Surgery Day!

Monday morning October 17, 2011 saw me rising early after only a few short hours of sleep. I had a long day ahead of me and I knew there would be plenty of time to sleep after my surgery.  I already had everything packed for the hospital so I grabbed a quick shower, using the last of the special surgical sponges I was given during Pre-op.  I woke up my daughter that was going to ride with me. When she was ready we loaded up and headed out.  It doesn’t take that long to drive to Asheville but I wanted to allow myself plenty of time in case something happened and I also wanted to have time to pick Stasha up something for breakfast. I had to be at the hospital at 7:00 so we left about 5:15.  YES, I drove myself to the hospital. It was a well laid plan and one that took some time to figure out but driving myself was really the only option. Since my true support person had broken her are a mere 9 days before and was still hyped up on pain meds having her drive wasn’t an option. No one else offered.  Heather had to be in Asheville for school that morning and she had made arrangements to ride to Asheville with her professor, then additional arrangements for one of her classmates to drop her off at the hospital when they were finished so I knew my driving myself would work out.  Stasha would be there with me until I went to surgery, Heather would be there when she was finished with school, and when they were ready to come home they could drive my car home for me.  It all worked out.

We made good time getting to Asheville and had plenty of time to pick up some breakfast for Stasha. She had never been to Bruegger’s Bagels so I stopped in and introduced her to one of the best bagels she would ever eat.  She kept it simple with a plain bagel but she spiced it up with pumpkin cream cheese. It was tough watching her eat knowing I couldn’t have one. At this point the only thing I had ingested in the last two weeks had been liquids and I would have loved to have just a small taste of her bagel, but I didn’t and she enjoyed it along with a cup of coffee that I would definitely skipped, even if I had been allowed.

We got to the hospital with just a few minutes to share. I went through registration and was soon taken back to a pre-op room.  To my surprise I was not nervous or scared in the least. I was thirsty and that was my only chief complaint.  I was told to remove all of my clothing and given this special gown to put on. Now … I expected your typical hospital gown so I was a bit surprised when it was more of a paper gown with a special plastic type lining. I was also give a surgical cap to cover my hair and surgical hose for my feet/legs along with those cute little surgical booties.  I was one more looking mess!!  Don’t believe me? See for yourself … LOL

While I may have looked pathetic I really was excited

The gowns were pretty cool actually. They had places in them where the hoses from that blue box you see over my left shoulder could be hooked to them and warm air would be blown into the gown to keep you nice and warm.  I never got hooked up so I can’t testify to exactly how awesome it really was.

At any rate … I got all gowned up, made  a couple of trips to the restroom, visited with my lovely daughter …

and waited … and waited … and waited.  I honestly still don’t understand why I had to be there at 7:00am for a 9:00am surgery when it took a total of about 20 minutes from start to finish to get me ready for surgery … once they got the ball rolling and begin the prep.  REALLY!  I had a nurse come in about 20 minutes till 9:00 and ask me a bunch of questions. She then started my IV …

and got me comfortable to wait a little while longer …

About 10 minutes until 9:00 things started hopping and about this point my heart started racing and the nerves started kicking in. I had another lady come in and introduce herself.  I noticed on her name badge that she was a surgical supervisor. Very nice lady! She explained that she would be with me through the entire procedure and she would also be the one to keep in contact with my daughter while I was in surgery. She stayed with me from that point on.  A gentleman from Anesthesia came in to quickly look over my chart and let me know what his job would be. He then checked my IV placement and started to inject something when another nurse yelled for him to STOP!  We all wondered why then she said that the Dr hadn’t been in and thought maybe he should wait. Within minutes Dr. Soosaar walked in. He asked me the technical questions: What procedure I was having and was I absolutely certain this is what I wanted  He then told me that he had said a prayer that morning for me and for God to guide his hands during my surgery.  Lord that made me feel good to know that he trusted in God to see us through.  With that they unlocked the wheels on my bed, I said goodbye to Stasha, the guy from Anesthesia injected some medication into my IV, and down the hall I went.  I remember looking back at Stasha to tell her I loved her only to see her in tears.  I didn’t want her to cry 😦 The nurse who was to be with me during the procedure patted my hand and assured me they would take care of my daughter to and on our way past the nurses station she asked that someone please check on my daughter, make sure she made it back out to the appropriate waiting area, and that she was taken care of.  Off I went to the OR.

From there I remember a few people speaking to me in the OR and I vaguely remember moving from the gurney over to the OR table. I remember them stretching my arms out on these covered boards on either side of my head then starting to hook up different machines.  I must have started freaking out or something because the special lady from before was instantly by my side, rubbing my arm, and telling me that she was there with me and everything was going to be just fine.  I heard a gentleman tell me he was going to put a mask over my face and for me to just breath normally. The last thing I remember is seeing the special lady smiling.

Sometime later I woke up in the recovery room. It felt like I had just fallen asleep but apparently I had been out for about two and a half hours or so.  It’s all pretty vague. I remember then asking if I was in pain and giving me pain meds. I also remember then hooking up my C-Pap machine and putting it on me.  I remember them telling me they were moving me up to my room and feeling nauseated when they started moving the bed.  They gave me more pain meds and meds for nausea when they got me to my room.  I remember my daughters being in my room. I remember them leaving … other than that … everything is gone until later in the evening when I really started to wake up.

If you have read this far … thank you … stay tuned for my next post when I talk about everything that happened during my hospitalization.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. melissa lee
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 22:54:15

    I am so glad you are writing about your experience!! I have wanted to have that surgery for a long time now. I have researched and read lots about it but it is comforting to know someone who has had it done!
    Thanks Linda for sharing your story, I will keep you in my prayers and please pray that one day I will be able to have this surgery also.

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