Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Surgery

Well, I can't believe the surgery was last Monday, and today is the following Saturday and my first day with the energy to post something. First let me say how much I appreciate the support and prayers of my family and friends. I am so thankful and overwhelmed about all the support I have received from around the country and especially appreciate all the prayers. It all started Sunday evening when I drank my magnesium citrate at 4:30pm to begin the "clean out" process. Then I received a call around 7pm with a report time for surgery at 6am on Monday (June 30th) to Ambulatory check-in. The drive to the hospital is 45 minutes so we had to leave a few minutes after 5am to park and check-in. I also had to get up even earlier to apply the final clean out medicine so I would have a clean working surface for the doctor ;) It was a tough night sleeping but did manage 4 good hours. The support at the hospital was great. Before I was called back to pre-op I was able to see my wife (she is so awesome!), two sister in-laws, my mom and dad, brother and close family friend. Again, the support was awesome and this helped ease my nerves. I was called back to the pre-op area about 6:15am and put on a great lounging gown and nice shower cap with matching socks and got a bed in room 26 which was one of the famous cloth wall rooms. There were people walking around everywhere and it was loud at times. I was so glad that my wife was with me the entire time in that area and the rest of my family rotated in and out. Listening to all the risk involved with surgery from the anesthesiologist made me a little nervous. It made me think about my 1o year old son and what he would say if I didn't come home. I started to get emotional at this point and they came and gave me something to ease my nerves. It was time to head to the surgery. I remember seeing my wife when I was leaving and also remember talking to my surgeon in the operating room as they were setting up. I asked how his vacation was and that is the last thing I remember until I woke up in post-op. I finally made it to my room around 3pm and had so many visitors waiting, its was very uplifting to see my wife along with family and friends. I was in a little pain, but was in great shape after all the pain meds took effect. I also received some Gator Football Balloons which made me wish football season was here now. The doctor came in at 9:45pm and I was able to sit in a chair while he was there. He had great news about the surgery and said that he was able to spare my nerves and also sent one spot that looked sticky into pathology during the surgery that came back negative. This was all great news. That night in the hospital was pretty rough with people coming in and taking blood, vitals, etc all during the night and the fact that I just had major surgery didn't help either. I felt bad for Peggy as she stayed in the room with me and didn't get any sleep either. A nice PCA tech found her a portable bed around 2am and that helped a little. The next morning the doctor came by at 6am and talked to us about me leaving to go home at 12pm. He did say I would not like him over the next few days and also said something about tough love. That sure peaked my interest and knew I would soon find out. He also asked me to walk around the nurses station at least 4 times before I left that morning. I actually made it 5.5 laps. It was a little tough because of all the tightness, catheter, 2 antibiotics and and IV drip all connected so I looked like a pin cushion walking the halls. For this type of surgery walking, walking and more walking is the key to recovery. They finally discharged me at 3pm and showed us how to take care of the catheter as I have to wear it until the following Tuesday (This is no fun!). I will post my progress during the first week in my next blog. I was very glad to be home...or was I?

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