She and I talked for a little bit and then she realized I had no idea they were prepping me for surgery. I just thought she was a neat freak and was packing all my things into a storage locker. So she let me call D who didn't answer the phone. I was able to reach my dad and tell him I was going to surgery and then I hung up and started to cry. Glenn told me we weren't having any of that today. Although she knew I am not religious, she grabbed my hand and prayed for me. Then I gave her the best hug that I was able to give. And they wheeled me off to the OR. Thankfully, I have no recollection of the surgery.
I got out of the surgery and woke up back in my room (or at least that's what I remember). I was in horrible pain, and I felt like I was sticking to the bed. I told Doug I didn't want any visitors. He said ok. For most of the time I was very grumpy. My roommate sounded like she was having a party on her side of the room, and a ton of people were using the bathroom (only 2 people were allowed, and no one was allowed to use the bathroom except patients). D ended up getting security to kick everyone out. Most of Sunday was a blur. Thankfully, the Skins game was a blur too. Late in the day, I was taken to X-ray. Again I wasn't really able to move, so when I was moved into this room with a bunch of stretchers and could only hear moaning, I convinced myself I was in some kind of pre-morgue setup. Then a staff member drove my stretcher into a wall, thus sending shock into my entire body. I screamed and cried and told her to get away from me. Another member (not sure if they were nurses) came over. I sobbed uncontrollably and she just held my hand until it was time for my turn at X-ray. It pretty much calmed me down. Then I was brought back to the room.
1/11/16: For the most part I tried to just mind my own business. My roommate went home. I had some Angry Nurse that seemed ticked off that my bed was raised so high. She lowered it so basically my hands could touch the floor. D would raise it, so I could see out the window. It was also the first day that my bed could be bent so I could sit up. It felt weird. The doctor I liked the least came by with a team of medical students. At the same time, the nurses were taking my stats, and the Physical Therapy team came in. I asked the doctor if he knew anything. Since he wasn't my surgeon and he didn't have my X-rays, I once again told him he was useless and to get out. And if he did come back, he was not to bring the entire Medical School with him. The nurses finished taking my vitals. I did ask why I was hooked up to oxygen. They said it was to help me breathe, and in a few minutes I would understand that. So Lu and Coxe (the nurses) went and did some other things, and the PTs said it was time to walk. Seriously? I haven't been out of surgery for 24 hours and you want me to walk? They got me out of the bed. D tied my gown, and we walked about 20 feet down the hallway and back. Then they showed me the toilet seat and we got that adjusted to my height. I think all of this took about 5 minutes. I was completely exhausted. They helped me get back in bed, and I was having trouble breathing (out of breath, not emergency). They hooked me back to the oxygen.
My friend J came to visit that night again while D ran to daycare to give the dogs more food. I learned to get him to help me get up to use the bathroom, and assist me, all the while staying modest (at least I think so). His wife and daughter brought me flowers (My running buddy A, if you have been reading the blog for awhile). I also learned how to climb stairs since that was an obstacle of going home. D came back, and they watched me eat dinner which was half a bowl of mac and cheese. I also finished Todd's cookies, and had a chocolate milkshake. When D and J left, I was exhausted, but really happy I could use the toilet.
11/12/16: In the middle of the night, I had to go to the bathroom. I was suppose to tell a nurse when this happened, but for some reason I forgot. D and J had moved their chairs close to the bed, and it was back to being really low. The walker was in between the 2 chairs. Somehow I figured out how to lift the walker over the chairs and get it to the foot of the bed. And I managed to get up and out of the bed and go do my business. Coming back, however, the bed was too low for me to crawl into. And since I couldn't get the walker back over the chairs, I couldn't get in the bed (I still don't know how I got out with a foot board). And I couldn't reach a phone. So I sat in one of the chairs. 2 nurses or techs happened to be walking in the hallway, and I was able to call out to them. They got me back in bed but I was feeling like I was going to throw up. Glenn came in and did all my vitals and explained this is why I needed to call her. She said my lungs had shrunk from the days of just laying flat, and getting sick to my stomach was a side effect. She put me back on the oxygen, and raised the bed. And she pushed the chairs back to the wall.
I fell back asleep. Around 4am, my surgeon came in to look at my wounds. I had this super big hygiene pad on my back (like an Always but with no wings, and sticky all the way around). He ripped it off. I had some choice words, but he seemed to ignore me. He said the wound was looking good. He asked about the pain levels, and upped them. Then he left.
D had to go to work that day, so our other friend J came back to visit me. We cruised around the hallway. J took this pic of my view from the end of the hallway.
|View from the 5th Floor in Intermediate Care Unit- Photo by Jim|
We also found out I was going to be discharged. For the most part all the nurses and staff came in to say good-bye. D came back from work. I got a new roommate. We never got her story, but something was up. She was being re-admitted, and had 2 huge suitcases. She was an older woman, and seemed in a lot of pain. D and I gave her the flowers and balloons I had, because she didn't have the window view. She liked that a lot. Jon (new nurse) came in to give me all these papers. He and I went over them. He gave me his phone number in case I had questions. We talked about the toilet seat. He told me it was going to be thrown out. Then he left for about 10 minutes. I blinked my eyes, and the seat magically ended up in my bathroom at home.
He came back. Then he said when Wheel Chair Services came, I was free to go home. I asked him if Lu and Glenn were there. I had already said good-bye to Coxe. I went and found them (yes, I walked), and gave them big hugs for helping me stay as sane as I could. Really the West 5th Floor of Grady has some great nurses.
Finally Wheel Chair Services came. They brought this almost completely plastic WC. It also pushed you forward. I told the guy not to hit any bumps. He laughed at that and the fact I was holding on for dear life. He sent D to get the car. We got out to the front of the hospital, and he and D helped me into the car, and D took me home.
And thus my hospital stay was over.