Injury Timeline

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Surgery Day

I had a follow-up appointment on Monday the 6th with Dr. Van Boerum at TOSH.  He confirmed the swelling was down enough to perform surgery the very next day.  After a mountain of paperwork and discussing my life medical history, I was instructed to report back to the TOSH surgical center at 9AM Tuesday morning.

I insisted on having a last meal.

Bombay House - Chicken Tikka Misala and Chicken Makhani with Garlic Naan

I then wanted a treat and Nate drove me to Iceberg and we waited in the drive through for half an hour for a BlueBerry Cheesecake over-the-top shake.  I made sure to finish it all before midnight - my cut off for eating and drinking since surgery was in the morning.

My mom drove to our house from Tooele and rode with us to the TOSH hospital, for moral support and to keep Nate company during the 2 and half hour surgery.

We arrived at the hospital and checked-in at the surgery desk.  Almost immediately, I was taken back to a pre-op room and covered in warm blankets as various nurses and doctors came in to check vitals, discuss anesthesia and prep me for surgery.  I wasn't nervous too much, just ready to get the surgery done and get my healing under way.  I was bummed that I was "resetting" all the healing that my body had done over the last week and a half on it's own, but excited to get to the real healing that would be with me long term.

The most nerve wracking moment was when they instructed me to give them a urine sample so they could test me for pregnancy.  I managed to somehow maneuver myself into the bathroom and pee in a cup.  As I handed it over to the nurse, they told me that if I was pregnant, they couldn't operate.  A moment of panic came over me as I realized that I'd missed my period last month!!!  It seemed like it took FOREVER for the results to pop up on her little machine, but then, she told me the results were negative.


Dr. Van Boerum came to visit me.  I was scheduled for surgery at 10:30.  He was already "warmed up" as he had done another surgery already this morning.  He spoke to Nate and my mother, and gave them some instructions on what would be happening once I was in recovery.  I'd see them again in my recovery room on the other side of the hospital.  Here we go!

I was then whisked away in a wheelchair to the surgery room by my anesthesiologist.  From the bits and pieces I remember, once we entered the surgery area, he told me it was going to be chilly.  He wasn't lying.  It was COLD in there.  He told me that it was even colder inside the operating room.  He wasn't lying about that either.  It was FREEZING.  I remember getting up on the table, and again my OR nurse gave me plenty of warm blankets and turned on a warming light above my body.  I looked around and could see x-rays on the wall, but they weren't mine.  It was someone named Judy.  I was trying to get the attention of the nurses and doctors to tell them I wasn't Judy, but I was so groggy.  The anesthesiologist informed me that I would be going to sleep soon.  I remember looking over and seeing my x-rays up on the screen instead of Judy's and I felt relieved they were looking at the right ones!   The last thing I remember is the doctor telling me that I was going to feel a burning in my body from the anesthesia and not to worry.  I never did.  I just fell asleep.

I woke up in the recovery room, oblivious to what had happened after what seemed like just a second.  My foot was in a ton of pain (I thought it was going to be numb still, what the hell?!) and my throat was very dry and raspy.  I had a very persistent nurse asking me to give her a pain level from 1-10.  I told her that it hurt.  She forced me to give a number.  I said a 6, I think, and she gave me drugs into my IV.

The next thing I remember was seeing my husband and my mom, and also my mother and father-in-law.  When did they get here?  I didn't know they were coming!  I was so happy to see my loved ones and I settled into my hospital bed.  I was staying overnight.

I met another flurry of nurses, and I eventually gave up and started to call them all Ashley.  Eventually it was time for my family to leave and that made me so sad and upset.  I'm glad they did though, because I had a very rough night and I'm sure it would have been hard on them.

Outside my room, there was a sign indicating that I was a fall risk.  I had to call the nurses each time to use the bathroom and that was humiliating.  Partly, because I drink a lot, A LOT of water.  Like 100 oz a day.  So I pee, A LOT.  I saw the nurses a lot that night.

They also had me on some pretty wimpy pain medication.  It was okay for the first few hours, but once it wore off, it felt like I could never get ahead of the pain.  At one point, I reported to the nurse that my pain level was at an 8, and she gave me a sweet dose of dilaudid in my IV, which helped for about an hour where I was able to squeeze in a few minutes of sleep.  Other than that, I didn't sleep, mainly because of the pain, but also because the nurses were coming in every 5 minutes to take me to the bathroom, and the old lady across the hall from me had her TV volume turned up to 11.

I finally saw my Dr and his PA in the morning, and told them how horrible my pain had been and that I needed something stronger.  They both agreed and put in a change order for my meds.  Once I got on the stronger medication, it was a lot better and I was much happier!  I also think they told me I only had to have 3 incisions, but, I can't be sure of that conversation.  I do know that I ended up with 2 plates and a number of screws/pins.  It's all pretty hazy.

My mom and my husband arrived at the hospital in the morning around 8 or 9.  I was so glad to see them!!  After a few hours of making sure my new pain meds were working, and after practicing the crutches with the physical therapist - I was clear to go home!

1 comment:

  1. All my prayers are going out to you on this very important and crucial day. I can only hope that the surgery brings you back to full strength and that full recovery will be made quickly and safely. You are very strong for being able to get through all of this without suffering some kind of breakdown. All the best!