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My Trip to the Castle (Long) My Trip to the Castle (Long)

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Unread 05-27-2002, 08:14 AM
My Trip to the Castle (Long)

Okay, here's the story of my trip to the castle.

Thursday morning, I arrived at the hospital at 8:30 a.m. as directed. I met my Mom and the rest of my cheering section in the parking lot and we all went up together. After a brief stop by the admitting office to take care of some last minute paperwork, I was escorted to my lovely, but small private room. Two nurses came in to do my leftover blood test from my pre-op which couldn't be done until THE day, and to get me ready. I was given a gown and some TED stockings, such a lovely coordinated ensemble!

Then my cheering section came in and we sat and chatted for another hour. My surgery was scheduled for 10:30, but my horse and carriage (stretcher) didn't arrive until 10:45 to collect me. When I got on the stretcher, the nurses hooked up the nice inflatable stockings and I was wheeled down to the OR. I was left right outside the door to the OR, and met my doctor and the A guy, and my OR nurse (who was wearing these funky looking cat-eye glasses! I remember thinking how funny they were.)

The A guy was joking around with me and started the IV in my hand, then I was wheeled into the OR and transferred over to the table. They wrapped me up in a nice blanket and strapped my arms down, putting on the pulse ox clip on my finger and a B/P cuff on my arm. The nurse with the funny glasses put an oxygen mask over my face and held it there as the A guy told me that I was about to have the nicest sleep. I remember blinking twice, and then I was gone!

I vaguely remember waking up in recovery and moaning. The nurse with the funny glasses was there and trying to get me to wake up (evidentially, I had to be in recovery longer than normal, because they couldn't get me awake enough.) I don't remember any extreme pain, just a achy discomfort, and I think I asked for pain meds. I don't know if they gave me anything at that time or not. I also remember feeling like I needed to urinate, but the catheter had been put in during surgery, so I didn't really need to. That feeling gradually went away.

I have dim recollections of being taken to my room and my cheering section hovering around me. My first clear memory is that night. I had been given some ice chips because my throat was SOOO dry!! (From the tube during surgery.) I had a PCA pump with morphine which I had been using regularly, though I don't remember the pain being that bad. (I have a very high pain thresh hold.) Anyway, I started feeling nauseous. My nurse was standing next to my bed and the phone rang out at the desk. She went to answer it, and suddenly I let loose with projectile vomiting (just water) which went a good ten feet. My nurse came back and asked what happened. I told her she'd been saved by the bell, because if she hadn't left to answer the phone, she would have gotten the brunt of the explosion.

After that, I was nauseated and vomiting all night and into Friday morning. After my doctor came in the next morning and checked my inscision, he ordered a switch in my pain meds to Demerol, thinking that maybe I would do better with it. The first time I hit the PCA pump with the demoral, I vomited. I decided then and there that there was no way on this planet that I was hitting that button again!

The nurse came in and gave me some Torodol in my IV so that she could get me up and change my bed and give me a sponge bath. (What, was she nuts? Me, get up?) She took the catheter out. (Hardly even noticed what she was doing. And it didn't hurt at all!) She also took off the inflating stockings. (It was good to get those things off, though they were pretty nice!) Then she made me sit in a chair and she helped me bathe. She said I had to be up in the chair for an hour (sadistic woman!). Well, after 45 minutes, I was ready to get back in bed, but she was helping some other poor soul who had just come back from surgery, so I very carefully got myself back to bed.

After the Torodol, I did not have any more pain medication for 24 hours, though I was given anti-nausea drugs in the IV. However, the IV infiltrated twice and had to be reinserted, and they were having trouble finding a vein to put it in. They wrapped my arms up in hot towels to get the veins to pop out, but it didn't work very well. They even called the nursing supervisor in to try to find a site, but she blew one good vein. The last place they inserted it was very painful and I was scared to move my arm, just in case it infiltrated too.

Friday night, I asked my daughter to stay with me. I was getting miserable and whiny. I wanted the IV out, I couldn't get to the bathroom without dragging the whole pole with me, and I couldn't get comfortable in bed. My big toe kept poking out through the hole in the TED stockings and was driving me crazy! And a couple of times when they checked my temperature at night, I had a slight fever. After using the breathing apparatus and coughing, it went down. (Make sure you use that little machine frequently and cough. It can prevent post-op new pneumonia.) I did pass the gas test (pun intended) on Friday, which is the only positive thing about that day.

Saturday was much better. I hadn't eaten or drunk hardly anything Thursday or Friday because of the nausea. Saturday I was able to eat a real supper, and the IV was disconnected. I could get up and move around and could take a shower and take walks. Sunday my doctor came in and said I could go home. The nurse came in and removed my staples and put on about 40 steri-strips. I have a prescription for Darvocet, which I've taken fairly regularly.

Since coming home, I have been able to be up and around pretty well. I took a shower (my daughter put a plastic chair in the shower for me) and I can sit in and get out of my recliner by myself. I can get into and out of bed by myself. I even fixed myself a bowl of Heavenly Hash ice cream. So my fears of helplessness were unfounded.

Okay, Ladies in Waiting. I will tell you now. The waiting IS the hardest part. I won't lie and tell you that the surgery and recovery aren't difficult, they are. But at least you're doing something, not sitting there imagining the worst!

I am just so glad this whole thing is over and that I'm home. And I'm so thankful to my Hystersisters, who helped prepare me and were there for support.

Thanks, Ladies. s to you all!

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Unread 05-27-2002, 09:18 AM
interesting adventure

Saying it glad you are back and all is headed toward a good recovery! Your story was interesting, thanks.
Mine was brief and the castle treated me sooo well....just like royality. Thanks to the ladies here I was warned about the PCA and after one push on that button I knew it wasn't for me. I pushed button marked "nurse" and she came with the injection for nausea.....just in time!!!! No vomiting...thank goodness! Out came the morphine! I did great and the doctor told me I had the ladies laughing in recovery when he asked me to tell them about becoming a princess and my hystersisters! He said they got a big kick out of me!!!!! I don't remember, but see you gals were there with all of us in spirit. Thanks Shashi.....for all the energy you have put into supporting others!!!! You are beautiful princess!!!
God Bless and Take Care,
Lynn (capt)
Unread 05-27-2002, 10:21 AM
Hi Lynnsue

I'm so glad to hear that you are back and okay too. We May Flowers really gave the castle a work-out, didn't we!

Take care and rest up. (The pillow police just caught me trying to clean up the living room and sent me packing back to my recliner. Sigh. This is going to be a long six weeks!)


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Unread 05-27-2002, 11:03 AM
My Trip to the Castle (Long)

Hi, Lisa! Thank you for posting your castle story. So sorry about your nausea and infiltrated IVs, but you handled it with great humor! Glad to hear you had good care in the hospital, and that you are recovering well at home. Enjoy being a pampered princess! s
Unread 05-27-2002, 11:24 AM
Glad to see you home.

THank you for your detailed castle stay. Mine is June 5th, which I realize is still a week away, but the panic attacks have started in full force and the 'doubt' about what I'm doing being right.
It is good to hear from everyone 'on the other side' because it gives us LIW strength to make it through.
Make sure the pillow police don't catch you again!!! REST rest rest!
Welcome home! s
Unread 05-27-2002, 10:58 PM
Well done Princess!!

Sorry you had to go through the nausea and vomiting bit too, though you seem to have handled it very well - what a trooper. Make sure you are resting up (don't get tempted to touch that lounge room again!) and drinking lots of water. Great to hear your story and that you are on the recovery road. Please look after yourself NOW! Thanks for your support and kind thoughts. Regards, Aussie
Unread 05-28-2002, 03:18 AM
Great Story!

other than your bout with the yucky pain meds, you sound like you did extremely well! I'm so glad things are going great for you!
Unread 05-28-2002, 03:00 PM
My Trip to the Castle (Long)

Welcome Home Lisa !!!

I am so glad to see that you kept your sense of humor at the Castle. Your story even kept the humor rolling and I enjoyed reading it.

I believe that any of the Princesses that have to go through the nausea/vomiting AND the IV line problems (cuz I, too, had these problems) should be able to get extra jewels on their new crowns. What do you think?

Anyway, glad to hear you are home. Each day will get a bit better. Even if you overdo a bit, then rest and the next day should be a bit better again.

I am at about 4-1/2 weeks and feeling pretty good. I am sending many, many ((((HUGS)))) to you.

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