Surgery Update

It has been 5 days since my gallbladder removal surgery. I am happy to report that I made it through and I am happy and healthy, if one organ lighter. The surgery was interesting to say the least, well, not the actually surgery b/c I don’t remember any of that but everything surrounding it. Joel and I arrived at our scheduled time and they brought me back to pre-op room. It was comfortable and had room for Joel to sit. The staff was amazing and explained everything that was going to happen (including my discharge instructions) before  giving me any drugs.

I met my nurse, doctor, anesthesiologist, and what felt like a parade of other health care providers. I found out about the process of surgery and recovery. I found out to my sadness that family is not allowed in the recovery(post-op) room, but there is a second recovery room that family is allowed in. Since I have issues upon waking from being put under I was concerned about this. They assured me there I would have 1 on 1 care from the operation room nurse (which is the reason family is not allowed there).

Well, everyone that came to wish me well and pray for me, came into my room to say a quick prayer. After they left, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the first couple drugs. I remember them being called “medazzle” or something like that as the doctor made a lame joke about dazzling me with medazzle. After that they took me to the ER, but I remember nothing after the pre-op room.

The next thing I remember is slowly (ever so slowly) waking up in the first recover room. There was no IV, operation was all done but I was did have an oxygen face mask on and the nurses and doctors kept coming over looking all worried. I asked for Joel over and over and over again and the staff kept saying that family can’t come back and that I would scare them. I began to realize in my drugged out state of mind that the oxygen mask was not a normal part of waking up from surgery. I tried to explain and tried even harder to negotiate Joel’s passage into this restricted zone. I kept wavering between working with the doctors and freaking out that I was dead or in a coma. I think the doctors thought that I was hurting really bad because they asked “Do you feel like you are dead or in a coma?”

If you are reading this and happen to work regularly in post-op recovery rooms, let me give you a piece of advice. Asking the drugged out, just awakened patient if they feel like they are dead or in a coma is NOT helpful or calming!

Well, in the recovery room the doctors keep switching me from full oxygen mask to nose based oxygen mask (does that make any sense?) from me freaking out a bit. I eventually got all calmed down and moved to the second recovery room where Joel was allowed to come in. I death-gripped his hand for a good 20 minutes, got some pain meds and was sent on my way.

My surgery was scheduled for 9am and I was home eating chicken noodle soup by 12:15pm. I took pain meds Friday, and Saturday.  On Sunday, Monday and Today I only took pain meds for sleeping.

They did 3 incisions and put dissolvable stitches in and surgical glue over the incision points. On Sunday I picked off the glue, horrible idea, I know I know, but I couldn’t help it. I hoping I don’t get an infection and I’m keeping them clean and covered. One thing I didn’t expect is how much I would hurt. The first couple of days was like intense pain, and now it is like an intense ache. I can’t really explain it any better than that.

Well, things have been going good. Joel’s parents helped a bunch and my mom came to visit until she left this morning. We got 2 wonderful dinner cooked by our church family. We feel blessed to be surrounded by soo much love.


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