Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Few More Thoughts

– On Monday morning my mom called Alice, my urologist's secretary, to see what the next step in my recent bout with kidney stones would be. Alice said that Dr. Brandes already had my file out and was "thinking" about what to do. After consulting with two kidney stone specialists he decided that the best thing to do would be to remove the stones in my left kidney sooner than later, so as to prevent other "surprise." So I'm having surgery to remove them this coming Tuesday. I'm not looking forward to it, but that's better than the alternative of getting really sick. I figure it's better to get it done sooner than later since it's something that has to be done.

– When I had the procedure to put the stent in my kidney last Saturday, I begged the doctors to NOT tape my eyes shut! (For those of you who don't know this, they always tape your eyes shut during surgery to make sure that nothing spills into them.) The skin around my eyes is so sensitive, and the past few times I've had surgery I've woken up in incredible pain. Not because of the surgery, but because the skin around my eyes feels like it's on fire. The first thing my mom has said to me after seeing me for the first time after surgery is, "You poor thing," since the skin around my eyes is bright red and looks like it's been burnt. The redness lasts for several days and then the skin peels away in thick sheets.

– Last Saturday the doctors and I compromised on paper tape, which isn't quite as bad as some of the other tapes they've used in the past. However, I still woke up from surgery with a burning sensation on the skin around my eyes where the tape had been adhered to the skin, and I had bright red circles under my eyes. The skin has all peeled off my skin and looks back to normal; just in time to have my eyes taped shut again next Tuesday!

– I love that my hospital (Barnes Jewish Hospital) is affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis and that it's a teaching hospital. I definitely don't mind having medical residents be in on my care one bit, and maybe they just might even learn something from my case. Here's a funny story: one of the urological residents that saw me on Friday evening after I was admitted to the hospital looked so familiar. I said, "I think I've seen you before," and he did in fact remember me from four years ago when he was a first-year resident. Now four years later he's a fifth year and is the chief resident. I told him that I remembered him being the one to take the central line out of my chest. He asked, "How'd I do?" and I said, "Well, I'm still here, aren't I?!"

– One of the antibiotics I was given through my IV was vancomycin, which is a great antibiotic for curing infections, but when it is infused into the body too quickly you can have an adverse reaction called Red Man Syndrome. I've experienced this reaction before and the way to prevent it from happening is to let the antibiotic infuse into your vein slowly (like over a three hour period, instead of the usual one hour period.) Anyway, the symptoms of Red Man Syndrome are a flushed, itchy face. It actually feels like a prickly sort of itching, but the weirdest thing was that the inside of my mouth itched. I was glad when the RMS symptoms wore off!

– Being in the hospital isn't ideal since it means that I'm having some sort of health issue, but it's not all bad. I have a love for hospitals and various medical things and I always learn so much. After all, I was in nursing school before my accident, so I eat up the whole experience and ask tons of questions. It always makes me wonder what sort of nurse I would've been.


jamie @ [kreyv] said...

Heather! Yuck! So sorry you have to have surgery. Jeremy said there are other alternatives to the tape over the eyes, so make sure you talk to your anesthesiologist! I thought there would be a chance that he would be doing your anesthesia, but he's off that day. I hope you have a good experience!!

jamie @ [kreyv] said...

I should have said, I hope you have as good of an experience as possible...considering getting surgery isn't the most pleasant experience in the world! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather,

Well wishes to you on your Tuesday procedure. Maybe the Dr. will let you wear swim goggles or something similar? If they keep the water out-they should keep everything else out, too. Oh well...just a thought....
Glad you are getting this taken care of proactively. :)

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