surgical Tale – dramamama takes center stage
Following all advice, except for the relaxing (Why relax now? I’d have plenty of time for that after), I continued to jump through flaming hoops both at home and work.
My youngest two still living at home were amidst their busiest time of year ever, my daughter preparing for a modeling fashion show as well as dancing 4x weekly. My son was juggling soccer, karate, and hip-hop. I am most fortunate in that my parents graciously offered to take on covering my children’s very demanding extracurricular schedule. Out came organizational bins, as well as the pink and blue charts to ensure they could easily get them to where they needed to be.
In the office there were reviews to write, articles to edit, birthday parties to throw, a newsletter to submit for publication, expense reports to submit, staff to prepare. My head was spinning, for certain I would miss a deadline or leave some task incomplete. Fortunately, my boss is a saint as there were at least two occasions, er maybe three, in those last days that I barricaded myself in the women’s locker room to call him from my cell starting off conversations with: “I am very stressed right now…” Yes, he was well aware of that he’d say. How? Perhaps it was the e-mail, voicemail, and text message I’d already sent him. Ahhhh.
Well everyone assured me everything would get done. And it did. As I assured everyone I would do as much as I possibly could as long as I possibly could, including my last Zumba class exactly 12 hours before my surgery. However, at precisely 0000 hours I did as the anesthesiologist had directed and took that freakin’ klonopin, as well as another one 6 hours later on my way to the hospital with a mere sip of water.
Although I was not asleep (must have been good ol’ adrenaline working), by the time I was prepped for surgery, I was definitely relaxed and feeling groovy, even laughing with family and staff. When I met the Anesthesiology Team who would be working on me, one asked if it was ok if a paramedic inserted the tube into my throat for practice. “Sure,” I cracked, “As long as that is all he is going to do to me.” Or, if I had any loose crowns, I told them, “No” but I had removed one by accident before eating sugar babies.
It was all good. I was even still awake when they started the feel good drip and wheeled me behind the doors into the OR and I got to see the whole team. I felt like I had just taken center stage. There appeared to be at least 15 people walking back and forth, asking the doctor questions, moving me to the skinny bed, strapping me into the boots. Next, they’re telling me to take very deep breaths into the mask. Now, I knew at this moment I was supposed to be thinking about teddy bears and blue skies so I would have sweet dreams. Yet, all I could think as I drifted off to sleep was, “Holy shit all these people are about to see my ya-hoo!”
They say when you wake up from anesthesia it is your sense of hearing which returns first, and I can attest now this was most definitely true for me. When I very first awake, I can hear very clearly, but not see or feel. A nurse was telling me to stop struggling with her because she is trying to put some sort of padded panty on me. I was apparently battling this effort (shocker I know). I can also hear myself informing her, “Oh no, that’s a wrap, I don’t need those anymore, I don’t have a uterus.” Go me! Like I know what the heck I am talking about. Geez, how can nurses stand people like me?
The next time I am awake I can definitely hear, see (though I can keep my eyes open for just a few second at at time), and feel. Pain! I also notice the fact I cannot breathe now so start mumbling INHALER, repeatedly. This request is fulfilled and the very kind recovery nurse also rubs my back until I am able to take some deep breaths. Once I can speak again, I want to know, “Was he able to save my ovaries?” The nurse replies, “The ovaries are all yours!” I give the thumbs up.
Finally, I am able to be wheeled to my room where I doze in and out consciousness for the next 10 hours taking sips of broth and water spoon fed to me by my family. Slowly, I begin to take notice of my surroundings: The airboots stimulating my circulation, the bed continually flowing with air as well to do likewise, the oxygen tubes in my nostrils. The pain pump which I click every so often which also causes me severe nausea.
Oh, and the room-mate. Little did I know when my darling nurse left at 11:30PM asking if I wanted earplugs, that a Reggae concert would be kicking off at mid-night.