It was five years ago that I first spent the night in a hospital thanks to an unexpected bout of cellulitis that I hadn’t even known was a thing until it crippled my left shin for a good couple of weeks.
Last week I had a new first with my first surgery, subsequently followed by a much longer admission after said surgery unfortunately didn’t go according to plan. Today is Monday, and I’ve been here since last Thursday, hoping to get to go home tomorrow. The surgery itself is to repair an umbilical hernia that I’ve probably had for the better part of a decade now. I tried to get it fixed years ago, but I was too fat at the time and now it has me between a rock and a hard place as it’s preventing something bigger that I don’t really want to write about right now…
Admittedly it doesn’t really hurt at all. As far as hernias go, the doctor says that it’s pretty much all fatty tissue and not bowel stuck through the hole, which is apparently a very good thing.
The long and the short of it is that we got about 20 min into the procedure Thursday morning – I was under anesthesia with a breathing tube down my throat, the surgeon had poked a few holes in my belly and was ready to go inside with the robot arms or whatever, and then suddenly my oxygen saturation dropped to 80%, which is bad. They paused and tried to adjust some things to get it to recover, but eventually decided to abort the procedure and I woke up sore and groggy, with several holes that had been patched, and still one hernia.
That said, I was still alive, so I think they made the right choice!
Since then I’ve spent the last four days taking tests and antibiotics to try to clear the little bit of gunk they found in my lungs, and trying to convince myself that things will be different this time. I’ve seen so many doctors and they all think that we should be in a better place this time around between the treatments themselves that I’ve been doing and also now just knowing that it was an issue last time so that they’re all more aware.
It’s still really scary, though. I think the anesthesia freaks me out the most because it’s like turning the lights out without knowing for sure if they’re going to come back on or not. It’s scary to be that unaware – for Thursday’s procedure, the last thing I remember was staring up at these huge lights in the operating room while they were getting ready, and then the next thing I knew I was in a hospital room.
I’m not even sure how long I was under, but during that time they dealt with the breathing tube, poked holes, filled my belly full of air to prepare for the surgery, noticed the oxygen problem, reversed everything, and then took me back to the PACU where they did an x-ray that I had absolutely no idea about until I read about it in my chart later!
I don’t know how close to death I was and I probably don’t want to know, although more than once doctors have reminded me that any surgery comes with a certain amount of risk … it’s just scary that I’m at the point in my life where life itself is on the line.
So I’m sitting here in my hospital room, waiting for the clock to tell me it’s time for my appointment to try again. I can’t really be late because they literally send a wheelchair for me, but I’m both bored and anxious at the same time. Until this hospital stay, I couldn’t even tell you the last time that I was bored … I spent hours just watching TV and playing solitaire on the iPad they gave me last night to try and pass the time!
I learned that you can work backwards in solitaire by moving cards back from the aces to the main board if needed, so that was kind of interesting.
I’m trying not to get myself all worked up because I already did that last week. I have to put my faith in all of these really smart people who’ve been taking care of me for the last week and believe that everything’s going to turn out fine this time.
Here’s to a productive “nap” … hope my body behaves and I’ve got lots of positive stuff to share later today…