Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Night Before Surgery

I do feel the need to go back to November 30th and pick up where I left off with all the details surrounding my health. If anyone, in the present or future, comes across this blog as a resource for their own journey through cervical cancer, I want them to know all I can tell them. I found many stories when I was looking but they were very incomplete.

Last we talked, I was doing a bowel prep with magnesium citrate. The next morning I went to the hospital to have the urinary embolism. It took a LONG time to prep for surgery, about 3 hours. While I was waiting, I asked if I could talk to the anesthesiologist who would be involved in my pelvic exenteration the following day. They thought this was a very strange request. The head of the department came and asked me what the problem was; I told him there was no problem, I just wanted to talk to whomever would be putting me under and taking care of me for 12 hours. He said the schedule wasn't set yet, but he could answer any questions I had, etc. I told him I didn't have any questions, I just wanted to meet the person. He started explaining to me the process of how they would go about it, etc. I finally explained to him what I wanted while I was being put under. I wanted him to repeat five times as I was going under "Your surgery will go well and you will heal quickly", and that I did not want him to mention the word pain, as in "you will feel no pain when you wake up". I also wanted, after surgery, for him to tell me "Your surgery went well and you will heal quickly" several times.  He said that would be no problem and he usually spoke positive words as a regular service : )  Turns out he was my anesthesiologist the next day.  by the way, I think he also suggested I would crave cornbread after surgery, cuz I still want it.

They kept me overnight because they said the embolism would be too painful to control at home. I was hooked up to a morphine pump all night and I have to say there was no pain at all. What a relief.

The next morning is a bit of a blur, but mostly consisted of doctors coming through to say hello while i sat in my gown, wishing i had shaved my legs more recently.

I remember waking up in a darkened room with two nurses who could apparently go home now that I had come around. They immediately wheeled me to ICU and I was put in a room with two male nurses to care for me. I was a bit paranoid and thought something had gone wrong. It seemed like everyone was whispering and I heard someone say it went much quicker than anticipated. That, combined with the drugs, made me feel that things had not gone well and why wouldn't someone tell me? My breathing became erratic, my heartbeat was over 125, my blood pressure was about 80/50. When I asked my nurse, he told me not to worry. That ticked me off. So when my doctor came in to see me and assured me everything went really well, the first thing I did was tell her to get me a new nurse. She did. Within 5 minutes she had me wheeled to the other side of the ICU unit where I really liked my new nurse.

If there is any gift at all I can give to you, it would be the courage to stand up and control your medical care. Understand what is happening, why its happening, and demand good service as you would from anywhere you are laying down your hard earned money.

I'll share more later.

Peace & Love,

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