Jeffrey was right on time Tuesday morning, as usual, (like me, he hates to be late for anything) and we were at the hospital in minutes - earlier than expected, actually. But since the directions to the correct entrance were incomplete, I had to make a phone call to sort out that minor mess.
Same Day Surgery waiting area was already a bee hive of activity as I arrived to check in. Although I was the first surgery of the day for my surgeon, there were patients being escorted back to pre-op before I arrived. Clearly other surgeons began their day even earlier.
And so many support staff. There were 3 nurses, 3 technicians, 2 anesthesiologists, and the doctor’s assistant - whom I met at the office the week prior. That gaggle was only for my surgery. Every cubicle had as many or more hovering around as patients arrived.
A slight hiccup occurred when I told them I was alone and there was no one to receive instructions about my home care and caring for the wound. There is only me. “But what about Jeffrey?”, they asked. He’s my transportation only.
It was becoming a heated debate about what to do about this “problem” and how to proceed. I was getting angry. I was being primed for the anesthesia and had quite enough at some point. So I sat up and said, “Look, I Am. Alone. Three simple little words. If this was going to cause another cold war, just cut me loose of all these tubes, I’ll go on my way and we’re forget this ever happened. I can’t believe that little reality is so difficult to wrap your heads around. I am alone! It is what it is! Is that clear? Now, what’s it going to be?
Silence. Subject dropped, as more scribbling and many individual initials went into my file - which seemed to get thicker by the minute.
There was some concern about my CBC being so low but after a lot of low murmurings among the staff, they decided it was in a safe (enough) zone to proceed. Shortly after that conversation I began to fade as the la-la-juice took over and I was being wheeled into the OR. Huge room for a tiny surgery like mine.
The surgery went smoothly. Don’t be shocked by the image above. The actual site is about the size of a half-dollar piece. Back in recovery I was given ginger ale and saltines as they brought me back to life and Jeffrey was called to fetch me. It was barely 9 am as we hit the road for Rehoboth.
We stopped at the pharmacy to pick up a pain prescription and then I asked if he’d like to break bread with me before taking me home. I hadn’t eaten since Monday afternoon and he’d had nothing at all in the morning either. He accepted, thank goodness.
After the hearty meal I was overly stuffed (haven’t eaten that much in ages) he took me home and I took all my meds, grabbed a pitcher of ice water and headed to bed. As the local began to wear off the pain grew quickly. I knocked back a painkiller, slid under the clean sheets and rested on my back until I fell asleep.
The rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday are a complete blur. I remember nothing. I set out all pills on napkins with their various times, so I wouldn’t forget. Set the timers to wake me as a reminder to take them. Hey! It was the best way I thought of doing it. I don’t believe the phone rang once and for that I was grateful. I needed the rest and that I certainly did.
Ran a fever of about 100.1 at one point but don’t ask me when. It’s all a blur. Got out of bed for the bathroom and pill-taking, and that is all.
Back among the living today. Feeling stronger and in less pain. Wound appears to be healing well. I have labs to be done this morning, so I’ll have them check and change the bandage if necessary. It is hard to do these things through a mirror, after all. I know. I’ve done it and what a laugh that caused.
There is a text message from Sassy Bear on the phone since Tuesday morning. I’ve not been conscious enough to respond. Probably unnecessary at this point. I’ve not read any of my fave blogs all week, either.
No word on the sister. She’s in a good hospital and has her 2 daughters nearby. I’ve had my own problems with no one nearby. This experience reminded me that I must get a new Advanced Healthcare Directive in order, since my previous friend is no longer interested. Trouble is, there is NO one else, so what does one do in that case? Gotta find out, that’s for sure.
One more note. After having nothing in my stomach since Tuesday’s delicious breakfast, I was starving, so for supper last night I had a bowl of Ramen noodles. Yes, the stuff we all lived on in college. I always keep a few packs around in the hurricane supplies shelf, so for about 10 minutes I felt like I was back at NYU. Stuff smells the same and (unfortunately) tastes the same. Still, it was hot, wet and filling. Most importantly, I wanted it, which made it go down easier.
And so it goes.