Monday, August 06, 2018

The other side of surgery


...well, sorta.

The outcome of this surgery varies for different people. In my case, it was kind of rough. My "overnight stay" in the hospital turned into the better part of three days, because I couldn't stop vomiting afterward. My abdomen is swollen and covered in blackening bruises, and I have nine incisions (nine! count 'em!), so my midsection looks and feels like I was repeatedly kicked by a horse. It hurts to move, and I expect it will continue to hurt for some time.

The good news is that I had the best nurses in the world. No kidding. They were uniformly stellar and provided some of the best care I've ever experienced in a hospital setting: kind, thoughtful, willing to listen to my concerns (especially since I have a minor phobia of blood draws and they had to take several), and very gentle.

(On my second day in the hospital I also had what might be the world's worst CNA. She was brusque, rough, awkward, and at least once said to me "You're fat, wear this" as she handed me an item. I'm not sure how she got into medicine, but I hope she finds her way out soon.)

I think the nurses got a kick out of how little medicine it took to put me into a stupor. I don't drink or use recreational drugs, so I'm pretty much a cheap date. They would bring me 5ml of oxycodone in a small dosage cup, I'd take a few tiny sips and hit oblivion with the cup still clutched in my hand.

The weirdest thing about the hospital, though, was the clock in my room. All the clocks in the hospital, like the ones at my old grade school, are supposed to be synchronized to one master clock somewhere in the building, and that means that at the top of the hour they're either supposed to wait for or catch up to the master clock. In practice, though, the clock in my room would get stuck for hours at a time. At one point it read 2 a.m. for what felt like four hours. Eventually I had to stop looking at the stuck clock because the apparent lack of time passing seriously started to discompose me. When you're sick and in pain and the view from your bed is of a clock that never seems to change, you feel like you're stuck in purgatory. I started asking every visitor to my room what time it was; I'm sure they thought I was loopy.

Well, I am glad to be home. Still in pain, not able to do much, unable to lift more than 5 pounds, and if I drop anything on the floor it's essentially dead to me. But I'm surrounded by the people I love, I can sleep in my own bed, and OUR CLOCKS ACTUALLY WORK. Glory be.


MarieC said...

I'm glad you are home, too! Hope your recuperation goes smoothly!!

Soozcat said...

Thanks, Marie. Me too.

Fenchurch said...

So good to hear from you! Curtis probably got sick of us pinging him "How's Sooz?" "Is she home yet?" "How about now?"

The moment you started talking about the issue with the clock, I knew exactly where you were going. I was just imagining how something like that would have been back when I hurt my shoulders and it would have seriously freaked me out. It's worse than having no clock at all! *shudder*

As for the CNA, that person is in the wrong line of work. Wow. It would probably be worth mentioning to someone. So glad everyone else was so awesome, though!

Soozcat said...

Thanks. Yeah, the clock thing was seriously frustrating, especially when I was already disoriented from lingering anesthetic and pain meds and it was almost impossible to tell how quickly or slowly time was passing.