Hmmm..Better late than never ? Consider yourself warned from the title!!
I've had my surgery , 2 years ago..and , today , as I was tidying up , I found the surgery diary I was keeping the first few days..which also is up at my Greek blog.
I've had some friends that are getting surgery or gotten it and are awaiting activation ( a mixture of Greek and abroad friends ) and since we've been talking a LOT abt pre-op , and post op, I decided to translate - with edits here and there , my Greek surgery post diary , for the people here that might want to see the differences, and know my history! ( it's heavily edited though , to protect some people , sorry )
1) Here , we do at least some days' stay , post op.When I heard that some of my friends abroad left the same night , I was SPEECHLESS.Wow.
2) Post op care varies from surgeon to surgeon.Mine forbade me ALL summer of any water activity.
3) Names , and other stuff that is a bit more private for me has been edited out.
Tuesday , May 20th 2008
College...in lecture..I had been trying to set a op date , but my parents' interfering had me , pull my hair out, and I had given up..So , instead of thinking abt the op , I decide to set my mind to the lesson ( almost completely deaf though , there wasn't much hope of it.My HA wasn't helping me much. ).I notice the professor giving me the evil eye.What did I do now?I notice also some violent vibrating.UGH.Mom?Doesn't she know that I'm in a lecture?I press reject button.She'll get the message.Professor gives me the evil eye.I know I've been blacklisted.*sigh*
Life doesn't go well for me lately, I think.I try to do the coding exercise ( Java treeing , amazing how I STILL remember that , even 2 yrs post op! ) when my cell phone starts up again.I reject.Doesn't she knows that I CANT pick it up , since I can't hear?!?!?! I sent a silent prayer that she'll send a text message.Then I recall its spring.Uh-oh.Something's up with my family??What?
Ding.Text message " Audie just called.Your op is day after tomorrow.you have to be at hospital before 2 pm TODAY."I gape at the phone.WTF! I look at lab pc's clock.12 pm.And my home is 2 hrs distance via bus.GREAT.I'm starting to hyperventilate.I get up and collect everything pell mell into my bag, and professor comes up.Thankfully , I had warned him abt the op some days back, so he just nods and reminds me to bring a notice from doctor.
At the bus homeward where I have to pick up my insurance things , I realize two things.One , I hadn't paid my cell phone bill ( what else is new , I'm a bit terrible w bills ) so I can't text mum back , and everyone looks at me with my ringing phone , mum thinking I didn't get the text.urgh.I get beet red.Fortunately the driver sees pity at me , and picks it up , tells my mother I'm already homeward , and going to hospital ( I knew him ) and that stops stupid phone ringing.Also , in my panic and hyperventilating , I forgot some of the books , and my USB flash drive.urrrgh.Oh well , no time to go back!
I get a taxi straight to home from railway station , leave my things ,get what I need and I get the same taxi ( told the taxi driver to wait ) to the hospital.I arrive just as the admission office is shutting down.Ack.A quick explain , and some jotting , they tell me they'll do the proccess first thing tomorrow and to bring my papers then.I go up to audies, tell him I've done admission, and he tells me , fast up , come first thing tomorrow at nine am.
I then , get on a ride bus back to college , which , with a lot of people getting off work , was three hr drive just to get there , and , thank god for small mercies , I find ALL my things.
Home.Exhausted.Beyond belief.And I have to warn in.Have to send emails.Too exhausted to think though.I manage to phone my parents , arrange college affairs , warn my online friends( Greek , back then , I never had thought to research on CI abroad community back then ).
Pass out.Dressed.In front of laptop.I manage to wake up , eat something , put away laptop and change for bed.
Wednesday , 21st May 2008
I wake up with a jerk , and I see the clock.( it always vibrated at half past six , to get ready for college )
I remember it's my godmothers nameday , I have to phone her later...then it sinks..OH MY GOD.I have to be at hospital later.So , no breakfast.Uh.And I haven't packed.I feel a bit nervous.I start packing , but in my nervousness , I don't even recall what I put in.I'm close to throwing up, it isn't only CI , but my first operation in general , so I was scared.I wanted to call the whole thing off.Deep breaths.Don't think abt it.
I recall my list.I had planned to prepare meals , and freeze them.Well , no time for that.Maybe mom can do that.I boot up laptop , load it with LOTS of viewing material.While it downloads it , I'm off for a shower , and to pick up bread & milk , my parents were going to come in , but they didn't know where bakery was , or they wouldn't have time.The morning walk to the bakery and back calmed my nerves a bit.I also have picked up breakfast - cocoa milk , sesame bread , to eat after my blood draws.I get home , freeze the extra bread , grab my bag , and I get going.
Bus stop , waiting for bus to go to the hospital , I realize I forgot my insurance papers.Urgh.I backtrack.Again at the bus stop , I realize I am without my overnight bag.Ack.Leave it , I'll tell my parents to bring it.Or someone will bring it...My mind is playing games with me ?
Hospital.Admission and pre - op stuff.Know the staff that will operate me.Anesthiologist.Cardiologist.Nurse ( he was male ) , doctors.I get my pressure taken.I tell them I have LBP.They don't believe me .Well , I was stressed , and it hasn't sunk in yet , but I don't talk.( Yes , now that you know me , you'll find it strange.But back then , I was more shy. )
I was feeling scared.My parents haven't arrived yet , they got stuck.Everything LITERALLY last minute.
First blood draw.Ouch.Well , at least I can eat something now.Uh , no time.Resident ENT comes in , and says , I'll show you where you staying.Women's ward , ENT wing , 8 beds.Most are full.I leave my papers and some other things , and I get my breakfast and pocketbook , to his office, where I reply all his questions while eating.He asks me , are you worried, stressed abt the op.I say , well yes , but also with the time frame you've given me , I 'm run off my feet!! He laughs.
He walks me back to my ward , and says , wait here for cardiologist.I finish my milk and throw it in the trash.In the meantime , the other patients want to know what I'm in for.We start talking , when I find another CI patient , with who we've talked over the net.I get excited and camp out to see if I can meet her in real life.Cardiologist comes in , does her stuff , says your pressure is fine.I try to compose an answer , but she's already gone.ack.Oh well.doesn't matter I though ( apparently , I was WRONG! )
My parents arrive and , at the same time , CI patient who is discharged so , I introduce myself and my parents to her.We talk for awhile , and we're excited.Lots of advice.My parents talk with Head ENT , who takes me in to examine me , and says everything is clear.It finally starts to sink in.I want to panic , hyperventilate , but I suppress it.I don't want to cause a scene.Plus , it was my own choice.Wasn't it?
I still hadn't done the chest x-ray to confirm I'm not sick, and to see anaesthiologist and surgeon.That is SLOW.My parents get impatient, and I tell them , go home , I can handle it here.
They leave , and I'm starting to get antsy.I can't sit still even at home ( yeah , you know it ) so , stress , and anxiety made me even more so.I start walking all over the ward , and when the other people complain , I go for a walk at the hallway.LOL.
Oops.Some of the blood draw got wasted , they dropped some of the vials , and needed some more.Sit down.Yes ma'am.
I talk with CI friend , she's talking my ear off , haha.She probably tries to make me sit.LOL.Uh , oh , another blood draw? What are you nurse , draculas ? Your sugar was a bit high , so we're retaking blood.OF COURSE it would be high , I had eaten breakfast.Nurse replies , you didn't tell.Well I hadn't time , you came in sat me down and left again.
Anaesthiologist comes in, cross checkes history , takes his leave after asking some extra q's.I say the other patients at the ward , I'm going for a walk , I'm getting nuts , plus , I wanted to think.
I get back , and go for X-ray , and I talk with the surgeon.Pre op finally done , and it's already past lunchtime.I manage to persuade resident doc to let me go , and I get home , finish packing , make some dinner , and I get back to the hospital at 8 pm, after some more internet talking , and I feel calmer , I talk with mom too.I tell her its no point to come with me , come tomorrow for surgery around seven or so?
The hospital bed is hard , plus , I keep waking up , with the nurses constantly coming in the ward to tend to the other patients.
Thursday 22th May 2008
Nurse's aide wakes me up at seven , and she gives me a calming pill.Which never WORKED.I was SO nervous.I started again walking all the ward , and when I get kicked out , the hallway.Does that make you remember something ? :P I get some last pre op stuff done , and around 8 or so , my parents come in..A nurse brings in the surgery clothes..uuuuh , how do you wear these?
I start joking that with these I'm all ready for psych ward , and everyone laughs!
I got in OR around 8:45.I feel something pinching my left hand..Ouch!The team's trying to put the cardio monitor stuff , but I get shy and hide my chest.Well they conked me out a bit earlier.
Deep breaths...count to ten..OK..one , two , three , five ( I remember skipping 4 and everyone laughs ) I start getting dizzy , I say six...I see this huge mask...and..I don't remember anything else!!
I saw SO weird dreams , I still remember them.Suddenly , I feel hands on me ..Wasn't I in cloud nine ? someone pushing me , slapping me gently...I want to sleep some more mum, I wanna say..but I notice , my mouth can't move much..I try to open one eye..I see something green ( I can't see without glasses much! ) then , my brain feeds me with memories..Jolt awake! The op , the running off , EVERYTHING.I think..I DID it.I pick up my free hand..and I pat myself , yup , bandage here.I start grinning.The doctors wanted me to frown , smile , do some expressions , to see if my side was ok , and , I was grinning.LOL.I did it!
I got disconnected from all the paraphernalia , and get wheeled in my room.While I try to crawl in my hospital bed , I think..whoa , I'm in a HIGH.No wonder druggies are ADDICTED!LOL.I couldn't make a coherent word.Nurse says that I'm not allowed to sleep for two hours , and that I should keep the oxygen mask on my face.They connect me with some saline , and I HATE that.I want my hands free , but I can't protest at all , seeing that I'm completely out of it!
Mum , in an attempt to keep me awake , gives me my cell phone , to start texting..I give it back , saying I can't..since I hadn't paid it.she gives it back , and gives her phone too.LOL! ( afterwards she complained of a high bill! ROFL ) I send the first text , but it was completely blank.Wow.I'm too out of it.she texts back with a question mark.I manage to stumble a response.I'm out.I'm ok.I'm drugged up.She replies back with a LOL, and goes to alert some common friends via net.I managed to text everyone , LOL, and by then , I was allowed to sleep!
Dad left straight back for his work , and mom stayed with me at the hospital , to look after me.I got in a 2 hour nap , and then nurse wakes me up in the attempt , to put some IV medicines.She also brings me some hot tea to drink.I DETEST tea.I drink some though.I couldn't feel the taste.My tongue is completely NUMB.
I even had some visitors the same day.I was feeling better by afternoon , but I didn't dare get up, I was feeling VERY weak ,very dizzy.
Kept napping and waking up and texting...and feeling nauseus!!
Friday , 23rd May 2008
I was feeling a LOT better , I could again talk , text , but I didn't dare get up.I was trying to sit up and getting really dizzy.It was a bit frustrating for me.
I was feeling really out of it , and my apetite was coming back , so I managed some soup.I even got a visit from my brother , and we did a walk around evening , with him supporting me.after that walk , I was feeling FINE , just I tired more easily!
Saturday, 24rd May 2008
I finally was back to my old self..exhausted , but back to normal.Except one thing.That bandage was driving me TOTALLY up the wall , TOTALLY bonkers.It was SO tight , and I'd had already developed sores.I was feeling so normal that I told mom there isn't point of her staying all day anymore , just visit me in afternoons , bring me books etc.I even requested the laptop to see my movies , etc.I was getting BORED.
IV was also driving me up the wall , I kept changing positions in the arm since my vein kept blowing.UGH! I wanted to be DONE with it and OUT of the hospital.
I even managed to go to toilet without ANY help.Even shower.I even was feeling some taste back.( it completely came back after two months )
I didn't request a painkiller that night , bc I was feeling overdrugged! Well , I came to regret it! By two am I was hurting quite a lot , but I didn't talk , just tried to sleep.They had told me when I wouldn't need IV painkillers I'd get the bandage removed.And I wanted that thing OFF!
Sunday , 25th May 2008
I woke up really early , around 6 am from some noise , which I translated in an Enduro motorbike.LOL.I was wondering why I was hearing that , ( I didn't know abt tinnitus , or the need of brain to make ghost noises back then ) and my back was KILLING me , so I got up for a walk , and I even did some gym routine , see if I could relieve my back.I had seen myself , and I was looking like an extremely sad puppy.aaah...*sniffle*
I made it back and slept some more , and when I woke up , I requested to get the bandage removed.No, wait till head doctor gives say so.UGH!I was so sad and annoyed I didn't want to talk with ANYONE.
This afternoon I had a visit from the kiddos and their mother..they weren't expecting to see me like this.S , even brought me a painting ( which I still have! ) , I give them juices and sweets from other visitors and we talk.I get up for a bathroom break , and in the hall way , I meet the resident doctor , ad I grumbled to him abt the bandage.They told me then that I had some serious bleeding , and they were keeping me in and bandaged as precaution.Um , nice to know THREE days later.NOT.I even learn they were thinking of doing something , but I proved not needing it..I asked some questions , and it ends up , if they listened to me , we'd avoided the whole mess.I grumble again and they said I'd get the bandage off Tuesday.I get annoyed and walk back to my ward , and start joking with my visitors , etc.
Around evening , they leave off , and mum comes in half hr later, with my laptop.Finally , I wouldn't be bored out of my mind!
Monday , 26th May 2008
I had resigned myself that I wouldn't get that bandage off till Tues.BOTH my ears were in pain , I had operated the left , but they had tied the bandage behind right so it wouldn't slip , so I was feeling CRAP.Not to mention I had gotten sores.urgh.
I was trying to see House MD on my laptop , when audie comes in for a visit.He asks me what I'm doing.I'm dying of boredom I say.His answer..lets get your bandage off.Needless to say I followed him!
I get that off..when I smell antiseptics with clear spirits I almost fainted..I managed to hold on...Whew!!
Activation...WTF ? Four days early...but back then , I didn't knew..
he shows me how to assemble it , how to wear it , and he starts the activation proccess..it was an experience I will NEVER forget.Never.Even my stomach vibrated!
Mum was beyond herself.Almost crying.Walking back to my ward..I could hear a lot of things..after awhile , it got a bit too much , and pulled it off..but I was glowing!
I even could hear myself kissing my brother...wow..what a SOUND!
I got discharged from hospital two days later.*smile*