I begged her to find my nurse because I wanted my pain meds. Then my roommate grabbed her for something else. Long story short, she ended up taking care of us and a few other people because our nurse couldn't bother to show up. My roommate's I.V. kept going off irritating the crap out of me. I started punching the nurse help button for someone to come in and shut it up. I got so angry that I demanded to speak with my so-called-nurse's supervisor who was very nice (of course she was, I was a disgruntled customer) and handled it all with professionalism and compassion. I got a new nurse and she was OK. Apparently, you have to ask for your drugs when you want them or you won't get them. I thought that was incredibly dumb because, as far as I know from a decade of chronic agony, the smart thing to do is stay on top of the pain. As most of you know, if the pain takes over it is hard to recover. So that is a word to the wise, ask for drugs!! The next morning brought breakfast which wasn't bad and hubby brought Starbucks and I was feeling good. A doc-not-my-own came in and saw me and I convinsed him to spring me. Wasn't really happy that I didn't get to see my doc. I wanted to talk to him about some things and this guy (a resident I think) said he had been there up until Dr. Di brought out the drill, which is pretty much the beginning, so of no use to me. Bummer. I put some makeup on, brushed my teeth, combed my hair and left at 11am on Saturday.

Hubby and I decided we wanted food before the 3.5 hr ride home so we stopped at a Buffalo Wild Wings and got some chow for the road. The ride home was uneventful. I called Sue, a friend that I met on the WACMA site who was having her surgery that following Tuesday with Dr. Di, to tell her how easy it was and to definitely not be scared. It was a breeze and I was going to sleep in my own bed the day after brain surgery. You can't beat that. I spent the rest of the trip trying to keep my husband awake because he hadn't had much sleep the night before. The kids were at camp and Grandma's, so we were lucky to have the time alone. The kids didn't come back until the following Thursday night so I had a lot of time to heal.

To sum it up, every thing went fabulously at first (during the critical parts) and everyone involved in my pre-op, surgery, and PACU care were the top of the line. I can not rave about them enough. The rest of my hospital stay sucked because my nurse was a twit and failed miserably at taking care of my needs. I'm not trying to whine or be self-absorbed, but I literally was there for over 6 hours and I saw her once. That's BS. If they are that understaffed, they need to get a hold of a POOL and get some bodies in there. That suffering didn't last long though and now here I am, feeling fabulous, without a giant wicked scar down the entire back of my head and neck. By the time it is all said and done, people probably won't even be able to see the scar! My husband marbles at the skill of the closer and people I show say something to the effect of "that's brain surgery?!?" :) I love it. It is like Dr. Di fixed Mother Nature's OOPS and now I am the way I am meant to be -- just like everyone else -- alive!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say even though this is a few years old, I just had the same surgery last week at the Cleveland Clinic. My experience was sooo similar to yours. I was well taken care of in surgery and PACU, and all but ignored in my hospital room by my nurse. They definitely need to get it together...these people have just had brain surgery!!! I'm 6 days post-op and I'm doing very well. Even went out to a movie with a friend tonight! Have you had a total resolution of chiari problems? Have you had subsequent pregnancies?

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