Wednesday, August 13, 2003

back from the operating table

in short, surgery was like everything i expected, but the recovery was not.

so the night before surgery, i tried going to sleep at 1:30, but since i had been going to sleep far later than that, i just couldn't go to sleep especially without medicine. so before 6:30 am, i had only gotten an hour of sleep tops. so me and my mom got to the hospital on time at 7:15. and then got put in a gurney while i waited for surgery. not being medicated for the past 8 hours, i just kept tossing in discomfort and pain on the gurney until the surgery started after 3 hours of waiting. so they wheeled me over to anestheisa, they injected me with some stuff for anesthesia, and a second after they put the gas mask on me, i was out like a light bulb. i'm sure they asked me to count down from 10, or 1 to 10, but they didn't get a response. so i wake up and i feel distinct pain in 2 places...where they made my incision and for some reason my that was the pain i kept pointing out, and they said it was the cathoder and they were gonna remove the thing that was causing the pain...i was too concerned about the pain to question why the hell they put that after they removed it (excruciating pain) half the pain was gone and i could now focus on the morphine i needed for the pain that was in my back. i kept telling them to shoot me some more morphine while i was in the recovery room. so by the time they were able to get my pain under control, they had given me 5-6 shots of morphine, and my pain was still about 2-3 on a scale of 1 to 10 if i didn't move. they were really surprised how much morphine they ended up giving me after the final count. i guess since i was on pain killers for so long, my tolerance for them was high and morphine didn't really feel like much. i thought it was supposed to be powerful stuff. but to me, it didn't feel like much at all. i thought what was going to happen was that i was going to wake up after surgery all drugged up and happy without feeling pain. but i actually woke up without any morphine and i had to request all that i needed. so after about an hour half in the recovery room

so they wheeled me off to my room meeting up with my mom in the waiting area, and moved me from the gurney to the bed in my room using this sliding plate to just push me off the gurney to my bed. and then they were coming in to give me more morphine, antibiotics, water...some breathing apparatus, take my bp, talk to me about the operation, etc. when i started drinking water, i started getting really nauseous. i was unbelievably thirsty so i was drinking a lot of water, but it really was just filling up in my stomach because i was at capacity, and just a few more sips would just make me unbeliebably nauseous. i realized that the water and just any movement of my arms, head, or just talking really made me nauseous. so they gave me pills and added stuff to my drip to deal with the nausea. wendy, ray, and casey stopped by when i was really sick, and i told them that i was really nauseous and speaking made it worse, so even though i wanted them there, i just kept my eyes shut, and didn't move. i also had another run in with the cathoder tube.....and this time i had to be awake for them to put it in and take it back out. i think this is as good as i can describe it. say that your manshaft is actually just a solid piece without a urethra and opening. well, imagine them sticking a nail all the way through, leaving it in there for a while, then taking it back out. the pain is even with after waking up with surgery, the cathoder was the first thing i wanted to take care of. so after all this, there is definitely some damage and its super sensitive. you are going to be pissing fire for the next 2 days. they need a better way to do least some local anesthetics or something.

so after about 8am the next day, i was finally over the nauseousness, and could finally start eating. so they ordered me a all liquid meal at breakfast. that came about 3.5 hours late...they requested it about 8 times cause it just wouldn't come, so they finally contacted the director of the meals dept, and they the meals after came really quickly...i probably got served first actually. we figured all the nauseousness was all gone since i was able to drink eat all the liquids just fine. so they decided i would get regular meals from now on. so a few minutes after i finished my breakfast, lunch came, and since i had eaten all liquid, that was not a problem. they served some roast turkey with gravy, stuffing, beef barley soup, and some other stuff. it was all pretty good. people kept asking me how bad the hospital food was but since i was staying in one of the best public hospitals in california, i was pretty well off. i had my own room which allowed visitors 24 hours a day. guests could sleep over (and they would make accomodations for them) if they wanted. had a nice huge window with sun light in my room. the wooden floors of course. my own bathroom with even a shower. so the hospital stay probably couldn't have been any more comfortable. when the doctor noticed that i was still taking morpine and both tablets of vicodin every 4 hours, along with the nausea, he said he said unless i was in a rush to get out, that i should stay till the next day.

physical therapists came over and took me out of my room for short walks and they said i was doing really well, and gave me a lot of pointers what i could do and definitely shouldn't do. wendy visited me again on the second day. she came over and chilled over for a good while. then erik came over with judy and stayed for a little bit. it turned out that our exchange server had suffered another hardware failure. yikes. they were working on it from 8pm to 7:30am. wow....i wonder what comments were made my way. hopefully they were sympathetic to my own pains during that hour. anyways, for dinner, i had lasagne (i'd give it a 8 out of 10), minestrone, and some pastry with peach on it. casey visited me around 11pm. after that i tried to go to sleep in between the times when the medication was working. woke up each time the medication wore off. i decided if they were going to discharge me, i figured they'd want me to at least stop getting the morphine, so i just decided to tough it out and just go with vicodine starting that evening. so my second day at the hospital was something i would have expected on the first day. i was just caught off guard with the pain and nauseousness the first day.

in the morning, i got breakfast just the way i ordered it, scrambled eggs, sasage, bacon, pancakes, and oj. after that the guy who did the actual operation came by. told me that the operation went really well, and when they went inside, the problem looked really clear, and they were happy with what they were able to accomplish. i still feel phantom pain, and they said i should be feeling that for a long while, at least a few weeks because i had been shortcircuiting those (sciatic) nerves for the last 5 months. i'm going in another week from now for an evaluation from the surgeon. and hopefully they'll be able to tell me that everything went well, and they'll be able to give me a referral for rehab so i can get completely straight (i'm almost straight now, but still a little crooked since i've been in that position for so long). and he said i should need quite a bit of physical therapy but that's no problem for me. i'm just glad that i'm on a sure track to 100% recovery now.

i can stand all i want but i'll be limited from sitting more than 15 minutes at a time at most 4 times a day. but after i get the evaluation that everything really worked out, and when i'll be expecting to sit more than 15 minutes, i'll write out a list of activites and places i've been craving to catch up on what i've been missing for the last 5 months. since i'm going to still need a day or to be able to feed myself, my mom will be here till tomorrow (thursday) to help me with that. i don't have too much pain walking around but since i've been in bed for 5 months, my core and blance is really not there (and no extension on the muscles), and i feel like i'm learning to walk again. i'm guessing i should be able to pick it up pretty quickly once i get going. just a little more time on my bed and in the apartment and i should finally be able to get out.

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