Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our Day at the Hospital

Despite what we were told, we basically spent the entire day on Friday at the hospital. Things didn't go exactly as planned, but luckily I checked out okay by late afternoon and was allowed to go home. So what follows is an update on what happened, or the parts I'm clear on at the moment. And fair warning, this may be a longish post.

So first, it's probably important to explain how things should have gone. I would hate for someone to read this and think that my story is what a typical D&C is like. It is not!! Most D&C procedures are much easier. And even what I went through probably could have been worse. So for that, I'm grateful.

The typical procedure would be that they connect you to an IV (which in my mind was the worst part), the anesthesia is given to you through the IV and you drift off to sleep. The procedure itself takes 15-20 minutes, and you spend about 45-60 minutes in recovery. Once you are awake and they are satisfied that you are okay, you can go home. During the actual procedure, the cervix is dilated and then a suction is inserted to remove all the contents of the uterus. In a normal procedure the doctor can feel the lining of the uterus with the suction and can do the whole procedure without actually seeing anything. This is what makes the procedure fairly easy, because there are no incisions and recovery is easy.

Friday morning we arrived at the hospital at 6:30am. Honestly, I wasn't nervous, I trust my doctor, and I knew I wouldn't remember anything anyway. The only thing that worried me was getting the IV, mostly because the IV hurt so much when I got one in January 2009. We checked in and got registered, found our way to the correct floor (Good Sam has a very confusing layout), and then sat in the waiting room for about an hour or more. They finally called me back after 8am and got me settled, Chris was still in the waiting room. It was during this time that I got connected to the IV and some blood samples were taken. I don't understand why they always start on the top of your hand when trying to do an IV. I did well, though, despite the pain and the fact that apparently my vein moved after the nurse got the needle in, I didn't jerk away or anything. But in the end, they had to try a different spot. So the IV eventually went in on my upper right arm halfway between the wrist and the elbow. They drew some blood samples through the IV line and got me connected to the IV itself. Then Chris was finally allowed back to see me.

While we waited, we talked to some anesthesia doctors, got the massage boots put on (I love those things), had someone else come in and take more blood, and talked to my doctor before things started. Finally they came to move me, started the IV stuff and wheeled me into surgery. I vaguely remember being brought in and seeing several people around, seeing my doctor and getting the oxygen mask put on. After that I remember nothing. Anesthesia really is a blessing!

I awoke later to find tubes up my nose and was very groggy and confused. Chris tells me that while he waited in the waiting room, someone called him a few times to say it would be another 45-60 minutes and that I was doing well. But the length of time they told him never changed. Finally, I guess once I was out and in recovery, my doctor went and talked to him. She told him that I had lost a lot of blood. She also couldn't feel the top of my uterus with the suction and so was kind of blind. As a result, they had to put in a scope which required an incision on my belly button. I have two incisions and I'm still unclear what the second one was for. Anyway, I was also intubated during surgery, meaning they had to put a tube down my throat. Again, I'm not entirely clear why this became necessary. But it did mean that I awoke with a very sore and scratchy throat. And, a catheter was put in; I don't know if that is typical, but I have a feeling it is not. I'm just thankful I was out for that, since I know caths are not fun! The amount of blood lost, according to my husband, was about twice what you would give if you went to donate blood. Thus explaining my very weakened state when I finally came to. Thankfully, they didn't feel that I needed a transfusion.

Chris was also told that I was fighting the nurses when I started waking up in recovery. I do not remember that at all! I remember being asked questions and asking some questions and saying thank you a lot. Maybe there was something before that which I don't remember.

I finally got moved to a room and Chris was able to join me. I was still pretty groggy, but apparently doing well. I was surprised to have someone come in around 2:30 in the afternoon to take more blood again! I found out later that this last blood sample was to check my hemoglobin levels to make sure I was okay to go home that same day. Finally the cath was removed around 3:30 and once I was able to get up (with a lot of help) and use the bathroom, I was good to go. I needed quite a bit of help to get dressed and move around, but I was starting to feel better. By about 4:30 or so we finally got discharged.

Driving home was horrible!! As soon as I got in the car and we started moving I thought I was going to be sick!! I managed to not be, and the feeling finally passed about halfway through our drive. No wonder they told me not to drive for a week. Once home, I got settled on the couch, and Chris went to the store to get my prescriptions filled and pick up a few things. I have 5 prescriptions, though I'm really only taking two regularly and occasionally one of the pain meds.

So that was our day at the hospital. What should have been just a few hours turned into a much longer day. But thankfully I'm doing well and I didn't have to spend the night. Hopefully this explains everything for those who had questions or were curious to know how things went. Thanks again to everyone who has been praying for us during this time!!

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