Still catching up – day of surgery

Shortly after my surgeon came in, she reminded me that the nurse would give me a drug called Versed, which would calm me and cause amnesia. I said ‘oh great, I’m going to babble’ and my surgeon laughed, saying she babbles on the stuff, too, and that I’d be okay if she’s okay, because she’s had two major surgeries (one for a broken hip!).

Shortly after our conversation, the nurse injected the Versed into my IV. Within seconds I felt dizzy. I described to my friend and to my man that it felt like coming up on a drug trip, and that it should be fun to ride out.

That’s the last I remember until waking up in the recovery room.

There was a youngish male nurse to the left of my bed, monitoring my vitals on a computer. He offered me and fed me some ice chips. I remember panicking about pain or something at one point and he remedied the situation immediately. But other times he was off tending to another patient and I needed more ice chips or something. I remember whining until he returned.
I passed in and out of consciousness.

I remember at some point, two female nurses put me in a wheelchair and took me to the bathroom. They helped me onto the toilet. I thought of my grandmother in the nursing home, and how she was so embarrassed to have nurses helping her to the toilet, that she used to yell at them and pummel them to try to get them to leave her to privacy.
However, my own embarrassment was minimal at this point. I allowed the nurses to help me onto the toilet. One nurse gave me some hospital issue panties to wear and stuck a pad in them. And then I sat. And sat. Nothing would come out. The nurses left and stood just outside the door. I can’t remember if I peed at all. I don’t remember being taken back to bed.

I don’t know how long I was in the recovery room in bed before a female nurse told me I needed to walk. She helped me out of bed and I shuffled slowly and in pain to another room with a chair. Looked like a dentist office! I sat in a big pink vinyl chair with arm rests. This room was brighter. I continued to pass in and out of consciousness, and it was there that I learned I was on morphine.

I knew too that I needed to A) wake up and B) urinate before the staff would allow me to leave the hospital. I became conscious of the time, and that my friend was late for her afternoon shift. She didn’t care but it made me work harder at waking up.
Without that bit of worry, I might not have had anything to worry about, and would have been content to stay the night in the hospital just so I could continue sleeping. After all, my man didn’t have anywhere to be. So in that regard, I’m glad there was a stimulus.

My throat hurt a lot now that the anesthetic was wearing off. My friends went to the cafeteria to get me some tapioca, which I never touched. The nurse brought me some cranberry juice. I took one sip and winced from the sweet/tart flavour, and went back to sucking on ice chips. I was offered some green tea, and that was actually ok to sip.

I had arrived at the hospital by 10:30am. Surgery was at 12:30pm. By the time I was ready to urinate on my own post-op, it was after 5pm.
I shuffled to the bathroom, and struggled to figure out how to sit without causing pain or having my privy bits touch the edge of the toilet seat.

I sat there for minutes on end, waiting for my body to release urine. It was like I’d forgotten how to pee. I knew this had to be because I’d been cathetered, but the logic wasn’t very reassuring.
I eventually did urinate, and left it in the bowl for the nurse to see for herself, since I knew she wouldn’t believe me (and she didn’t).
The discharge papers were made and we waited around some more before a nurse arrived with a wheelchair.
I shuffled to the wheelchair, which was facing the chair I’d been sitting in. This turned out to be a bad move, because the nurse had to back up to get me out of the room. The quick reverse motion was enough to make me nauseous, and I began calling loudly for a bag. I was dumbfounded to find a nurse grab for one of those tiny pink half-moon shaped plastic trays – I never could figure out if those were for children to puke in, or if it’s a bedpan. But I scoffed and yelled ‘that’s not going to work!’.

My friend, the only astute one in the place at that moment, upturned the plastic bag containing my belongings that the nurses had given me before surgery, and handed me the bag.

I let loose. It was all bile.

Strangely though, the bile coated/numbed my sore throat. I puked twice, and an obviously perturbed nurse grabbed the plastic bag away from me and handed me a new bag. The bag I’d puked into was at least coated white so no one could see the puke. This new bag was clear. I hoped I wouldn’t have to puke again so I wouldn’t gross out anyone. As it was, I was in the middle of the recovery room during my puking episode. I wondered if I’d caused anyone else to be sick.

The nurse who was pushing the wheelchair was told to go SLOW, and she was truly put out and didn’t like me as a result. She may have been the one to also grab the puke bag away from me.
She didn’t speak to me the entire ride down to the car. But I had my friend, and we chatted. When the elevator door opened, a boy was about to zoom in under his own power with a manual wheelchair, and I called out as soon as I saw his casted leg coming for the door. He stopped suddenly and apologized. I grinned and said ‘bumper cars!’ and he smiled, too. He bid me good night and I returned the greeting. We continued in silence toward the front entrance of the hospital. When the doors opened, it felt truly arctic outside. I was glad I put on BOTH my sweater and my coat. I was helped into the car and I thanked the nurse for the ride, despite her rudeness. My friend and my man piled into the car and my friend instructed me to clutch a pillow to my stomach for the ride home. I’m so glad I had her there.

My man dropped off our friend somewhere in the city, as she still planned to go into work for a couple of hours. I kissed her goodbye and then we took off for home. I slept most of the way. When we got home, my man helped me out of the car and we shuffled up to the house. This again proved to be too much for me, motion-wise, and as soon as I sat down on the bed, I had to puke again. My man grabbed a bucket for me and I held it on my knees and let loose. Once again it actually felt good and soothed my sore throat.

We prepped a reclining position for me and that’s how I slept the first night. I needed vicodin before 10pm that night.

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