Friday, July 08, 2011

What Fresh Hell Was That? or, My Day At Holy Kamole.

My doctor doesn't do surgery at Sunnydale, because apparently they don't have the right sort of laparascopes, or the walls aren't sufficiently lined with gold, or something. So Der Alter Jo and I were at Holy Kamole at oh-dear-thirty yesterday, her limping on a busted knee and me casting the side-eye at everything, for Animal's eviction.

Preop nurse, resident, attending, preop nurse again. More urine, more blood. Cute little backless dress. A fond farewell to being able to bend over easily for a while.

A brand-new nurse intern started my IV and did a slammin' job. I have veins like hoses in the backs of both hands, so when she hesitated between an 18-gauge and a 20-gauge 1.5 inch IV, I told her to go big or go home. One stick, flawless placement, and she only needed help on taping the thing up. Not so on my other hand, where some Einstein in the OR tried three times on the back of my paw, blew one vein and missed two, and finally did the med-student start on my wrist just below my thumb. Brand New RN Whose Name I've Forgotten, you rock.

Then EKG leads and a KVO rate bag of fluids, then two CNAs came in to introduce themselves and one brought Versed. Then down the hall on a surprisingly comfortable gurney (why can't Sunnydale get some of those?), into the OR, which was smaller and more crowded than I expected, and another shot of something into my IV. Aaaaaaand goodnight.

The disturbing thing about general anesthetic is the complete lack of a sense of time passing. Your brain tries to rationalize it later, but at the time, you go to sleep in the OR and wake up simultaneously in post-op. I do vaguely remember being extubated and hearing somebody ask if the doc wanted the Foley out, but that moment collapsed into the going to sleep/waking up moment. All I know is that I went into a controlled coma with one set of friendly people and woke up to another set, including Friend T-Bird, who is liberal with the Diluadid. Somebody handed me my prosthetic, which I tried earnestly several times to put in backwards until I figured it out.

I precepted T-Bird when she was a new nurse. She's now an experienced post-op nurse and a new mother, and both seem to agree with her. She was blooming. It's so nice to watch frightened, shy people really get into their groove. Plus, I don't think I know anybody prettier, which is nice to wake up to.

Back up to the post-op recovery room. Der Alter Jo at the bedside, giggling over my inability to move and my drunken philosophizing. A sudden brain-stem-level urge to get the HELL out of there, and so ice chips. And Sprite. And getting up on my own (woooooooo....*listing heavily to one side*) and peeing and getting discharge paperwork. Into a wheelchair, which, thinking back, Der Alter Jo could probably have used better than me, what with her knee.

Car. Highway. DAJ is another one of those conservative looking types who can push a Prius up to 90 and keep it there, so I just shut my eyes and replayed Disney cartoons in my head.

As of right now, I'm surprisingly comfortable. If I had a wide-angle lens I'd take a picture of my stomach. Never flat, even at the best of times, it's now assumed some really weird contours and bruises. The trochar punches form an equilateral triangle with my belly button at the top, about four inches on a side. I have a hard time getting up or down quickly, but once I'm one way or the other, I'm good. I have bowel sounds and can pee on my own. Eating is no problem. I do the splinted-deep-breathing-and-coughing thing once an hour, because coughing and laughing hurt.

The most uncomfortable part of my body is my throat, from the intubation. The anesthetists were very excited at seeing what they called an "A-one-plus-plus airway." I guess that's anesthetist humor.

The Boys are playing with all my ID bands. The folks at Scrubs Magazine sent a lovely bunch of flowers. I have a full refrigerator. I can't complain, unless I drop something on the floor that I really need.

Oh, and the doc said that Animal had chips of calcium (unformed teeth), hair, and sebaceous pockets. That last is medicalese for "that stuff that makes up zits." I feel like I've had a teenaged boy removed from my reproductive system. I feel twenty years younger. (ba-dump KSSSH.)


messymimi said...

Glad it went well, is over, and they left your sense of humor intact.

bobbie said...

I'm glad it all went well...
Be gentle with yourself ~

Allison said...

Glad you are back and doing well.

RehabNurse said...

Have a nice weekend. And hope you feel well enough soon to celebrate the "eviction".

Did you get to see said Animal? I had a patient who was PO'd that some resident took his huge gallstone.

terri c said...

Whew. Glad you're back--please take it easy, so glad Animal is outta there! Don't know if we want to see how Abilene Rob would draw your description...

Jo said...

RehabRN: I did not, though I do have photographs. One of our researchers took Animal to do something technical, so I won't even get to visit him. *snif*

Terri: Abilene Rob would probably include a self-portrait in any depiction.

Eileen said...

Good-oh! Hope the wind thing isn't TOO bad! Hugs

wv= pehul - is that what it feels like to pee?

Penny Mitchell said...

"A-one-plus-plus airway." They left about 50 "plus"s out.

Lioness said...

Oh, teeth, hair and sebaceous pockets! (Is Animal a teratoma?) All that, and a lot of aggro now. Am hoping this was your share for the decade and all will be brilliantly smooth from now on!