Ok. So I was nervous ALL day on Thursday. I went back and forth between completely calm and near-hysterics a few times. I was scared of the anesthesia. I was terrified of the breathing tube. I was worried about Dean. I wondered what the recovery would be like. I let myself have one good last cry over the fact that Thursday was, indeed, my last day as a fertile female. I took a second and wrote a little letter to my body, something no one else will ever see, thanking it for producing one perfect child. I prayed a lot. I talked to my parents a lot. The fact that they weren't freaking out was comforting. I tried to go to bed early, but little household tasks kept haunting me. I'd go into the bedroom and decide to go give the kitchen sink one more wipe-down with Clorox spray or decide to change out the hand towel in the hall bathroom. I washed every stitch of clothing we own and spent lots of time picking up toys. Dean sensed something was up, so we had an extra-long storytime before bed that night and I cuddled with him until he was asleep. Marcus got home around 12:30 with our overnight babysitter in tow and we finally went to bed.
The alarm went off at 3:45 Friday morning and Marcus sat straight up and asked, "Who's calling!?!??!?!" I told him it was the alarm and he nearly fell out of bed. I got up, brushed my teeth and hair, dressed in my comfy yoga pants, maternity undies (!) and a loose t-shirt and snuck into Dean's room for a quick kiss atop his sweet, sleeping head. Once Marcus was ready, we hit the road. It was 4:07am and pitch-black outside. We didn't talk much on the ride. He told me a few stories from the previous night's rehearsal and I gave him a few reminders about Dean stuff.
The hospital was already bustling when we arrived just before 5am. Everyone in admissions was super-pleasant and friendly. The clerk who took care of us talked about Alabama football and really put me at ease. Once we went up to the one-day surgery unit, Marcus was given a tracking number so he could keep up with me (it's like I'm a UPS package!) and I was taken to a curtained room to get prepped. Leaving my husband in the waiting room? NOT the best part of my day.
Once in my little curtained area, I was instructed to "go" in a cup (pregnancy test) and change into my surgical costume, which consisted of some grey slipper-socks, a sassy blue bonnet and a lavender gown. Friends, we could have ALL fit into that gown TOGETHER. I had to wrap the little waist tie around myself three times. I noticed some weird cardboard things on the shoulders and knee areas of the gown, but figured I probably didn't want to know what those were for. My patient care tech, Derek, came in and took my temperature with what he called a "magic wand." It looks like the scope they use to check your ears, only the front is flat. He waved it over my temporal lobe and under my ear and it took my temperature. Amazing! Also, non-invasive! Then he brought out this hose, which immediately threw me into a panic, thinking,"Oh, gosh, he's gonna shove that down my throat right now!" He explained that my gown was called a Bair Paw and contained air pockets. He hooked the hose up to the cardboard connector at my knee and gave me the controller. I selected "Warm #3" and suddenly a whoosh of perfect, warm air filled my gown. I immediately asked if I could take it home. Derek glared at me. The nurse came in and beat my arms for about 20 minutes, trying to find a vein. Finally, she tied 3 tourniquets onto my left arm, gave me some lidocaine and jabbed the IV into my left wrist. Ow and also OW.
Marcus got to come in then and upon seeing my puffed-up gown, asked if I'd opted for a boob job instead of a tubal. The anesthesiologists came in and talked me through the "putting you to sleep" parts, putting my mind more at ease. Suddenly, my OBGYN burst through the curtain and exclaimed, "Your kidney function is fantastic!" My creatnine was 0.5!!!! (That's really good for anyone, but EXTRA good for a PKD patient!) She talked to us and stayed with me until they were ready to roll me down the hall. Someone injected something wonderful into my IV and I actually kind of enjoyed the ride to the OR. I may have even waved a time or two. Once we got there, they moved me to the table, unplugged my warm, puffy gown (boo) and asked if I was comfortable. My doctor took my hand and said, "Sweet dreams, Jen," and I was OUT.
The next thing I remember is a very sweet nurse going, "Well, HAY! How are you?" I demanded that I needed to get up and go to the bathroom, but they thought I should use a bed pan instead. It was not a fruitful effort. For some reason, I was convinced that I needed to give something to someone, but they said I should lie still. When asked to rate my pain, I gave it a 7 and they gave me some morphine. (I like them.) I got "the shakes" a bit from the anesthesia and sort of drifted in and out for the next several minutes. Once I woke up a bit and my pain was a 1, they moved me to Phase 2 of recovery, where I was presented with the best Diet Coke I've ever had along with a very cute visitor. (Marcus)
The nurse told me I could not leave until I "pee-peed," so I made it my mission. I took my IV fluids and drank my Diet Coke. I got up and tried. Nothing. They put me back to bed, gave me more to drink, hooked the fluids back up and waited 30 minutes. By this point, my bladder was about to burst, so we tried again. After a painful 10 minutes, I finally went. They had catheterized me during the surgery, so the aftermath is YOOOOOOWWWZZZZAAAA.
Now, my surgery was pretty routine. They made a tiny incision under my belly button for the scope, then on my left side, just above my hipbone, for the instruments. They typically go in above the pelvic bone, but there's a lot of scar tissue left from my c-section and they were concerned about bladder injury, so they went through my abdomen instead. I appreciate this gesture.
After a trip through the drive-thru's at CVS and KFC, we came home and I got fed and medicated. I've been pretty much confined to my bed ever since. I do get up and move around some and I ate dinner at the kitchen table last night while Dean was outside with Mia, our phenomenal sitter who has taken excellent care of all of us this weekend. We are super-blessed to have her in our lives. This morning I went down and collected my coffee and cheese toast and ate in bed (a pet-peeve of mine, but you do what you gotta, right?). I took a shower and it was glorious. I'm not sure the sticky goo from all the connecters will ever wash off, but at least the betadine's gone.
I had the idea that I would try to skip a dose of pain meds. MISTAKE. The gas they use to inflate your abdomen escapes through your left shoulder and WOW, does it hurt! I feel like I'm having muscle spasms. My incision on the left is a little bruised and hurts a bit, so I took a Percocet. Now I'm feeling goofy, so I'd better wrap up. Leave me a comment and let me know about your favorite Etsy shop or website. I need new things to look at online!
xoxoxo. You're all lovely. I give you great big slobbery internet kisses.