Yesterday’s surgery went fine. The surgery was scheduled for 3pm, which meant that I could not eat or drink anything (including water) from midnight onward. Actually I could have something at 6am, but if the surgery got pulled to earlier in the day, which apparently happens sometimes, I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of that.
Sunday night Tad smoked some ribs for dinner, and I had as many as I could! Then I had a bowl of cereal at around 10pm. When I went to bed, I set my alarm for 11:59pm, at which point I drank as much water as I could, and ate a granola bar.
I spent the day yesterday working from home – since the surgery was so late in the day, I started my leave of absence today. Finally it was time to go. We checked in around 2pm. Tad walked with me back to my little private waiting room, and then headed out.
At my pre-op with Dr. FixIt I told them that before surgery they always run a blood test, and that they can never get blood out of me (hard under the best of circumstances, but pre surgery I’m dehydrated) – would they like me to do the blood draw on Friday? Dr. FixIt SWORE it would not be needed. I reminded him that it’s the anesthesiologist who asks for it, not the surgeon, but he maintained that it was unnecessary. Of course he was wrong. I warned the phlebotomist as she set up, and she took it as a challenge. After patiently warming my hand with a heat pack for several minutes, she took the teeniest needle she had and pricked a vein in the back of my hand. It was not painless, and the blood did not exactly come pouring out, but with some patience she was able to fill most of one vial. That would have to do. Success! And only one prick!
Of course she stole the vein from the nurse for my IV, so that had to go into a different vein that was not as comfortable – right on the side of my wrist – but after a few minutes I got used to it.
After that I got as comfortable as I could and … I waited. Dr. FixIt was running two hours behind. Hmph. Finally a little before 5pm he came in and proceeded to draw all over my chest. Again he asked me, “How big do you want to be?”, a question which I always find disconcerting. “Um, maybe a C-cup??” I replied, as I always do.
I then chatted with the anesthesiologist a bit, and then I waited some more while they got the OR ready. It was the same one where I had the mastectomy done. This is my fourth surgery related to stupid cancer (including the port installation and removal), and all four have used different types of anesthesia, so I never know exactly what to expect. This time, I hopped up on the OR table, was strapped down, and put my arms out onto boards, Jesus-style. I remember a little bit more, up until the horrible IV smell hit me, then I was out.
As always, they interrupt some kind of interesting dream in the recovery room. I don’t remember it, but I know I was reluctant to be awoken. My memories of the first few minutes are vague, but I know I was chatty with the nurses – who knows what I said to them, I’m sure they’ve heard it all. The usual ice chips. They brought Tad in pretty quickly and he had fun bantering with one of the nurses who immediately perceived that he’s a smart ass. Getting dressed was challenging – using my abs hurts, and you really need your abs for pretty much everything.
At home I had half of a peanut butter sandwich and went to bed. I set up my bed so that I’m sitting up slightly, with pillows everywhere that I can move around as needed, including one for lumbar support, and one under my knees. It’s a pain but seemed to work, and I slept fine. Either that or it was the Xanax I took as I went to bed!
Today, upon waking, the pain is tolerable if I’m still, which I suppose I’m supposed to be. I also have a mild headache. I’m avoiding taking the Percocet for now – I hate those drugs, honestly I don’t understand the opioid problem that everyone talks about; who would take those things for fun? I have a post-op visit with Dr. FixIt later this morning and figure I’ll pop one when I get back from that and sleep the rest of the day away.