Tuesday, May 7, 2013

(Almost) 36 Hours Post Op

Thirty six hours ago (well, technically, 32), I was being wheeled off to the operating room (give or take another 45 minutes). Now? I'm sitting at home in my easy chair with my Philadelphia Collar on. I was supposed to be in the hospital an extra day (I was to be released, pending no complications, tomorrow) however, I had such a horrible night with little to no sleep that I knew I could not, in any way, face another night in the hospital. I think if they had made me stay, I would have spent the night either crying my eyes out or wandering the streets because I'd run away.

It truly was one of the worst nights I'd ever spent in a hospital, keeping in mind my first back surgery resulted in an eight day stay, five infections and a few other unhappy experiences. Since I woke in the recovery room Monday afternoon, until 2pm this afternoon, I had a maximum of three hours sleep. That is a generous 'guesstimation' with at least 1.5 hours of that happening between 5am and 6:30am this morning. It was truly one of the worst experiences of my life. One I was so willing to not repeat, that I started in on the night nurse on how I was going home in the morning. When I saw of the doctors who was in on my surgery at 6:45am this morning, I'd told him I was going home. By 9am, I had everyone 'on board' with my departing the hospital early (even if I wasn't 100% sure myself if it was the right thing to do).

The surgery itself went well. I'm all fused where I'm supposed to be and I came out fine. I still haven't regained feeling in the places I lost it but was assured it could take as many as six months before it does return (if it returns). None of the concerns I had going in (like death, paralysis) came to fruition (obviously). None of the common side effects, like hoarse voice or loss of voice, happened - I, in fact, woke up talking (my husband is so happy about that).

I was in a ward room (this particular hospital does not do private or semi-private rooms) with three other patients who were suffering from various degrees of serious brain injury. It was a high-stress room with high needs patients. A night of constant alarms, yelling, snoring, more alarms, more yelling and a constant coming and going of hospital staff. I felt powerless and being an extremely light sleeper, it was impossible for me to sleep - even with earphones in and my music turned up.

It also meant that the nurse assigned to care for me also didn't get much opportunity to do that either - caring for upwards of 8 to 12 patients (most of whom were suffering brain injuries), it left me going long periods between pain medication dosages and without some basic care or vitals checks. I do not, in any way, blame the nurses - it just was simply overwhelming.

I'm doing okay - the pain is pretty tough sometimes but my schedule is a bit off too - tomorrow, I'll get back in line with meditating with music and see if that gets things straightened out. I'm much happier and comfortable here and now I'm on the other side to healing and getting back to normal!

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