Sunday, January 10, 2010

What in the world...?

So coming out of the surgery, I keep finding new "things" on my body that I hadn't expected. I realize that I just went through fairly significant surgery, but these surprises have me wondering just how complicated this surgery got and when. Did the doctor leave out many parts of the surgery when he described it to me beforehand or did he have to adjust quite a bit once he had me on the table? Were there more questions I should have asked?

When I woke up, I immediately realized I'd been catheterized. This was very uncomfortable but the nurse explained that the surgery had gone over 5 hours (doc and I had talked about a 2-3 hour surgery), so it was needed.

Next up was the realization that I had a second IV. The nurses disconnected this "large" (nurses description) IV from the drip but left it in "just in case."

I found all these small punctures in the palms of my hands on my wrists. No one had an explanation for them until the next day when someone finally suggested it was where they had run some EMG lines to test my nerves during surgery.

During the evening, the tops of my thighs went numb, especially on my right leg. This was profoundly disorienting since numbness had sent me to docs in the first place, but this was a NEW numbness, and coming off of just having had spine surgery was scary. The docs sort of shrugged this one off, saying I'd been on my belly in one position for a long time and that probably did it. I've waited this out, and it has gone away.

The skin over my hip bones, especially on the right, was irritated, red, raw... another side effect of being draped over pillows and foam blocks to extend my spine on the table, I guess.

Later, in the middle of the night, after I'd been admitted to the hospital, I found all these dried bloody patches in my hair. The nurse shrugged on this one but finally suggested my head had been screwed into a halo during the surgery. Again, news to me.

When the nurse went to remove my IVs so I could come home, we found a second line had been put into my left hand, at the wrist. (That made for a total of 3!).

When I came home, the irritated spot on my right hip turned out to have some sort of filament or splinter in it -- no wonder it was so angry. What had I been dragged across when I was knocked out?

And then last night, I came up from the dark basement where I'd been watching a movie with the kids to find my left hand (in the thumb area) and wrist heavily bruised -- when they hadn't been 2 hours before. This is where that 3rd IV had been hiding. IV site #2 is also a bit bruised all of the sudden.

This is not any sort of interesting post, but I wanted to set down for myself this series of unexpected bits. I hope they are done. I'm ready to scale down the meds (steroids, nerve calming agents, antibiotics, etc.) and stop finding new, strange things that have been done to my body. I'm ready to heal.


Dee said...

Proposed caption for the pic: "Buttcrack extension surgery went better than expected."

Matthew said...

Or simply: "coin slot"

RebootMe said...

I work in a post-op ICU. All I can say is that I never want to have surgery. There are all sorts of surprises to patients that they find when they wake up.
At least you did not end up with a HUGE IV sticking out of the side of your neck. That one is a favorite to place in my area....the hole it leaves behind...pricelss.

Shannon said...

screwed your head into a halo??? what the...??