Our day started at five a.m.
James' surgery was scheduled for nine, but we were supposed to be there by 7:30; we were there way earlier.
They have a nifty system: you get one of those "your table is ready" things that vibrates and blinks when you check in. It notifies you to admissions, then to pre-op, and then it's given to whomever accompanied the person having outpatient surgery, to call you back to see the person before they go into surgery. Following that, they have a board with color-coded stages of the surgery (admittance, pre-op, waiting, etc. all the way to "all done"), and you also get texts on the patient's progress in surgery and then in post-op.
So James did paperwork, then we waited, then he went back to pre-op, then I went back to pre-op, where he was all kitted up for surgery. The nurses, as always, were super-nice, and we met the anesthetist and then Dr. Austin came in to go over the surgery with us. And then I went back out into the foyer to wait. I got some milk and Doritos from the cafeteria and had brought fruit with me. (I tried to get a seat next to an electrical plug; there was only one, and when I did get that seat, the plug wasn't powered. So I depended on the laptop battery, wrote what I wanted to write, then went on to reading.) The text came that he was in surgery. The doctor said surgery would be 25 minutes to an hour, depending on what they found and also how long it took them to stop the bleeding (he didn't have to go off his blood thinners). Pretty much an hour later I got a text that he was out of surgery.
Post-op was hard to get through. They said about an hour, but could be up to three hours. James' was closest to three because his blood pressure was very low when they woke him up and also because the post-op nurse wanted him to be able to blow a certain amount on the spirometer before he got to go home. It wouldn't have been so bad, but his number disappeared from the status board; I never did get the grey "all done!" message that was supposed to follow post-op! So, yeah, I was "making buttons" until they called me back, and then we had to get the discharge papers and he had to get dressed and we had to use the bathroom, and then we had to stop by Kaiser for pain pills (which he never used, but we took them anyway) and only then could we go home. They didn't even put a bandage on it; the post-op person said they didn't want to impede the circulation in any way. All they put on it was surgical glue and it was fine for him to shower with; he just couldn't immerse. The surgical cut was less than three inches long. Got the usual warnings: look for excess redness or swelling or pus.
The surprise of the day was when James came home and took his blood sugar; even after not eating, it was almost 300. So he figured they might have given him some steroids, because he also discovered that even though he was bushed from the surgery, he was standing straighter and his knee wasn't creaking like it does all the time because he had no pain in his knees, back or hips at all.
Labels: health, sickness, surgery