Monday was surgery day. We woke 4:30 to be at the hospital for 6:00 am. Surgery scheduled for 8:00.
Because we have a 9 year old daughter, who has already missed 2 weeks of school for our family vacation, I had my hubby drop me off at the hospital and head back home to get our daughter onto the school bus. This means I was going to face everything on my own.
I’m pretty independent, I figured it would be fine,and it was. The intake process was pretty smooth, easy and not intimidating. I think I wasn’t really focused on the actual surgery, or the recovery, just getting to the other side and losing weight.
Once registered in the pre-op department, patients are led to the next area, where we are given a gown, a house coat, booties, and bags to hold our stuff like shoes and sweaters. I brought a little carry-on suitcase for my toothbrush, brush, pajamas, and change of clothes. They put a sticker, with all my relevant info, onto that bag, as well as the bags they gave me. These bags followed me, somehow, to my room.
Thanks to technology, they have a device that can track your progress and notify your family as you move through the system. It is a tag they hang on your gown, with buttons that are pressed by a variety of departments, as you pass through their hands. This device is connected to your loved ones’ cell phone, and they receive a message when you enter surgery, when surgery is finished, when the patient is going into the recovery unit, and when they are allowed a visitor. This kept my hubby completely up to date with the progress without having to check with someone all the time, or worry that he had been forgotten about. Very smart technology!
The reality of the actual surgery hit me when I was lying on the operating bed, and they strapped my arms out to either side, like I was about to be hung on a cross. (Apologies for inappropriate metaphor, but easiest image in my foggy state). Then, the mask comes down with the some kind of inhalant, and the juice went through the I.V. into my hand. I could feel the heat flush through my body and then nothing. Until I woke up.
Waking up…..that was not what I expected! I thought I was having a heart attack. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t hardly take in a breath for the pain. I started to try to talk, but was so dry from the intubation tube, my lips were stuck to my teeth and my tongue would hardly work. They swabbed them with ice water on sponge. Pure bliss!
But now, the pain! They called for an EKG just to be sure, and thankfully, it came back normal. It was a scary feeling.
I think at that point, they may have given me some morphine, and happily, I fell back to sleep, and stayed that way until travelling through the elevators to my room.
Stay tuned to hear the rest of the adventure!