check your sugarcoat at the door


the procedure
March 20, 2011, 4:37 am
Filed under: daily, family, wah

The only other surgery I’ve ever had was the cesarean when Kiddo was born. Gallbladder surgery is no where near similar but it does have the whole abdominal incision thing going for it. Being that this surgery was actually planned, unlike Kiddo’s birth, and I had already recovered from a surgery that was like gallbladder removal times millfinity, I was not worried or scared or stressed in the slightest. Having it all over with was what I focused on and seriously, it was a damn breeze.

Except, leaving the house before daylight.
And being directed to the wrong hospital.
And having the ditsiest nurse assigned to help me when I first arrived.
And having two piercings stuck in my body.
And having the nurse stick my hand with a needle in the wrong place leading to SO MUCH PAIN.

Really though, so breezy.

My saintly mother picked me up before the sun rose on Friday morning. We headed over to a deserted hospital where the sole employee there directed us a few miles away to a different location. So much for my preparation notes that included the cross streets. Growling ensued on my part, Mom took the reigns and got me to the necessary office to be strapped with the necessary bracelets and to sign away the necessary rights and the like. Up one floor, Mom was given my belongings and asked to wait in the lobby. Nurse Ditzypants put me on a scale and noted my weight in kilograms. As she was writing it down, she forgot the number and asked me if I recalled it. I told her I had no idea why the number I saw was about half my actual weight. I got back on, she giggled and switched to pounds and then asked me again if I remembered what it had said.

I was assigned a bed and a supahsexy paper robe with purple (!) booties. Ditzypants came back when I was decent and jammed a long needle into the back of my hand. I cried out in pain, which is unlike me for a few reasons; needles do not bother me in the slightest and I have a serious (irrational) issue with showing weakness in front of a stranger. I finally had to tell her, “I think you’re doing something wrong, this shouldn’t feel like this.” She agreed and switched to my other hand. I was losing my patience with her and I still had an hour and a half until the surgery. Without explanation, she lowered a tiny TV on an adjustable arm in front of me and put on cartoons before walking away. I looked around, slightly confused and afraid to touch the channels, but immediately irritated by whatever the WotWots are. My mom was brought back up and this is when we met Louie. He was an older man with a thick accent and a shock of white hair. He took my vitals and then raised an eyebrow to two piercings I hadn’t removed. The surgery would require something to be cauterized, which could lead to burns if metal was present in the body. I’d taken out the bellybutton and lobe earrings but couldn’t remove two others, both about ten years old, from my ears. One was in the rook and the other at the very top of my cartilage, near my head. Pliers in hand, Louie asked why I would have such “strange” piercings and declared I must have been a “rascal.” His sweet and funny demeanor redeemed Ditzypants’ ditziness. Once the metal was out, some miniature jumper cables were placed on my chest and I yelped with urgency, “WAIT, THE BOBBYPINS!”

Of course there were bobbypins. My house is littered with two things: cat hair and bobby pins.

Mom was sent to the lobby again and I was wheeled out by a new nurse, through some corridors, down an elevator, all the while telling passersby, “WEEEE!”

My wheelybed was tucked into a dim corner while the operating room was prepped. I cuddled up with a blanket and drifted off until the super cool surgeon (looooove her) woke me with a pat on the leg. More wheeling around before I struggled to hide my bare ass cheeks as I lifted from wheelybed to operating table in a large, white room with reeeally unforgiving lights above my face. An oxygen mask appeared over me. The last time I had worn one of those, I puked in it. The nurse swore it was only oxygen but the room started to spin after a minute and I gave her confused eyes and a muffled, “should the room be moving?!” Apparently, I was on my way under. I forced my eyes wide and then woke up in recovery.

No memory of feeling sleepy, of closing my eyes, of even relaxing. I was just… gone.

My first waking thoughts were of a seriously emotional gratitude toward my mom and the idea that I would take her to Catalina sometime.

I wanted to sleep. My eyes were heavy and I’d never felt so warm and comfortable. But if I know my mom and I’m pretty sure that I do, she would not fully exhale until she knew everything was done and I was still in one piece. It had been a long time of her holding her breath, about two and a half hours. I asked multiple times if they could bring her in and I imagine the nurse was calling me a pathetic little whiner behind my back.

Mom finally came into the recovery area and we had about an hour or so to chat and let my body relax. I was sore but certainly didn’t feel like there were four incisions in my stomach, going all the way through the skin, fat and muscle. When it came time to dress, I found myself at the most vulnerable I’ve probably ever been. At twenty-six years old, I found my mom helping me put my underwear on. If I wasn’t under the happy influence of painkillers, I may have burst into mortified tears. Instead we just giggled and I was discharged shortly after.

Easy peezy, lemon squeezy.

Recovery at home has been painful. The gas used to bloat my abdomen during surgery causes shoulder and neck pain. My back is aching something fierce because of how much I’m favoring my front half with an old lady hunch. Laughing and coughing are pretty much out of the question. I’m reminded so much of those days after my c-section when I begged everyone around me not to be funny. The anesthesia could possibly settle in my lungs and cause pneumonia (or something) so I was given a strange breathing apparatus to strengthen my lungs.

I am at my sexiest when in recovery, obv.

I said jokingly that I’ve been spoon fed since I got home, but it’s really the truth. My mom has gone so far above and beyond, down to reclining the armchair I’m in every time I need to move, refilling my juice cup constantly, serving me meals and snacks, re-bandaging me wounds. She has all but wiped my ass and I honestly think if I asked nicely, she might even do that. I could not be more grateful.

Tonight my dad served me a plate of steak, fried shrimp, a baked potato and vegetables. I think I could have surgery every day for this kind of star treatment.

If you’re reading this Mom, you have absolutely no idea how much it has meant to have you by side for every single second of this.

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