So, I woke up early on the day of surgery to shower, I didn’t apply any deodorant or bother putting on a binder. My surgery was scheduled for 11am, so we left at 8am to get to the hospital by 10am. We got to Lake Forest, and checked in. I advise bringing all the paperwork you got during your consultation and a photo ID, you might need it.
After that I had to go to this room and get dressed in a hospital gown, and give a urine sample even thought I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything from about 10 pm the night before. Then a nurse came in and drew a vial of blood, and I continued to sit and wait. ANOTHER nurse came in and started asking me about my medical history and filling things out in a computer. After she got done with the questions she tried giving me an IV in the left hand, but she couldn’t stick the vein since it was too small from me being dehydrated. A different nurse had to come and give me an IV in my right hand.
Then my surgeon, Dr. Steinwald, came in and marked my chest with marker and measured me.
The anesthesiologist also came in and talked to me about the anesthetic, which was administered through the IV and not a gas. Thank god I didn’t need a catheter that was the only thing I was afraid of.
Two more nurses came and went on the computer to check that was going into the OR. Then they wheeled me away to the OR.
I left for the operating room around 12:35pm, an hour and a half late.
The operating room was extremely cold like a fridge, and very bright unlike those surgery shows on TV where they’re dark with online one light on.
They laid me down like I was on a cross, arms out and covered me with toasty warm blankets. The anesthesiologist said he was gonna put some stuff in the IV to make me a little loopy, but that wasn’t the medicine to knock me out, and I have no recollection of when that was dripped into my IV.
I remember waking up, everything was black because my eyes were still closed. But I was coughing and choking because there was tube in my throat, without thinking I reached up and pulled it out and started coughing violently.
Then I woke up again in a different spot, and I opened my eyes. I was in the recovery room, which is basically a long room with a bunch of other recovering patients in it. A nurse greeted me as soon as I woke up and asked what my pain level was. I told her about a 4/10, 10 being the worst. She gave me a drip of a pain medication in my IV and I asked when I could see my mom, she said if I was feeling up to it I could go, so I agreed and I was wheeled out to my actual room. I sat in my room and a nurse was in there attaching these wraps around my legs that inflated and deflated to keep my circulation going.
My mom came in as well as another nurse, who informed me he’d check on me every 15 minutes for an hour, then every half hour, every 45 minutes, every hour, and then every four hours. He had to check my heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature during this time.
Also when I had to urinate it hurt very badly to get up and I had to call a nurse every time because I had to pee inside a measuring cup in the toilet so they could keep track of my urine output. With the IV I was peeing once every hour or half hour.
The first time I stood up I got very sick to my stomach and dry heaved twice, but I felt better and was able to keep down some ice cream for my sore throat, scrambled eggs and pancakes. I was very full even though the portions were tiny.
Later my mom went out to find herself some food and brought me some fries and chicken nuggets.
I was able to video chat with Steph before I tried to go to bed.
Sleeping was very unsuccessful because of the inflating things on my legs and the nurses checking on me every few hours.
The next morning I woke up and ordered Bacon, French Toast, and vanilla ice cream. I was so tired, and I wanted to go home.
My surgeon eventually came in and said he’d write the discharge papers.
But, he disappeared for two hours and we didn’t leave until 11.
I recommend bringing loose fitting sweat pants to the hospital, as well as a button up shirt. You don’t want to move your arms because your drains are the most painful part in my opinion.
I have to milk/empty the drains every 4-6 hours.
I have to blow into a lung exercise machine every hour 10x and cough too to prevent pneumonia.
What I brought to the hospital:
-A phone charger
-A stuffed animal