Friday, June 30, 2006

Surgery... hard to believe, but it's been over a week since my rhinoplasty. To be completely and utterly honest, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed with things... I'm not saying I'm disappointed with the results, b/c right now my nose is still pretty swollen and it's going to take some time to see the final result, but I'm talking about the whole process. I guess, in many ways, it just seems anti-climatic.

But, perhaps, that's not all that surprising. I mean, there's so much preparation, effort, and anticipation leading up to the day and then, all of a sudden, it's over, sort of like a holiday, vacation, or special occasion. Ultimately, the real problem is that I somehow can't get my brain around the fact that it's now a thing of the past, so to speak... In ways, it's kind of depressing, but, at the same time, a relief that it's over. Hmmm.... well, anyway, I do want to fill you all in on my experience ...

The days leading up to surgery, mainly Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, were extremely hectic, crazy days. I spent so much time running around and trying to prepare myself and my apartment (in particular: groceries, cleaning, entertainment, etc) that each night, I didn't get home until 8:30 or later... And each of those nights, I'd basically collapse into bed. Wednesday was probably the craziest of days. I had to work, unfortunately, and then after work I went running around trying to get last minute odds and ends done.

I stopped for groceries, went to the gym (seeing that I wouldn't be going for at least 2 weeks-yikes!), and stopped at blockbuster to pick up some videos and magazines for entertainment for when I returned home. Then, when I got in that night, I had to clean my apartment, pack my stuff, take a shower, and gather everything I needed, to bring to my parents...(as I stayed with them from Wed night-Sunday).

I ended up driving at 9:45 pm to my parents house in NY. When I arrived, at about 10:30 pm, I have to admit, my nerves and emotions had got the better of me. I sort of lost it, but I think everyone could see through my tearful and irritable response and understood that I was just anxious over the impending procedure the next day. I finally did manage to settle down, had a bowl of cereal, and went online, which did relax me a little more. And soon I was feeling better. At around midnight, I decided that it was in my best interest to get some sleep, so I turned in.

Honestly, I didn't think I would get much sleep (due to nerves), but morning of surgery came pretty quickly as it turns out. Funny thing is, I wasn't that nervous. Ok, maybe a little bit, but, knowing myself, I know I could have been stressing out much worse over the whole thing.

I think it helped that I knew that the surgery was relatively minor and wasn't some long, time -consuming ordeal. I knew I'd be ok. However, saying that, things started off a little more complicated than I would have liked.

Main complication was my Diabetes. I actually was hoping to keep my blood sugar in the higher 100s to low 200s range prior to and during the surgery. It's actully something doctors usually advise you to do. With any surgical procedure, it's better to be a little on the high side than chance falling low once into surgery.

Well, of all days to have low blood sugar, Thursday, of course, had to start off that way. I woke up at 7, tested, and was pretty alarmed to find out that my blood sugar was only 41! I had to treat it somehow, so I had 1 hard candy ( I know, not much) and suspended my pump. I knew eventually that my blood sugar would start to creep up seeing that no insulin was being delivered... and it did, kind of slowly, but it did.

My mom drove me to the office... and walked me in. She was actually a lot more nervous about this than I was... but aren't Moms always more worried and nervous??? Anyway, almost as soon as we walked into the office, she immediately blurted out that I had woken up low... Obviously, it was important for them to know this, but I don't think I fully expected my Mom to announce this the way she did.

However, Dr. C, who was my surgeon, was very inquisitive and interested in this fact. It was good to see that he was concerned. He assured her that they wouldn't start anything until I was in a more normal range. The nurse took me back to the recovery area where I was to get ready and wait for things to commence.

But, backing up a bit, before surgery was set to start, I gave both the surgeon, Dr. C, and the anesthesiologist a lesson in Diabetes 101... mainly showing them how to use my insulin pump and glucose meter. I explained and demonstrated how to suspend/unsuspend, deliver a bolus, and also showed them some of the other pump features. Then, I also instructed them on how to take a blood sugar reading. All this is pretty simple, (I mean, they had gone through Med school) so I was confident that they wouldn't have any trouble with any of it.

As I was changing into the flimsy surgical gown, I met the anesthesiologist. Dr. S. actually sort of walked in on me while I was changing, though I don't think he meant to. I'm not sure how to describe him other than to say he's extremely friendly and a little on the flamboyant side, if you know what I mean.

It was actually pretty refreshing to have someone like him there. I guess when I think of doctors, there is this image of a straight-laced, proper, and serious medical professional. I'm not saying those are bad things, but to see someone with his personality was nice and helped put me at ease.

They continued setting up and while doing so, Dr. S called out from the operating room to me. He announced that, he had to be honest, the shot hurts. I was like, "Ummm, what shot?" I actually thought for a minute that there was something that they forgot to tell me. And he's like, "the IV".

Well, I have had IVs before, but never like I had on that day. They inserted the IV right into my hand (on the top) and, yes, it did in fact hurt. It was extremely uncomfortable and I had the urge to pull it out, but I knew that I would have to grit my teeth and bear it....which I did.

As a final step before they initiated surgery, I tested again and, this time, came up 80, which was just enough to move ahead as scheduled. From there, some of what I remember is somewhat blurred, but I will share what I do remember.

One thing I recall is Dr. S continuing to make chit chat with me over various things. He asked me if this was my first surgery (which it was) and then remarked on how brave I am, he asked me about my Diabetes, and the last thing I remember him discussing with me (and the nurse) was the TV show, "Nip/Tuck".... I know, kind of random stuff, but it did kind of take my mind off the fact that I was having surgery in just minutes. Yes, I'm sure I was a lot more relaxed than if I was just waiting for it to happen. Finally, he announced that he was giving me "my appetizer". Well, whatever that stuff was, wasn't just an appetizer. I was out.

The next thing I knew, I was coming to in recovery and surgery was over. To be honest, I didn't feel bad- the only bad thing was that I couldn't breathe whatsoever through my nose. But I had been warned. Dr. S had said that it would feel like "the worst cold EVER" and that wasn't an exaggeration- probably more like an understatement. It was awful...

However, despite the discomfort, I have to say I was a good patient. I wouldn't even remark on this, but I am because this is something extremely out of the ordinary. I am, usually, one of the worst patients out there. Seriously, I have absolutely NO patience. But, surprisingly, I did that day. I stayed put and still, for the most part. I didn't complain. And I did what I was told. Hmmm, maybe it was the drugs- lol. :)

Time passed and I soon came to realize that I needed the bathroom... Just as I came to that realization, the nurse came out and asked me if I needed just that. Well, while I was in there doing my business, I did catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror... which was kind of a scary sight :(.

Of course my nose was all bandaged up, but then I had two black eyes.... I basically looked like I had just gotten into a pretty bad brawl with someone and was beat up. And then the bruises... I didn't expect what I saw exactly. I mean, I knew I would be bruised, but I sort of thought that the bruises would develop slowly and not be there right away. Turns out, I was wrong.

Soon enough, I was being ushered back out to the recovery room and back to my bed. I stayed there for awhile, lying with ice-packs covering my eyes, over my bruises. The nurses were extremely friendly, nice, and attentive. They stayed on top of taking my blood sugar readings, which was definitely a good thing to see.

After I ate an English muffin with light jelly, my numbers did start to climb. Soon I was taking correction doses to bring it down. Unfortunately, those boluses didn't seem to help. I think three readings in a row were all in the 200s and each higher than the previous. But I think the stress from surgery, among other things, wasn't helping.

Finally, they told me that my Dad was there to pick me up. At this point, I had enough of lying there with my face covered in icepacks. I was ready to leave. By the time we left the office, it was already 3:30 pm... a lot later than I had expected to leave.

We had to make a few stops on the way home. We walked in at about 5 pm. I ended up lounging on the couch and dozing a bit the rest of the day. I wasn't in any pain, but the natural instinct is to breathe through your nose and not being able to do that was a bit uncomfortable and frustrating. I don't know how, but somehow I got through it...

So that, more or less, was the big day. There are some other things that went on during the stay at my parents up to the present, and a lot more that I would like to talk about, but I will spare you for right now, lol. But stay tuned... because, if you tune in next time, you'll get to hear about Friday, where I had a little conflict with my baby sis, and you'll also hear about the day the cast came off... which should make for some interesting reading, at least I hope!


Blogger J said...

Glad you came thru everything ok I was thinking about when you would post your surgery ... seems all went pretty well that is great .

12:57 PM  
Blogger julia said...

Whooo! Good for you. Are you going to do a before and after shot? I'm dying to see how it came out. Well, maybe you can wait til the black eyes go away. ;-)

5:07 PM  

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