Monday, July 21, 2014

Vacation?

I started writing this right after I was home from Hospitalization Part Deux.  I am working on the follow up, with the rest of the story. (Gotta love Paul Harvey references, wherever you can sneak them in!)

I should have taken one.  I could share my vacation photos with you, along with silly stories about my muppets and how lovely my FF was.

Instead of a lovely vacation, I opted for the end of the school year and a surgery full of complications took me away from any writing.

Men, if you are queasy around discussions of the lady parts, please feel free to go grab a beer and watch the game.  I have it on the background, but it is not pretty.  

Since December, we have been planning my complete hysterectomy and a salpingo-oopherectomy just to be different.  Part of it was prophylactic.  We are always looking for cancer.  I am always waiting for them to take a look at something else - my kidneys or adrenal glands - and tell me there is something on my ovaries.  Because that always happens.  And then I hold my breath while we decide whether or not it is cancer.  We check my CA-125 levels and do biopsies and worry....that this might be THE TIME.  

And so, this surgery, that is really consider radical given my age, was the option I went with just to take some control over my health.  When I first met with the surgeon, she checked over and over and over with me to make sure that this was indeed the route I wanted to take so early in life.  To be certain I knew what I was getting into.  I watched my mom go through it in her 20s, I was certain it would be better for me as I near 39.

The  other part of this decision was simply to get my life back.  My periods were horribly heavy...like as much as most women bleed over the course of a cycle, I would deal with in the course 3 or 4 hours  I would fill a tampon between the bathroom on the 3rd floor of the school and my class (directly above it) on the 4th floor.  I couldn't teach. My husband was bringing me clothes far too frequently.  I was going to the ER because I was hemorrhaging worse than after delivering any of the kids.  The Diva Cup became my new best friend.  It was a life altering half a year. I had to adjust. Aside from the heaviness, my periods were lasting 26, 27 days a month.  I could not live my life that way.  It was not healthy and it was not enjoyable.  

So, we planned it for the Monday after school let out.  My in-laws took the Muppets so I could recover.  They were going to come home Thursday.  I was expecting to come home Tuesday.  It was supposed to be a textbook, wham, bam, thank ya ma'am kinda surgery.


But, we allllll know that I don't play that way.  That would be far too boring and commonplace.  I mean, really. I never do things the way I am supposed.  It started in pre-op with the anesthesia team came in.  I warned them about my veins.  Ehh, we got this, they said.  No worries they said.  Ummm, I woke up in recovery (the only time the memories have stuck with me from the recovery room) to 4 members of that team looking for a vein. Apparently, I blew 4 IVs during surgery.  Uh huh, you got this.  They were wonderful about and I was a sassy face with them, which broke the ice a bit. But, I do look like a heroin user.  I mean, we're talking the back of both hands and the insides of both wrists...are still bruised.  Not to mention the botched Mid-line insertion site or the picc line or where they were sticking my every few hours for blood draws before the picc went it. I wish they would all take me seriously when I tell them to keep a vein viewer or ultra-sound on hand. Ah well.  With all the bruises, J said he would be worried when they started checking in-between my toes.  I really did look like an addict. 

So, you think that is bad.  Nah, just annoying.  That happens more than it doesn't.  Really.  It do expect it and find myself instead, pleasantly surprised when there is a smooth insertion of any needle. The fun part came when they told me there had been a complication.  My poor hubby, they called him out of the waiting room and into a conference room to tell him.  I can only imagine the wait in that little room.

They had cut the bowel.  

I had a laproscopic procedure and the first cut is blind.  It is the fine print of what might happen during surgery that you have to sign that you understand before you schedule your surgery.  It happens.  You'd think that would have been enough, but I am a total overachiever.

And, truly, I really was lucky.  We had surgical oncologist on hand, even though my ultrasounds looked clean, just because. I am never as I appear.  And I am oh so grateful she was.  She saved me from an additional 6" zipper across my belly. She got me closed up and away we went taking out the rest of my reproductive organs.  It was a good thing my surgery started really early, because I got out just about on time from my original start time.  

So, that meant another night in the hospital.  I was snuck some broth that night.  Allowed to eat lunch the following day and  sent home on Wednesday.  I felt great.  

Until I didn't.

I crawled into my bed early and the nausea kicked in.  And then it was like I was pregnant.  I got so desperate with the vomiting, that I called the on-call number and had some Zofran called in for me.  Puking from 8:30pm until 3am, with no baby in the end game, is NOT on my scope of okay things to do.

My newly incised ab muscles were burning up and so was my forehead...102.1.  UGH!!  

Went into the doc the next morning and did the lab work.  She said she would keep me home, unless my WBC was eeking up.  So, I made it to dinner time, and no news.  I thought all was well.  And I started feeling better...human almost.  And then the phone rang.  Back to the hospital I was going.  This is now Thursday.  You know, the night that my kids that I have not seen since Saturday were supposed to be coming home.

This was not good.  My dogs were acting out.  I missed my kids.  My bowel was cut.  If you saw me on the street, you would think I was a junkie - between the circles under my eyes and bruises up and down my arms.  I still had yet to sleep in my bed.  I missed my husband.  I was not happy.

But I did not fight being admitted and J knew I must still be feeling pretty crappy.  I mean I ALWAYS fight going to the hospital.  I did not even bargain or negotiate.  Logically, I must have known I needed to go.  And I just went.

So, saw the gaggle docs.  Had the nurses fight over me. (I think I was the only one under the age of 60 on the floor.  Who else were they going to discuss OITNB with, I mean, really?!)  I was supposed to be out after two days of round the clock IV antibiotics by Saturday night.  Life was good.  My hubby was in as
much as he could be.  My dad brought me custard shakes.  My FF bought me candy bars from the snack machine I walked by a million and three times and stared at longingly until I was removed from the NPO list.  My heartbroke with the older gentlemen next to me who waved to me as I walked by, but became a different man when the sun went down.  I was very grateful to have my headphones, it was a very loud couple of evenings. Saturday came and I was ready to go home.  J was going back on shift the next day.  His trades had run out, because I was supposed to go home on Tuesday, remember. 

And they said NO! 

Ummm, what??

We needed to get 2 more rounds of antibiotics in you...the earliest is 3am.  Now, I asked for my resident to come in around noon on Saturday.  I am a control freak. I was feeling better.  I needed to make a plan for how I was going to go home.  J was on shift the next day.  My dad was at the track.  I could not drive until I was sans narcotics for 72 hours.  My doc was on vacation at her cabin - no cell service. I could not get in touch with an MD.

My night nurse started paging at 9pm.  I sent J home with the soft plan, put together by my nurse that we would open up that last round of antibiotics and just get them in me.  J came back in at 3:30am, under the idea that he would be able to take me home.  The resident still had not been able to make her way to me...or send a minion to come speak with me...or call the nurses station.  Over the course of the last 16 hours. 

And I was not happy.  I had to send J home.  He had to get to work.  That was that.  I would figure a way home.  Because, we all know, NOTHING goes right on a shift day.

The resident came in...after I had paced the 4P floor in anger and tears...at about 6:30am.  She told me how unrealistic and foolish I was being.  She also told me that there was nothing she could do until the attending discharged me.  You know, the attending that has NEVER seen me.

REALLY?  

Rant that was never posted
And it was that much worse when I waited to see the attending (4 more hours) and he told me that was NOT the case and I could have gone right after she saw me.  I did not need to be seen by her. "She did not listen to my instructions."  Really?  A power struggle??  

I was PISSED.

But, I was free to go.  I had my d/c papers.  My picc line was out.  I laid flat on my back for 30 minutes after that.  I just needed to be home before my kids were.

My brother offered to come pick me up.  The nurses wanted me to wait inside until my ride came.  Nope.  I signed those papers and I was outta there.  Like it or not.  

It was a beautiful day.  I was happy to hear the birds and feel the sun and wind.  
I quietly enjoyed the 4th with my dad and my ever working FF (after he got done with an extra 8 hour shift at Summerfest as a bike med - and brought a PNB back in front of a crowd).  I saw my surgeon Tuesday of  the following week. She was amazed at how well I was doing.  Wednesday...there was a pain in my back...a kidney stone, perhaps?  

Nah, that would be far too pedestrian.  You all know better...
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