Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day of Surgery

I'm already starting to get bored, so I figured I'd record my experience the day of my surgery.

The night before the surgery I hardly slept. After working evenings at the ER, my circadian rhythms had me going to bed around 2 am and I needed to wake up by 5 am for the surgery. I couldn't fall asleep any earlier, so I was exhausted that morning.

Pre-op wasn't anything exciting, just peeing in a cup, reviewing health history, etc.

I know I had IV's when I was a kid, but I don't think I've ever had IV antibiotics. We get into the OR room and they start to give me the versed, fentanyl, and antibiotics. I've always heard the nurses warn the patients that it might sting going in. Oh, my, goodness. Yes it does. Fortunately I was out right after that and don't remember anymore.

My surgery only lasted about 35 minutes. When I woke up in recovery, my first thought was, "man, that was some great sleep, finally." Then I open my eyes and realize I don't know the woman who's sitting next to me. Then it dawns on me where I am. It took me five minutes to become coherent and I know I asked her name at least twice. She mentioned my blood pressure and heart rate increased after waking up, but not to worry, it's due the pain. I realize that, but I also wonder if it could be due to blood loss, even though I know it's not a bloody surgery. The nurse looked a little surprised when I asked for my estimated blood loss. I guess that's part of treating someone with medical knowledge. Supposedly my blood loss was zero, but I have a hard time believing I didn't lose anything.

After my heart rate and blood pressure decreased, they wheeled me over to post-op. My post-op nurse was amazing and so patient. She could tell I was still in pain and offered some morphine. It's fairly common for morphine to cause a local rash and itch after being injected. I noticed my arm was extremely itchy just a few minutes after she gave me the morphine. She was spending an large amount of time with me and I wanted to make sure I wasn't taking her away from her other patients. In my half asleep state I ask her if I'm her only patient and if so if she could get me some benadryl and point to my arm. She responds, "you do have quite a rash developing there." I was out before she even finished injecting the benadryl. Mom said it looked like I was catching flies.

As an aside, getting a rash after receiving morphine is common and is not considered an allergic reaction. So if it happens to you, just ask for some anti-histamine and the itching will go away.


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