Beep. Beep. Beep.

I'm pretty much back in the swing of things. I do have a few observations regarding my hospital experience, which, by the way is not ever going to be easy when you have allergic reactions to anesthesia, pain meds, and surgical tape.

I felt like my first nurse, the one that got me all prepped, was extremely thorough in telling me what to expect. I nodded and smiled and was grateful for all the information, and really, there was a lot of it. But I came to discover that she missed one small detail.

After the bubbly anesthesiologist that my doctor called "Sunshine" gave me the "I don't care medicine" (her words, not mine) I got a little woozy, then BAM I'm in a different room, shaking, sick, all the lovely symptoms of post-anesthesia. And my recovery nurse is doing her job and making sure I'm not brain dead. And she's getting ready to move me to my room when I manage to squeak out of the raspy throat (that I *had* been warned about) that there's something tragically wrong with my legs.

She looked at me, concerned. So I croak out "They're INFLATING!"

Not to worry.

Apparently that's all part of the plan. They put these giant blood pressure cuffs on them to keep you from getting blood clots. Which is fine, I am not a fan of blood clots. But it's really something I'd liked to have known so I didn't think they were going to explode all over the hospital room. And that had occurred to me.

I made to my room, in and out of lucidity, and my lovely husband brought me a latte - the nurse said it wasn't really on my "clear liquids" diet, but "eh." Yes, "eh" was her response. I sipped it, warily, wondering if "eh" meant that she could deal with one less patient so go ahead and drink the latte, see if she cared. Or if it meant that they weren't all that committed to clear liquids. That's one way to suck the enjoyment right of a latte. But it did taste wonderful, what I drank of it. So, after my coffee, lots of checks on vital signs, and a whole day of insisting I really didn't want pain meds, I got to go to sleep.

They turned out the lights. I turned off American Idol. And then the room lit up blue. I thought maybe I imagined it. Closed my eyes. Tried to think sleepy thoughts.


After a while I realized the computer screen blinks every fifteen seconds or so. How is this not an issue? I'm pretty sure it could have brought on a seizure. I reconsidered the pain meds. I called for my nurse and thought maybe if they took these squeezie things off my legs, since they weren't inflating anyway, that would help.

Oh no, oh no! They should have been inflating! He couldn't believe I'd been squeezie free this whole time. So, he plugged the machine in. Great. Now I'm sleeping with a blinking room and inflating legs. Inflate. Deflate. Blink. Inflate. Deflate. Blink. And then... the machine started beeping. One big loud beep every 5 seconds or so. And then the blink.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Blink.

Inflate. Deflate.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Blink.

Maybe I could sleep through it if I just... nope. I called the nurse. A different one came in.

"Why are you squaking at me?" She was talking to the machine. I suggested maybe I didn't need the squeezies. Nope. Impossible. She stopped the beeping... and I waited.

I waited till I thought she might be busy with someone else then, lo and behold a third nurse came in to take my blood pressure - in my arms. And she agreed that perhaps she could take the squeezies off till four in the morning. VICTORY!

Of course, they forgot to put them back on and I worried about blood clots the whole next day. I got really serious about getting up and walking around to ward them off.

But, so far, so good. ;) I seem to have survived the whole experience. And now you know your legs won't explode when you wake up from surgery, should your nurse forget to mention the squeezies.

Thanks for all the well wishes while I was down and out! I should be blogging more regularly again. :)


Anissa said...

Only you could make me laugh about your hospital recovery! Beep, beep, beep, blink! *snort*

Yay for lattes!

May 7, 2010 at 10:27 PM
The Daring Novelist said...

Hospitals are not fun (and not meant to be, I suppose - can't have people wanting to STAY), but they can be amusing in the hands of a writer.

May 8, 2010 at 6:49 AM
Melissa Marsh said...

Don't you love it when you get the anesthesia and next thing you know, you're waking up in recovery? To me, that was the worst part of the whole experience because I had a hard time breathing and my throat hurt from the breathing tube they gave me. Hated that.

But I had chocolate cake after I woke up a short time later. Totally worth the calories!

Hope you recovery goes well!

May 10, 2010 at 9:02 AM
Mystery Robin said...

Yay for lattes indeed! And Daring, it did occur to me that I'd like to stay longer in the hospital to recooperate away from small children... till the blinking and beeping. They did a good job of getting rid of me!

Melissa - oh for chocolate cake. I couldn't eat for two days. Even the jell-o made me sick. Gotta love anesthesia... I mean, I'm glad I didn't feel the whole thing. For the record, I asked if they'd do it with a local and they said no... and kinda looked horrified.

May 10, 2010 at 10:38 AM

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