I just wanted to check in. I was discharged this evening and am back at the hotel. D** just left to start her drive home. She is so sweet and funny.
The surgeons came by several times at the hospital today and during the last visit they recorded a brief interview with me on camera because of having great results for such an oddball complicated case.
Pre-op they felt because of the vascular impact of the problem that I might have had an extra muscle cutting off blood supply. Instead, they discovered I had the one muscle like most people but it was actually twice the size it should have been. So they cut that extra section out.
There was also a 3 inch x 1 inch chunk of scar tissue squashing the nerves and artery. They said it wasn't scar tissue like from a cut, but a thick, solid, dense material. They usually just see that in patients with major trauma or athletics. They cut that out too.
The other oddity was with my nerves. Instead of the 3 major nerves being horizontal like they are supposed to be, they were pointing upward and were stuck along the spine and wound through a couple of bony areas. They moved them to the proper location.
I ran into some trouble with urinary issues pretty quickly. I was drinking a lot of cranberry juice like I always do in-patient, trying to keep hydrated and flush my system of the anesthetic, but for the life of me I couldn't pee. I had to get out of bed every hour for 6 hours in a row overnight, drag my pole of bags with me (potassium, antibiotics, and Dilaudid drips), and try to go. I'd stay in there 15 minutes a trip and only went 4-5 drops and I was straining and cramping with it.
This morning I finally said something to my nurse and she brought in an ultrasound and discovered I was definitely full of pee--as in 960 cc's. I learned from my testing before last year's bladder surgery that my capacity is approximately 300. It's no wonder I was in so much pain down there and my abdomen was rock hard. They woke one of my surgeons up (4 a.m.) for permission to cath empty me. About 20 minutes and 2 bottles later, I was empty and relieved. I was concerned as well since the doctor said if that happened again I wouldn't be discharged. Thankfully the next time I went was normal. HUGE relief.
I have not seen the incision. DH says it looks great and that it runs about vertical, from the clavicle upward. I got the drain out of it this morning so it's still very well packed. I can shower tomorrow but need to re-gauze it immediately.
Stitches get pulled in 12 days.
From the time I was in recovery, people were commenting that I had pink in my face. They don't even know me but saw me in pre-op and they could see the difference. Guess that's what happens when blood supply comes back, LOL.
DH keeps touching my hand, shocked that it is warm, not an ice cube any more. I can feel when I move my hand and arm, people touching me, you name it. It's not ghostly pale any more either and there have been no shooting pains. It's achy but they said that's normal since they were moving nerves around.
We're going to head back to AZ Sunday. I'm a little nervous, not wanting anyone bumping into me at the airport and such, always a concern when I fly post-op.
I'm really tired, drained. Hopefully I'll sleep on the flights with the help of narcotics! And hopefully no more missed flights.
Recovery room, quite red instead of my usual whitish-green appearance.
In my room at the hospital.
My baby sister.
Friday, December 7, 2007