Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The prone position

Monday night I heard from lots of folks, it was SO NICE. People sending emails, texting me, calling me, from all over the place--Peggy in Maine, Carol and Jim in Tennessee, Steve en route to Montreal, Maggie from Delaware. That felt so good and I really got energized by it all. Made me feel like I had a whole Army getting "my back."

Everything went like clockwork yesterday. Sandy got home a bit early thanks to Lindsay (one of her co-workers) coming in early and letting Sandy get out of there. She got to sleep for an hour and a half or so and then it was time for me to rouse her and we got on the road.

We brought Lily with us so she didn't have stay in the kennel all day. She and Sandy slept in the car while I was in surgery.

I liked the gas-passer, an Asian guy named Joe. He and I exchanged a few yuks....we have same type of humor. Dr. McCourt explained that the description of what she planned to do was being kept very general...as she wouldn't know the whole story until she got in there. It reminded me of the exploratory surgery my mother had when her cancer came back, they opened her up, messed around inside for hours and then closed her back up and stop fighting, she was "full of cancer." That gave me a little chill...but I shook it off quickly as everything was moving fast.

I signed up for another Tissue Study trial. No skin off my n ose to help out....get it? No skin....
Then they gave me the good stuff....Versid and wheeled me into the OR. I got a little treat as they had to wait for my blood type test to come back. So, we all chatted about music and such. Dr. McCourt even sang a bit of "Whole Lotta Love" when I said I liked Led Zeppelin. I had asked what kind of music they would be playing and they said whatever I liked...as if I was going to be hearing it. I told them I like all kinds of music and of course they whip out the "even opera?" wise guy question. So I told them I DO like opera! And Led Zepp and Sinatra, blah blah.

Then they got me on the table and I got to see how they put you in the "cruxifiction position"....your arms straight out on table extensions. Then the tests came back and they told me it was time to go under. I said, "oh, the big stuff." To that Joe said, "you're getting the Michael Jackson stuff" and I said, "cool, just make sure I wake up!" He said, "no problem" and the next thing I know I'm waking up in the Recovery Room.

The surgery was quite involved and took five or more hours. Dr. DiSilvestro came in and helped Dr. McCourt. She was very happy about that as she said it was a "mess" in my pelvis, which is where she focused her efforts.

So, I lost my uterus, my left ovary, my cervix, part of my colon and they had to do a resiection of my small intestine. Sandy told me that they had to remove part of my rectum, but they left enough that doodies won't fall out while I walking down the street! And that is a good thing!

I got up to my room around 8:30 and started appreciating the beauty of the pain pump right away. Ah, morphine......

I slept in five minute increments all night, until around five...then I started sleeping for about 15 minutes. There were people in and out all night, doing all kinds of things to me. Some of it good, some not so good. I started itching in the most inconvenient, hard to reach places. That drove me nuts for awhile...so I got the iPhone out and played Bejeweled Blitz...another maddening thing, but it took my mind off the situation.

In the early morning I read all the response from folks to the update post Sandy had made on my FB page. That really perked me up. I've said it before but I must repeat it...I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family and so many supportive friends. I get so much energy from them.

Dr. McCourt showed up early, looking beat. She was exhausted after the surgery Sandy said. It took a lot out of her. I told her she really earned her fee yesterday. She didn't argue with that.
She gave me the good news that I can't eat until I pass gas. Now, as most people know, farting is not a problem for me...unless farting too much is considered a problem...which is how Sandy looks at it. She gets annoyed with me and my gaseousness.

But after surgery, I have trouble farting. I am really going to have to apply myself. First have to get the catheter out so I can sit on the toilet instead of peeing in the bag. That's another conundrum for me. Ordinarily I can pee my lit. tle heart out....24/7. Yesterday they said they needed a urine spec from me. I had JUST peed not 10 minutes before, but I was still able to produce a goodly amount for their test. It's just a talent I have. Hard to be modest about it. Not everyone has this talen
Anyhoo, after surgery things are different. I have to really focus, meditate, will myself to pee. So, I'm still not doing enough to warrant them pulling the catheter out and I can't fart with the catheter in....so I don't get to eat until this is all resolved. I think the catheter will come out tomorrow...my pleadings and focus exercises are working. Once that is out, my focus switches to farts.

It's all about the basics in life.

When the Resident and Fellow came in to do their morning rounds, the Resident was looking at me oddly. I asked her who she was and she immediately lit up and started gushing, "I know who you are, I know who you are!" Turns out she graduated from UConn School of Medicine and knew me because of my job up there. Not only that, she says I was the one who worked with her to learn the complete physical and she also had me for a few scenarios. She said I did a great job. I told her, "that's nice, we don't get much feedback on how we are doing." She said "are you kidding, you were our favorite Standardized Patient!" I don't know about that, but it was nice (and smart) of her to say it.

She was so excited about seeing me, she was telling everyone on the floor and her fellow residents. I heard from people all day about her telling them about me.

So that was a nice start to the day. Mostly I layed in bed, playing games and dozing on and off all morning. Late morning they got me up; washed me; changed me and changed the bed. I got to sit in the chair by the window for a few hours, which gave me the chance to get the laptop out and get on the "net.

Then I went for a little stroll down the hall with Janet, my nurse. Since I had no idea where my room was located in relation to my old room, it was fun to see what was out there. I did get a bit nauseated walking, so we came back and I got back into bed. That felt good. I didn't blow my record...no vomiting since 1986.

One goal I had for a long time went by the boards yesterday. I had always said I wanted to go through life being a blood DONOR not a blood recipient. Well, I had to have two units of whole blood yesterday...so that dream is over. SOB SOB! Ha ha! I just hope the donors lived "healthy lives" if you know what I mean.

My nurse just came in and told me they are stopping the morphine. They want to give me percoset...and I'm leery about it. I wanted the Tramadol I had taken last year, but she said that "wasn't enough for the surgery I had." She suggested vicodin! That really got my attention. I do NOT want vicodin....I'll take the percoset thank you.

She's coming back with the pill and we are going to go for another stroll. Hope I don't get the nausea again. I can take just about anything, but nausea levels me. I'll keep my eyes on the horizon as we walk, so I don't get seasick!

The walking today did get the bowel sounds going. I can't wait to be unhooked from the catheter so I can walk, walk, walk. Walking cures a lot of ills.

Sandy is going to bring Rocky to see my tomorrow. They will let him come in if she brings proof of his shots, etc. It will be so much fun to see my little guy running around here! I know they are going to love him. I just have to keep him off my abdomen....which is where he likes to sleep.

Huskies playing Kentucky tonight. I can't stand Calipari....I hope the Huskies paste Kentucky! Of course, they had trouble with Harvard this weekend, so who knows how it will go. I'll be watching, 9:30 on ESPN.

Big day tomorrow--nighty night!!!

2 comments:

priseverlasting said...

Oh my God, Ann! You are up to your eyeballs (ha! ha! how many points do I get for being able to use that one?) eyeballs in all things medical! My heart and my thoughts have been with you all the time...'big hugs and little prayers' is sometimes how I end my texts but I'll say that now. It's a unique situation as I know you so well and yet we situationally (I just made that word up!) don't have a person to person relationship. We are pen pals, that works. So, I will say you are in a mess and acknowledging it as you do is uniquely impressive! I suspect you will fight past this as I know the great beyond is just not prepared for someone of your ilk yet! (that's meant to be funny)
Laugh loudly at this so you can fart and pee-pee in your pants!!!! I'm lame, did I get a reaction out of you, eyeballs??? Well, I just spoke to an acquaintance and we are going to the rescue shelter as she is going to try to find a dog to take home and live happily ever after with...fun, fun!
So, I'll keep thinking of you and put my best thoughts into it.
Hang tight and remember it's ok to get pissed off.
Pris

Carol said...

Wow Anne, Maybe they could put some high powered veggies and onions in a blender for soup to make you toot? Anythings worth a try so you can enjoy your Christmas at home rather than the hospital. Jimmy and I are wishing you good thoughts....package sent out to you yesterday, let us know when it arrives...hope I got the address right! Carol