Hello my avid readers. I know you’ve all been foaming at the mouth wondering where the hell/how the hell I’ve been doing, so have no fear, Dr. Friedlander was successful. I’ve just been in pain and recovering since last Tuesday.
I was brave all morning. I got up at 3:30 and showered. Greg and I grabbed my bags and silently slid out the door while everyone slept. It was a quiet drive to Presby.
Check in went rather quickly as well. We sat there for maybe 5 minutes. Then to the surgical family waiting room. That was quick too. Only 10 minutes. I was starving of course. I hadn’t had anything since 5 pm the night before. The longest and most agonizing was waiting for everything to actually happen, which when that did…boy did it. I had about 45 minutes to wait before being prepped up. My dad and 2 of my brothers came to the hospital bright and early to bid me farewell. Dad got a bit choked up, but I was still holding strong and cracking jokes, even as the IV nurse was getting the IV in. Then the anesthesiologist, John, came in. He was such an incredibly pleasant guy and I wish I could remember his last name. He was so soothing and reassuring. He made me feel okay as he read over what was going to be done.
Then shit really got started. Doctors and nurses came from EVERYWHERE. I felt exposed in nothing but my hospital gown and thin little blanket. Kind of like I was on display for the entire world. And boy do hospital gowns do no justice for big bosoms, let me tell you.
Before I knew it, John was wheeling my stretcher off to the newest of the operating rooms. It was a lovely shade of green tile on bottom and of course the typical hospital white on top. I was lying flat on my back so I have no idea what the floor looked like. There were nurses, anesthesiologist, techs, steel and other weird shit that I didn’t recognize all around me.
My OR nurse was a total peach. Of course I can’t remember her name either. I feel awful because these people were honestly amazing.
At that point….I lost it. I couldn’t be the strong me anymore. I just started crying. John stood on one side of me holding my hand for a moment while my nurse held the other and they just let me cry. I think I needed to. I’d been holding it in for so long, being brave for so many people who, at that point, when I was essentially alone, it could come out. The tears could finally flow.
Then they put that horrendous oxygen mask on my face. Deep breathes in, deep breaths out. It’s the weirdest sensation being put under. After that…nothing. No dreams, just…darkness.
I woke up in recovery to a very lovely, older nurse. I believe I asked for Greg first….Greg or a raspberry and blue berry cheese cake waffle cone from The Milkshake Factory (which I still have not gotten). I can’t remember which. I was still pretty out of it. IV’s everywhere, tubes everywhere, my head was killing me and they put a damn foley in. (Those things SUCK!)
I’m not sure how long I spent in PACU, but I fortunately did NOT have to go to NICU (no, not neonatal intensive care…neurological intensive care). I guess my brain is just really f*cking amazing.
I got to go straight to my floor. 6D. I was THRILLED! AND my awesome boss lady, Donna, got me the “presidential sweet”. Room 62. Best view on the entire floor.
I was supposed to be in until Saturday, but George, ohhhh the wonderful man that George is, got me out on Thursday. And he made me a walking pharmacy. I swear to God if you need a pill, I probably have it on my night stand.
So, since then. Since Thursday, I’ve been sick. I still have issues walking. I guess it’s my brain getting used to having room. BUT NO HEADACHES AND NO BACK ACHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tonight was actually the first time I ate REAL food without throwing up. In fact, I’ve been so sick the past week I’ve lost 20 lbs without leaving my bed. How’s that for a quick diet. Bah.
So what did they do to my brain? AND BACK? (Yes, turns out things were a smidgen worse than what they thought, which I of course, figured would happen.)
They did the decompression of my brain, meaning they cut out the silver dollar sized hold in my skull and got everything adjusted and drained. And also did a laminectomy on my C1 and C2, meaning they chiselled away at the discs in my back because of how much they were pushing up on my brain. From what I have been told and slightly remember hearing…I got this done just in time. There was so much pressure on the right side of my brain had I waited much longer I would have had a stroke. That would have sucked BIG TIME at the age of 26. Yeah, no strokes for me thanks.
So, I’m getting back to myself. Slowly, but surely.
The man, well he’s been a huge help. The kids too. The really like washing my hair and back. The weirdos, but since I can’t…oh well, gotta do what I gotta do.
Honestly, the hardest thing for me wasn’t the surgery….it was seeing my husband sitting at my bedside crying. For those who know the man…he doesn’t cry. The last time he cried was when our boys were born…4 years ago. I was coming out of a valium/vicodin induced sleep and saw the tears on his cheeks in the glow of the T.V. He sat there staring at me just crying. He’s never done that. All I could do was slide my already weak hand over to his and smile the best I could. Of course with tubes, needles and beeping machines I’m sure it did nothing to comfort him and granted a week later he’s better. He babies me like crazy now, not that I’m complaining, I’ll enjoy it for as long as he gives it, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen my big, strong Marine seem so scared and helpless before.
I felt guilty for putting him through that. I knew those tears were because of me. Of course it’s a good thing I had the surgery, but it never really sank in how many other people this affected besides myself. I wasn’t the only person who was suffering. My entire family was. My own boys almost didn’t want to come up to my bed while I lay there because mommy was so sick. Brett wouldn’t even hold my hand for the first hour. Eli just stood there holding my hand saying, “mommy yucky”. It just killed me. (Okay, not literally)
And for your viewing pleasures…
This was taken 2 days ago. I got my stitches out yesterday so I’ll be posting after stitches photos as well. The man actually said my hair is starting to grow back already when he was putting neosporin on the scar, so yay for fast growing hair.