I have tossed this post around quite a bit since I had surgery but never really sat down to type it. I have not talked much in my updates about the day of surgery. (Mainly because there are just a few points that stand out and I don't remember much of the rest of it.) What stands out? The horrible nausea I had for the first time in my life after being under anesthesia, the pain level higher than I've ever felt it, and my angel in the night. :)
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I'm not sure if it's the anesthesia protocol they used, the fact they had me take some of my medications that morning that I typically take with food to keep my stomach from being upset, or the narcotics they gave me during/after surgery but I have never felt more lousy in my life than in the recovery room and the first several hours in the PACU. I was not only feeling very sick but I was in an 8-10 pain scale and anyone that knows me, knows I had to be in A LOT of pain to hit that. (I don't think I'd ever had above a 5 in the past as I have a very high pain tolerance.) The fact I started coughing within just minutes, did not help matters because that aggravated both conditions as well. Do you know how hard it is to cough when you have a very dry mouth that tastes horrible because of the tube that had previously been down your throat and the fact you had been sick? It's not easy and just makes things worse. Of course, the more I asked for ice chips or water, the less I could get it. They don't want you getting sick even though you know in your heart that if they would just let you have something in your stomach to make it easier to get sick, you would almost instantly feel better. Or at least that's how it works for me. I'm much rather get sick with something in my stomach than nothing but acid. That's the worst feeling in the world.
Anyway, I got out of surgery around noon and was moved to PACU where I was when my hubby John was able to see me for the first time around 2. I spent the next several hours asking for something for the nausea, while they gave me Fentanyl for the pain. Narcotics never have done anything for me for pain. I would rather have a couple of Extra Strength Tylenol than all the narcotics in the world. Narcotics take away my primary method of pain control... my mind. Leave me be to my Tylenol and deep breathing and I won't have half the pain that someone on high doses of narcotics will have. Anyway, I couldn't get that through to the nurse so... I was stuck focusing my mind on not upchucking on the doctors and letting my pain skyrocket out of control. Supposedly, they were waiting for an order to get me some more nausea meds. Unfortunately, the narcotics was keeping me from thinking clearly and just demanding that they give me a cup of water and two Tylenol. What's the harm if I try it and I get sick on it? I'm sick anyway so just do it!!!
Finally, around 8 PM they gave me something for my nausea and my Night Angel started his shift. I could have kissed him when I asked him for some ice chips and two Tylenol and he said that he could do it. Within 30 minutes, not only was my nausea under control but my pain level was down to a manageable level. It did take a Tramadol as well because let's face it, Tylenol doesn't exactly work very quickly but was quickly under control once I was able to get someone to listen to what I needed.
He knew I had been through a rough day and I had told him about my neck and back problems. He was in there frequently checking on my position, moving me, or giving me a neck massage. He was the only nurse throughout my stay that was right on top of my Tylenol every 6 hours so that it didn't wear off. I guess nurses just aren't used to patients that aren't on high doses of narcotics and doesn't understand that when you are doing nothing but an over the counter pain reliever you have to keep it in your system.
When John left me around 8 the night of surgery, I was in a lot of pain and I think he was very worried because he had never seen me like that. By the time he got there the next morning, I was all smiles and feeling great.
Anyway, my Angel took great care of me that night and was quick to get me up the next morning to relieve the rest of my neck and back pain. Tyler, you were truly my Angel in the Night. Thank you. *All smiles from your biggest pain on October 26, 2010*