Part One, Pre-Op, is here.
Surgery day had finally arrived and of course I was a bit nervous.
A few things had to be done before the surgery, or not done, as the case may be.
I was on Advil for a pre-existing back issue, and that had to be halted a week before the surgery as it would increase bleeding since ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory. They also made me halt my daily fish oil and multi vitamin a week before surgery. I have no idea why.
Instructions were also given for the night before to have a light dinner, and no food 8 hours before surgery. Last water was allowed four hours before surgery.
So in we go to the hospital for this outpatient surgery. Check in was pretty routine. I was a bit surprised that I had to strip down to nothing (not even a wedding ring) and put on the gown. I just figured they would put a cloth over my head and go to town. Nope.
There was a delay in getting the whole show underway as there was some sort of emergency that was going on. When the train finally left the station it went something like this.
The nurse set up an iv in my arm for the later administration of drugs. He tried my hand and failed for that, and then went to the arm and it went in pretty smoothly. After that the people who were going to be working on me showed up to have discussions and answer any questions. I spoke to the anesthesiologists, nurses, and a few other people that I forget and of course the doctor and his assistant. I was fairly nervous to be honest. One nurse said that this was one of their “bread and butter” surgeries and that they do them all the time. That calmed me down a bit. I then received some Tylenol and some other pill (can’t remember) along with a ton of Afrin to open up my nostrils. Honestly I hadn’t breathed that well in a LONG time and joked with the doctor. I had of course tried that garbage in the past and had a terrible rebound effect and he agreed that it was indeed garbage and that today we will be on the way to get me breathing like I felt at that moment, all the time.
There was another delay and I told my wife she should just leave and get on with her day and she did. They would call her when everything was done. I was informed that I would receive an amnesic and a bunch of other drugs. There was another slight delay and then it was obvious it was showtime as the nurse that was helping me was excused and a bunch of gowned up people showed up in my room. One said something like “I’m going to give you some medicine to make you feel good, it will feel like you have had two to three cocktails and will take effect in approximately one minute”. I have no idea what this drug was. Probably the amnesic and who knows what else.
This was sort of a comical moment for me as after drinking, sometimes a lot for over thirty years, I stopped drinking 2.5 years ago. I told the guy that I would feel 2 to 3 cocktails probably faster than the one minute he said. And just like that I got a buzz – it took maybe 15 seconds and I laughed to myself. I felt relaxed and my eyes were going in and out of focus on different things. I remember them wheeling me into the operating room. I was talking to a young woman who was helping out. She put an oxygen mask on my face. I remembered that they did tell me that they would be doing that earlier, but it was still a bit intimidating. But hey I was buzzed and relaxed so just started talking. They also put on some lower leg massaging things that I guess were for blood clotting. Those actually felt spectacular in my state of goofiness. The last thing I remember was focusing on the light fixture above me.
When I woke up I remember that I was physically struggling with a nurse who needed a bit of help. I was on my back but had her arms in some sort of lockdown. I was told later that apparently I had decided that going for a walk was the best course of action in my haze, and that was obviously not going to work out well. They got me calmed down in short order and I was able to apologize. I felt bad but oh well, I had no idea what was going on.
In the recovery room, the worst part was where they intubated me – my throat was destroyed. They gave me a popsicle which felt great.
After a period of time in the recovery room (no idea how long, maybe 30-45 minutes), they wheeled me back to my original room where my wife was waiting. I was told that everything went swimmingly and that after I came out of the haze that I could go home.
I was in the original room for maybe another hour or two. Everything and everyone was eventually driving me insane so I rallied to the best of my ability to show everyone what great shape I was in and they let me go. In between this I had to prove to the nurse that I could walk on my own. Before leaving I remember the doctor telling me that there would be small amounts of blood that would drain out of my nostrils. Small amounts of blood appears to be a very relative thing. I thought small amounts of blood was a drop or two here and there. I had soaked through three gauze mustache bandages and asked the doctor if that was normal. Apparently the blood drips into your sinus cavity and all drains out when you start sitting up. Well, that would have been nice to know. But oh well.
So home we go. Part Three coming soon, recovery.