On losing an organ...

Submitted by Jessie on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 21:46

So as many of you have already read or heard, I had my gallbladder out last Thursday. It was the first surgery I have ever had, first time under general anesthesia, first overnight stay in the hospital since I was born and first organ removal. Yes I still have my tonsils and my appendix. Until now the most major things I have had removed are my wisdom teeth. So here is how I remember it:

Thursday we (mom, Ben and I) arrived at the hospital at 6:15am. We went to the surgical waiting area. Ben asked "is this where we'll be all day?" as the same day surgery area doesn't look very big from the waiting room. I then went back and got changed and had the IV started. I really dislike IVs, I am terrified of ripping them out accidentally. Ben and Mom were then allowed to come back and sit with me.

The anesthesiologist was then supposed to come talk to me, and I was to be off to surgery by 7am. At 7:10 a surgical nurse came to take me to the surgery holding area to wait for the anesthesiologist as he stuck in another surgery, so I said goodbye to mom and Ben for the moment.

After waiting a few more minutes, the anesthesiologist came and asked if this was my first time going under general anesthesia, and I was then off to surgery. I have to say going under was one of the strangest feelings I have ever had in my life. Before they even told me they were giving it to me I could already feel it. My mouth was numb... I said "my mouth is numb," and was out shortly after. They didn't have to ask me to count backward or anything. Next thing I remember, I was waking in the recovery room. Soon after that I was moved to a room in the maternity ward as all the surgical beds were full. So I had a nice big private room with a rocking chair and a couch/bed in addition to my bed.

My lunch was a tasty chicken broth, jello, juice, and tea. Not exactly an ideal meal, and I unfortunately regurgitated it as my stomach was upset from the anesthesia. Thanks to that I got to stay overnight in the hospital. I slept on and of for the next 20 hours or so. Memorably, mom and Ben ate pizza while I got to eat more of the yummy liquid diet... thanks a lot... just kidding. Ben went home around 8:30 when the episode of Grey's Anatomy mom and I were watching was more than he could take... and he was too worn out to stay awake much longer. Around 3am I watched a special about Van Gogh and Gauguin.

I officially got up around 7am and had more broth for breakfast. The nurse then gave me a final dose of IV pain meds and antibiotics to prevent infection. As soon as this was over she had to quickly remove my IV and let me get dressed as it was 8:30 am and I had to be discharged by 9am, insurance will only pay for 1 day (23 hours or less) for such a surgery.

I slept and watched TV on Friday. The pain pills made me really woozy. I no longer needed to take them by Saturday and on Saturday I even helped Ben with some painting on the front porch. Sunday I walked to church 8 blocks or so away. Mom left Sunday after lunch. It was great having her here!

I was back to work yesterday (Monday) and am only taking occasional ibuprofen for slight pain. I am rather itchy where I am healing. Hopefully I will get the staples out Thursday.