May 21st, 2006

Cut cuddle and be Cute

Making slow progress...

I've been able to keep the pain more manageable today and thankfully didn't have a repeat of yesterday where I could hardly eat breakfast. I still have pain, though, but hopefully I'll be able to ease off the pain meds soon. I keep going back and forth between thinking "this isn't so awful", and "ouch, can I kill something?". Still, the pain is staying at 6 and below for the most part now, instead of spiking high like yesterday. The nausea seems to have turned tail and run away.

I was able to go to church, although I was very tired by the end of the ordeal. I'm now resting somewhat comfortably on the futon with the laptop on my stomach. I still have pain, but with the meds taking effect and staying more regular, I'm keeping things to 4 or so on the 10-point pain scale.

Now for some stories:

Story #1: The nurse I worked with before the surgery was amazing. She made me laugh and really seemed to love what she was doing. She was reading me the informed consent information I had to sign, and one of the possible negative outcomes of anesthesia is "blindness". I started laughing and she told me to shut up (in a joking way, of course). I'll leave out the details of everything in between for the sake of length of this story, but I woke up in recovery, and was definitely drifting. Soon, though, I realized that my vision didn't seem to be waking up with me. I started getting very nervous, and said something to the nurse (who seemed to be right with me the whole time). She reminded me that "other patients are resting too, so we try to keep the lights dim for them." I just thought it was funny, although distressing at the time.

Story #2: I made sure that they were aware of RSD and was pleasant y surprised to find that they didn't blow me off. The nurse I worked with before surgery also talked to me about the TV special I linked to a few weeks ago. Well, later, the next day, I was talking to the nurse (who happened to be the same one I'd met the day before when I got up to the orthopedic floor). She told me that somehow, something got lost in translation or something, because my chart said something like "autonomic dysfunction" or similar, which meant that I would have had a spinal cord injury and been unable to go to the bathroom. She was relieved to see it was actually RSD, which she promptly looked up.

I was only in the hospital for a day, but I was extremely well cared for. They were very supportive and good about telling me who they were and what they were doing to/for me. I found that I was extremely disoriented for most of the time I was in the hospital; I knew where I was, but not what time it was. In recovery, I still wasn't sick or in pain and I thought they hadn't done the surgery. But everyone was professional and friendly and encouraging. It's not like I ever want to repeat this experience, and there are frustrations I'm still dealing with, but I really do commend the hospital for trying to make things as pleasant for me as they could.

Just some more observations. I hope to write more later. Thank you all for your prayers and support, they mean a lot to me.