Surgery….part I

The day of surgery my friends Inge and Monika picked me up and off we went. Lovely day but I was somewhat apprehensive. (I was also already hungry.)

First stop the Cancer Pavilion to check in and complete paperwork, then across the street to St. Mary’s Hospital, Surgical Unit.

We didn’t have to wait very long before they came and got me for surgery prep. Had a little problem finding a ‘workable’ vein for I.V.  Then the anesthesiologist came in and we discussed anti-nausea meds in my IV so I wouldn’t get so sick, as I had been on previous occasions. One more hand wave to friends and wheeled into OR.

I remember voices, saying ‘take a deep breath’. I was in a LOT of pain and asked for pain meds. Was told again, as soon as my Oxygen level was alright, they could give me something.  Then, I was wheeled into the room.

Suddenly, one huge wave of nausea hit and I’m coming up into sitting position, in spite of my just incised belly and vomited. On and on. I was SICK! I tried to hold my belly and its stitchings but also had to hang on to Basin. At one point during retching, I heard this sound: “drrrrrrd”. I knew I had busted a staple but was also concerned about the noise-feeling.

I had told the nurses and my surgeon as well. Since my incision was doing well, no one thought of anything else. (I’d asked one nurse’s aid to measure my belly as it seemed bigger to me.)

Dr. H. told my friends and me that I had one of the worst cases of adhesions (scar tissue) that she had ever seen!! Also, my urethra had been totally encroached and choked with this stuff. There was one tiny place where urine could seep out but I was very worried at that time. Only a short time later and I would’ve been unable to void!!

I had the catheter removed and could do other functions (except one vital one). Was given uniform discharge instructions and a friend came to pick me up and bring me home. We stopped at a Cafe, so I could have a little breaksfast. Hospital Liquid and soft food leaves a LOT to be desired.  Their “fluids” are made of canned soups! Beef, Chicken, Vegetable. Salty like all get out! They do have low salt but the taste of canned made me nauseous.

At home, walking in, the house looked so very nice as it was cleaned and waxed and polished. Had all my friends lined out to come in and help while I’m in bed.

As the first day went on, I became bigger and bigger. My belly was extended to about 8 months pregnancy size. I thought, at first, that I was stopped up. Constipated from meds. Discomfort became such that I asked Connie to take me to the Emergency room. Nice, young Lady doctor, who then had the job to help get me started. Undignified procedure, to say the least. Also, at one point, when she advanced toward me with all the periphenelia, for a second I was that 8 year old child again, being manhandled by a nurse. That’s when I started to get teary. I didn’t want her to think that I was being difficult, so I told her what had happened. Sure is funny, how long any childhood trauma can linger.

I had also received a small bottle of Citric Magnesium. To help clean me out. This is the very stuff they give you for a colonoscopy. Came back home and for the rest of  that day, into the night I would take small swigs from that bottle, plus suppositories. (I know. I know, it’s really indelicate but I can’t find a way around it.)

I had started to have severe pains and asked Connie to take me to ER. Got pain meds per IV and after that felt well enough to go home. (I kept thinking, that something was wrong with the size of my belly. Friends suggested that this was ‘swollen’ and due to having surgery.) As did the ER crew. Everyone looked at the incision.

About 4:00 A.M I had an 8 lb Alien and then went to the bathroom twice more. Totally clean!! I was so elated that this was working.

As Connie had to leave in the afternoon, I called my friend Berle and she came for shift-change. Barely had changed my bed when I got my second BIG wave of nausea. I was so sick, I thought I’d die. Projectiles, wouldn’t stop and then, painful, dry heaves.  I also had to use the bathroom and when I came back to bed, I thought I had missed the pot as I was soppy wet all the way down but upon checking, my GOD, bloody stuff running out of my navel wound.

I looked up at a worried Berle, who couldn’t keep her concern in check and started crying because she was so scared for me..  I declared that I need to go to the hospital and be admitted as I could not keep coming back to ER and SOMEONE needed to help figure out what had happend.

I was admitted and put into a very nice room. My friends came, as I had put the call out. Dr. T. came and looked and requested a surgeon to look at me. Handsome surgeon came. He took a long Cotton Swab and put it into the belly hole and there was no bottom. He figured that I had ripped every INTERNAL stitch. I showed the nurses how, with just a little bit of pressure, a whole lot of bloody-water came out. Took a video of it so no one would blame Montrose Memorial Hospital. Surgeon called my surgeon and she wanted me back in Grand Junction to repair this herself. Since she knew what all was there and needed repaired.

(There is a picture and video on my Facebook, caminonotchemo page.)

I would like to say a BIG thank you, to my camino friends in Canada. (Sorry, I accidentally deleted your wonderful e-mail. Please send your e-mail address.)


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