Friday, June 10, 2011

Day of the Surgery

My liberation procedure was in Tampa at the Moffitt Center with Dr. Arslan. I got up at 5:30 am to take my shower and get ready for an extremely long and stressful day. Woke my husband up at 6am for him to jump in the shower at which point I called Missy so she could talk to me before I left and wish me good luck. We headed out about 6:45am with plans on stopping in Port Charlotte to pick my mother up from my uncles house so she could be there for my very first invasive surgery. The ride to Tampa was usual nothing to exciting, traffic wasn't bad and it took us no time at all to arrive at Moffitt. We arrived at the hospital at 10am and had to wait because my blood work appointment was not until 11:30am. The clock said noon and my name was yet to be called so I walked up to the lab area to ask where I was on the list. The lady told me she had a couple more people left and then it was my turn. Finally at 12:15 my name was called, I went in for what felt like 5 sec for them to draw 3 vials of seemed kind of ironic for being so late on calling my name and waiting so long for 5 sec worth of their time. My surgery was scheduled for 1pm so we then headed up stairs so I could get registered for radiology. On our way upstairs, the suitcase my husband was wheeling around that had our laptop in it, attacked me on three different occasions. I should of know right then and there I was in for a very long day. I registered and headed down the hall toward the waiting area for my name to be called. I knew they were going to have me lay still after the surgery for a few hours, so I wanted to  go to the bathroom before hand, then I wouldn't have to use a bed pan. I was not even back for 30 sec after going to the bathroom and they called me in. I walked into what looked like an emergency room with a  huge nurse's station in the front of the room surrounded by post op beds. The head nurse came to me with a gown asking me to get changed, and a cup to pee in to test for pregnancy. Uhh ohh I had just gone to the bathroom not even a minute before entering the room, I was not made aware they were going to test for pregnancy. So while changing into my gown I tried peeing in a cup which could not only be accomplished because I had just went but my urination anxiety was heightened because I could hear people outside the door. I came out and said there was no way, so they gave me some water to help me along, meanwhile telling me that if I could not pee they would have to cathe me...I have never had one done but I recalled the horror stories my hubby would tell of his collapsed lung incident and had to be cathed...AhhhHHhh (no pressure) They gave me a half a bottle of water and I still had no luck urinating more then a drop =0( The ended up having to cathe me which I will admit was not as bad as I had thought...wheww. Pregnancy test was negative, so it was an all go for surgery. They asked me a few more questions had me sign a few more papers and proceeded to roll me back into the operating area. Upon entering into the room I was greeted by 5-10 nurses that were there to assist the Dr with the surgery. One prepped my site and the others got the equipment and iv sedation ready. They gave me a dog squeeze toy to hold in each hand and proceeded to push the sedation meds. A few min later the Dr came into the room and gave me a refresher of what he was going to be doing, telling me that he needed me to communicate everything that I was feeling and experiencing the whole entire time. The gave me the numbing agent for the insertion site and proceeding to start with the venogram. As he reached my left jugular just behind my ear he explained that I was 70% stenoised and he was going to use a 12mm balloon in a couple different places. While he was ballooning it sounded like a pill bottle with only one pill left being shook behind my ear. I sqeezed the dog toys and wiggled my toes assuring there was no damage being done. He then went over to the right hand side where I was 50% stenoised and ballooned. While he was pulling back out I heard a  loud snap..totally numb I thought oh god my vein just burst, but it was only the balloon deflating. It was such a weird sound coming from inside my body around my clavicle. He then checked my azygos vein and said there was slight stenosis there but not enough to balloon so he proceeded to remove the catheter. The tech then deeply messaged the site for about 10 min. I finally get back to the post op room where I was reunited with my mom and my husband. They gave me food, I met with Dr. Arslan a couple times to see how I was and I proceeded to lay still for 4 hours. I was surprised that the whole 4 hours I was able to lay still without wanting to move my legs although I started to hurt at the incision site so the nurse pushed some ibuprofen through my IV. About 7pm the head nurse came over and started the check out paperwork and told me she was going to get me up and changed. I was a little worried because my blood pressure was very low 89/58. She proceeded to sit me up and get me on my feet and we walked to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet because I had to pee and as I was going to wipe I looked down and saw my site bleeding and once I smelled the blood it was the last thing I remember. I woke up with the feeling of pain in my head and the feel of cold concrete on my face. I remember at first not knowing where I was and turning around to see my husband for a quick second looking down on me. Once the Doctors and nurses started flooding into the room I then realized where I was and what happened. They started hooking me up to the blood pressure machine and checked my blood sugar which was 93 (so it wasn't that). They got me back into the bed and explained that I have what is called vasovagal response to the site of my own blood (made sense I have always had this but never knew this was what is was called, I though I was hypoglycemic). My whole left side of my face was throbbing, I also had a huge egg on my head. Luckily however my left ear was the shock absorber to protect the majority of my head. Still they explained with the amount of blood thinners coursing through my body they could not release me but they also could not treat me at Moffitt for they did not have the right equipment to check my head for trauma. The nurses at Moffitt proceeded to call 911, which sent the fire rescue squad, who could do nothing because they did not have an emergency response vehicle to transport me over to the other hospital. The fire squad called a private ambulance company to get me over to University Community Hospital which was literally right across the street. They got me over to the hospital and it was certainly not Moffitt...I was determined not to stay the night in this place. The nurse, tech and doctors were all fabulous though and took very good care of me. They took more blood work, did an EKG, CT Scan and some other cardiac testing to make sure I was in tip top shape to go back to the hotel. Everything came back normal so they released me at 11:30pm with a weeks worth of percocet that I was extremely happy to receive because at that point I was in severe pain from the incision site, the egg on my head and my neck was slightly sore from the ballooning. We headed to Denny's for some food and then eventually back to the hotel to sleep. I woke up the next morning at 6:30am in terrible pain and my husband suggested we hit the road so I can get that percocet prescription filled. I could barely walk I was soo sore and my anxiety level was through the roof. We get back to Naples and head to publix to get my prescription filled, while my husband was in publix, I remained in the car and started to spike a slight fever. Once we got home I went and laid down while my husband fixed me a high protein breakfast. I took my temperature and I was running a fever of 99.8, so I ate and proceeded to sleep. When I woke up I could still barely walk and once I looked at my site I noticed severe bruising stretching outside my bandage. I emailed Dr Arslan and waited for his response regarding the normalcy of the bruising, He wrote me back suggesting if it was possible or if the bruising continued to worsen to go to Moffitt and get checked out by his colleagues. I agreed that if the bruising worsened by Friday I would go get checked out. When I woke up this morning (Friday the 10th) the bruising was slightly darker but it remained in the same areas as the night before so I did not seek treatment. However for those of you that do not bruise as easily as I do I looked like I got pummled by a base ball bat in my groin area. I still continue to have pain at the site and the bump on my head still hurts but I have been pushing fluids and protein to help with the healing.
Well that is my personal experience with my liberation procedure as of two days post operation, not exactly what I was expecting to say the least but I should of known, because things like that never goes easy for me. I was reminded that I have an extremely low tolerance for pain and my body does not react well to trauma. I wish I had better results right off bat but unfortunately that is not the case, I believed I sent my body into inflammation and until that goes away I will not be able to report on any symptom relief if any is felt. I had previously scheduled steroid injections for the week of the 20th because my best friend is coming down and I wanted to be prepared in case I had no response to surgery. Good thing I scheduled the roids, because now I do not have to explain anything to my neurologist ;0) I will continue to update this blog as well as youtube regarding my progress or lack there of. Welcome to my journey...hope you enjoy the ride!!!

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