|I had surgery yesterday.
As a registered nurse, I think it's important for us as professionals to identify with what our patients are experiencing, which is why I advocate all medical personnel to have at least one invasive procedure performed annually (just kidding).
I've had a small umbilical hernia for about five years now. I've always put off having it fixed because it wasn't that big of a deal, but as little things often do, it got bigger over time and needed to be dealt with.
I was wheeled into the operating room at 0800. I remember the anesthesiologist asking me to transfer from the gurney to the bed while someone else pulled the front of my hospital gown down around my waist. That was all she wrote. The dude slipped me a mickey and I was down for the count.
"Shannon," I heard someone say. "Shannon, we're done with your surgery."
I opened my eyes slowly. I was wearing an oxygen mask, dumbfounded by how the doctor could possibly be done so fast. Clearly I'd only been out a matter of seconds. The man is a god!
"Really?" I asked. "You're done?"
"Yep. We're taking you back to your room now. You'll be home before you know it."
By 0945 I was in my car heading home. Can you believe it? I thought. What a stud! I don't even feel like I had surgery. I'm famished! Oh man, do Golden Corral's chicken strips and ranch sound good right now or what!
I ate like a savage beast. I must have had ten chicken strips and a cup of ranch. Hey, going without food and drink for almost twelve hours does that to you! Besides, I felt great! So great, in fact, that I headed straight for Barnes and Noble. I love that damn place! I'd just look around a little bit. The walking would do me good. Hey, they have a Starbucks in there, don't they?
I got home around noon. There were so many books I wanted to buy that I ended up not buying any. I filled my ice pack and laid down on the couch. Time for a little siesta.
Oh ... my ... god. Why am I so bloated? What the ... my stomach looks like I swallowed a watermelon! And I'm stuck. I am stuck on my back here on this couch. I can't move. What's going to happen when I have to go the the bathroom? Oh, great. Now I have to go to the bathroom! This is lame.
My anesthesia had worn off, and my guts felt like they'd explode at any moment. I was sure I'd be scooping them up off the floor by day's end. Uh oh. Is that a sneeze coming on? You have got to be kidding me! How the hell am I supposed to drive myself to the hospital if I'm holding my bowels?
I rolled off the couch onto my hands and knees. Not feeling very studly now, are you, smartass?
Darvocet. Must ... have ... Darvocet!
Needless to say, I've slowed down on my food intake. Today I ate one slice of peanut butter toast for breakfast (now watch me get Salmonella like all the other peanut butter lovers out there. Wouldn't that be par?), and a tuna sandwich for lunch. Mercury, anyone?
The incision is healing. The wound edges are well approximated, there's good cap refill, minimal drainage and moderate pain, which is relatively well-controlled with Darvocet. I haven't been nauseated (thank God!), but I'm about as speedy as the Saturday afternoon walker races in Geriatric Park. I've been wearing baggy pajama pants for two days, I'd kill for a hot bath, and I suspect something's taken up residence in my hair.
It's all good! The doctor has restricted my activities, and I figure the only thing I can do safely is write and review on writing.com. You'll probably be seeing a lot of me over the coming week, so pull up a chair, sit down for a chat, or just stop by to say hi. One can never have too many friends, and I've met some dandies here. I feel honored to be part of such a wonderful community.
Chicken strips, anyone?
Originally written as a blog post on 3-9-07.