Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thoughts about surgery and the hospital stay

First let me say that I have not been in a hospital since my son was born almost 14 years ago,and I have never had any major surgery in my life, so I really have nothing to compare surgery or the hospital stay to. The surgery people get an A+ in my book. They were exceptional with their care and making me feel at ease. I opted to have a epidural block during and after surgery to help with pain management. A small thin catheter was placed in my thoracic spine to administer continuous pain medication. Everyone I encountered before surgery was excellent. My after surgery care, or lack thereof, unfortunately gets a D, except for 2 nurses I had during my stay, Barbie and Lauren. Although I was not in ICU or a gunshot victim, I still had major surgery and found it unusual that there were many things I did on my own without an offer to help or with help. Changing my bed was done once, no one ever asked me if I wanted a new gown, or if I would like help with washing my face or brushing my teeth, no one checking on me in 4 hours. Not that I needed help or wanted help, but I would think help should have been offered. According to my niece, Melly, who is a nurse on the birthing unit, these things are pretty basic 101 nursing skills. I had virtually had no sleep in the hospital and was exhausted by time I got home.

The first actual thing I remembered in the recovery room was my plastic surgeon telling me the lymph nodes were negative! News to my ears! The whole waking up from surgery thing is not a picnic, let me tell you. I was seeing double and triple of everything for quite awhile. I do remember my family coming in to see me when I got to my room, but couldn't quite tell you what I said to them!! (maybe I don't want to know!) My brother-in-law, Rick,and his wife,Debbie,and my mother-in-law,Ruth, surprised John by showing up and staying with him during surgery. Rick and Debbie even had pink shirts on! My niece Melissa also came by for a quick visit after working her shift that day at the hospital.

My biggest hurdle is over, surgery. I meet with oncology next week to discuss further treatment options and more decisions to make.

I honestly was not nervous going into surgery, one of the nurses even made a comment to me about that. I had no expectations as to what to expect. That is probably why I seemed so calm. Was it a breeze? Nope, I can't say it was, but it's over and now I am moving forward.

Good bye Hotel Froedert!


Anonymous said...

Hi Gail,

Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better. I asked the nurse in recovery if I had a drain and after she said yes, I said "crap" and fell back asleep. I knew for me that it meant pos nodes. So good for you on the neg nodes! Let me know when you meet with Dr. Charlson and if you want or need help with questions to ask.

Take care,

Kim said...

Thanks for the update!
How is it going at home now?
Love ya,

Jessica Turner said...

thinking of you all the time. love you.