I sit here in my robe with my feet up, cat by my side, watching NCIS reruns, and sipping 2 oz of Ensure butter pecan supplement out of a Watford (not Waterford – better!) crystal cordial glass. This is dinner, and I’m to take an hour to do it. Actually, that seems pretty ambitious. I also have a glass of grape Ocean Spray powdered drink, a much better version of Crystal Light.
My hospital stay lasted just under 36 hours, from admitting to discharge. The surgery went very well and I was kind of shocked that I walked right into the OR instead of moving on a gurney. Gave me more of a sense power even though I really didn’t have any. The room was full of people, including a senior anesthetist and a nurse pretty much dedicated to holding my hand (at least while I was awake, which didn’t last long). They all introduced themselves to me. told me their role in the procedure, and got me all settled. I didn’t even have an IV until I got into the OR.
The surgery went fine. I have five abdominal incisions – four small 2 cm. incisions, and one much larger just left of center (or right as I look down on it), where the port was sutured to the muscle wall. That’s the sorest spot. But there were lots of very good drugs to manage pain and nausea, and since my surgery was at 7:30am, I was out of recovery and up in my room by 9:30. With lots of time to doze and sleep and doze and talk to my mom while very groggy, and sleep again. By afternoon I was mostly awake and making sense.
My roommate was a woman in her mid-30’s who had a gastric bypass with a surgeon in practice with mine (and a few others). When we were both awake at the same time, we took walks down the halls together, pushing our little IV units in front of us. The nurses thought we were cute. We also spent time talking about why we chose the options we did, what we expected, what we were afraid of. Very supportive at a time when we were pretty vulnerable and physically uncomfortable and in pain.
My hospital had two colors of those unisex double-sided hospital socks with little designs in rubberized stuff so you can walk down the hall without slipping – blah taupe and bright red. The red ones are for people who are fall risks (which included me, because of my bad knee and recent lurchy walking). There are pictures of the Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz outside rooms of patients with that risk, and signs that say Call don’t Fall. The idea is that the Ruby Slippers patients need help to get up out of bed, into the bathroom, and walking around. Once I was awake and alert enough to manage okay with close supervision, than I moved up to the “we just keep a watch out for you” stage. At least the red slippers had more style than the other ones.
I’m starting to feel pretty sore and think perhaps it’s time for me to take a little walk. It’s good to be home.