No surprise, I didn’t sleep much the night before the surgery. I don’t know when I was actually up, but I was officially out of bed to shower by 4:30 a.m. We were off to the hospital, and of course, I forgot to put the meat in the crock pot. I sent my eldest a text, but even with step-by-step instructions, that was a failed effort. My youngest did manage to get up and to the bus stop on his own though. Yay!
I signed in around 6:30, and thankfully they needed a urine sample, so my bodily functions didn’t go to waste. I watched the news until about 7:00 when they came to get me ready for surgery. Announcement: Hospital gowns have progressed. Mine wasn’t just paper, it was a sturdier paper with a thermal lining to keep me warm/cool as needed. The perplexity of how to tie one has not changed though. To my dashing ensemble I also added some very tight white stockings and then fashionable grey socks with tread.
From there I talked to a procession of people–nurse, intern, anesthesiologist, assisting surgeon, my doctor, and probably a few more. The question of the day was, “Do you know what you’re here for?” By the time the inquisitors at the end came along, I just had to tease back with “Yes, do you?” I got an IV without passing out, a minor accomplishment. I got a head net to capture all my hair. It’s long and it took some maneuvering with one hand (IV, remember). Sometime in there I was given a sedative. Short time now . . . I gave my husband a “see you later” kiss, and then it was off to the surgery room.
The host of questioners and I reunited in the surgery room. I gracefully (really, it was graceful) slid to the surgical bed. I listened to them make jokes about having to work with one another. That was my cue.
“When this is all over will I see everyone?” I asked.
“Probably everyone but me,” said the assisting surgeon.
“I’ve got my favorite knock-knock joke to tell you all then.”
He whined about missing it, and then proceeded to tell my joke. What! Wait! That’s the last thing I remember too.
Next thing I recall was waking up a bit sore in the recovery area. It wasn’t too long before the troop (Noelle, Curtis, and Lewis) transported me to my room. Another chance to tell my joke. My captive audience did their part, but I was still so groggy I couldn’t time the punchline right. Of course, I made them repeat the line, and got it in that time. It was even funnier with the fumble.
Noelle and Sadie, my first set of nurses out of the three shifts, were great. They fussed over me and at me. Made sure I had what I needed and laughed at my jokes. Noelle even came in the room at one point and asked, “How is the best patient in the whole hospital?” I didn’t have a roommate, so I just grinned and thanked her. They checked on my pain levels and brought me anything I needed. Brandee (PCA) quietly came and went, checking my blood pressure, pulse and temperature. If I had a request, whoever was in the room or came to the room was more than happy to help me.
Something else new to hospitals, at least for me, was that they had a menu. I had no diet restrictions (just take it easy), so I could order what I wanted. My first meal following surgery was chicken broth, diet ginger ale, and chocolate pudding. I managed about five spoonfuls of broth, half my drink and only two bites of pudding. It was all delicious. I wish that appetite level would stick around, but I was warned it wouldn’t. The night before I left, I ordered a Philly steak and cheese sandwich and pudding. It took me about six hours to eat the whole thing, but I did eat every scrumptious bite.
In the evening, Shannon took over as nurse and happily followed the generosity path set by the others. She told me to let her know if there was anything I wanted–dangerous.
“Hugh Jackman,” I said without hesitation.
Just as quick to respond, she chuckled and said, “That would be good. I think I’ll get Matthew McConaughey.”
I slept off and on, but when I was awake, I enjoyed visiting with her.
Early that morning, Shannon traded off with the next shift, which I regret to admit I didn’t get their names. Very sleepy I heard my new PCA come in to take blood pressure and stuff. I looked up and thought, “Well, he’s not Hugh, but he’s not bad AT ALL.” Probably a good thing I didn’t get his name. 😉
Around 6:30 the departing procession began. I saw just about everyone I’d seen the day before, including my doctor. He said I’d find out the pathology report on the gall bladder next week. I asked if he’d noticed anything when he removed it, and he said just some car keys.
This was the best hospital, and I was fairly reluctant to come home, knowing I wouldn’t be nearly as pampered and it definitely hasn’t been as peaceful.
Thank you, every staff member, named and unnamed, who made my stay so pleasant and comfortable. Conversations, surgery, blankets, food, pillows, medicines, smiles…all of it, thank you and bless you.
smiles and laughter — necessary as surgery
- Gall Bladder Surgery (tasmith1122.wordpress.com)