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TAH detailed hospital stay.. TAH detailed hospital stay..

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Unread 06-17-2009, 12:32 PM
Talking - TAH detailed hospital stay.. TAH detailed hospital stay..

My TAH from fibroids.

This one is long, I wanted to include as many details as I remember. When I was pre-op I wanted to read as many stories as possible to get an idea what I was up against. My story is a positive one with small negatives in the castle due to staff but as a whole, this is a successful TAH story.

we waited to be called into pre-op. The pre-op nurse called my name and I stood up, he approached me and asked if I was ‘Jeanette’ and I told him no, pointed to DH and said he is Jeanette. The pre-op nurse and I hit it off well which was a sure plus to my 2 hour wait. :bedjump: We joked back and forth the whole time and I forgot where I was until others came along to introduce themselves now and again. At one point he said he was the kitchen help who stopped by to give pre-op a hand. He introduced the hospital gown with a flourish and I faked impressed surprise at the stylish cut and could not wait to change. I complimented him on his ability to insert the catheter without much pain, of course he got me talking before which helps. Everyone was real kind and I felt comfortable with what was going to happen. When they started to wheel my bed away it was a bit emotional saying ‘goodbye’ to my loved ones. The weirdest thing I cannot figure out is how the anesthesiologist made me pass out on the way into the room, I was eager to see everything involved in the surgery procedure and do not remember anything past the doors, he stuck me with something en route or maybe as he was talking to me before I do not know.
I woke up and thought the surgery was still under way there were so many people running around and I strained to hear conversations that wavered in and out. After some time I gathered I was done and in the recovery room. Wow! Congratulations, me I am on the other side and in one piece! I did the best mental inventory of my body in the half aware state I was in and found everything there and in working order. All those days of worry and stress and here it is! I am done, it is over and now all I have to do is heal!
The surgery took a total of three hours and after one hour or so in recovery I was wheeled a short distance to my room. DH was there and I was hooked up to a PCA which had a breathing tube to monitor my breath, the IV a catheter and heartbeat monitor. I was short tempered that day and the night by the PCA which went off in alarm every few minutes and I had no idea what it needed to not beep beep beep. It seemed as soon as I began to relax the thing would go off. My nurse both that day and night were not at all helpful and would just run out if I tried to ask what is going on with that machine. DH soon learned how to shut the thing off and also lost sleep constantly attending that machine all night. I finally asked the nurse to change my meds from morphine to something else, it was obvious the simple task of breathing was too much and I could not keep that machine happy. She said she would call the doctor and then left the room
After a few hours the charge nurse Betty came in and my nurse was asking if I wanted more morphine. I stuck my finger in the air and asked again if I could ‘PLEASE HAVE SOMETHING ELSE BESIDES MORPHINE!!’ Betty understood right away and gave the nurse a dark look as she changed my med, the machine and allowed me the luxury of rest finally. I learned it was an oxygen machine and required my intake and exhalation to be happy. Betty hooked up a heartbeat monitor to that machine to make the whole process easier for me.
They also had these leg things which help keep blood pumping and not create clots called Sequential Compression Devices (SCD’s). They wrapped around my calves and would fill with air one chamber at a time. The motor would start with a rumble as the chamber on my bottom left would fill, then the next one up, then the last, pause, then the bottom right, next up and last. The machine would then hold, then whoosh all the air out with a sigh and tick tick tick as it gears up for another round. This was not too disturbing aside from the fact it made me ITCH real bad and when they were taken off I must have scratched a few layers of skin off in relief.
For some reason I also felt the pressure of having to pee. Well I knew the catheter was in place so it was doing its job. That was not the case, once I stood up the catheter filled up and so for the next day I had to stand up for the thing to work, not a very effective catheter! My DH dumped it regularly since I was filling it rather quickly. And a positive was I had to get up to pee which was good for my recovery. Getting up and standing at the side of my bed to pee was a new aspect of life and much easier than walking to the toilet.
I also experienced allot of itching, first as a reaction to the morphine then just because it seemed my skin was real dry all over. DH gave me a body rub with lotion that was like heaven. Cool, moist smooth lotion was such a luxury and helped the itching.
Those first two shifts were my only bad experience with nurses during this stay. The CNA’s were outstanding and were trying to make up for the nurses impatience the first night as I was bleeding all over the bed, myself and the fine hospital gown I was issued. The rest of the staff were great, they would come in an help and I really enjoyed their company as they did mine. One called me ‘Awesome’ as she brought the next shift nurse around to introduce her to me. BTW the bleeding stopped and after the fourth day I did not need a pad.
The next day I shed most of the tubes and lines to my body. The catheter went along with the those leg pump things. Wow I felt free!
Later that day I had a flurry of visitors, my sister brought yet another body sized stuffed dog to join the first one I got for the tubal pregnancy. They were funny stacked up on my bed and everybody who came into my room commented on them. DH’s parents came and my ex came. I had lots of fun entertaining from my bed and occasionally walked around the room to keep my daily walking up to par. Unfortunately just as a fun party catches up to a drinker I soon fell into pain after everyone left. I forgot to administer my meds and the pain took over. Every inch of my abdomen was hot and heavy with extreme pain. I pumped the PCA and waited painfully for the next 8 minutes until I could pump more into my miserable body.
On day two I woke up extremely weak, a familiar feeling when I have been sick or otherwise unable to eat for a few days. The clear liquid diet was finally getting to me and I needed food. I was sick to my stomach and pleaded with anyone and everyone who came into the room ‘I need food!!’ I got a bit of anti nausea med and a bit of real breakfast with instructions to ‘eat slowly’. I did and savored every bite. Soon I felt better gained strength and walked the halls like a model patient. People commented on my robe which was a kimono from FIL’s trip to Japan. I would entertain myself on those walks imagining I am a Zen master deep in meditation, it worked as I put one foot in front of the other my surroundings changed from hospital to temple as I paced the halls.
The hospital staff were joking that I was better than all the patients they had and it was funny I had to wait to pass gas, doctors orders. I told them I could help them out and one agreed and asked why I did not dump the trash I told her I was lazy.
Finally on the morning of day three they released me to go home, I was holding down food and every thing else was fine. My FIL came to pick me up and bring me to their house to stay the rest of the week since DH had to work. I spent the week sleeping and feeling stopped up and miserable, I finally BMed on the fourth day but it was difficult to pass gas at the in-laws house so I was pretty stopped up. It wasn’t until I came home and with a whoosh let out all the gas I needed to whenever I needed to that real recovery started happening.
Now at home on day 10 (funny I was counting days UNTIL my surgery now I am counting days away from that day) I feel so good! I almost fool myself that I am not a recovering TAH and can go do something until I get up and walk. Then the tight feeling shows up in my mid-section and I soon tire again. I am so hungry and will not worry about fat, calories and lack of exercise for now. My body needs nutrients and I need to provide all my body needs so I can heal.
Good luck to those waiting surgery! May yours be like mine without the small glitches in the hospital.
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