My surgery was not done under general anesthesia. I had a spinal block, which wore off slowly, ostensibly to allow a gradual introduction to Pain and a timely drug-related intervention.
Around 8:55 p.m., I began to sense some tingly pain-like inklings in my leg. As I had decided to listen to all advices and get the meds early and regularly DESPITE THE CONSTIPATION FACTOR and FORGOING POSSIBILITY FOR THE MED-FREE GOLD STAR, I buzzed the nurse to bring my first go-round with synthetic heroin. MMMMMmmmmmmm....
"Hi! I think I'm starting to feel Pain. I'd like my pain medication now please :)"
"Okay! She'll be right there :)" yes...there were smiley faces in the tones of voice.
At 9:10 p.m., no smiley face had arrived with my medication and the pain-like inkling had been correct and had bloomed into a giant fucking bright-red chrysanthemum of Pain. So I buzzed again...
"Hi...so...yeah...ummmmm...Pain is here. Could I please get some pain medication...now?" *whimper*
"Oh! Okay :) She'll be right there!" she could still smile because she wasn't sitting with Pain.
By 9:30 I was a caged, desperate animal caught in the jaws of PAIN. I was seriously ready to yank the IV shit out of my arm and somehow drag my sorry, post-op ass down the hall in search of "she" who had yet to arrive with my GODDAMNED HEROIN. But the whole falling thing kind of scared me so I tried buzzing again...
"HEY! SO IT REALLY FUCKING HURTS NOW! IS SOMEONE COMING? OR IS IT A LIE? BECAUSE I AM REALLY IN SOME SERIOUS FUCKING PAIN NOW AND I REALLY DON'T WANT TO WAIT. YOU GUYS ALL KEPT TELLING ME TO STAY ON TOP OF THE PAIN OR IT'S REALLY HARD TO GET RID OF. WELL, I FUCKING TRIED THAT AND NOW I AM REALLY FUCKING HURTING. SO WHAT IN THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? WHEN IS THE HEROIN LADY COMING???? AND DON'T LIE TO ME!" I really said all of this and I really did say it in all caps...meaning I was shouting. Loudly.
"Oooo...oh...she's...ummmm...on her way right now. For real. You were right to ask for the medication earlier. She's coming now." that's right...no more fucking smiles. I felt so badly. I had just ruined everyone's night :(
The nurse came bustling in, totally apologetic and almost in tears. She gushed profusely about how horribly she felt and that I had every right to be super upset and she had been detained by a very needy patient that she couldn't just bail on...Of course I started crying and apologizing for being such a bitch. I liked it that she shushed me and then squirted the dilaudid into my IV thing.
As the pain melted away, it filled my stomach with nastiness. I threw up.
Then they gave me anti-nausea medication and all was right with the world again.
Every pain med dose was accompanied by vomiting and anti-nausea meds. It wasn't as much fun as it sounds.
The thing that made it even less fun was the constipation that accompanied the pain meds. By Thursday night, things were really bad. We had even transitioned from IV pain meds to pills, thinking that might help. Nope. They had even been giving me stool softeners since I had arrived. Nope. As I've mentioned previously, my system is 'sensitive' and I had not taken a shit since Saturday. We tried Miralax. Nope.
The nurse asked me if I wanted to try prune juice. Fuck it, I thought.
"Bring out the big guns," I told her.
Suffering the indignities of suppositories and enemas made NO difference. By the next morning, I was desperate. Seriously...what's left???? So I did the prune juice and the Phillips Milk of Magnesia. That took the edge off. Barely. *spoiler alert* I'm still constipated...almost TWO WEEKS LATER.
Part of the need to get me properly medicated wasn't just for "lolling about" comfort. They wanted me up and walking within 24 hours of surgery. THAT was fun. Getting out of the bed was the worst of it. For some reason, the shifting caused a white-hot nerve pain on the whole front of my thigh. If you watched the video linked in my last post, you'll see why...they retracted a nerve and it gets really pissed when you do that. This was scream-like-a-skewered-human pain. And it stuck around for a few minutes. Once I was up from the bed, I was good. But that Thigh of Fire made it really hard.
My first few walks were from my bed, out of my room and about 15 feet down the hall and back. I was also given three bed exercises – ankle pumps (alternate flexing and pointing your feet), thigh squeezes (tighten your quads) and glute squeezes. Believe it or not, it was all exhausting.
Needless to say, I am now 2 weeks post-surgery and things are a little better. I no longer take narcotic pain meds...just ibuprofen. I'll give more details on the rehab soon, but I have almost graduated from my walker to my cane.
And my 10.5-cm incision is healing nicely...
And the best thing? My kids' Spring Break is almost over. Yes, I've had kids crawling all over me since I got home from the hospital. And yes, it's about as restful and healing as you are imagining. And I wonder why I'm constipated.
My jaw is wide open reading this. That sounds SO painful. Also, I love that you are wide open honest about the constipation. I had that issue for the first time after I gave birth to my 9 1/2 lb baby and was in the ER four days later.....agony!! Nothing like trying to poop in front of three nurses to humble any kind of pride :) I think you are super woman for going through all this while your kids are on Spring Break. Wishing you super fast healing!ReplyDelete
Blargh, that stupid constipation-meds cycle was almost the death of me during Gab's chemo. Here, take this med (that likely causes cancer in the future, for extra fun), but then chase it with this anti-puke pill, but it has to be after she eats, but not TOO long after she eats, and right before bed is better. And then take this too so she can poop like a normal person, and don't be alarmed if she pees red.ReplyDelete
Glad you're healing up, what shitty (or "perfect"?) timing that it's during spring break.
Oh geez. Why, why WHY can't they just come with the damn heroin the first time? I swear they never do. The pain and constipation sound miserable, as does the getting up to walk almost immediately, I mean WTF? I'm glad that chapter is (mostly) over for you.ReplyDelete
Let me just say that I think you handled the Nurse situation much better than I would have. She would be a bald nurse with a noticable limp if I had been in your shoes! I am glad to hear you are feeling better and off the pain meds. I also suffer from a 'sensitive system' and it may take several more days before your body responds after stopping the pain meds. Pasta always works for me, have no idea why but if it works for you, let me know. We could make some serious money offering post surgical poop advice. :) Hang in there and get well soon.ReplyDelete
Ugh that sounds miserable. Glad to hear you are healing and doing better now. You handled the nurse situation very well. I would have been furious!ReplyDelete
I'm Team Dilaudid for life, that shit is amazing. Before my surgery, it was the only thing that could touch my pain. I have warm memories of it. I'd shank a bitch for some more...I mean, no I don't need it anymore.ReplyDelete
My kid just had a week long constipation issue and for her, we did Miralax twice a day and in three days that worked. Have you tried upping the amount of times you take the Miralax? I know that shit is expensive, but at least it's not gritty like Metamucil. :)
Oof, so glad you are past the worst of it. Get well!ReplyDelete
I was yelling for the nurse along with you. Even though it's a couple of weeks after surgery. Is there only one morphine nurse in the whole hospital?? Having major surgery is no joke!ReplyDelete
That is one intense slice, lady! I hate how patients really need an advocate in the hospital in order to make sure they get what they need. When my fiance has his spinal fusion, I had to be really pushy to get him his pain meds on time and I felt really bad about it. It shouldn't have to be like that. I'm glad to hear that healing is going well though (minus the constipation!)ReplyDelete
Well, good grief, I was gearing up for some pictures more like that crazy video. Did you get your package?ReplyDelete
Dude, don't even get me started on the level of professionalism that is considered *default* (aka likely to get you sued if you don't meet it) in most lines of work vs. the level that you have to beg for in medicine.ReplyDelete
One Crazy Penguin's point re: an advocate in the hospital is totally true. Think about most other professions. Outside of medicine, the professional you hire *is* your advocate... (or is supposed to be).
In other news, you are a bad-ass, your scar is wicked cool, and I can't believe you had to deal with spring break kids while recovering from this.
After my wife's op she was fine till the pain stepped in and they told her how to use the MORPHINE.... but it didn't agree with her and she went 'funny'.ReplyDelete
don't know how long her scar is, but it's around to her ass...
OH you poor thing...ReplyDelete
I so much hope you are feeling better now
Doesn't the pain meds plug you up? Those are wicked good scars!! whoa!! hope you are feeling better and slightly more mobile this week.ReplyDelete
Recovering with kids has to be trying :)ReplyDelete
I am glad you are up and about more....and I am the same way with pain meds....the block ups and the throwing up :( NO fun!