5:45am smiles are weird

Things That Happened To Me At The Hospital And Beyond

5:45am smiles are weird
Heading to the hospital and smiling because I have no idea what’s ahead of me.

These were funny-ish once I was weeks and weeks and week and weeks away except for the ones that still aren’t:

  • An orderly yelled, Run Forrest! Run!, when I was trying to catch my husband in the parking lot as he drove away with my eyeglasses case that the hospital said I had to have OR ELSE. (or else they’d gently wrap my glasses in a bag and hand them to me immediately after surgery)
  • The pre-op nurse told me her husband went to Wal-Mart the afternoon of his surgery even though he shouldn’t have driven anywhere. She then told me how the air bubbles they leave behind can be trapped in the diaphragm and how painful that is. And finally she said DID I SCARE YOU?
  • Anesthesia forgot about me so the nurse had to sneak me into recovery so I could see my husband after I woke up from surgery crying hysterically for him. (Don’t ever think “Where’s my husband?” right before they put you under.)
  • Scott asked how I would feel in 12 hours because we accidentally thought he should go to work the next morning. This nurse said I’d feel like I’d been hit by a mac truck. I fell in love with this nurse.
  • Someone stole my wheelchair.
  • No one mentioned to my husband I needed a post-up appointment with my surgeon. I assumed it was because insurance doesn’t reimburse well-enough. It turns out they were too busy trying to find my wheelchair.
  • At a month out, I was in terrible pain and called my surgeon. That’s when I found out about my post-op appointment that I never made, and I need to come immediately. I didn’t have hernia. I was just “doing too much” also know as “attempting to live my life.”
  • At two months out, I went to my follow-up with GI doctor, and he told me surgeries (even laparoscopic ones) are like a controlled car accidents. It will take 2 weeks to get over the pain, 2 months to get my energy to 75%, and 6 months to be 100%. But he doesn’t like to tell patients that until after surgery so they don’t get scared. If only I could’ve bred him with my pre-op nurse and had a NORMAL PRE-OP TALK ABOUT MY POST-OP SURGERY EXPECTATIONS. {big breath}
  • He also said I don’t have to come back until I’m 50. Hooray for preventative colonoscopies and being done. Mostly that last one.

But the surgery worked and I’m not in any GI pain anymore and got most of energy back before I fell off the planet. So worth it? Totally.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

12 thoughts to “Things That Happened To Me At The Hospital And Beyond”

  1. YAY! So happy your pain is gone! But holy crap, doctors should definitely tell you realistic things about recovery. That’s so frustrating. I hope you get all your energy back soon!

    1. I told my GI doctor that I could’ve planned better had I known instead of scrambling with the kids and Scott for weeks. Hopefully, he’ll remember for the next person although at least he gave realistic expectations. Every other medical personnel including my surgeon else told me a week at the most (until I showed up in my surgeon’s office in pain 30 days out and he told me to stop doing so much). I know each body is different and I don’t want to dwell too much on everything because I’m so happy to feel better but the past year has been frustrating (hence my post-like reply?)

  2. I woke up crying from my wisdom tooth removal too. The nurse said the anesthesia makes you emotional. My mom said she wrote a paper in college about how it takes your kind to freaky places. Whichever it is, I’m glad you’re feeling better. 🙂

  3. You and another blog I follow both talked about having your gallbladder removed within a week or so of each other. 2 weeks later I ended up in the ER with what I thought was food poising. 3 days later I had emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder – without having any prior symptoms. I think it’s some sort of conspiracy to start a No Gallbladder Club!

  4. WTF? This sounds freaking awful. Poor baby. Last time I had a surgery, it was a D & E and I woke up talking incessantly about my blog. Yeah, that was pretty effed up. Let’s just say, the blog is how I process and I was in a lot of denial and recovery is the great equalizer.
    I’m glad you feel better mama & Hooray for no more colonsocopies until you are 50!

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