Well I had a surgery yesterday and it didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped. I’m home now thankfully, but there were some… complications and it could be for a lot of reasons, but I’ll cover the most likely issue and then go and rest some more.
I can barely keep my eyes open. I’m so very tired and I’m not sure why that is. It could be the anti-nausea patch I have on behind my ear, or it may just be because my surgery lasted so long. First let’s talk about how it went!
The good news is they say they fixed the problem and removed all the scar tissue around the spinal cord that was causing the problem. The bad news was that it was far worse than the CT showed, duh I knew that. That just meant that as the surgery was progressing, a half hour surgery, which was what the doctors were saying it would take, ended up being over three hours. That doesn’t count the prep or recovery, that’s me laying on the table with my back open for the whole surgical room to see.
They gave me a local anesthesia, so a bunch of pain meds via IV drip and several local injections which were done every time I said ouch. Seriously, I was told to say ouch and they would give me more. So I got to be awake for the whole thing. I wasn’t in the most comfortable position, laying on my side for them to do the operation, but it could’ve been worse, laying on your stomach means the blood can pool in your face and leave you with bruising, I had one surgery where that happened and I hated it.
That was just the first problem, the surgery took a lot longer than we had planned and I had to say ouch a bunch of times without sounding like a big wimp as they dug into my back. The recovery is where things went sideways badly.
When I arrived I was out of it. They must have given me more drugs because I remember being surprisingly awake for most of the surgery, like I hadn’t been given anything awake. I didn’t feel pain, mostly, but I wasn’t tired either. Then before they wrapped up I had fallen asleep and then I feel like I feel asleep a few times in the recovery area. There are two recovery areas at this VA, the first is sort of a staging area halfway between me going home and halfway to the hospital.
It was at this halfway point that I noticed the room spinning. I was dizzy. Like very dizzy. At first I thought it would go away, but then I asked for a bag and puked a whole ton of black, what the nurse described as, “coffee grounds.” Not a little mind you, I filled that fucking bag up. It sucked.
Then I did it again, and again, and again. I must have puked at least 3-4 times in the first hour I was awake enough to do that. Thankfully my nurse was super awesome. One of those rare people at the VA who does there job because they care and not because they can be lazy and not get fired. It’s sad, but she probably won’t be at the VA long, most good staff aren’t.
They loaded me up with basically every anti-nausea med they could give me and even a few that were off label uses, like benadryl. Unfortunately, none of it helped. They gave me everything they could and the one thing they suggested would work, an anti-nausea patch that I mentioned, the one placed behind the ear, takes about 4 hours before it would kick in.
I eventually was told that I was going to be staying overnight for observation on a clear diet, meaning no solid foods, dinner consisted of some jello and juice, breakfast had some veggie broth, coffee, and more jello and juice. Thankfully I was feeling better by morning and while they aren’t sure what caused it, I am fairly confident it was the pain meds.
Pain meds don’t take away the pain, at least not the oral ones (or IV apparently), but what they do seem to accomplish is making me extremely sick. I had a similar, but less intense, puking experience last surgery the difference between these two and all the previous surgeries is they both involved pain meds after the surgery.
The previous surgery I had a lot of pain afterwards so they pushed every last bit of pain med they were allowed to into me and nothing helped. Then right after I threw up a bunch. This surgery because they didn’t knock me out, I was stuck being given (probably) the same pain meds. So I’m not shocked that the result was similar, albeit more intense. Then again, that was probably a function of the amount of pain meds they put into me.
Now I just feel like I’m in a waking dream. Everytime I close my eyes I fall asleep and I’m sure that has to do with the surgery and probably the patch by my ear. So for now, I am going to rest a bit and try to sleep as much as I can. It’s back to work for me tomorrow so I’m going to have to suck it up and do this even if I don’t want to.