WARNING! THIS BLOG MAY BE TOO MUCH INFORMATION! IT MIGHT BE TOO GRAPHIC FOR SOME READERS! READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK!
DAY ONE- THE SURGERY. On Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 I checked into Saddleback Memorial Hospital in Laguna Hills. I like this hospital because it is just a few blocks away from my home, and both of my granddaughters were born there. I actually have great memories in this place. We had to arrive very early, 6:30 AM. I had to awaken at 5:00 AM and give myself a Fleets enema. (what a bother) and could not take certain medications like aspirin or glucose reducing drugs which I take for my diabetes type II and cholesterol level. We arrived at the hospital, my wife, Vicki and I, and paid $400.00 deductible at check in. I had to undress and put all my clothes in a bag, and put on the backless gown and lay down on the gurney which I would be on for surgery. First, a nurse put an Intravenous (I.V.) tube in a vein of my right arm. She was careful to verbally verify my name and allergies, and put an identification band around my right wrist. Then my anesthesialogist came. He was very attentive and caring as he discussed how he was going to administer the drugs to put me under. After explaining what he was going to do and re-verifying my name and allergies, he hung the drip bag, and I started to feel drowsy. I said good-bye to Vicki, and they wheeled me gently into the operating room. I recall it looked very cluttered. There were three surgeons and two attending nurses in the crowded room. It did not look like the operating rooms you see on television or movies. It looked like a storage room filled with equipment, covered with plastic and cloth sleeves. I recall someone talking to me, but was so drowsy I couldn’t respond. Then… white light.
I awoke at around 3:00 PM. I recall an orderly pushing me from the recovery room to my hospital room. He was very rough and clumsy while he pushed me. He banged into the walls of the elevator, and doorways. He wasn’t as careful or gentile as the anestesiologist had been, which pissed me off. When I was placed in my room, Vicki was off to my left, and I was surprised to see my Mother, Father, Brother, Son, and my Mother-in-law all crowded around looking at me. I recall saying something horrible about the orderly who banged me around, and how he must have just got promoted from slinging a leaf blower. My wife, was disgusted with my racist remark and later told me he was nearby when I said it, but I felt he looked like he was new to the job, and hated his job and that his last job wasn’t working with human beings. One of the things they did in preparation for the surgery is they inflated my intestinal tract with air or nitrogen, to balloon it up so that they could operate around them. The problem is this caused me intense gas pain when the anesthesia wore off. I asked for something to relieve the pain but the poor nurse on duty told me she needed to contact my doctor for
instructions and he couldn’t be reached. I looked down at my stomach and saw a catheter tube in my left side which was draining blood into a small plastic bottle hanging from my hip. On my right arm, the I.V. was still there dripping in some medication. Around my navel were five incisions. There were two 1 cm incisions on each side of my belly button, and one 2 cm incision above my navel. They were covered with some kind of liquid plastic bandages, except the one on my farthest left side which had a standard gauze bandage, with the catheter which was draining blood from my body cavity. Also, there was a catheter in my penis, which drained into a square plastic bag, tied to my bed’s guard rails. I felt the slight pain in my genitals when I’d move around, and where the tubes entered my abdomen, and right arm. However the greatest pain was the gas pain in my intestine. I tried to sleep, but couldn’t because of the pain. I rolled back and forth trying to find a position for relief, but couldn’t find one. The nurse told me she reached my doctor and he said the way to relieve the pain was to simply pass the gas, or fart. I tried but couldn’t. Finally it was so bad, I tried to stand up, and go to the bathroom. I had to carry both bags and my arm I.V. on its wheeled-tree. In the bathroom, I tried to jump up and down, to pass the gas, but to no avail. Suddenly, blood started running from the catheter in my stomach area. I rang the nurse, and she had to change my bandages to stop the bleeding. I complained about the gas pain, and finally she brought me some
morphine. The syringe was injected into my I.V. tube. I felt a wave of warmth pass into my blood vessels and body. It helped a bit, but not enough. Then she tried some “pepsin” or something to help me relieve the gas. Finally after awhile I started to pass the gas out (fart), and the pain was fnally gone. However my jumping up and down had increased my bleeding in both my stomach catheter bag, and bladder catheter bag. Not a good sign… The nurses were all great, very patient, and compassionate, and caring even though me and my roommate were often cranky and impatient. They told me my goal was to get the bleeding to stop, and be able to eat and urinate. The first day I could only have ice chips. at first. After several hours I finally could sip water. I tried to sleep, my wife, Vicki, still at my side, but my roommate had several chatty guests visiting him, and I had a long, restless day. Finally after all of the guests left at around 8:00 PM I fell asleep…