Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm baaaack!

And we're back!
So to wrap up:

Well, the surgery time kept getting pushed back. First it was 9:30 then it was 11 something and then, finally, we settled on 1:30 (which was more like 2, but oh well). So Dad came over to my apt. around 11, and we cleaned out the trash, did some final packing, etc. before we headed over to Riverside.
The campus is nice, and it wasn't too hard to find a place to park, since everything is color-coded (yellow, red, green, purple, blue, etc). I was in the "yellow" section but we parked in Green, which meant a short jaunt through the hospital to the surgery waiting area, where we arrive promptly at noon like we were supposed to. Boy was it crowded. I don't think I've ever seen one that crowded. Dad said the one at Children's isn't like that, but Mount Carmel (where he goes w/ Mom for her surgeries) is.
The women at the desk were nice (actually, everyone here was nice--good thing) and we registered and waited a few minutes until a woman from surgery came down to get us. The cool thing was this wide-screen monitor that listed all the patients and where they were in the surgical process, from check in and post-op. Very cool. :) I liked that. Dad said they had one at Children's but since I've never waited for anyone to come out of surgery I obviously wouldn't know. :)
We were taken up a floor to the pre-op area, where I got a bed, a gown and huge hospital socks. :) These gowns were somewhat nicer than Children's since the sleeves button, so when nurses wanted to access my port we didn't have to pull down the whole gown and give everyone a great view of my chest. But I guess you can't do button gowns at a kids' hospital because you'd probably have a bunch of naked kids running around as they figured out how to undo the buttons!
I had three nurses, but I mostly saw Ann, who was really nice. We did the usual pre-op questions, and I was very glad we had brought my med bottles in with me because all I had to do was give the bottles to Ann and she could just write them down, along w/ the time I took them each last. It made life so much easier! We also accessed the port and started IV fluids.
Dr. Willett came in right away and talked to me about what to expect, etc., both pre and post-op. They would "check" the implant right away to make sure it was working and in the right place. Now that doesn't mean I can hear now (because I can't, not until I get the outer part of the implant at the end of June) but they were able to check it and I did respond, apparently, so it's in the right place and once we activite it I will be able to hear. This is a complicated thing to explain, no? Sorry. I'm doing my best here. He also said there would be a lot of buzzing (which there is) and stuff like that.
I also had to do the lovely pre-surgery pregnancy test (even though I am never pregnant, oh well). Right before we went back I met the anesthesiologist, who talked me through it and asked me if I had any questions. He was very business-like but good. Knew what he was doing. :)
Around 2 I went back to the OR--the last surgery had run a little long. I got to keep my glasses and my hearing aid until right before we started, which was nice.
The OR itself was medium-sized, which was nice, because those big ones can be kind of scary. Even though I could still see and hear, I got a little freaked out right before we started; there's all these people working on you, and they're so close, that it can freak out the most calm person, I think. I received the oxygen maskl and right after that the Doc slipped some sedation materials in my line, and I was gone. :) Yay!
The susurgery took about five hours, and I finally woke up (well, kind of) in a room hours later. The room was a double but I was the only one in it; Dad spent the night and took the other bed, which was nice for him, since he didn't have to sleep in a chair like he normally did. I threw up a few times, but Dr. W was great about having pain killers and anti-emetics given to me, and the nurses were great about giving them! So overall I was pretty comfy.
Dr. W came in this morning around 7:15 to change the big dressing to a (slightly) smaller gauze dressing; it looks kind of like a big-fat headband. :) Obviously it is thicker on the left side than the right and I can't lay on my left side (not that I would want to, anyway!). About an hour later I got to go home w/ some scripts (a pain killer and an antibiotic) and tomorrow we can take off the big dressing and just put neosporin on the stitches twice a day until I go to see Dr. W next Friday, when he'll remove the stitches. I can even wash my hair, albeit gently, so that's a good thing.
All in all, things going well so far. Happy about that. I'll let you know how things go tomorrow...

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