Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The gory details

So, I'm finally getting around to writing a post about the surgery now that I have more use of my second hand to type (yay!).

(this is more for my recollection than anything, so feel free to not read this much boring detail).

It's been one week today since I went under the knife. Things are slowly improving.

I arrived at the surgery center one hour early, as directed, with an empty stomach and totally panic stricken already. I cried most of the way to the place in the car, while cw fruitlessly tried to calm me down. When we arrived, the tiny reception area was completely full of people. Apparently, there was someone in there getting surgery and 15 or so of their closest family members waiting in the lobby. This made me panic even more. There were no chairs, so while cw fetched the clipboard with all the necessary questionnaires, I curled up into a ball in the corner on the floor.

No really.

The surgery center has a strict policy of no family members allowed into the main surgery area outside of the lobby, but since I was in a full on panic attack by that point, they made a special exception for me. They allowed cw to come with me, but made him suit up in a full body paper jumpsuit, paper hairnet and paper booties over his shoes. I wish I wasn't in such as state that I could have taken a photo.

So here's one of me instead.

They brought me back to my prep room after we changed and cw was there with me the whole time. I was freaking out of course. There was a nurse there. Her name was Cathy. She was the most wonderful thing I could have wished for. I really need to write her a thank you note. She was truly wonderful to both Chris and I. She explained everything she was doing and did her best to make me relax.

They unfortunately couldn't give me the "happy place" medicine until the doctor and the anesthesiologist both talked to me and confirmed the site of my surgery. The nurse wrote "Yes" on the surgery site, and the Dr. eventually came by to initial it.

After about a bazillion more questions, they put in an IV (the worst part of the whole ordeal), and gave me some ativan. Cathy said it would feel like I'd had a couple of glasses of wine. I felt nothing. The stress and panic and anxiety were too overwhelming. 

It was finally my turn, and they came to get me and I started freaking out, but they broke another rule and let cw walk me all the way to the operating room doors. When they wheeled me in the operating room, I started hyperventilating. They moved me over to the (very cold) operating table and I could see the horrible giant armed apparatus of lights and cameras attached to the bright white ceiling. It was cold in that room. From my point of view, it was the most terrifying room I'd ever been in. I was in a state... 

I kept saying "this room is terrifying! get me out of here!"

Then they dosed me with what was probably too much anesthesia for my frame. I was out. 

I woke up in recovery a few hours later, totally disoriented. I was in a cast. cw helped me change back into my clothes and I was trying to remember who and where I was. 

The doctor came in and talked to cw (I assume, I remember nothing from this day). He said that the surgery was completed in record time because when he opened up my arm my nerve basically was right there (already out of it's location) and "begging to be moved." He said he was able to do the surgery so quickly because the nerve was already out of it's location and he didn't have to do much in the way of setting it free. 

Finally, cw and Cathy wheeled me out to the car and we headed home to start the real recovery. 

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