Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Journey of 2011.................... a Foggy Afternoon........

Part 1

I don't remember much after I was taken for "preparation" for my surgery. The room they brought me into was a bright, large, spacious feeling place with cubicles formed by the yellow cotton curtains typical for hospital rooms around here.

As we came in, I didn't see any counters or shelves or people for that matter. The place was so quiet it almost felt empty to me but the "driver" of my gurney knew exactly where we were going. He drove me down an uncharacteristically wide ailseway and turned at "curtain corner" right into a cubicle like space with someone dressed in scrubs waiting for me.

This woman went over those same questions I'd been asked at each new location that morning. I was equipped with leg warmers and two layers of warmed blankets and my glasses were taken from me before she added something to my IV that made me sleep.

The "real" anesthetic was administered in the form of an epidural since that was also to be the vehicle for pain medications once the surgery was done. I don't know if the procedure for that epidural was done in that room or the actual operating room. I was out for the count which is probably a good thing. I remember getting an epidural when I had my second child and it was a miserable process.

Later, when I awoke, the first thing I remember was some person asking me if I was in pain. It was not a familiar face or voice. There were none of those annoying questions about describing my pain or rating it on a scale of one to ten. Just a nod of my head answered by a promise of relief. Then, I'm pretty sure I was back to sleep.

The next thing I remember was the surgeon talking to me. He told me he was able to remove all of my tumor and with it he had taken some additional bowel. He also told me he'd taken tissue samples from a large number of lymph nodes.

From the prospective of the cancer, the surgeon was pretty sure he'd gotten it all but the condition of my bowel had been another matter. The bloating and distention caused by the blockage had taken it's toll so I had turned out not to be a good candidate for an immediate resection instead an ostomy was done.

As foggy as I was, I clearly remember my surgeon telling me not to worry, this was not going to be permanent. He said, "Don't let anyone tell you this cannot fixed. It can........ I've done it many, many times."

I imagine this meeting with my doctor happened in recovery but, to be honest, I haven't a clue. I don't really recall being in an actual place for recovery. There is no memory of a room, people around me, nothing of that phase except that one question from the nurse and this conversation with the doctor.

The first real awareness of my surrounding was being in an elevator and someone asking which floor. Whoever was pushing my gurney responded but I don't remember the actual elevator ride or leaving it.
The next memory I have is going through a doorway into a bright, large room that looked nothing like the room I'd had on the oncology ward. It wasn't until a nurse came in and began bustling around me, getting me settled in that it dawned on me this was my "real room" and I probably wasn't going to have my horse show friend as a nurse.

Even from that point forward, while I was aware of my surroundings, I spent more time out of it, than in. The only part of my afternoon I have any clear memory are those words of the surgeon. That memory is as vivid as the rest is blurred. Still, thinking back, I really had no reaction to what he said.

I don't know that it was just drugs that distanced me from the meaning of those words. Maybe it was I had no frame of reference about how my life had just changed and that protected me some. Whatever it was the surgeon's words didn't seem to belong to me. It would take a while for it to sink in.

To be continued.....................


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  1. you remember a lot all things considered, I would assume the exhaustion and the meds conspire to keep you pretty out of it for a while

  2. It's a scary situation but at least for a time you were relieved of your pain. I'm sure once you finally woke up you had lots of questions that you wanted answered. The one good thing sounds like the ostomy didn't have to be permanent.

  3. The surgeon sounds very reassuring, but this is all so scary. Waiting on eggshells for the next part. Thinking of you. *hugs*

  4. Confidence from the doctors is a good thing. So is being loopy and out of it when things are like they were for you. Glad you pulled though it all so well.

  5. Such a weird feeling when you dont remeber everything clearly. Glad the surgeon was confident though, that makes me feel better.

  6. Sorry, I was away last week and fell behind reading about your experiences.

    For somebody that was groggy coming out of surgery you sure remember a lot of details- I don't know how you did it. I barely remember the days I've had surgery.

    The surgeon said he got it all- that's always a good sign.