Friday, February 27, 2015

Trip to the Operation Theater ~ Post-Surgery Experiences

I was in a room under a set of huge lights and I was waking up. There were some ladies in the room standing somewhere on my right but I didn't turn my head to look at them. They were speaking casually about topics of their own until someone noticed I was awake and pointed it out to somebody else. What happened next, I do not remember.

My bed was being wheeled out and through some corridor that I have a very blur memory of. Somebody was asking me about the cakes I baked and decorated. She began the conversation with a 'so' and spoke as if she was resuming a dialogue we had previously started. I faintly remember asking her, "How do you know I bake?" She laughed and said, "You told me!"
I was taken to a room and made to sit in a seat yet I do not remember getting up from my bed. Somebody asked me if I was feeling okay and I told her I was really cold. My hands were shivering beyond control and so were my legs. My teeth were chattering crazily and when I spoke my voice quavered too. She wrapped me up in some blankets which I knew had been warmed up somehow and I felt instant comfort. She was now asking me if I wanted to put my feet up but sleepily I told her I was fine. It was either before that or after that she asked me what kind of juice would I prefer; apple, some berry which I forgot, or water. I went with apple because it was the only one I had heard first and I really wanted to end that conversation.

I wasn't fully awake and conscious yet to remember which part came first but it seemed like the lady opened up a pack of juice and held it up to my mouth as I drank. My body was still shivering so she did not make me pull my hands out of those blankets. I think I went back to sleep because some time later mama and Abbie were being walked into the room and explained that I would be waking up soon. I remember looking at mama's face and then Abbie smiling at me and I glanced at the clock behind Abbie's head to see it was 5:40 something. An hour had passed!? I hadn't even known!
I tried to think about what I could remember from the past hour and the memory of those double doors and large lights flooded back to my mind. I remembered seeing those lights switched on and faint voices but nothing that was clear enough to make sense out of. Somebody in that operation room had looked at me, waved something like a small container in their hand, and said, "Yes, I have it all in here!" I remembered a lady saying that to me as she stood beside me but I couldn't recall whether she had been my surgeon or somebody else, nor could I remember what was in her hand. It felt like I had asked her something to which she had given me this reply, but I couldn't even remember my voice leaving my mouth to raise a question.

Mama was opening up another pack of juice and instructing Abbie to check it's ingredients, "Paroo betay deikho yeh kya hai," she said in Urdu and Abbie said something about it being pure juice. Mama then helped me drink up another pack and fed me some UTZ chips. Let's pause here and appreciate the deliciousness of those BBQ flavored potato chips!

The lady was back in the room and was explaining my discharge instructions. She was looking at Abbie and mama because she clearly could see I was still coming in and out of my sleepy state. I remember asking her about the pain killer I was prescribed and details related to it but most of her instructions I don't even recall hearing. She then removed my blankets even though I was still shivering a little and began removing a wire with a red light on it's end that was taped to my finger .. when did they tape it again? She removed my IV and cannula too.

Once they decided I was stable enough Abbie helped me use the washroom and then Mama and Abbie both helped me change into my clothes. I was ready to go home! Thank God! Everything was over ... except the embarrassing ride to the car .. on a WHEEL CHAIR! I hate sitting on wheel chairs, everybody looks at you when you're being wheeled away.

My wheelchair was being wheeled away, alright! There weren't many people to witness me though. Two patients passed by me in a corridor who were both being wheeled on their beds, clearly they had just had surgery and weren't fully conscious. We were proceeding through an elevator and out into the garage where freezing air woke me up more effectively than the apple juice had. I was helped inside the car and we were on our way home soon, only to stop at the pharmacy to buy my painkiller. At the pharmacy, Abbie bought me a card and a very adorable M&Ms dispenser that had the red M&M dressed in a bear suit! We couldn't get the painkiller immediately so we placed an order and came back home. Being back home felt cozy and marked the end of a very unique experience; Saraallie had just made it through the first ever surgery of her life!

I took the pain killer a few hours later and was still very sleepy and tired. Thankfully it wasn't paining me much yet, in fact my entire right side was numb. The fingers of my right hand had the 'dancing-ants' feeling you get when you're half numb and had a little bit of swelling. Mama helped me clean up, change into my night dress, and I was given food to eat at last after 12 hours of fasting. Abbie's Peas Pulao tasted even more delicious that night than usual .. it was simply heavenly! We watched television as our regular schedule and then came fruits time. Midnight struck and I headed to go to bed. Surprisingly, I was able to fall asleep immediately even though I had been sleeping since the past few hours.
The swelling in my fingers kept coming and going for the next few days. The very next day after the surgery, the lady who had been with me post-surgery called up and asked me if all was well. She told me to look out for major swelling near the surgery sight, redness, unusual pain that didn't go away even after the pain killer, fever, and anything else that was funny. My entire right arm was still numb in places, including my shoulder. The pain was under control too thanks to the pain killer which was making me spin a little every few minutes.

I'd been surprisingly brave for a person who feared needles and freaked out even during a routine blood test. I hadn't cried and I was so shocked because of that! I'd thought I'd be going crazy with panic at the hospital. I'd thought I'd be throwing up and dealing with IBS on the day of my surgery. I'd thought I'd start crying when they told me it was time for the surgery. None of that happened though! I smiled through the entire day and managed to keep my freak out levels in control! Now all I was hoping for was a quick healing process and recovery!
It had been one uniquely crazy experience!

Read previous entries: 'Pre-Surgery Thoughts', 'Day of the Surgery', 'The Surgery'.


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