Saturday, May 19, 2012

Preparing for surgery

I talked to the nurse today and she gave me some information about the surgery. It actually left me with a lot of questions and made me a little nervous. I'll go over some of the finer points. 

* The surgery is at 7:30 AM. I have to be there at 5:45 AM. 

* It should take 3 hours. (Everything else I have been reading says it's more like 5-7 hours.)

* They will not give me nausea and pain medication unless I ask for it. (Again, other accounts from other people say that they got a morphine pump. Why do I always get the surgeons that don't believe in pain management? They're cutting open my head for goodness sakes!)

* They are not using my own tissue for the dura patch but, instead, are relying on a synthetic (bovine) patch. (This makes me nervous because there is a bigger chance of rejection since I have EDS.)

* I will be in the hospital for three days. (We are paid in the hotel for 5. Might just stay up there an extra day or two so I don't have to drive back right away.)

* The unit is new and has only been there for two weeks. All rooms are private and Pete can spend the night with me in the room. There are free snacks on the floor. (Well, that's all good!) 

* For at least six weeks I am not allowed to: do laundry, do the dishes, pick up anything heavier than a carton of milk, strain, cough more than a couple of times, drive, bend over, lift anything above my head, or basically bang my head against anything. 

* Because of an increased risk of infection, I have to bathe with the antibiotic soap everyday, for at least three days, prior to the surgery. 

* Physical therapy might be ordered since the muscles in my neck are going to be moved apart and altered.

* I will not be in ICU. (I thought that I would be for at least the first day to be monitored.)  

Considering what happened after my hysterectomy with pain management, I am really freaking out about the pain thing. The lack of vigilant monitoring (no ICU) concerns me, too, since I have a history of not handling surgeries well. I stopped breathing after a laparscopy and my oxygen continued to drop below 50% after my hysterectomy. Had Pete and Melissa not been there to get the nurse to give me oxygen, I don't know what would have happened. They said I kept forgetting to breathe and turned blue a few times. 

I am also a little concerned with the whole blase way they seem to be treating this. Like I am getting an ingrown toenail removed. But, he is the specialist and apparently knows what he is doing. 


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