Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recovery...

   Well, I came out of surgery just fine... Going in turned out to be the tough part. I disliked the main nurse almost immediately. She was curt and abrasive, which I wasn't in the mood for, considering that this was my first surgery, and that my life was in this staff's hands. I tried to be as nice & sweet as possible in response to her. I donned the gown, settled in on the gurney, and the nurse inserted the IV. No big deal. Until...
   I had a really intense vasovagal reaction a few minutes later. Apparently I went white as a sheet as my blood pressure dropped dramatically, causing intense dizziness, nausea, and visual disturbances (not to mention a lot of beeping from the machine). Judging from the level of freaking out from the three nurses that I heard before I passed out, I knew it was not good. They injected me a couple of times (ephedrine, if I remember correctly?) to bring me back & get me stabilized. This was perhaps the single most scary experience I've had in my life. I honestly thought that I was going to die.
   After what felt like eons, they got my blood pressure back up and I returned to normal, with a residual splitting headache. I don't remember them putting me back on the meds to knock me out, or taking me back to surgery. According to Kelly, who consulted with the surgeon while I was recovering, the cyst was larger and much deeper than anticipated. He had difficulty getting to it, and he suspects I'll be in more pain than initially projected because of this. The procedure took a full two hours, but it went well. 
   I woke up in the same room, same gurney, with the same pushy nurse at my side. I was barely coming to, and she was forcefully getting me dressed and sitting me up. I was EXTREMELY nauseated and dizzy—the whole room was spinning, and I could barely hold my head up. My body might as well have been a wet noodle. I kept telling her that I was going to throw up and I needed to lie down, and she kept physically forcing me to sit up. She even brought in the other two other nurses as reinforcements. I felt surprisingly lucid, and at one point I said, "I don't understand why no one is listening to me—I am extremely dizzy and I need to lie down for a minute so I won't get sick!" And she responded by forcing me to my feet and then into a wheelchair and—literally—dragging me in to Kelly's car. Seriously? You can't let me sit for a few minutes?? Sounds like I'm not the only one who needs to be on some meds.
The boys are taking good care of me!  :)
   I guess if that's the worst of it, then I can be grateful for that. Kelly brought me home, picked up my pain meds at the pharmacy, and made sure I was comfortable. Thank goodness for good friends!
   The rest of the evening I continued to feel strangely alert, without any of the zombielike symptoms I anticipated from the anesthetic. I relaxed on the couch, iced my ankle, ate a big dinner, and took my first dose of painkillers after seven hours. I would assume that the worst is yet to come in terms of pain management, but I am so relieved to have the surgery behind me, and SO EXCITED to have the potential for a pain-free ankle ahead of me!