Sunday, August 28, 2011

Post-Surgery Update

As you may know, I had a little surgery on my left elbow on Friday.  I had this little bump on my elbow probably for a few years, but between one thing and another{mostly Peyton-related}, I put it on the back-burner and never had it looked at.  I finally had a routine physical a few months ago and I mentioned it.  She referred me to general surgery who then referred me to a plastic surgeon who specializes in the hand {which really goes up to and including the elbow}.  Yesterday was surgery day!  I was quite excited to get rid of this bump.  It was right where I lean on my elbow.  It hurt periodically - including yesterday on the way to the hospital!

I had to be up at the ambulatory surgery center at MUSC for 5:45 am!!  AM!!  I don't know if the doctor was just insane or if they were packing in the surgeries as early they could because of the threat of a tropical storm coming from Hurricane Irene.  Whatever the case may be, we were up and ready.  Our home nurse had to be on duty at 5:00 am so we could leave by 5:15.  She actually spent the night here since it was so early.  Here's a picture of "happy me" before leaving the house.  You can't see the bump, but it's there!!

Bright and early Friday morning.  Glasses on and no makeup!  Yikes!!
I was taken back to pre-op by about 6:30 or so.  It was extremely busy there, hence the delay.  I was called back, weighed, and then had to take a pregnancy test!  I just laughed.  It was mandatory, so I obliged.  Then I came back to my little curtained off section of the unit and got changed into a lovely gown.  Curious that you're not allowed to wear underwear when going into surgery...it was my elbow they were working on.  The nurse anesthetist hooked up an IV in my right hand after giving me a little shot of something to numb the area first.  That was awesome of her to do!! Ron was allowed to come back shortly after that and just a couple minutes before 7:00, the nurse anesthetist pushed some Versed {a sedative...which Peyton is allergic to!} through the IV.  I remember being wheeled down the corridor and into the OR.  I remember there were 4 or 5 people - 3 sitting at a counter and then, of course, the one pushing me down the hall.  I think there was someone with her too.  Then I remember being in a haze being wheeled out of the OR while a doctor {presumably the resident and not my surgeon...I couldn't see} was telling the nurse how his wife hated him and how he has a "ghetto booty"...at least 3 times.  In my drug induced fog, I was laughing on the inside thinking would this conversation be happening if he knew I could hear him???

I was brought to the post op recovery area.  I was kind of in and out for a few minutes.  The nurse took off my nasal canula and when she saw my eyes open asked me if I wanted some ginger ale.  I said yes.  I came to fairly quickly.  Not bright and alert, but awake.  Ron was allowed to come back, but he had gone to the hospital pharmacy just down the hall to pick up a few prescriptions of Peyton's.  As soon as he was back, he was brought to the PACU to see me.  I got to have some crackers and lots of ginger ale.  I felt pretty good.  No pain.  The nurse asked me if I wanted a pain killer before I left.  I initially declined, but at some point felt a little twinge and thought maybe I'd better take one now because Ron will still have to go out and get my prescription filled.

We got home before 11:00, which was great because Moira's school day was cut short due to the weather.  She was getting out at 11:45 so it was perfect timing.  Ron went out and got my prescription and some food.  I managed to keep the food down, but haven't eaten much since.  I gained THREE LBS overnight!!!  Yikes.  I am sure it's all the fluid they gave me, 'cause there's no way I ate enough to gain that much!

At home post-surgery.
My elbow is currently wrapped as in the picture above.  I have to keep it like that for a couple days.  I can shower after 3 days.  I'm keeping it wrapped, but I am bathing.  It is not easy taking a one-handed bath.  I did manage to scrub my left hand down.  My whole left arm, all the way around, was prepped with betadine or something, so it looks like I have a really bad spray tan on that arm.  My left hand, for the most part, is fairly normal looking now, except for my puffy fingers.  I can't get my wedding/engagement rings back on yet!

My entire arm is covered in Betadine.
Yesterday after I got home, I received some beautiful flowers.  The roses, however, were for one of our nurses {Emily} from my Dad. She continually goes above and beyond for us, helping us out in situations where we're not sure how to coordinate things.  She's the one who spent the night.  So grateful to have such an amazingly special nurse as her!!

Beautiful "get well" flowers!

I love sunflowers!

And Gerber daisies!

And roses!

One arrangement was from my Dad.

Another was from "The Texas Fontenots" (aka Ron's family)

I just thought this was pretty cool looking.
 Friday night was pretty rough.  I woke up a lot and in a lot of pain.  I took a painkiller {hydrocodone} at about 4:00am.  I took another around 7:30am.  That was only after spending a while on the bathroom floor breaking out in a freezing cold sweat, dry heaving and spitting up into the toilet.  So far, that's the only episode of that happening, but the cold sweat has come and gone a few times, though not as severe.  I spent most of Saturday with my arm resting on a pillow across my body as I lay down.  I spent the day mostly awake but definitely fading out periodically and definitely in a lot of pain, despite the painkillers

As for Sunday, it's early and we'll see how the whole getting ready for church thing goes.  I don't want to miss!!  I have faith that my pain will subside and that this is just for a short time and it will all be better soon.  Beyond that, the dressing can come off Monday and I see the doctor in a week and a half to get the stitches out.  I have no idea which way the incision runs or how big it is, although he indicated it could be about an inch and a half.  I do know that right now it hurts...it hurts a lot.  Praying for some peace and relief from the pain.

Luke 8:48 (NLT)

48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”


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