Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 2 & 3 & Discharge!


Later that morning, the day after my surgery, around 8am I think, I was greeted by the physical therapist. Apparently I was first on her list for the day and her goal was to get me out of bed into my chair. Ugh, already? Don’t you know I just had major surgery? I only thought these things; to her I said “If you say so”.  It wasn’t so bad, I was a little shaky, and those hospital beds are not easy to get out of in the first place. As soon as I was settled in the chair the PT was gone. Well now what? My nurse turned up shortly after armed with supplies to get me “taking care of myself”: a basin of warm water, washcloths, a tooth brush and toothpaste. So I went to work, washing my face & brushing my teeth. My right eye I couldn’t get open at all at this point, my head felt heavy with the thick bandages and I was still nauseous. When I was done washing up the tech took my supplies away and I was alone. I don’t know how long I sat in that chair, it felt like forever (it was probably only 20 minutes though, I don’t know) but I was falling asleep while trying to rest my eye on an ice pack, I was afraid I was going to fall asleep and slam my head into the table. I also figured if I was able to I should try to get a nap in before my parents showed up. My nurse was pretty disappointed that I wanted to get back in my bed already but she let me.

Again I have no idea if anyone rounded on me which is frustrating because I would have liked to hear what they had to say (I also don’t think anyone rounded on me on the floor, I guess I am just too used to being involved in rounds). The rest of the morning I stayed in the ICU but nothing exciting happened thankfully. My pain meds were changed over to oxycodone or Tylenol which meant I could drink something but at this point was pretty nervous to do so, so I didn’t drink much, my pain was also significantly improved and I didn’t need a whole lot. My a-line came out, yay!  My parents actually didn’t turn up until almost 12, I guess for the first time in a week they felt able to sleep. They were very surprised by my eye, I guess the night before it hadn't been swollen at all while they were there and I still didn't know what I looked like. Around 1 I was moved back to the neuro floor, I was not as lucky this time to have my own room, which is fine, but my roommate was loud. Finally the last of my "invasive" things was removed...the catheter, ugh, but now I had to get up and walk to the bathroom when I needed to so that got me moving.

I didn't take any pictures while I was in the hospital, didn't really think of it but I can tell you I looked pretty awesome. My right eye was an array of colors and almost completely swollen shut. I still had the purple signature across my forehead and I had thick white bandages going across the front of my head ear to ear...I'm not sure how they stayed on but they did. My hair was also pretty awesome if you can imagine, what was not under the bandages was betadine soaked and crispy, bed headed and in all kinds of knots. Also apparently all the hair that was shaved off wasn't completely removed from my head so every so often chunks of hair would fall off...nice. Not too much went on that day, there was an MRI in the works but it ended up being bumped to the next day. Katie came to visit for a while so my parents were relieved to go eat. My first after surgery meal was also delivered. It was some kind of mystery meatloaf and some sort of vegetable. I tried eating it but could not bring myself to do it. My dad was able to go back to the cafeteria and get me soup and a bagel...much better. 

That night I really didn't sleep much at all. My roommate was either on the phone or watching TV all night long...and when she dozed she snored loudly. My laptop had taken a fall in my parents car and the screen wouldn't work so I couldn't watch anything, the TV's cost $10/day (really!?) plus I couldn't get my glasses on my head to see so that didn't work, and my bandages covered my ears so I couldn't get headphones in to listen to music. Oh well, I survived the night. Hospitals, as we all know, are not well known for being great places to sleep and rest.

The next day (so now we're on to Thursday the 8th) was discharge day! Yay! I was pretty surprised to get to go so soon after a big surgery but I had no complications or any reasons to stay. I was visited around 6am by one of the neurosurgery fellows to take my bandages off and I later got to assess my 50 staples. I had a MRI around 8 (apparently staples won't get sucked into the MRI's magnet, good thing!) and was then reevaluated by both physical therapy and occupational therapy. I will follow up with a visual therapist due to some "mild abnormal" findings on the OT's assessment, but in my defense I think it was an unfair assessment since I had one eye I could barely get open. In any case I have had no vision issues since leaving and won't even see them until February anyways. 

I was actually discharged pretty early at 3:30. We stopped at the hospital pharmacy to get my prescriptions and headed home. So much better to be back on my own couch and in my own bed! My mom took up camp on an air mattress in our living room for the rest of the week while my dad spent his last night there back at the hotel. Besides being tired I was feeling great and had very little pain though I kept taking Tylenol for a few days. I couldn't believe it had all gone by so quickly! 

First night back at my apartment. It's a little grainy because I took it on my cell phone but you can see the overall effect, my black eye, the purple marker and of course the great hair (and any haircut that saves your life is a pretty good haircut I think...expensive, but good :-p ).

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