Friday, September 30, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
The patient experience/pod3/Tylenol 3 blues/sore belly:
I’m sitting on my own couch after being in the safety and solace of my parents’ home for the past 3 nights since my “laprascopic excision of endometriosis”. It must have been the cumulative effect of T3’s, but when I arrived back home, mom left, and suddenly I was crying my eyes out for no particular reason. It wasn’t surgical pain, it wasn’t fear- it is post op day 3 and the codeine is getting to me. A sense of loneliness and isolation came over me, and I didn’t know what to do. The boy didn’t know what to say over the phone, even though I know he’s trying his best, and mom wasn’t answering her cell… Finally after the wave passed over, with the help of a shower and reassuring words from the mother, I settled into bed for a sleep that would hopefully wash this sudden sense of misery all away.
The iv went in smoothly, the fluids were a relief after being NPO for almost 12 hours at this point. I had a headache- which I attribute to the low amounts of sodium in the past 24 hours. And the fact that I had an intensive "bowel prep" for the whole previous day. In sum: electrolytes were a bit off!
Finally it’s time to walk into the OR. I climb up on the bed, lift my arm so the nurse can put little heart probes on their specific spots, and take a blood pressure and other vitals. Then there is a face mask that is over my face and I’m asked to take deep breaths. They said it was oxygen- really? It’s all a blur at this point, as then the anesthetist said that I had received the medicine that would make me sleep and that it might make me cough- if I cough it’s about 20 seconds til I’m asleep. I’m not coughing. He says, or you might just go to sleep. I’m awake and i look at the clock- 1.40pm. then the room is sucked away from me and I fall deep into a drug induced sleep.
The lasting sensations of this surgery are different than I anticipated. I have this lightheadedness and a sense of confusion that I thought was from the lack of food I’ve had over the past number of days… Then I start to think about how the very core of my being was opened up (albeit through a tiny hole), looked at with a camera and bits of it were sliced off. No wonder my equilibrium is still off. Give the body credit for the probing it endured. I have this pass for the jazz festival, and one part of me wants to push myself and head out to see some shows, but then the thought of walking more than 3 blocks at this point makes me lightheaded and weary, so I think I’ll listen to my body, breathe into my body and let the balance re enter. Gently. Be gentle.
Even though my head is foggy, and I am GRATEFUL that I have another whole week off- (I can’t imagine returning to work with a clear mind at this point), I have a little bit of perspective on the surgical and patient experience. It’s hard to fully express how this will affect my nursing practice, but I knew it would, and it will.