Thursday, June 05, 2008

Surgery recap with photos!

No, not photos of the actual procedure...and no one offered me a video of it or anything either, so I don't think any are forthcoming. But here's the rundown...

Got up yesterday morning, did a little work so I could avoid taking a sick day, then around 11 Paige and I headed to Group Health Central. Got parked, got checked in, paid the co-pay (a whopping $15...I'm assuming a bill for more will come later), picked up a living will form (which I then proceeded not to fill out 'cause I didn't have a pen...) and went back to the prep room (after a wait of like 5 minutes...I swear to God in all the appointments I've had since this dang accident that was the shortest by far).

In the prep room I was given these sweet clothes:

Socks with grippy bits on the downside

A sweet surgical gown

A gown with an air conditioner attachment!

And just to be safe, the word "Yes" written
above the eye they were supposed to work on.

I then talked to the anesthesiologist, the doctor, a nurse, another nurse, the anesthesiologist's assistant, and probably some other nurses. I got weighed in the gown, which was great since apparently my clothes weigh 7 pounds or so, 'cause that's what I'd lost since I was weighed the afternoon before (the fact that I hadn't eaten since 10 PM probably didn't hurt). Eventually someone stuck an IV port in my arm (which Paige didn't photograph 'cause it was standard issue) and it was time to go off to the OR.

Having never had surgery at Group Health (my only prior surgical experience was an outpatient elbow job at a private surgical clinic) I wasn't sure what to expect. But it was fairly standard: long hallway, lots of doors with people being worked on. The only difference with my room was that, for some reason, the windows in the door were boarded up. I really should have asked why, but I had other things on my mind.

The last things I remember were the anesthesiologist's assistant pinning my left arm up in a blanket because "there's no arm rest on this side and it'll get all floppy". That and looking up at the lights. Then it was 2+ hours later and I was in another room being spooned ice and given some saltines. And let me tell you, saltines and crushed ice in a totally dry mouth are not a good combination. Especially when your throat is kind of sore from the intubation tube, which according to Paige they had to insert twice because my stiff neck wouldn't extend far enough the first time. Fun!

After downing the crackers and a couple vicodin I was hauled up to my "EOS" or Extended Observation Station". Also known as "hospital room". And Paige was allowed in to see me and take another photo:

Relaxed in bed, icing the face, unable to smile
right because my left upper lip is numb again. Stupid lip.

Some time after that they asked if I was nauseous. I wasn't...had been a couple times right after surgery, but that had subsided. So they brought in dinner, which did the trick. As soon as the lid came off and the smell of teryaki chicken (which I love) hit my nose, the nausea hit haaaarrrrdddd. So back went the lid, away went the tray, and I breathed through my mouth for a while. Eventually I was able to eat a roll and a few bites of chicken, but not much else.

Eventually, maybe around 9 (after Paige had left, come back with Maya, and left again) I had an apetite so I ate the carrot cake I'd "forgotten" to send home with her and a few mint Milanos she'd left behind. Then asked for a couple yogurts. And then at around 11:30 some cheese and crackers. Nothing like eating healthy in the middle of the night...

The night itself was, while not miserable, also not restful. I was warm most of the time, until I realized I was still wearing two pairs of socks. I wasn't very comfortable, since I'm not used to sleeping on an incline. I was balancing ice bags on my face using a pillow case (which, by the way, is very effective...). It was noisy, and when I put my ear plugs in I could hear my pulse rushing in my ears. And speaking of my pulse, it was elevated...not crazy, but up in the 110 range rather than my usual resting pulse of like 60 or so. Oh, and I had to get up and pee about every hour. So all in all I basically dozed off and on all night but never really slept. I don't think, anyway...

The other complaint about Group Health is the TV. I mean, really. In this day and age of digital cable, compact satellite, TiVo etc. if you're bed-ridden you should at least have something to watch, right? Wrong. Four channels, all broadcast: ABC, wavy NBC, PBS and CW. And to navigate, one button that goes up, then off, then on, then up, then off. Someone needs to set up an endowment with Group Health to pay for basic cable. Seriously.

Anyhow, this morning Dr. Kim came in, took off the bandage, looked at my eye, said it was moving fine (even if the double vision is worse than it was post-accident), told me to ice it all the time (except when blogging...I'm sure he said that), gave me 95 pills and ointments to use, and sent me on my way. Well, kind of...first Paige had to show up and take another photo:

Me this morning right before I got dressed.

Then I had to wait around for my final dose of antibiotics, a shot of some kind of steroid to help with swelling, and for the last of my meds to show up from the pharmacy. And finally at 11 or so we were free and came home, where after icing some more, taking some drugs, and eating some lunch I started this little blog entry, which has now taken 4 or 5 hours to complete. Whew!

One final picture, of my eye all swollen and puffy this afternoon:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So glad that you are home safe and sound and done with the surgery. Hope that the healing is swift and uneventful. Thanks for the semi-gruesome update. Glad that you are doing well.