Thursday, July 4, 2013

More surgery....

Last Wednesday I went back into the hospital to have yet another surgery. Since then life has been a nightmare. I am sure there is someone out there reading thinking, "don't be so dramatic"...and to them I say, if you haven't had surgery like this, then you have no right to judge me. This has been by all accounts the worst experience of my life. I have had numerous surgeries over the years....tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy...2 laparoscopies, 2 c/sections, hysterectomy, arthroscopic knee surgery, gastric bypass, the first rectal surgery and yet, this by far, has blown them all out of the water in terms of pain.

So what has gone on you ask? Well let me start back a week and half ago....settle in...this is a doozy ....

On Friday June 21st, I met with the colo-rectal specialist. We discussed my prior rectal surgery and what had happened up to the point of needing that surgery and of course, what has taken place since that surgery. He performed a rectal exam and decided that I needed another surgery. So the plan of action was to go in and use a healthy piece of tissue to create a "flap" over the fistula. However, if he got in there and discovered any infection, he was going to back out for now and would have to go back in another time. He put me on two different medications and scheduled me for surgery on Wednesday, June 26th. 

Monday, June 24th, the day surgery department of the hospital calls to go over my information and to schedule me to come in for a pre-op appointment. The lady on the phone says to me, "ok, we need you to come in the Wednesday before the surgery"...now keep in mind it is Monday and my surgery is Weds. So I said to her, "oh you mean tomorrow?" and she says "no, the Wednesday before the surgery". I said, "mam, I am sorry but there aren't any Wednesdays left before my surgery on Wednesday". OMG! Hello!!! So she chuckles and says, "oh yeah". That's when I should have realized things were going to go downhill. 

Tuesday, June 25th - I go in for my pre-op appointment. I meet with the nurse first and we go over my health history and then she leaves to get the anesthesiologist. A few minutes later the Dr. walks in and says, "you don't recognize me from Walmart?" and I just looked at him blankly. I realize that I shop at Walmart a lot but I don't pay attention to the other patrons enough to be able to recognize anyone. So he says, "you're a cashier, right?" I explain that I am indeed not a cashier - that I am a stay at home mom. So he proceeds to hand me the paperwork and points to where it says cashier at Walmart. It is the paperwork for a different person ...a person named Shannon....So I said to him, "I am not Shannon and I do not work at Walmart" and his eyes get as big as saucers and he quickly grabs the paperwork and tells me to "pretend I never saw it". This should have been the second clue to me that things were going to nosedive. 

Wednesday, June 26th -  I arrive at 7:30 am. for my surgery. I am taken back a few minutes later and they begin to prep me. The nurse gets an iv into me in seconds, gave me some meds, and I remember falling asleep. At one point the Dr. came in and woke me to talk to me but I can't honestly remember much of that conversation other than to say what the surgery was going to be and ask how I was feeling. I remember being wheeled back into the operating room and being given anesthesia and going to sleep. I woke up in recovery feeling a bit "icky" and sore. They brought me back to day surgery and called hubby to let him know I was out. I remember again being uncomfortable and given more pain medication via my iv. Around 1pm they sent me on my way. (Looking back I wonder why they never had me try to use the bathroom nor feed me - two things that the other hospital did for my first rectal surgery the month prior). 

We got home and I went upstairs to lay down. It was about 30 minutes later when the pressure to use the bathroom hit me. I went to the bathroom but couldn't ...I sat there 5 minutes...10 minutes...15 minutes...panic starting to set in as the pressure was so intense ...20 minutes...I am starting to doze off from the meds....25 minutes...my feet are going numb...30 minutes....still can't urinate. I get up and attempt to lay down again...pressure is too great...can't lay down...try to walk around the room. Back to the bathroom I go to sit on the toilet again...5..10...15...minutes...still can't....15 more minutes pass....starting to fall asleep again....20 more minutes....I am crying....the pain and pressure is intense. I get up and start pacing. I am crying. I want to pee so bad but can't. This goes on till about 8pm when I finally tell Karl I am going to lose my damn mind. I am shaking...no fever but yet I am freezing and my teeth are chattering and I can't stop the shaking. I call the Dr. only to find out he's not on call that evening. The on call Dr. calls me shortly and tells me to go up to the ER. My best friends mom takes me up at almost 9pm. I go through triage and explain what is going on....taken back to a room and given a gown to put on. I am still so cold - they bring me probably 8 blankets over the course of my time there. I explain my story to the nurse...and then again to the Dr. on duty...they decide to give me a catheter...I've never had one before that wasn't put in place while already under anesthesia, so this was an experience...an experience I'd rather not have ever again. After that they attempted to put in an iv...three nurses...about 8 pokes later they finally got one in....gave me some painkiller - can't remember what it was and then drew blood for lab work. Long story short, my pain when I arrived was at a 10...when I left around 1am it was still 8/9. They did absolutely nothing for me. When I started having a reaction to the pain killer I was told it wasn't an allergy but just a common reaction, given Benadryl and then given a different pain killer. I was sent home as I said around 1am with catheter in place in a 'johnny" and still in intense pain. 

Thursday, June 27th, 2013 – Called Dr.'s office and was told that he wasn't in the office that day, but that the nurse would call me back. I waited another hour but no call back so I called the office and the nurse said she was going to talk to Dr. l and get back to me. Dr. himself called me back about 30-40 minutes and we talked about the amount of pain I was in, so he asked if I could come right in to the office.  I got there about 15 minutes later and he examined me. He seemed surprised to find out the packing was still in place. No one told me I should physically take that out – I had been told that it would fall out on its own. He removed the packing and said that should help the pressure. But it didn’t. If anything, the pulling out of the packing made the pain worse. He asked me if I wanted to keep the catheter in place and I declined, so he had the nurse remove it. Said to start the stiz baths (which apparently I was supposed to have done the day of surgery but was told not to start them by the nurse till the following day).  Continue taking the pain medication as well as Colace 3x’s per day. (At this point I still had yet to have a bowel movement.)

Friday, June 28th, 2013 – Karl went and bought one of those “donut” pillows to help me sit.  Still in severe pain – 9/10. Dr called me to see how I am doing – explained still in the worst pain I've had and he said he'd call in a new prescription – Gabapentin 800 mg – 1 tablet three times a day. Took that but didn't see any help from that at all. He asked if I was still putting the Bacitracin on it and I explained that was something no one had ever told me to do. So Karl went out and bought some for me.

Saturday, June 29th, 2013 – Finally able to use the bathroom (bowel movements) but it burns like hell. Continuing to do the sitz baths 3-4 times a day for relief. Gone back to taking just the Oxycodone.

Sunday, June 30th, 2013 – Still in so much pain – hurts to walk, lay down, sit….only relief comes when lying on stomach.

Monday, July 1, 2013 – Called Dr.’s office to see what to do since pain is still 9/10 at this point. Nurse explains that Dr is out this week but she will talk to Dr. on call and call me back.  Never hear back from nurse.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 – Notice more pain today in the vagina in addition to the pain I've been having in the rectum. When I take my shower I discover a new “lump” near where the initial lump was that started this whole mess back in April.  Still haven't heard from nurse. Pain is still the same. Call the nurse this afternoon and she says she’s waiting to talk to the Dr. on call in between surgeries today. She calls me back 30 mins later and says  that she talked with the Dr. on call and he wants me to wait another 24 hours and see how I feel then and if I am still in pain to call and they will try to get me in. I explained that I had this new “lump” and the nurse said it is probably just some trapped fluid that the body hasn't been able to reabsorb. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - Wake up around 4am in intense pain - feels like I am being stabbed rectally. Karl has to go to Bangor, so I am home alone with the kids. I decide that either the Dr. on call is seeing me today or I am taking myself to the ER. I call Karl's mom to come out and stay with the kids and finally the doctors office calls me back and says the on call Dr. wants to see me at 2:30pm. I get there at 2:15 like they asked me to and I wait till after 3pm to be seen. Dr. comes in along with a med student, and we talk briefly - he gives me a rectal exam ( has me in tears because the pain is out of this world). He says he's going to have bloodwork done to make sure I do not have an infection. Mentions the possibility of a CT scan. Says depending on the results of the bloodwork ( which he say she'll have later today) that may have to go back in for surgery tomorrow. WTF?!!!! 

So here we are today...Thursday, July 4th...no call with blood work results...no answers as to what is going to happen tomorrow...I am stuck in bed for the 8th day in a row basically. It hurts too much to do much of anything....our plans to get to the fair this week are cancelled...going to the lake to swim and hang out...cancelled....going to the fireworks ...cancelled. I can't exercise for 6 weeks. I can't do a hell of alot at this point. I can't go far in the car even with the "donut" cause the pain is just too great. I've spent almost 24 hours a day for the last 8 days in this bed. The kids, bless their little hearts, have had to entertain themselves for 8 days while I lay here, cranky and hurt and depressed. I feel as though the walls are closing in on me. This whole ordeal is doing nothing for my depression to say the least. 

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