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 A different experience than most at the castle! A different experience than most at the castle!

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Unread 12-27-2000, 11:38 PM
A different experience than most at the castle!

Hi Sisters,
To all of you yet to go to the castle and are concerned; just look at all of us who came back and still feel up to posting. It couldn't be all that bad or you'd never hear from any of us on the other side. It was no picnic but then I don't think there are any Sisters out there who have five surgeons doing five surgeries all at once during the hysterectomy. Guess I'm saying that if I can make it through all of that and still be able to put on a smile and tell each of you to hang in there, then you probably have less to fear than you think. I'll be recovering from all of this for a long time to come but then I always look at the short reachable goals and build on each little one, then later look back to see just what the outcome was. Right now I'm still just moving along at a snail's pace but it's more movement than say two days ago! It's easier to move tonight than it was last night! I'm hardly taking the pain meds. They're there if I need them and that seems to be all the reassurance I need at the moment. Each of us has a bit different level of pain tolerance and each of us has just a bit of a difference in our surgeries that can make the difference in how we feel pain. I read all the post op info on the pca pump and went in with the attitude that it was the new and improved method now that would let me take charge of my body. In my case that wasn't so. I was too out of it from an eight and a half hour sugery to be able to position my thumb on the button and press it. I had so many tubes and other apparatus attached to me at my hand level just inches away from the pca control that I often ended up squeezing the jp drain tube coming out of me while searching for the button. When I did manage to hit it I saw no change whatsoever in my pain relief and in the end my doc removed it and used pain meds injected by IV. I never once had a shot in the hip or arm with a syringe. Eventually I went on the oral pain meds but by then I seemed to have reached a level of tolerance. Not going to say that there weren't a few times that I wasn't caught by a surprise need to cough and then I thought the world would come to an end. But that was the only real pain that couldn't be releived quickly. I ran into problems that I doubt that any of you will have. I had a unit of blood on hand for myself which was given to me during the surgery. But the following day my blood level count dropped to something like 21 I believe. I think 40 is the number they like to see. So my doc ordered two more pints of blood and said she wanted the cath to stay in place for the day and for me not to get up until the blood had been received. There were problems getting the blood to the hospital with it being the holidays and some blood shortages in our area. I don't have a rare blood just not the universal doner. I'm A+. My doc was getting very concerned about the delay in time of the delivery of the units. She had the fist unit started very slowly to make sure I had no reaction to it and then after that she wanted the flow increased. Later that night she came to check on me before going home for the evening. She expected to find that both units had been given and she would then give orders for my movement for the following day. To her surprise the first pint was still being given. The increase in flow had never been done. That's one lady you don't want to see get upset. She had a special pump put on the bag of blood to force the amount to be delivered faster and then she sat with me that evening until that unit was complete and the next unit started. She made sure it was set at the speed she had instructed and then said she wanted a phone call from the nurse at her home when the unit was finished, from the bedside. Sure enough, at eleven that night the blood finished and my hubby told the nurse at the station that it was done. The nurse came in and took it down and started to leave when my husband told her to check the records about the phone call to be made by the nurse to the doctors' home from the bedside. So the nurse checked and then called the doctor. They talked for a few minutes and then my doc asked to speak to me. She wanted to know if I felt flushed, any burning at the site of where the blood had been administerd and so on. When she felt assured that all was well she asked to talk to the nurse again and then the nurse left the room. The next day I thought I'd be allowed up since my lungs were getting conjested but instead my doc said that oxygen levels in my body were too low and I needed to be up on oxygen and to try to cough. I also had the little machine that others spoke of to incourage breating but I could never take a deep enough breath to even reach half the goal. Breathing turned out to be a bigger problem than anything else. I was so short winded that it was hard to talk, I couldn't suck in on a straw very well to take fluids. On day four I was finally released from all the tubes and machines and the cath was removed. I was told to try to void three times and then a cath would be put back in to check for any residual urine. I passed all of that with flying colors so I knew I would go home with no cathter worries. But I still had to have a bowel movement and to go on to solid foods. That took another day but it too was a goal that was reached. And Sisters, not once did I have any nausia at all. On Christmas Eve I was told I could go home and given all the insturctions on what not to do, what to do, what not to take, what to take, when to call, who to call, etc. The first two days home both hubby and I just crashed with exhaustion but we both slowly came back to the real world around Tuesday night and have made a bit more progess today. I see light at the end of this tunnel. I can also see my feet when I stand up, something new for me after 15 years. My breast don't hurt. Of course 95% of the cysts that were there were removed so they shouldn't hurt, what little is left of them. But hubby and I both like this new look. The only thing that hurts is the belly when I try to go from laying down to sitting up and if I cough still. The other thing that is so different is the amount of energy loss that hits so often. But I feel better after resting whereas before my surgery no amount of rest would make a difference. My bleeding had also slowed down just days before the surgery and for one second I wondered if I really needed the surgery or if I could make it without it. Well, Sisters, I made the right move. My doc found fibroids all over the inside and outside of the uterus that weren't picked up in the ultrasound. These things literally suck the life out of you and mine were growing at an alarming rate each week. So yes, it was the right thing to do, yes, I'd do it all again and yes, the waiting is the hardest part, early on that is. For me a calm set in about a week before surgery. Once everything was done, all test completed, everything scheduled, all insurance approved, all the last minute odds and ends taken care of.........then a calm set in that lasted all the way to surgery. I had a great bunch of surgeons that kept their eyes open, an absolute saint of a hubby who also kept an eye on everything, and a deep faith that regardless of the outcome God will be there with me. So I wish each of you yet to go to the OR to have a very successful experience and to remember that some of us with a bit more to handle have made it through the castle and back and are still in the saddle. This was the best Christmas I ever had, and hubby and I put Christmas on the back burner this year so we could concentrate on the surgery situation. Well, as it turned out, I think we shared the most meaningful Christmas in our entire 20 years of marriage.
Wishing this sort of experience for each of you yet to make the trip.

[email protected]
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Unread 12-28-2000, 12:22 AM
A different experience than most at the castle!

Welcome back [email protected]!

Boy, you did get put through the ringer. You sound very positive! I'm glad things are going so well (considering). I'm one day ahead of you (but just with a TAH only), and I know you're not kidding about the coughing.

Keep resting all you can. I managed to sleep about half the day today. It sure helps.

It's good to hear from you - now get back to bed.
Unread 12-28-2000, 04:34 AM
A different experience than most at the castle!

Wow Sandy, you sure did go through alot. Glad to see that you are back here posting, and with such an inspiring story.

Remember the key to your recovery now is .....REST, REST and then REST somemore

Best wishes to you.
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Unread 12-28-2000, 11:31 AM
A different experience than most at the castle!

Thank you for the update, Sandy. Wow, you DID go through a lot. Now, the worst is done and all you have to do is REST your way to recovery.
Unread 12-28-2000, 12:02 PM
Thanks for the encouragement

Dear Sandy, I am sorry that you have had such a rough time, and am glad that it is behind you now. I hope that things will just get better and better for you.

I went for my post-op yesterday,and have been a wreck ever since. Too much information in some respects, and too little in others. I felt really cold when I left about the whole thing and wondered if I should cancel it. I am having TAH (possibly leaving one ovary) It is nowhere near what you have gone through, but the fear is still there. I have prayed about this since last Feb., and have still not felt a peace about it one way or the other. I know I am in God's hands, but still afraid, and of course that doesn't help. I just wanted to say that your letter has done a whole lot in encouraging me, and is probably an answer to some of my prayers. Thanks so much! It's very sweet of you to try to help the ones of us that are still waiting. I pray for a complete recovery for you, Luwona
Unread 12-28-2000, 01:29 PM
A different experience than most at the castle!

Hi Sandy - Welcome back and sending soft hugs you way. What an amazing encouraging story for both pre and post op sisters!

We all must remember one day and step at a time!

I totally understand your feelings about Christmas. Usually my house if full of xmas trimmings, this year we had just a tree and it was the most festive beautiful Christmas we have had in 30 years. Our health, well being and love and care of our families are the best gifts of all!!
God Bless and blessings for each day of the new year, Marsha

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