Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Surgery Day Breakdown!

Well gang, I'm back to work!  I'm feeling pretty well and back in front of a computer.  I have done small updates from my phone, but honestly didn't feel like looking at a computer for the last week, so I didn't!  I'm back in action though and thought I would give an account of my experience.  So are we ready??  Ok.  Lets go.

Tuesday I woke up.  Nothing to eat or drink from midnight the night before.  I took a shower and got my bag ready to go to the hospital.  Had to be there 2 hours prior to surgery to prep.  I had a late surgery time of 2:30 and I got a call on my way to the hospital to come an hour later because the OR was running behind.  So we shopped a little and got to the hospital about 1:30pm.

Once we got to the hospital, they registered me and gave my brother a card with a number on it (that identified me).  Throughout the hospital there are monitors that have each surgical patient's number on it and where they are at in the surgical process.  This allows for the family to stay informed, while not bothering the staff, and while keeping the patient's identity confidential.  I work in a hospital and this is an amazing idea.  It allowed for my brother to go get work done and to have the peace of mind that he could move around to the cafe and whatnot while I was being worked on.  

I was then taken to Same Day Surgery, where I was put into a gown, given an IV of saline and antibiotics, and was also given a shot of blood thinner, which prevents clotting during surgery.  After a while of waiting, the anesthesiologist came in to get some background, and the surgeon came in to say hello and that she was ready to go!  Next thing I knew, my brother gave me a hug and I was off to the operating room.  I was moved from my bed to the operating table, and the surgical team was introducing themselves, and there was some music playing (which I anticipated because some of the Residents that I work with told me that my surgeon likes to rock out a little while she works).  No sooner was I on the bed, they positioned me, I was asked to put my arm out, and the anesthesiologist may or may not have warned me, but at that moment I was out like a light.

Next thing I knew, I was in recovery.  And this is what I looked like...
My jaw looks all swollen (might have something to do with the breathing tube).  When I came out of the anesthesia, it took a little while for me to be able to focus.  I was a bit loopy.  Over all I didn't feel terrible, I was just annoyed that my eyes wouldn't focus, but that cleared up shortly after.  They kept me in recovery for what I'm guessing is about 30 minutes.  They were having a little trouble getting my body temperature to come up.  They piled on the warm blankets and even put this special blanket that was like an airbed warmed by a hairdryer on me to warm me up.  There were these funny booties on my feet too that would inflate to circulate blood from my feet up, which helped to promote blood circulation.  

Eventually once my temperature came up, it was back to the room where I awaited to be taken to surgery.  My brother met me there (good ol' trusty number monitoring system they have).  My IV was removed.  A respiratory therapist came in and brought a device to help me with working on my deep breathing (which I was to take home with me).  Since I have asthma they wanted to make sure that I was able to adequately get my breathing back to capacity.  This also helped when I had residual gas pains in my chest and shoulders as well.  Then it was off to pee and then they would let me get dressed and leave.  I was taken by wheelchair to the car and my brother and I made our way back to his house for me to rest.  I kept a pillow pressed against my belly for the ride and this helped with any bumps in the road.  Honestly, I wasn't in much pain after the surgery.  I was offered pain meds at the hospital but refused them.  I felt well enough to wait till I got home to take my liquid pain meds that were pre-prescribed for me.

Once back at the house, my amazing brother, sweet sister-in-law and niece all were so wonderful in helping me get settled into bed and ready for the night.  It was a pretty long drive to my brother's from the hospital (nearly and hour and 45min or more).  By the time I was in bed it was about 11pm.  I had nice big pillows to prop up on in bed, a small medicine cup to sip water from so that I wouldn't over do it.  My meds were on the nightstand beside me to take again in the night if I needed (which I did around 4-5am).  My breathing device was nearby to help practicing deep breaths any time I would wake up.  And I guess that is the end of my surgery day.

All in all, I was not in any sort of horrific pain.  I was sore and had a little bit of a distended belly.  In reality, the surgery was pretty easy.  I think my anxieties were way worse than anything I experienced in reality.  The day went off without much of a hitch.  I'll talk about my first week of recovery in another post as this is getting a little long winded.  I hope that sharing the details of my day will help some of you out there to be mentally prepared for what's to come, and maybe alleviate some anxieties.  Feel free to ask any questions.  I'm happy to share.


  1. I LOVE surgery day stories as it brings back memories of my surgery day and overnight in the hospital. It reminds me of the pain and all that I went through to get a band.

    I am glad that you are on the mend and doing well....it gets better each day!


  2. Thanks to you too. Reading your blog keeps me motivated and reassured that this will get a little easier soon. First week post-op has had it's challenges. Not every day has been a good day. Blogging has helped me to not only vent, but to reflect and see things for what they are. I'm really looking forward to getting past the liquid/puree stage and getting to a point of new normalcy. Everything is already different, but I'm looking forward to having a bit of a more regular routine. Thanks for all your kind words as usual.