Sunday, February 21, 2016

I got through surgery!

     Todd and I took the kids to school on Wednesday and then made our way to Kaiser. Our first stop was Nuclear Medicine, where I had the blue dye injection for my sentinel node biopsy. The doctor sprayed an antiseptic spray on my breast, and then made four small injections in the shape of a cross around my nipple. Those injections hurt like hell! Oh my God that hurt. So that was my first taste of the pain that was to follow!
     Then we walked across the parking lot to the main hospital to I could be officially admitted. The waiting area in the main hospital is nice. I was getting nervous, but was also pretty hungry by now. All that waiting around is so hard to do. 
     We didn't have to wait that long before the nurse took us back to the pre-op area. I saw Dr. Klausmeyer first. She made a bunch of marks on my chest and boobs. Then Dad called and asked if he and Jane could come down there. So we gave them directions and they got an Uber to get them to the hospital.
     Next Dr. Leung came by and checked on me and made a couple of other marks on my chest. Then I met the anesthesiologist, who was super nice and was not the bitchy nurse practitioner from before. A few residents came by to meet me. Then the nurse anesthetist, who was a super nice guy named Hailey. 
     Dad and Jane were sent back to my little gurney, and more waiting happened. I remember saying goodbye to Dad and Jane and Todd, and kissing Todd and telling him I loved him, and that is the last thing I remember. I have no memory of being wheeled into surgery or anything.
     The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery with Dad and Jane next to me. Todd couldn't be there -- he had to pick up the kids. We had decided that it would freak the kids out more to have both their parents away for the night, although it was hard not seeing my hubby afterwards. 
     But Dad and Jane were great. Jane stayed for awhile, and then we sent her in an Uber to go back to their hotel room so she could rest. Dad was determined to stay with me. I felt bad, but was so glad he was there.
     Kaiser LA Medical Center was great, other than the fact that they did not have a room for me after I was done in recovery. I guess they focus their patient rooms on their ER patients. So my nurses, who were wonderful, were annoyed that I didn't have a room. When I don't feel well, the first thing I want is a real Coca Cola. My throat was sore and scratchy from the breathing tube and it hurt so much when I tried to clear my throat or coughed. I kept thinking a Coke would make me feel better. But I couldn't have a Coke, because we weren't in a room! Dad had to sit on this little chair, and he couldn't walk around or they would not have let him back in to the recovery area. It was super annoying.
     Mercedes, my night shift recovery nurse, kept saying that maybe I'd have a room in a couple more hours. Or maybe by midnight. Those times came and went and no room. Dad asked about coffee -- Mercedes asked the orderly, Aisha, and she got Dad coffee. He was super happy. Mercedes and Aisha took good care of us.
     Later I thought I might be hungry, but there was no food, since we weren't in a room! Around 4 or 5 in the morning Mercedes brought me a ham sandwich, so I ate half of that. 
     Finally around 6 or so, two rooms were made available. The old man in the gurney next to me had been there the longest -- he got to a room around 5:30. So there was one woman ahead of me. Aisha, the orderly, actually went to the rooms to help the custodians clean them so we could get into them. I need to send something to Mercedes and Aisha and the other recovery staff.
     Got to the room around 7. Beverly was the nurse who had to register me into the room. She was not very nice. She explained that she was getting off work at 7:30, and so she really didn't want to register me, so she was trying to get it over with quickly. I said ok -- I'm really glad to be in an actual bed. 
     I fell asleep immediately. Then two plastic surgery residents came by to check on me. Later on, Dr. Leung came by to see me, and said that I could go home that afternoon. I really wanted to go home! 
     Todd and Jane came with pastries from Papillon Bakery in Los Feliz -- they were amazing. I had half of an Armenian donut filled with dulche de leche, and one half filled with Nutella. Wonderful. I also ate some hospital breakfast. It was ok. I was still dying for a Coke!
     At 12:30 I was free to go. Todd went to get the car. The orderly wheeled me in the wheelchair to get my prescriptions, and home we went. Heather made me a pillow that fits over the seatbelt to take the pressure off my missing boobs, so that really helped.
     I got home and had to climb into bed -- that was hard and painful. But then I crashed. It felt so good to be in my own bed!!!
     Now I think it's my bedtime. I'll write about the next few post-surgery days tomorrow. I have heard from so many people, and it's been wonderful. It's amazing having so much love and support!

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