Summing up the last two days in one word…OWIE.
WARNING: Long post...
Day before surgery:
I got a call from Froedtert (pronounced Frayed-ert, I think.)
Hubby called out to me, saying that the doctor from Froedtert wanted to talk to me.
I opened my eyes wide, “He got fired?”
Hubby smiled and shooked his head, “No. From Froedtert.”
It was the anesthesiologist. He wanted to know if I had any false teeth or chipped teeth and gave me a few statistics. (Oh, I needed to hear that. One in 20,000 people die from anesthesia. One in ½ million to a million die from something else…I forgot what it was.) He asked about any allergies to medications and told me that I would be knocked out and pain-free.
(I thought he said I would be painting.)
I would be painting? Oh, you said pain-free.
(More examples of my misunderstandings.)
After that I hung up.
A few hours later, a nurse called. She wanted my weight and height. She wanted to give us the best directions to the facility. She said that I might have to stay overnight. (As long as you are in the hospital less than 24 hours-even 23 hours and 59 minutes, you are considered outpatient.) Hubby was disappointed about that. That would mean two trips out there for him.
(Isn’t it odd that they call deaf/severely hard-of-hearing people at home? How many live alone and can’t hear on the phone?)
We then went over to my sister’s to drop the girls off. We visited for about an hour. The girls took a dip in the lake as soon as we got there. I wasn’t surprised. They love swimming.
We made arrangements for our next door neighbor to watch Onyx for us. We gave them the key to the house so they could let her outside a few times during the day.
I went to bed about 10:30 p.m. and set my Sonic Boom alarm clock to 3:45 a.m. I woke up at about 2:45 and couldn’t go back to sleep. I tossed and turned a bit. Hubby drummed his fingers across my back a few times.
Day of surgery, Wednesday, July 23, 2008:
I was still awake when the alarm went off. I plodded downstairs to take my shower.
I had enough time to check some emails and was happy to see that Wendi’s (Sudden Silence blogger) surgery went quickly. I was so surprised to see that it only took 2 ½ hours!! For both ears. Wow.
Now it’s my turn.
Then we were off.
When we got to the registration area at the designated time, 6:30 a.m., there was a sign language interpreter waiting for me. I had forgotten about it. I got an email from someone from the facility asking me if I would like to be provided with one. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be wearing my HA in my good ear, so I said yes.
I was glad I did. I got confused. I was nervous, too.
I was given a gown and booties. Hubby had to put all my clothes into a plastic bag that was provided. I didn’t like the idea of being completely naked under my gown, so I had Hubby tie the back really good so that my backside wouldn’t be exposed.
Every nurse and doctor who talked to me verified my name, birthdate, and the reason why I was there. (Good protocol.) I wouldn’t want to find out that I got the wrong surgery.
A nurse took my vital signs My blood pressure went up to 129/something. It was at 106/something the week before. I guess my heart had a lot of reasons to be pumped up. When the nurse wanted to take my temperature, she just swiped something over my forehead and tapped it behind my earlobe. Viola! (Cool! A new thermometer.) Temperature was 99.5. Do I feel feverish? Not really. Pumped? Yes.
They needed a urinalysis. I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for a good 12 hours. I didn’t think I had anything left in my bladder. Just a few drops is all they needed. Okay. I mananged to do more than that and put the cup on the table.
I met my ENT surgeon once again. He says that it’s been a long time. (My CI evaluation was January 29. Insurance denied my CI because it was not proven safe and effective and because it wasn’t a treatment for Usher syndrome, though hearing loss was a part of the syndrome. I had it appealed and the insurance company finally approved my CI.) He wrote “yes” on my left ear. We didn’t want the wrong ear done now, did we?
My ears got checked to see if they were healthy and I was asked questions about allergies again.
Hubby had to leave at this point. He gives me a soft kiss on the lips and leaves with all my clothes in the bag. He was tired and wanted to nap in the van. I didn’t mind. Three hours is a long time in a waiting room. Might as well spend it sleeping.
For some reason, the height was marked down as 4’ 11?. Huh? (I am 5’9”.) I was just saying that the cox I was lying in was not long enough. My heels hung over the edge. I propped myself up a little bit higher. Some kind of blood pressure thingy was wrapped around both of my calves. I guess blood pressure can be checked on the shins, too.
I was asked if I was cold. Yes. They had cozy warm sheets put over me. It was like taking a clean, freshly dried sweatshirt out of the dryer and putting it on. Mmmm, nice and toasty.
I was introduced to more staff. Again, my name, birthdate, and reason I was there was asked. (I know how important it is to be accurate in the medical setting. All paperwork has to be complete. If it wasn’t documented, it didn’t happen.) One person, who was a student, stopped in to see me. He wanted to meet me while I was conscious. It was then I realized that I was going to be some kind of a subject for pre-meds or interns. It was a teaching hospital, after all.
I was prepped and given more warm sheets. A girl could get used to that.
By this time, I wasn’t too nervous.
The anesthesiologist numbed my wrist to insert an IV.
My interpreter told me she had to go now, but will be back when I was done.
I opened my eyes and saw some spots. (They didn’t bark, though. See Spot. Okay. I know, I have a weird sense of humor…)
Next thing I saw was my interpreter. I was in the recovery room with a tight head bra wrapped around my head. The surgery took about 3 hours. I was telling her about a friend who had bilateral surgery and she was done in 2 ½ hours. The nurse said that it wasn’t a teaching hospital. The doctors explain every step during the surgery.
I said that my implanted ear was ringing.
The nurse said that was common.
(Was it ringing off the hook, waiting for hook-up/activation day?) ;)
I felt like coughing. My throat was raw from the tube they put into my lungs. My tongue is numb, like I sucked on a Sucrets lozenge for a sore throat.
Suddenly I had tears coming out of my eyes. I was emotional.
The nurse told me that was common, too. My hormones were out of whack from the drugs. She said that some patients wake up from surgery telling her that they loved her. That made me smile.
I had a bout with nausea, but they were dry heaves. I hadn’t had anything to eat for 18 hours. About half an hour later, I had another nausea attack.
My interpreter had another assignment so she had to leave. I nodded and thanked her.
Then I was bed-wheeled to a different room. I shut my eyes and felt a finger rubbing gently across my arm. It was Hubby. I smile at him tiredly. I handed him my hearing aid. (I did have to take it out before surgery. They put it in a container and when I was woken up after the surgery, a nurse gave it back to me to put on.)
Hubby rubbed my thumb gently as I gave it to him.
He is not a touchy-feely kind of guy, so it felt nice.
I rested for a while. I was given some pain meds and an antibiotic. I needed to go to the bathroom. Upon getting up, I was dizzy.
Hubby made a crack about me being more dizzy than usual. I wanted to whack him but I smile at him anyway.
I was concerned about the tightness of my head bra. Was it too tight? I knew I needed to have some pressure on the ear, but it just felt tight around the back of my head.
The nurse didn’t seem concerned about it.
I was discharged at 3:30 p.m. Hubby helped me get dressed and called for the nurse.
Once I saw the wheelchair, I say, “There’s my ride.” Door to bedside service.
I rested all the way back to town. We stopped to pick up our wet rats at my sister’s. Flare, my oldest, took one look at me and said, “Mom, you look…interesting.” I retort with, “Yeah, it’s a new fashion fad. Don’t you like it?” She rolls her eyes at me.
When we finally got home, the phone was ringing. It was a nurse. Our pastor was going to visit me, but he just missed us. (I am always amazed at the timing when we go somewhere or just get home and the phone rings.)
The dog was soooo happy to see us. Poor thing. We did not neglect her.
I took up residence on the recliner. Flare played nursemaid and got me my Crystal Light popsicles I had the foresight to prepare the night before. It was soothing for my sore throat. Both girls camped out downstairs with me during the night. Flare had excellent recliner-side manners.
Hubby took off to fill my prescriptions and pick up a pizza he ordered. I only had one slice, but lost my dinner five hours later, at 1:30 in the morning.
Angel liked helping me by getting me more popsicles when I wanted one or leading me to the bathroom. I would have managed it, but both girls wanted to help, so I let them.
Day after surgery:
My face was warm all day. The rest of me was not hot, though.
Hubby called to check on his patient at every breaktime at work. I told him I felt warm. I took my temperature and it was 97.5. I kept cooling my face with a wet dishtowel.
I took a tepid bath and that seemed to cool my face down for a whle, then it came back.
A nurse called to check on me. Any concerns? I mentioned my warm face and she said that it was never reported before, so if I still had it the next day, call the office.
Hubby came home with chocolate….pudding cups for me.
I took another tepid bath and that seemed to do the trick. My face was cool all night. I thought maybe it was from the tightness of the head bra, but it might also be a reaction from the meds I had to take.
This morning I had another nausea attack as I was typing this, so I am going to stop and get some more rest.
Stay tuned for Part 2.