Friday, July 3, 2009

Surgery Day!

We had a fantastic surgery day thanks to the amazing, amazing staff at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. No kidding - I was never really nervous! We had to be there around 8:45, and managed to arrive there at the exact time as my mom, who was coming from Shelton. I checked in and spent maybe 10 minutes in the waiting room before being taken back to pre-op (sans mommy, but with Nick).

Had to do the pee-in-the-cup pregnancy test and change into my lovely hospital gown, pants, and robe, and slippers. We didn't have to wait terribly long for a nurse to come over and ask me the same million questions I was asked in my pre-surgery interview. She was really cheerful and reassuring, could answer every question I had.

She then had us shipped off to the surgery waiting room, where they started the IV (not a SINGLE problem, despite being dehydrated!). They had comfy recliners for the patients (there are pictures, no worries), and Dr. Lee and her resident Dr. Kelley came over and talked to us, and the anesthesiologist talked to us. Dr. Lee and the anesthesiologist were concerned about my nose - apparently it wasn't really wide enough for me to get sufficient air through it OR for them to get the breathing tube down without lots of bleeding... so Dr. Lee said she was going to widen it. I'm not sure if that meant just on the inside of my nasal passages, or if it'll show on the outside, as well. Either way, I'm grateful for it now as breathing isn't really all that comfortable WITH the wider nose. :)

After a while of waiting, they came over, put my hair into the net, let me kiss Nick goodbye and we were on our way to the surgery room. The room was a lot smaller than I expected, but there were lots of scary looking tools and huge lights and it was FREEZING. We're talking, downright cold as a meat locker! It felt kind of good because I was a little warm from the waiting room, but then they put a "hot air dryer" blanket on me and another blanket above that. I remember staring at the lights, and then nothing - they didn't even warn me that I was going under!! (Hah!)

So... the next thing I remember is pretty funny. It was dark (my eyes were closed but I wasn't really aware of this at the time), and I was trying to figure out why they were taking my blood pressure on both legs instead of my arms... which led me to think... wait... do I have arms?... which led me to think, "Hey! My eyes are closed!" So I opened them and the recovery nurses put my glasses back on. The "blood pressure" things on my legs were really there to keep clots from forming. They kept asking me to breathe because apparently I wasn't getting enough oxygen even with the oxygen going straight into my nose. I drifted in and out and was coughing a lot - I wasn't really aware enough to use the suction tube yet so they were helping me off and on. I don't remember being wheeled up to my room but I do remember having to scoot over from my operating-room bed to my hospital-room bed because my hip hurt for the first time when I had to move it and it shocked me.

My mom and Nick came in just a few minutes later and I was out of it for the next few hours - my grandparents stopped by and Heidi and Fred stopped by, which I remember but I don't really remember what I "said" to them (HURRAY white board!! I would have been really frustrated without it). I was REALLY shocked and scared to be still bleeding - I had a big cough and blood went EVERYWHERE - all over my gown, the bed, my whiteboard, the table... it was a little too much like a slasher-flick-horror movie for my taste. But then the nurse gave me a rag to cough into, so it wasn't so scary the next few times. I kept having to clean out my nose because it would get clogged up with all the dried blood.

I had a rough night - I kept choking on something HUGE in my throat (probably a blood clot) and I was gagging and coughing. The ice that they were keeping on my head felt really heavy and the cold HURT my joints. Whenever they would change out my ice my pain level would take a turn for the worse. I never slept for more than an hour at a time, and it seemed like the night took forever to pass. I was really lucky in that Nick could stay with me the whole night - they even brought him in a cot to sleep on.

That night I was already up to go to the bathroom with Nick's help (the hip was pretty miserable) and I could kind of drink from a cup. The next morning I got to pick from a "clear liquids" diet menu and got some chicken broth. My surgeon and her resident stopped by again to say how well the surgery went, and to explain my post-op medications and all that. There were a few fiascos getting the medication (the hospital didn't have liquid oxycodone so they filled a pill version.. but hello?! so we had to wait for a different prescription to come over for the demerol.
Post op meds:
  • Hydroxyzine (Atarax) for nausea
  • Demerol for pain
  • Liquid motrin/ tylenol for pain

  • Peridex rinse
  • xephalexin (Keflex) for anti-biotic.

Okay, I'm completely worn out from all the typing. Naptime :) That's about all I can remember.


Danielle A. said...

Go Stephanie! I am so glad the biggest part is over and done with. It's all up from here, honey! Congratulations, and here's to a quick recovery. Can't wait to see what you'll look like after all the swelling goes down!

holski said...

Hey girl!

You're on the other side now!
So glad you are home and things have been easier than expected.

Get lots of rest!


Heidi said...

Wait, so how did the pregnancy test turn out?