Saturday, July 25, 2009

Surgery 2

Okay, picking up where I left off. It seemed like I had just gone poof! into blessed lah-lah land when I was waking up in recovery. I was attended by not 1 but 2 yes that's 2 very kind and gentle nurses. This was very helpful when I needed to use the restroom as the nurses supported me on each side and helped me limp along until I made it. In a nutshell they were just very helpful in every way. I had a slightly embarrassing bout of belching on the way to the restroom. A side effect (if you could call it that) of laprascopic surgery is really intense bloating and gas - they really blow you up like a balloon during that surgery. Anyone who's doing this type of surgery can expect to toot and burp like a son-of-a-gun when there finished. I knew this going in, but I didn't realize that I would belch with each step - that's right with EVERY SINGLE STEP. The first belch - a big one - popped out of me as I took my first step to the restroom. I remember gasping in horror and covering my mouth with my hand. The second belch popped out of me as I moved my other foot forward, hand still at my mouth, a literal belching machine. Boy, was I embarrassed until the nurses pulled my hand away and said, "No, no, good, good!" Apprently, the only way to get rid of that gas is to move it around by walking and belch or toot it out. The faster you get rid of it, the more comfortable you are and the better off you are on the inside.

So back to the bathroom - I made it to the bathroom only to find that I couldn't go, so back to the recovery bed I went. I don't know how long I layed in recovery, it's pretty blurry. I do know there was pain. This is normal and to be expected with the sleeve, but I had not mentally prepared myself for this as I had planned to get a lap band up until my arrival in Mexico, so it was a bit disconcerting. (Lap band pain, from what I hear, is actually more of a discomfort than pain). My pain was concentrated on the left side right below the rib cage, I would call it sharp. Any movement at all made that side of my body feel as though part of me could tear loose. I remember thanking god for the leftover effects of the anesthesia as well as the pain medicine, to be without those would have been pure misery.

Now things get interesting. In the bed next to mine - this is still in recovery, not in my hospital room which was private - they wheeled a Spanish-speaking woman who had just gotten a gastric bypass and was also recovering. Our recovery strategies seemed to be a bit different. While I, a product of my midwestern hayseed background, attempted to bite down on the pain and crunch it all in, this woman was of the school of letting it all out: "Dios mio! Ohhhhhh, dios mio, dios mio, ahhhhhhhhh, ayy, ayy, then Spanish words which I am sure were something akin to "Dear god, the pain, the pain, Oh my god I can't take it this is torture," and so forth. I have to tell you, in my mind I was saying Amen, sister. If my sleeve was hurting the way it did, I can only imagine what she felt with her bypass. Then, something unusual happened. Somehow, in my hazy state, I felt my inner resolve slipping. It was like all the emotions of the next door dios mios and ayayay's became contagious to me, and I started to feel a little melodramatic myself, some sort of post-surgery suggestive state. All this built up in me and a rocked out a little "Ohhh!" of my own only to find - taadaa! Dr. Zapata immediatly swooping back the curtain and sitting down to hold my hand and reassure me with kind and loving words none of which I can remember. The Mexican patient's doctor also sat with her and reassured her in a lovely deep Spanish voice. How long was this episode? I have know idea. It felt like forever, but was probably 10 minutes at most from start to finish.

The next step was being wheeled down to my room, and what a room it was! A private room with a sitting area. A comfortable chair and couch which could be pulled out into a bed. Two televisions, one for the sitting area and one for the hospital bed. There were louvered doors between the sitting area and the hospital bed area so that one could have as much privacy as one needed. The bathroom was tiled in marble with beautiful fixtures. There was a walk in shower, also marlbe-tiled, with a built in bench and rain-drop style shower head. Very nice!

The hospital bed itself was very comfortable. The sheets and bedding were high quality cotton and velour, nothing synthetic, itchy, or "thready." The pillows were down, nice quality, very comfortable. Boy was I relieved to get situated in that comfortable bed in that nice room and get the first doses of pain med, anti-nausea, and antibiotic shot into my IV by my very professional, competent and caring nurse. I remember my nurse apologizing to me because she did not speak English! This nearly brought a tear to my eye. I tried to communicate as best I could that she should not be sorry, that I should be sorry for my horrible Spanish. I remember her giving my should a reassuring pat and then I drifted off to sleep.

Next installment - morpheine hell.


  1. Lucy, great post!

    Why, thank you Lucy!

  2. nice post and lots of infromation about the provided treatment thanks