Monday, February 13, 2012

T Minus Zero - Operation Day

Feb 6, 2012. The day of my surgery is mostly unknown to me. There are certain things I remember and a lot of things I don't. The things I do remember have some weird clarity in my mind. The feeling of the ice chips melting and flowing down my throat. How the nurse call button and morphine button linked together in front of me. The way the room light was kind of overhead but not really, almost as if it emanated from and flowed up the walls to appear on the ceiling.

The night before surgery I had taken a special shower with soap that got me super clean. My skin felt as soft as a baby's skin. I was supposed to take another of these showers the morning of my surgery. In fact, the Heart Institute nurse came in and woke me at 5:30am to get my shower. However, Pre-op called and said they were on their way, how close was I to ready. I nurse told them she had just got me up and I still needed to have my shower. The nurses from Pre-op said to not worry about it, they would take care of getting me washed up.

So the Pre-op nurses arrive...early...and away we go to Pre-op. I think they show up early so you don't have time to think about it. I was not thinking about it. I was thinking about the lost 30 minutes in the warm bed. I am not normally an "early riser". hehe
Down at pre-op they shave the areas where incisions would or could be made. My chest was shaved, ooo how sexy. My left arm was shaved, but not the right so now I'll look a bit weird on the beach. Except it's too cold for the beach anyway so who cares? It'll be back to normal before summer. And they shaved my left leg in the event that I needed a three bypass instead of just two.

After I'm all shaved, they give me a sponge bath with that special soap. Then they put a special gown on me for surgery called "Bear Paws". Or was it "Bare Paws"? All I know is that it was designed to keep me warm during surgery. I assume it did. I don't remember much about the surgery :)

I remember Lisa, Kristin, and my Mom and Dad coming into my pre-op room after the nurses were done prepping me. I gave Lisa my Livestrong wrist band and my wedding ring since surgery patients aren't allowed to be wearing anything during surgery. One of the nurses gave me a couple shots to relax me, I guess to start putting me under. It did put me under. I don't remember much beyond that. In fact, I'm not sure I remember anything.

At some point I was wheeled out of pre-op and down the hall. My family had a chance to say whatever they wanted at the "Kissing Corner" which is where the patient goes to the operating room and the family goes to the waiting room.

I had a two bypass operation. They took an artery from my chest and ran it around the first blockage. Then they took an artery from my left arm and used that to go around the second blockage. They called it "harvesting" on the release documentation but I think it's more like "moving". The blockages were on separate arteries if I understand it correctly. It's amazing how God created our bodies with the extra parts that can be used to fix things that we mess up.

The next thing I remember took place in ICU. I'm not sure I remember them removing my breathing tube but I do remember the nurse asking me if I wanted ice pieces. Oh yeah. My mouth was so dry. It must have also been a bit sore from the breathing tube because the ice was refreshing and cooling to the sides of my throat. It felt so good going down. I think I was probably like a little bird because whenever my nurse asked if I wanted ice, I just opened my mouth. Lisa told me I did the same thing when she and Kristin came into my room in ICU later and Kristin fed me ice. Chirp, chirp.

I had a nurse call button and a morphine release button. I don't think I ever had to use the nurse call button. I don't remember a minute when she wasn't there. I do remember using the morphine button. One click was all I would get every so many minute. One. Lousy. Click. And then nothing. It would just sit there going "uh uh, you've had enough" no matter how many times I pushed it. Until enough time had passed and then I would get another click.

I don't really know how much sleep I got that day and night either. Time passed, my nurse would come in and check my vitals, give me some ice, I'd push the button, and drift off to sleep again. Until Tuesday, when they moved me to the Telemetry Unit.

But that's another post. This one is long enough and I'm a little tired. Ciao!

1 comment:

  1. Great job on the blog. Glad you are doing so well!! Aunt Shirley