Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Surgery Recap

I thought I would give an account of my surgery for those curious of how it went. I arrived at the hospital bright and early (5:30 AM) on Tuesday the 18th. I got checked in, situated and was taken back to surgery around 7:40. I'm glad I was the first case of the day so that I didn't have to wait a long time in the pre-op holding area (I've seriously waited for hours before).

While I was waiting for the ball to get rolling I had my mom take some pics on her iPad. They definitely aren't very flattering, but I like to document, so I'm posting them anyway.
I started to float away on Versed and was whisked away to the OR and surgery began shortly thereafter. My doctor (Dr. Desai) started by looking in my bladder and she found some polyps that she wanted to biopsy (bladder cancer is highly common in people who have long-term indwelling catheters). After she did that I had to be flipped over on my stomach for the stone removal so that my doc could have access to my back (since that's where she was entering my kidney). Thank goodness I was out for the flip/roll because I'm sure it would've been my mighty uncomfortable! The surgery took a little more than four hours from start to finish and everything went well.

[When Dr. Desai got inside my kidney/ureter she found out that my ureter was chalk full of the small, sandy stones which was really interesting since my ureter was clear of stones on the x-ray that had been taken in my pre-op testing two weeks previously. My doctor compared the x-ray from the pre-op testing to an x-ray that was taken on the morning of the surgery and my ureter was clear in both x-rays, so she could only assume that the stones literally fell out of my kidney into the ureter when I was rolled onto my stomach. That's really weird considering how they've been securely nestled in my kidney for the past few years.]

When I woke up in the post-op holding area I was in a lot of pain. I didn't seem to perk up quite as quickly as I usually do. I was there for two hours and I don't really remember a lot of what transpired. That's okay with me, though, since I was really hurting and because my mom and Chandra were only allowed to come back and see me for five minutes.

[Here's a funny story about my time in recovery. I was on a gurney and my head was really uncomfortable on the pillow since it wasn't adjusted comfortably (my head always tends to lean to my right side since it's so much weaker on that side since that's the way it broke in my accident). Whenever I'm laying down I always have a small pillow or towel roll under my pillow to prop my head up and keep it in a more neutral position. When Chandra and Mom came back to recovery to visit me I kept asking Chandra to "push the small pillow in." She kept saying, "There is no small pillow!" Since I kept repeating myself (I don't remember this) she started hunting around the little room looking for something to prop my head up with. She found a stack of graduated cylinders that are used to empty patient's bedside drainage bags and she wedged one of those (it was clean) under the pillow to make me more comfortable. Several hours later when I was up in my hospital room I was repositioned in my hospital bed and someone removed the graduated cylinder and said, "what's this doing here?" I was as surprised as whoever found it and got a good laugh when my mom told them why it was there.]

I was moved up to my room after being in recovery for about two hours. I felt pretty well, although, I was in a lot more pain than I'd been expecting. (I'm always in a haze after coming out of anesthesia and it's difficult for me to keep things straight, so I tend to ask a lot of the same questions over and over. Even now as I'm writing this it's difficult for me to remember everything as it actually happened in those 24 hours post surgery.) I know that I ate some chocolate pudding, though, and was delighted to see my dear friend Lacee, who stayed at the hospital for hours keeping both my mom and me company. Talk about loyalty… that's my Lace to a T!

This is a good place to stop since this takes me to the end of my surgery, but stay tuned because I still have a lot more to report on!


Webster said...

Pardon my ignorance, but how/why do you experience pain when you're have quadraplegia?

Glad to hear that the surgery went well for you, and that they found those little stones! I have MS and sn indwelling catheter and nobody ever mentioned bladder cancer as a potential long term side effect. But both my Father and brother have had it, so it wouldn't surprise me if I develop it one day as well.

Julie said...

I was also wondering the same thing - about feeling pain. Hope it's ok to ask you this question.

I've been thinking of you a lot in the past few days.

Take care & God Bless X

Elaine said...

Waiting patiently for the rest of the story:-)

Tina said...

Funny, before reading your remark about you not looking good, I was thinking that first picture is a cute one! Get well soon!

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