Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mental note - setup your computer BEFORE heading to hospy...

Thanks SO much to everyone for their kind thoughts, personal emails beforehand and after, and the txt messages -- and checking up on me through Rob. I was so excited to get the notes/msgs and now am really glad to be back online and reconnecting!!

Extra thanks to Julie for my card and Spevak for my fleurs :) Considering Aimee is in Turkey right now -- whoa! yay internet!

And congrats to the Joyners and new baby Henry!

OK so I'm home - and SOO glad to be here...

Here's a rundown of the last few days...

I weighed in on the morning o surgery - but wasn't down really anymore lbs - so I'd say it's sorta like South Beach - if you follow it week 1, you'll get most of your results then...

Took my tiny $25 pill -- will post a pic soon.

Headed off to hospy w Mom and Rob -- left about 7am to be there at 7.30am. Uneventful checkin - met someone else in the waiting room who had the surgery *right* after mine -- like I think they wheeled me out and had her waiting...

Also relatively uneventful - changing o clothes into a horrendous gown, got a lovely hair cap - which according to one of hte nurses people actually ask to KEEP... why I don't know -- it wasn't even waterproof... peculiar.

Got those nasty stockings w a creepy foothole at the top - bizarre! And my hospital issue totes sockwarmers things - which unfortunately disappeared from my bed post surgery - so I dind't get a 'souvenir'...

Got asked the same 3 questions by 10 different people, got some rockin drugs that are *supposed* to cause amnesia (it's like super valium) but I remember everything pre general anesthesia (same happened w my back surgery). This stuff made me super dizzy, sorta drunken - on the verge of losing all body control - a little disturbing -- enough to get myself onto the surgery table by myself -- and then the did the oxygen mask (just like nip tuck) - and told me to take some deep breaths... well I think something was IN that oxygen... ;) anyway, McHugh OUT!

Woke up in the recovery room, sorta groggy but doing ok - not too much pain, oxygen in nose, etc. I became more awake of course w time - and kept getting some excuse about the 'ward' being busy so I was going to just hang down in recovery. The guy next to me Federrico - had just had shoulder surgery and coudln't stop bitching about his shoulder being numb... REALLY?? wtf? Then I heard him get the wizzenator but after 30min he still hadn't pee'ed...

Luckily at that point I was wheeled upstairs - what i was SHOCKED to see was taht it was 2.30pm already... during the wheeling, they accidentally 'ripped' out my nose oxygen mask - not too painful - just annoying. They were super apologetic - Kelly and Marvin were pretty ok - they told me apparenlty when they built the new wing, they didn't make the elevators big enough for patient's beds - so they had to wait on the 1 of the 4 that actually could take a bed... WTF? Also came to find out that the 'transporter' - unfortunately NOTHING like Jason HottyPants Statham - had had the same back surgery as me but slimy St Mary's attorneys were able to fight his lawsuit that it wasn't caused by the fact that he pushes hundreds of pounds of people every day all over the hospital in oversized beds w wheels... BASTAGES! Yet another tale that should be on dividedwefail.org

So lemme switch perspectives now and give you the Rob/Mom view -- they said adios about 8.30am when they took me back. Headed up to the surgery waiting area upstairs at St Mary's. They got a slip which linked to a beeper that was linked to a beeper on my hospital wristband... So they get a call about 10.30am from the surgeon saying everything went great and I'm out - in the recovery room. They said they'd call when they took me upstairs...

Now when I was in the recovery room, I heard the nurse call to say that I was doing fine in recovery but that they were busy upstairs and so I'd be here a little longer bc they didn't have space. She said she'd expect it to be an hour maybe more -- so they could either stay in the waiting area or go to the waiting area on the 4th floor and they'd get beeped once I went to my room.

Well now I get wheeled up - after realizing I'd spent 4 FOUR HOURS in the recovery room to my room - which turned out to be the shitty one w 2 other beds in it, tvs mounted in such a way it was IMPOSSIBLE to see them and obviously the utmost of privacy between beds - w ceiling curtaings... OH YAH and a SHARED bathroom...

This was an incredible annoyance to me since when I'd toured the 'ward' the night I had my nutrition class, I'd seen the awesome private rooms w adjustable airbeds and private bathrooms w showers...

So now I'm just pissed... plus hurting plus post drug woozy... and when I get wheeled in, no family is to be found... I ask the nurse (the one who was 'too busy' bc she had TWO patients - the other cattle car roommates of mine)... she calls the waiting room on the 4th floor and no one answers. I get I'm sure visibly annoyed - so she goes to the room and no one is there. Then just comes back and tells me that...

Well the girl next to me - who'd had her surgery right before mine -- and who'd been in the room for HOURS AND HOURS already... - and who was ALREADY up and walking (like i SHOULD have been if I hadn't been held in recovery bc nursebitch Teri was 'too busy' -- more on Teri to come) walks in - we recognized each other from the class -- she is w her hubby and mom. She or her mom - someone - asks how I'm doing. Now I'm *sure* I looked bad - not only pale post surgery - but pretty much on the verge of tears - between being in recovery for so long my neck was aching (their idea of a pillow in 'temporary' recovery was a folded up towel) and then getting the shittiest room to the fact that my family was missing and the nurse could care less about her new patient... I choked out something like 'ok, except I can't find my family' -- SO thank goodness for the kindness of strangers... her hubby gave me his cell to call Rob -- I did and got him right away... apparently the idiots NEVER called back down to buzz them to say I was out of recovery and in the room... Rob had some comments (most of which he kept in) for the little old lady volunteer who just sorta giggled when he went to return the beeper and said he'd never gotten a call - except from THE PATIENT...

So all begins to pick up then. About 3ish, I got my family! :) And was MUCH happier...

The cattle car room stunk - and the spending all that time in recovery STUNK... in fact the girl I met in the waiting room who had the surgery AFTER mine was already upstairs and in her OWN room when I was hauled up there - so apparenlty it was my 'luck' to get the crappy nurse Teri.

I also completely missed my aftn 'meal' -- which was my clear liquids stage - jello, broth, tea, juice, ice chips... not a BIG miss - but slightly troubling to me when the first thing I had after icechips was me trying to 'eat' the Carnation Instant Breakfast protein shake at dinner... this also was after establishing that it was 'too late' to send me off for my upper GI xray -- which everyone else had that day... but as Teri assured me 'well if you're not in lots of abdominal pain now drinking that protein shake, the surgery probably went ok' -- again WTF?? so had the surgery not gone well - but since miss Teri couldn't bother to order my GI xray -- I COULD Have had CIB leaking into my bloodstream and been in severe agony... I'd rather NOT have taken the guinea pig route...

Then Teri tells me that 'oh they don't usually take people after 5pm so you'll have to do the xray in the morning - oh and you can't then drink anything after midnight' -- thanks bitchface... after the breathing tubes, my throat was really hurting - so the prospect of no longer being able to drink anything also made me want to cry... frankly, the neck and the throat were actually causing me more pain than the incisions... this actually was the case really until today (Tues)

So back to cattle car room -- it actually ended up being a blessing in disguise (well excepting that the 2 other people in the room had BRONCHITIS - and now it appears Rob may have it...) -- bc the girl next to me was a kind stranger she actually saved me from the complete INCOMPETENCE of nurse Teri... apparently I was supposed to get an anti-inflammatory - Touradol - after the surgery - soon post recovery... she never checked to see if I was given it in my extended stay in recovery - and I wasn't... so I had to ASK her to check and then give me it. Teri also liked to 'play' w the drs - making fake calls, etc. She also commented on multiple occassions that she was mixing up our charts and writing the others' stats on them... so Teri should NOT be given the cattle car room - or frankly ANY patient...

In fact she tried to briefly stop my IV so I could change into my own clothes and do bathroom things - and instead caused it to reverse and pull out my blood - and then she had to reconnect it and 'force' my blood back up into me along w the stuff in the IV - geebus... she also didn't tell me I had to pee in a plastic cowboy hat thing to monitor my 'output' until I'd pee'ed like 3 times already - after which she showed me my 'labelled' one - that clearly someone ELSE had pee'ed in... she finally 'made the time' to get me a 'fresh one' - ugg...

Fam left about 8ish and headed home (Dad stopped in briefly too) - at that point, I'd done a few walks around the halls (tethered to an IV and w a 4lb heart monitor thing 'draped' over my shoulder -- annoying...) and could sit - I'd negotiated w my neighbor to turn our tvs toward the other since we could see each others better than the ones mounted above us...

Then like angels, the night nurses in their white coats came. Teri treated them like crap - so clearly she must have some sort of seniority... and as she collected my survey the next morning, I felt it imprudent to bitch about her there -- so I will find out from my dr's office how to appropriately report her in 2 weeks.

The night nurse was India. (Not to be confused w India the pre-op 6ft black manwoman at the Valero by our old hood.) India had an 'apprentice' too. India was AWESOME... she was super attentive. Also very methodical about taking our readings, giving us our meds, doing whatever we needed. She also made sure my GI xray was ordered and I'd go first thing in the AM. So basically she did her job. Compared to Teri, this made her my shero for the night! Did more walking 1am and 3am, peed in a plastic cowboy hat (which was less bizarre than it sounds - it sits under the seat to 'collect' pee - and got some Percocet. whoa.

Next Teri the Terrible comes back as I'm being wheeled away about 7am to my xray. Luckily the confirms that all is well, no leaks, right size, etc. That was actually pretty cool -- looked like one of those slo mo photos of a smoke puff as the barium went thru my stomach.

Headed back up, got to change and was on my way out! GOODBYE TERI! I kept leaking the numbing meds from my 'Q ball' - anesthesia filled ball that actually they gave me in a fanny pack to take home and was connected internally to deliver med under skin (more to come.) Teri's final feats were to redo my bandage to try to stop the leaking - unsuccesfully of course. And to listen to my 'bowels' - which are supposed to make noises I guess to ensure you're ok - they did this after my back surgery too - and Teri flippantly comments that she doesn't really hear anything... but apparently no biggie = she'll still discharge me. Luckily India had listened about 6am before she left and said they sounded good - so I wasn't worried...

I got home and slept all day basically. The pain is far less than my diskectomy - the incisions are unpleasant but not bad. They're pretty sore -- first few days felt like someone took me out back and beat me w a bat on my abs... the incisions are a little bruised... I was able to shower on Saturday - woohoo!

Now -- and this will have to be supplemented w a photo -- the 'Q ball' or pic line... basically it's a ball of medicine (liquid) connected to tubing that is actually in your stomach (just under the skin - not really internal - sorta like a splinter goes in) and delivers it under the skin.

On Saturday that got to come out -- which was an ordeal bc unbeknownst to us the tube inside was down like 10inches... so my Mom just kept pulling and pulling and finally it came out -- I didn't really feel it but it was pretty creepy to look at...

Apparently afterward my Mom went downstairs and ordered a liquid lunch from Rob - wine of course...

So now I'm just catching up on some Tivo - and finally my blog!! I'm supposed to login for work tomorrow (this so I could avoid the MIP situation - which I have had issues w in past) - I'm not looking fwd to that but it should only be for the rest of this week and then maybe a day or 2 next - actually I can start vacation Monday and be out through Jan 5th.

My followup appt is 12/17.

Next I will update on the liquid diet and what's going on! Stay tuned - I will try to do this in the next day or so!

9 comments:

Megan Van Fleet said...

Wow--that took me, like, 15 minutes to read!! (I'm a slow reader, btw). Glad to hear the details of it all, and also glad to see evidence that you're doing better. I have been hesitant to call because I was not sure how much you're still sleeping/on meds. Can't believe stories of Teri--what incompetence! Sorry to hear it wasn't the best of circumstances, but the surgery went well, which is the best (and most important) part! Can't wait to hear about the liquid phase!

Kate McHugh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate McHugh said...

OMG are you kidding me? I am totally selfish and want visits, calls, flowers, cards - any and all showering of love and attn... cmon YOU KNOW ME! I'm still bitter about not getting flowers from work - our admin even saw me the day before surgery and asked what I was doing there... really?! I mean my boss got flowers for boss day... ANYWAY

I've been totally lucid and pretty much not on any add'l meds - some tylenol here and there... mostly bc the percocet feels like what I think death must be... very disturbing...

I am jonesing for some calls, visits, etc. -- my Dad spent yesterday and half of today here so I haven't actually been alone either - which was good and bad since I'm heading back 'into' work tomorrow - and sorta missed alone healing time... but I'll take it slow tomorrow and in all likelihood only get about a half day of productivity in - so I can catch up on some me healing time...

Kate McHugh said...

oh and tomorrow = actually today - Weds.

Carolina said...

Hey Katey-Kate!

I'm so glad to hear things went well with the surgery and that you survived evil Teri...what a bonehead! I have my parents staying with me after my dad had eye surgery on Monday, but once they are back in F'Burg, I'd love to come visit you!

Can't wait to hear more tales of the hospital!

Kate McHugh said...

Yes, Yes I am TOTALLY game for visitors!! Please come!! :)

Megan Van Fleet said...

Sorry I haven't called yet. We have been out of town since Wednesday. Got a call that Ib was in the hospital, so we flew up to DC. She's fine now, but needless to say, it's been a bit crazy around here! I'll give you a call tomorrow at work (hopefully the bosses won't be there) to chat. Hope the healing continues!! Lots of love!

NicM said...

Hey Kate!

What a story - i feel like i need to carry a card in my purse that says, "in the event of an accident" i am not to be treated by nurse Teri! ugh!
Glad you are doing so well now! I'll be around this coming weekend if you are - and i'd be happy to shoot down to see you - or maybe meet for a pedi?

nicole

Kate McHugh said...

Nicole my dear -- I would love to see you this weekend! I don't have any plans yet and am slowly losing my desire to do much out of town travel with so much to do around the house and relative inability to do most of it ;). I would LOVE to hang! I've got a pediphobia after my last one -- I was I believe the subject of an extensive discourse in Vietnamese about how bad my feet were - and the woman made me bleed :(... But I'm in dire need of a brow wax and I would love to do a hand paraffin bath so I bet we could work something out!