Well! I did not mean to leave you hanging since I wrote Part 1 of this story! My sincerest apologies. Just when I thought I was out of the woods, things came crashing down again. Oh, you just have no idea. But you will. It’s been quite a ride.
So while things are good, (and I pray the good is here to stay…) here is Surgery Day – Part 2.
You’ll want to read Foot to Mouth Story 1 – getting prepared for surgery first.
I didn’t really want to wake up.
Today was surgery day after all, and the start of so many unknowns.
However, being well prepared helped ease my concerns. Food was stocked up for (hopefully?) 2 weeks. I mean, my cupboards have NEVER been this full. I am a one meal at a time kinda gal so this was a big thought out deal for me. All I had to do today was sip a 1 cup drink of apple juice before 9am, have one more fancy shower with that special sponge, then be driven in.
Glancing at the clock, I shook my head. 9:20 am. Are you even kidding me?! I missed the juice curfew which ultimately meant all my food for the day. Dang! So I snuck 1/2 a cup down, reasoning if I was a little late, a little less would be ok… right?! Then again, maybe my clock was 20 minutes wrong…
Going through the motions was a little surreal, as if living in someone else’s world for a short time. I didn’t really feel dread or afraid, but more, uncertainty. So I decided to mindfully focus on each task I was doing, without thinking of anything else. That helped.
Surgery was scheduled for 1:00 PM (that’s a pretty nice time!), however it would be unknown when I when it would be a done deal because it’s really all about where you’re at. So it was decided that my dear neighbour and friend Janette would drive me there and my brother would pick me up and drive me home, being that the hospital was in another town.
I honestly think the hardest part of all this was asking others for help. I have a dreadfully hard time with it. I just always feel like I’m asking too much of people pulling them off course from their own lives.
There was mention at one point that I should have someone stay over night with me just in case. I questioned them hard on it, and together we reasoned it really was mainly over medication intake after the fact. And since I didn’t plan on using anything heavy duty other than over the counter advil and tylenol, all would be well.
Or so I thought…
Once at the hospital, Janette offered to sit with me while I waited for about 2 hours. She even brought her knitting! So kind.
I always thought this is where I’d need someone the most. The moment before the big dreaded ordeal! Someone to share a good fraidy cat cry perhaps. However in my heart, I was stunned that I actually felt pretty ok with where things were headed. I didn’t feel anxiety. I don’t even know how to put it. I guess I had just fully accepted everything and let go of the internal fight. So I let Janette know I’d be just fine, and they’d likely keep me super busy with prep anyway.
Walking into the prep area, as presumed, couples were waiting together. I only felt like I was ‘without’ for about 10 seconds though, when all the prep started firing up. I was right. I was kept pretty busy.
I was asked to change into the hospital gear, then interviewed several times over on certain topics, one of them being anesthetic. After giving them my family history about them getting quite ill from it, the topic elevated when I informed them I couldn’t open my jaw, due to a tooth pulling 2 days prior.
After some mulling over, she mentioned they could do some kind of ‘freezing block’ (sorry, exact terms escape me) to freeze the foot with a needle. But I’d feel the needle going in.
Always something to look forward to… have I told you how much I detest needles of any kind?
I was assured that they’d first put something in the IV to relax me so I wouldn’t really care. Ok then. It’s not like we had a choice. And I didn’t love the idea of a tube down my neck anyway, so there’s that!
Another thing I wanted to run by the doctor was under the advice of my brother, and that was to add more freezing to the foot so I could get a good night’s sleep. They said no problem! What?! I hadn’t even known such a thing could be done except in a dentist’s chair. Well I’ll be…
So, imagine everyone carrying clipboards, interviewing me for this and that, ensuring the IV was in, yadda yadda yadda. But one thing stood out over all the busy. Everyone was SO kind. So gentle. And that’s when they handed me something I will never, ever forget.
A heated blanket was placed on my lap, and instantly, it felt like my mom was sitting beside me with her arms wrapped around me in a big tight squeezy hug. My eyes stung for a moment. My mom was my warmth and comfort and best friend. But it was not sadness I felt… it was gratefulness that she cared for me back then, and now they were caring for me.
It just felt so good and made everything ok.
These photos are from my Instagram Stories. Yep, I even played around on the phone while I waited.
But then things took a downward turn. While one of the nurses interviewed steps to be taken after the operation, one of the boxes he had to check off was that I had an overnighter with me. He said he could NOT approve the surgery unless I did this step.
WHAT?!? UGH!!! This wasn’t suppose to be ‘a thing!’ How dare they make me stoop this low to ask THIS of someone!
Suddenly panic stricken with phone in hand, I messaged several friends, apologized profusely for what what I was about to ask, what would happen if I didn’t line someone up to stay overnight, yadda yadda.
No one responded. No one was around.
“Any luck finding someone to stay overnight?”
“Ok, well, we’ll hold you here until you do then. Keep on it.”
I felt sick. I didn’t want to do this and felt like I was begging for mercy by asking.
And then I finally heard a ping. The ping that felt like my life was no longer in limbo. Glancing down, my brother whom was slated to bring me home replied with, “No problem! I’ll pack my bag now!”
A warmth of relief, gratitude, and love filled me from head to toe.
And guilt of course.
Minutes later, I was shuffling through the hallway into the operating room in my goofy little booties and pj’s with robe, and layed down on a super simple bed with a bright blue blanket. The only colour in the room.
Laying down, I looked up and felt like I was a scene from a movie. Lights all over the land filled the ceiling beaming down on me, and the gang was all starting to crowd around me. So many doctors and assistants! All for one foot?! Wow. Now that’s service. Or one movie star kinda foot.
They strapped me in bed so I wouldn’t fall, and then administered something inside the IV to make me not care about the pending foot needle to come.
And I don’t remember a THING after that. I was completely out. Now that’s some calming medicine.
Next thing I knew, I woke up from surgery in the same bed, side rails up, with my back slightly raised iN a different room. I had an attendant beside me glancing at his clipboard.
I have no idea how long I had been laying there, however he immediately lifted his head as if he’d been waiting for me to wake up, and asked if I felt nauseous.
I didn’t at that second but then it started easing in. “Here we go” I told myself… the dreaded sick part my family experiences.
Well, he nipped that one in the bud in about 1 second.. As soon as I said yes, he infused some gravol into the IV (anti nausea medicine) and in just a few seconds, I felt better. I was asked to snooze a bit.
Waking up again, same thing. Felt sickish, so they gave me more gravol. This was on repeat until I felt awake and no longer sick.
And, that wonderful man WAS sitting beside me waiting on just me. Wow.
Basically put, this anesthetic was much different from the regular kind that made my family so sick. THANK GOODNESS FOR A SORE JAW! Everything went so unbelievably perfect I barely felt any discomfort at all!
They then wheeled me into the recovery room for another hour where I chilled out while they outfitted me with some weird shoe, until Les my brother picked me up. But not without a tiny bit of bro-sis drama.
Turns out I had a prescription that needed filling. I can’t take codeine, so they offered me *Tramadol. Never heard of it. But they assured me it would not be anything like codeine. Ok then!
*(Now, before you go okaying you can take this stuff too, best to read Part 3 first.)
But with 30 minutes to get me all the way downstairs the the pharmacy in the lobby, I texted my brother to come quick!
Shortly after, he burst through the doors with a wheelchair, and I played the little ‘ol lady shouting directions on where to go.
We made it downstairs just as the pharmacy doors slid shut. They let us in, quickly filled out the meds, and I picked up an adjustable aluminum cane I felt would be a good idea.
Honestly, I felt so good going home, we stopped at a restaurant in my town for my first meal in a very long time. I stuck with soup, but it sure was good! I even forgot about the jaw.
Once Les brought me home, I fully anticipated dropping like a brick into bed. But that did not happen. He nagged me to prop the foot up and we chatted up a storm the whole evening long. I felt a little groggy, but great! So. Stinkin’. Great. That extra zap of freezing in the foot was doing a champion job. And I’m assuming the anesthetic remnants took care of any jaw pain.
Les also received a lesson on how to use my Dyson Animal on his chair. My cats basically lives on that chair and having no idea I’d have an overnighter, I didn’t clean everything to perfection. So I’m sitting there a little loopy filming Les vacuuming his own chair before he dared sit in that massive cat hair nest.
I sure do hospitality right, folks.
But know what? Even though I felt I didn’t ‘need’ my brother there for night, we had the best best BEST visit ever. It had been too long. It was just so nice to chat up a storm (with Les constantly telling me to slow down, take it easy, put the foot up). I guess the freezing was doing one dynamite job because I kinda forgot to feel surgeryish.
Upon bedtime, I took the prescribed Tramadol, then set my alarm to continue it through the night, because once that freezing wore off on that foot, tomorrow may be a different story. And this girl does not like pain.
Sinking into bed with my foot elevated, I scoffed at the overly concerned nurse and all the extra drama that transpired all because he felt I needed an overnighter! I was 100% perfectly fine!
During the night, I woke up to the alarm twice over, obediently taking the meds. But I do remember feeling a tiny bit queasy during the last take. I just shook it off that there was a lot in my system and it would take a bit for everything to leave.
The next morning, I got up and put the ‘ol knee scooter to good use. I wheeled into the kitchen, and put together a pot of coffee for us. I remember feeling a little fuzzy, but not terrible.
But then out of nowhere, I suddenly wanted to sink to my knees and land on the floor. Something was going very wrong. Very wrong indeed.
All I can say is, I’m really glad my brother was there after all…
Read all instalments to date of Foot to Mouth story HERE