Funny how once you know something is going to happen you start to wonder if it was such a good idea.
I packed and unpacked a small bag to take to the hospital several times just knowing I was overdoing it in my usual fashion. Paul refrained from stating the obvious, anything I over packed he could take home and anything I might have forgotten he could bring later
Up at 6:15 Tues. morning and had my shower while Paul ate breakfast. I'd had my last food, a bowl of strawberry frozen yogurt at 10pm Monday night. Paul very kindly refrained from having a morning coffee so I wouldn't be jealous.
Left the house shortly after 7 am so we could find parking and arrive on time at admitting.
Once checked in it was up to pre-op where I was given my hospital gown, put on the compression stockings they had given me ahead of time and had a fluids and antibiotic IV started. Slick as a whistle. Good hands on that nurse.
It was just a short walk down to the operating room area and in came my surgeon who proceeded to make jokes with Paul while he marked the incision sites. I asked what happened to the tissue removed and was told it gets sent for biopsy (cancer ) and then incinerated.
Walking into the operating room at 9:30am was odd seeing as it look very little like some TV hospital drama sets and then being strapped down on a table with arms stretched out made me think of all those movies where the prisoner is getting ready for the final injection.
Three quick breathes in the oxygen mask and next thing I knew I was waking up from a pleasant dream in recovery all bundled up in warm blankets and being asked my level of pain, Zero being none...Ten terrible. I was about 6. They added some pain killer to my IV and then gave me pain tablets once I could manage water.
My throat was sore and I felt tender but surprisingly good and semi-alert and there was a lot of activity going on with patients coming and going and the nurses constantly checking on us all. If you were in a bed you were staying overnight. If you were on a stretcher you were a day surgery patient and would be moved to a post op. room for discharge later in the day.
The bed shortage that had delayed my surgery earlier this month was still a problem so instead of leaving me in the midst of recovery they moved my bed into the isolation area off to one side. It left me with a good view of the nursing station, the doors to the operating rooms and a section of the main ward so I got a good education into the workings of the department as the day progressed.
Paul was able to come in and visit me there and thankfully he easily found the coffee shop when my dinner turned up with tea and I went into minor caffeine withdrawal. The food wasn't great but it wasn't bad. In fact it was better than the meal on our last Air Canada flight. The broccoli was still green and although there was little crunch it had taste.
There was little point in him staying long after he reassured himself I was fine. He brought me my glasses and my book, made sure I was OK and checked into what would be happening on Wednesday so he would be there on time to help me check out.
I was looked after with gentle care and good humour. My blood pressure was constantly being monitored by machine, wow everything is computerized these days, I had my temperature checked often and they did an hourly check on my incisions and checked the nipples for colour and feeling. I used a bed pain for the very first time and it wasn't as yucky as I had expected.
I was so comfortable I started calling my area The Imperial Suite. In fact when there was concern about finding me a bed I told them I was content to just stay where I was but around 10pm they were ready to move me. The only little blip was around 9 ish when the last of the anaesthetic must have worn off and I started to I feel lost and off ( no better description ) and the tears started. I think a little TLC would have been enough but the shift change had taken my jolly nurses and left me with Miss Efficiency who handed me pain pills and told me it was just a normal reaction.
I ended up in a semi-private on the Burn and Trauma ward staffed by another set of smiling, gentle fingered nurses. I got a nice sponge bath, had everything checked over, my pillow fluffed and my checks changed to every 2 hours.
By 6 am Wednesday morning the hustle and bustle of the ward had started. My room mate got a bed change that produced a lot of moaning and groaning. I could hear carts being wheeled around out in the halls, I asked if breakfast was coming soon, apparently not, and told I could sleep longer. Sleep? Drift in and out yes, but no sleep for me.
By 8 am Paul had arrived with my clothes, helped me with breakfast and getting all the information we needed for care at home and had my dressings changed. We decided we could leave before my follow up appointment was made knowing we could do it from home so we were out the door shortly after 9am.
I crawled into bed and Paul went out to get my prescriptions filled. I had only needed 2 doses of pain medication while in hospital but we decided to have the tablets on hand at home if needed. Tender yes. Major pain and discomfort no. From talking to other people it seems a real mix of both and I have no idea of it depends on the person or the surgeon. I was actually surprised at how well I felt.
Up for lunch and then a drive down to the doctor's office when Paul became concerned with the blood on my new dressings. I got checked over, Paul was reassured that all was well and was commended on being careful enough to have it looked into.
Home to bed again and then up for supper feeling better yet. My main difficulties seems to be finding a comfortable way to sleep and constantly having to pee. They must have hydrated me like crazy.
Tonight I can take a shower, replace the dressing and leave off the padding. I have some tight fitting yoga tops that Paul picked up for me that will work better than bras with my stitches and next Wednesday I see the doctor again. Hopefully the swelling with be gone soon so I can actually see the new me.