Saturday, November 15, 2008

Surgery Jurl

The day of the surgery I was told to be at the surgery center by 6:30 a.m. so Momma Jurl drove me, letting Husband drop off the kids at school then meet us at the surgery place. By the way, the surgery of which I speak was lap band.

I printed a map off the Surgery Center's website to be sure we didn't get lost and we took off into the darkness of ass crack morning. My Aunt Susan came with us to show support so we had a small caravan (can two cars be a caravan?) cruising across the deserted Dallas streets.

When we arrived where the map said the building was supposed to be we found a bank, a Prima Care, and a neighborhood. No surgery center. Panic ensued. We drove up and down, back and forth, but no surgery center. I called the Center, but no one answered because it was so freaking early. Called Husband who got on line and tried to direct us, but he was using the same map so when he kept telling me it was right there, I started screaming, "It's not here! I'm telling you it's not here! I'm here and it's not!"

Several frantic phone calls later and we determined their map was jacked, but we managed to get to the Center, forty-five minutes late. During the mayhem of trying to locate the stupid place I lost my cool a couple of times. It's a given I was yelling at Momma Jurl, but I also broke down in tears, terrified they would cancel the surgery because I was so late. Deep down, in that deep down place where the truth you don't even know about lives, I feared I would not go through with the surgery if it didn't happen as scheduled.

Of course, the yelling, the name calling, the crying was for nothing because they weren't bothered at all by my lateness and I wasn't even the first one scheduled. Some other poor sap was told to show up at 5:30 a.m. and when he did the place was closed. That really sucks.

Once we got there they were pretty quick to process me, get me in the back, and weigh me on one of those scales that could weigh a truck or farm animals (I assure you I still weigh just fine on a regular old scale, I'm not that chunky). Before I knew what hit me I was in a giant hospital gown (everything was gigantic and I felt positively dainty!) with an IV stuck in my arm.

Six different people asked me my name, age, and what procedure I was there to have. I finally asked, "You know why I'm here, right? You're just asking for safety reasons, right?" They assured me that was correct and they were fully aware of why I was hanging out in their joint with a needle jutting out of my arm. Of course, they could have been lying....

Once they had me prepped the nurse asked me ten times if I wanted anyone to come back and wait with me and ten times I told her, "No thanks." Momma Jurl would have made me nuts-nervous with her hand wringing and "Oh, dears." Alone was preferable.

Even though they made me pee in a cup right when I got there, I had to pee again before they came to get me. Since I was all IVed up, a male nurse helped me to the bathroom by holding my IV bag and my gown shut in the back. Humiliating. Oh, and they'd put these socks on my feet with circulation pumps wrapped around them so I had to shuffle around in those with three cords flapping behind each heel. I was so happy to get back to that hospital bed and know for sure my ass was covered.

Shortly after my harrowing trip to the bathroom they were injecting me with happy juice, wheeling me into surgery, and putting me out. The last thing I remember is the gas mask on my face and me saying, "Just don't kill me...." There was the sound of someone chuckling manically and I was gone.

I also vaguely recall someone saying I peed on myself and later confirmed that indeed happened. So pretty.

I woke up shaking from the anaesthesia and feeling like I'd been on an all night bender. The nurse offered to help me sit up, but as she lifted me I yelped in pain. Not from the surgery, but from pain in my chest and shoulder. The nurse explained, "Oh, that's probably the CO2. It's going to cause you some discomfort as it rises in your chest and works it's way out of your body. You might feel like you're having a heart attack." A heart attack?! WTF.

I was in recovery for a couple of hours then they brought Husband back to go over all the discharge information: no driving for two weeks (say what?!); no picking up your kids for two weeks (whatcha talkin bout Willis?!); no scratching at the glue holding your incision together (but, it's like a scab screaming to be picked!); and no working out for six weeks (finally! something I can get behind!).

My pre-surgery consultant had told me that "some" people have the surgery on Friday and go back to work on Monday so that had been my plan. "Some people" must be super heroes because by Monday I was still barely moving and weak from lack of food.

The worst part has been the Co2 business. That has caused great discomfort, but it's much better today. The pain from the actual surgery has not been that bad. By next week I bet I no longer feel a thing.

The other real pain in the ass has been the bad taste in my mouth making it hard for me to eat. I finally figured out yesterday I had Thrush which is like a little white fur coat for your tongue. Disgusting. But that's getting better, too. Though, Husband continues to tell me I stink and my breath is like death.

There were some moments last week where I felt hopeless because I was not recovering at the speed I'd anticipated and because I was in this situation by choice. But I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I know I'm gonna make it. Just takes a little time. And what's two weeks out of the rest of my life?

I'm still off solid food, but I have progressed beyond chicken broth and jell-o. Last night I enjoyed broccoli cheese soup with out the broccoli chunks. Delicious.

In the next few days I'll post more details about lap-band so if you have any questions go ahead and ask. I'll answer whatever I can. Oh, and I've lost 14 pounds since going on the liquid diet which was three weeks ago. I don't think this weight loss pace will keep up, but that's it so far.

Oh, and Husband has lost it a couple of times dealing with our lovely brood. That was kind of fun for me.

3 comments:

Kiki said...

Glad you are feeling better. Sounds like the procedure isn't so simple as the advertisements make it sound.

BoBono said...

Sorry for your slow recovery, but you're right, 2 weeks out of your life.

So, here are my ?s. How much food do you expect you'll be able to eat at a meal or a day? What happens if you overeat? Do you have to go back in for "tightening" or "loosening" of the band?

Claudia said...

Wow. I didn't realize it was such a long recovery. glad it all went ok though.