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The Day of Surgery

The day of my surgery started the previous day.

I was allowed to have a small breakfast. Then nothing but clear liquids the rest of the day. This did include some filtered soup stock toward the end of the day (thanks Chris.)

I was informed that my surgery was scheduled later in the afternoon on the 19th with a check in time of 1230. My anxiety level went through the roof as I was also told that I could have NOTHING BY MOUTH after midnight. That morning, I was hungry. I was thirsty. I don't think I have ever gone so long without even water. I had a headache. I was irritable. Everything bothered me. Time to go to the hospital.

Before Surgery

Chris brought me to the hospital and waited until I went back to pre-op. She saw that I was nervous. She was great at trying to reduce my anxiety. Best wife in the world.

As soon as I changed into the Bair Paws hospital gown the hospital staff were ready to start asking me questions, poking and prodding me for blood, and the most important thing was giving me a bag of normal saline.

The pre-op nurses and staff were great. Very helpful, personable, and kept my anxiety to a minimum.

Dr. Belzburg came to visit and ask me if I had any questions. With all the research, classes, and consultation with him, I did not. He expressed his excitement that I was going to be a model patient and the surgery was going to go without a hitch.

When they finally wheeled me into the Operating Room, it looked like something out of Star Trek. I was impressed with the new technology that had been implemented since my last surgical procedure.

There were about ten people in the OR who were cracking jokes, strapping me to the table, and then I woke up in recovery. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to count down. But, not really.

After Surgery

Obviously, I was going to be a little loopy after surgery. I remember little bits here and there, but mostly I just wanted to sleep. The nurse was there to explain some things like my special button. The best button in the world. It was the button that sent me 1mg of Morphine Sulfate into my IV. She explained to me that I can push it once every ten minutes as needed for pain. So, I immediately pushed it and went back to sleep. I figured that everything else can wait.

After waking up, I had quite the urge to urinate. The nurse brought me a urinal, but I was not going to have any of that. I wanted to stand up and use the restroom. So, she disconnected the Intermittent Pneumatic Compression sleeves on my calves to prevent DVT, and made my IV tower mobile so I could walk. With all the IV tubing keeping me tethered to my tower, my bulky cotton hospital gown, and the fact that I just wanted to go back to sleep, to say this procedure was challenging would be an understatement. But, I needed to push myself and wasn't going to take the easy route.

My surgery started at 1530 and ended at 1643. I was up and walking down the hallway (with Chris' giving me encouragement) past the Nurse's station by 2015.

The Respiratory Therapist arrived about 2300 with the CPAP I needed to use to sleep. He and I needed to McGyver an adapter so we could use the monster of a machine to my mask. Then, it was time to get some much needed, healing, wonderful sleep. Push the button.