Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Some time later (OK, like 3 days?)

OK, so now time gets a wee bit fuzzy...thank you, wonderful, fantastic epidural drugs!

The surgery lasted 12 hours (I still hold the record for the longest single tx surgery at Children's, thank you very much), due to all the scar tissue and such that they encountered. While all of this was going on, my dad had the job of calling my friends. I had given him this job so he wouldn't be pacing the waiting room every 15 minutes driving everyone mad as he is prone to do. He called Branden, Tiff and Milia, and my boss, and the family. Branden took care of the rest of the world. :) (jk, Branden) Tiff was on vacation at Myrtle Beach (or somewhere in the Carolinas), and I had told her that the surgery usually took 4-6 hours. Well, when she didn't hear back, she panicked a bit, and didn't realize that my dad had resorted to the mass e-mail list I had created for him to update everyone very easily (he's a computer guy, this is easier). Eventually I believe Branden told her, no, I was not dead, the surgery just took longer than usual. Bryan and Melanie amused themselves by playing cards with Fr. Mark. People came out (Karen, I think) and updated them on what was going on so they weren't totally in the dark. The surgery was started by Dr. Terrance Davis and finished by Dr. G, who arrived after we'd started with the lungs. I have a photo in my bedroom of that moment--Dr. G coming in the OR, all scrubbed up, toting a Coleman cooler behind him with "organs for transplant" in bright red on an orange piece of paper taped to the top. Let me tell you, I don't look at coolers the same wayt anymore. A nurse is on the phone behind him, and I swear she's really ordering like 12 pizzas, or something. :) Later, the mat around the photo was signed by all the tx people: nurses, Dr. A, Karen, "God", Kathy, 4AE people, Tiff and Milia, my pastor...it got nutty.

After the surgery was done, Dr. G, Dr. A and Karen came out to talk to my parents. The lungs were fine, but my right arm wasn't. Apparently one of the IVs had infiltrated during the surgery and burned my lower arm (like 2nd degree burns, I think), so they were worried about its' viability (I'll leave you to infer what that means). Obviously, no one was happy with this development, but by the time I had really come to, we knew the arm would be fine, so I didn't really worry about it. Another great thing about drugs: you really can't worry about anything. Someone could tell you the world is ending, and you think," Really? OK. Whatever." "Whatever" is a big catchphrase.

I was moved to the CICU and was still on the ventilator until 48 hours later (I think). The scary thing? No one went home . Medically, I mean. Bryan and Mel did, and I think Mom did at some point (I obviously don't know), but Dr. G, Dr. A and Karen stuck around for essentially 2-3 days straight. Major, major kudos. Major. My vent was pulled 48 later--apparently my first words were "this feels wonderful!" but I don't remember saying that. I didn't really come to until about 3-4 days later, I think. Not that I wasn't quasi-aware, but I wasn't really responding to anything, and I definitely don't remember anything.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I came across your blog by accident, and I feel like I'm intruding somewhat, but I find your story amazing...and completely unfathomable. It's so easy for some of us to just take medical technology for granted. Thanks for such a candid telling of this medical miracle.