Major Surgery, Part II.

In my stupor, I was relieved to find out that my surgery had gone well, but I knew that my mom was currently in the operating room. If anything, this whole experience has made me feel both powerful and powerless; beyond agreeing to give up my kidney, there was nothing else I could do to ensure that it would make my mom better.

I fell asleep again and when I woke up, I felt like I had chugged a whole bottle of Jagermeister and washed it down with a couple of Mai Tais from the tiki bar down the street. In other words, I felt like ass, shaky and nauseated. Also, I realized that my entire midsection hurt. Like, really hurt, especially when I moved. Oh, and have I mentioned the catheter? To add to my discomfort, a clear tube was coming out of my crotch and was attached to a gray container under my bed. It didn't hurt, but I now understood why there were plastic bed-wetting sheets on all the beds.

A nurse came in every hour to give the tube a little shake and make sure I was doing okay. My mouth was super dry and crusty, and my throat hurt from the breathing tube that had been yanked out earlier, so I asked if I could have some water. She brought me a styrofoam cup and a little pink sponge lollipop thing, that I was to dip into the water and then swab around my mouth. It was really cute and kind of refreshing, but it tasted chemical and also like a wet sponge, which it was. I heard the lady in the bed next to me ask a nurse for ice chips, so I did too. They tasted delicious, but I still felt kind of like barfing and not moving ever again.

Luckily, Stanford Hospital is a fine establishment that has a great cable plan. I was able to have Law and Order in the background all night, and the Food Network all day. I drifted in and out of consciousness until I woke up feeling really barfy. However, I couldn't reach the ironically kidney-shaped barf receptacle, or the larger, industrial sized barf basin. I lay there and was considering pushing the nurse call button when the surgeon came in. "Hello, Pauline, how are you?" he said cheerfully, and it was all I could do to whisper in response, "Could you please hand me that container?" pointing to the bigger bucket. He did, and also helped me pull myself up in the bed so I was in a better position. Then he left. I felt better, then not better, and then Peter came in.

I should now mention that my greatest fear about the surgery was not a blood clot, heart failure, anesthesia allergy, or anything rational. I was really afraid of puking after I woke up, which was exactly what they told me I would do. Apparently you just have to after that much anesthetic. My life-long phobia has lessened over the past few years, (see this article for details) but I was still dreading the moment of barf and hoping desperately that it wouldn't come.

1 comment:

Squidhelmet said...

Oh polly. I'm so sorry you had to barf.