Surgery (in brief detail)

Wanted to provide an update, more to come as I’m on the couch using the iPad which makes longer posts tough.

Surgery was a week ago today. Wow, we weren’t quite sure what the great Dr. Randall Porter would find when he got in as some tests were not revealing. We were all a bit nervous I think. Ok, I know I was!

Surgery was more complex than thought. 4 hours of neurosurgery and according to my parents, the first thing Dr Porter said to them
post surgery was, “she made me work really hard”. Surgery was found to be critical as there was a knot of scar tissue, ligament, tendon, nerve, etc all mashed together (for better terms) that he had to dissect and get away with the bad and keep and preserve the good. Plus he re-fused the spine with 6 new screws. Not an easy surgery, more invasive than we all hoped, and the next 3+ days were some of the scariest of my life….

Most go straight to the Neuro Acute Floor post surgery, not me. Straight to ICU with you… Ugh, I guess blood pressure of 59/31 is not so good despite being on IV meds to raise, some speage from the incision and overall just not stable (most know I’m not stable)!

Points from ICU
– They keep telling me that it was not pitch black for the entire 3 days, I still don’t believe them.
– The sounds of beeping machines were not beeps but more of a constant blaring scream that made my head hurt and want to explode.
– Despite them telling me I was medicated, the pain was unbearable
– Throwing up stomach bile is disgusting and certainly NOT recommended after back surgery
– The nightmares, hallucinations, and people I thought I saw….well, we just won’t go there.

ICU= a place I hope to never EVER visit again!

Then 3+ days in Neuro Acute. = Nausea and more….

All the Dr.’s and Nurses were great and so kind. Veins didn’t always behave and had to get a visit from the SWAT team to start another IV. I guess and learned veins are only good for so long, then it’s time to let another vein “play” … None of my veins were into experiencing playtime. No worries, SWAT team got it started on 1st
try. Whew, especially after the 6 previous fails.

Mom tried to make me eat. Not easy when so nauseous but existed on gluten free pretzels and pb and gf trader joes ginger snaps for the remaining 3 days. Had some awesome visits from friends, watched a lot of HGTV and recaps from the Royal Wedding, had several iron IV infusions, meds, had to talk the nurses out of giving me more meds, and floated in and out.

A few observations:
-My veins HATE needles
-I had to do some major convincing to the nurses that I had a high pain tolerance and DON’T want morphine or more vicodin
-I HATE catheters
-I didn’t leave the bed from Tues till they got me up on Sat. (longest time frame in lifetime I’ve done NOTHING! Don’t need to repeat.
-LOTS of eye candy, Doctors… NOT the patients
-“What’s your name, why are you here, what is the date, where are you, squeeze my fingers, pull me towards/away from you, hold your hands up, bend your leg, push down on the gas, shrug shoulders,
smile, stick your tongue out, and NOW I will shine a bright light into
your eyes. …. All this 6+ times a day! Fun times NOT!

All in all by Monday I was so mentally ready to leave. I knew I had to convince to succeed. Walked over 40 min around the Neuro floor with Mom, put my best smiley face on, told them didn’t really need
any pain meds (not to far from the truth, ok a little) and actually had Mom write a note to the Dr.’s and put on door, just in case… That said, “I’m ready to go home and feeling good!” the note sure got some laughs.

Now at my parents until May 15th if all goes well. Laying on couch next to a pile of magazines, ginger tea, and surrounded by some VERY over protecting parents. So grateful for their support. So grateful for my amazing Neurosurgeon, Dr Porter.. So grateful for my friends thoughts and prayers and most of all so grateful for God’s love and protection.

I’ll try to keep the blog updated as I move through the recovery and all it offers. Hugs to all and never lose Faith!


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