What a rough series of days it’s been. With hopes of getting my daughters transitioned to their new school which has been successful enough, the next step was to get all that I can out of the next 3 weeks until I go back to work. Then last Tuesday hits and I quickly descend into a sweaty, appetite free, nauseous ball of flesh finding myself in and out of consciousness day in day out and in a tremendous amount of pain.
With the doctors diagnosis wrong my condition worsened drastically. Unsure of how I made it to emerge this morning I was quickly taken to a room. Soon enough I discovered the original diagnosis was wrong and I was alerted of the correct one: an infected abscess needing draining or removal asap. A nurse inserted a needle and drew blood work. She then gave me something for the nausea. She then gave me a tiny dose “for my size” of something magical and I was flying high for the next 30 mins or so.
In between dozing and machines going off, a few hours later I was wheeled up to day surgery where the fun began. Still in a grog state of mind I was berated one by one by the team who would be with me in the O.R. I was given an option for my surgery/procedure: to receive the typical O2 and sleep gas or to get a spinal. The anesthesiologist and the surgeon were big on me taking the spinal as, to them, was easier for everyone and made the most sense considering my sleep apnea and my ability to wake.
I chose the gas though I did waffle a bit. But in the end they prepped for my decision and the time had come to leave my bed and walk into the cold, death like embrace of the operating room. Does anyone else feel like they are surrendering to lethal injection when you climb onto the operating bed? I certainly do. Arms out and strapped. A strap went around my waist. The nurse proceeded with putting the 02 on my face and at first all seemed well. And then I couldn’t breathe.
With just enough room to reach up I started pushing the mask off my face. Each time she’d put it back over my mouth and nose. This went on for a good 15 seconds or so until I could get out the words “I can’t breathe”. She finally took it off my face to realize she hadn’t opened the valve and there in fact was no air coming through. She assured me it was fine now and went to put it back on my kisser. I took a breath, maybe 2 then pushed it off then announced that I was pretty freaked out and requested we do the bloody spinal.
“Sit up. Hold this pillow. Arch your back like a cat stretching. And hold.” The needle poke into my spine wasn’t as bad as I thought. I was told I would be awake but not feel anything. I had witnessed this with my daughter Lexis getting the same spinal in the ICU and she was talking a little gibberish and pretty out of it. I must have been to because I can remember the needle and then waking up in the recovery room, temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.
What a trip that was. And I was still super groggy. And a grey haired bespectacled nurse gave me 2 tylenol 3’s to add to the punch bowl of narcotic toxicity. The next 2 hours went by slow enough. I was allowed food (the first meal in nearly 24 hours) and liquids as the feeling slowly came back into my lower extremities. I had my ride lined up, papers signed and soon to be dressed again. But first, a trip to the powder room.
I was like a newborn giraffe trying to get up for the first time. Each step was a wobble. If I wasn’t grabbing at my pole I was grabbing at the nurse for support. She was a good sport, throwing out there that she wasn’t big enough to catch me if I fell and also the paperwork for a fall isn’t a pretty sight. So I pretended I knew how to walk the rest of the way.
Within minutes of getting out of my gown and into my typical attire my ride came and wheeled me the heck outta there, never to return. I’m sure the next few days won’t have me doing any sprints or feeling normal but at least the worst is behind me. Literally. What’s next?