Thursday, February 18, 2016

I Preferred "A Bit"

As I've mentioned, I have "a bit" of cancer.  In the world of cancer, I'm a Stage 1 - a "relatively" small amount, in one location, and immensely treatable (knock on wood with me).  And I went into my 2nd surgery late yesterday afternoon believing I had a bit of an infection.


My dynamo doc explained after my surgery that there was "a lot" of "stuff" in there.  A lot as in more than certainly could be seen in my Frankenboob hole.  And stuff as in ... infection of some unknown bacteria.  But my dynamo doc cleared all of that out of me, washed the area first with saline and then washed it again with an antibiotic wash. 


Now, knowing how tough my little doc is, I envision a lot of tough love going on between she and Frankenboob before she stitched me back up.  And I'm certainly feeling the aftermath today.  Let me set the scene ...


My surgery took place at Blodgett Hospital this time rather than the surgical center I was at for my initial lumpectomy on January 29, 2016.  Again, kudos to the Spectrum team of nurses and doctors; everyone was wonderful for my time there. 

I started out in a hospital room where I first had to pee in a cup because I've never had a hysterectomy and, well, am probably carrying the second coming of Christ, don't you know. Yes, they have to give me a pregnancy test.  Yes, even though they just did that on January 29.  Yes, yes, even though it would mean an immaculate conception. 

I again donned the gown with built-in air conditioning/heating and tried to convince the nurses that I did not purposefully match my purple nail polish to the gown.  Or my glasses.  I again had an IV placed in the back of my hand; it's never my favorite but the nurses have been excellent in trying to minimize any discomfort (Ha - PAIN! - it's called sticking a needle into ....good gracious, I'm a wuss) I felt and I appreciate it.  I met my nurse, my anesthesiologist (so wait ... I might remember what?), and, of course, saw Dr. App before being wheeled on my bed into the surgery room.

Each person introduced themselves and explained their part in the process.  My anesthesiologist, who could have been brothers with one of our local Grand Rapids comedians (Stu McCallister), explained that I would not be under general anesthesia this time but would be kept comfortable and sleeping for most of the procedure.  He assured me that if I did remember anything, it would not be something that was painful.  [And he was correct.]

I helped transfer myself from the hospital bed to the surgery table (those things are so narrow) and then separate side holders were placed to support both arms out away from the body, a bit like a cross honestly.  Eventually, my arms were secured and I went to sleep as everyone was busy getting ready. 

I DID wake up while things were still happening but felt no pain.  There was something over my head, which makes sense because they are working in a sterile environment, but at the time, I recall saying something like, "Can you move this from my face?" and "So how's it going?" and trying to - like a drugged idiot - catch the cover with part of my face to move it so I could see.  Because THAT would have turned out well.  I wonder how often a surgical team gets to laugh afterwards about the antics of their patients.  I know I would.

I was awake enough to remember sitting up so that Dr. App could wrap my wound, wrap, wrap, wrap, then wrap some more with an ace bandage, then put another stylish surgical bra on top.  Picture a heavy duty weight lifter.  No, wait, picture this:

THE snowsuit from A Christmas Story

Yep.  My arms aren't touching my sides naturally at the moment.  Which is fine because I'm pretty sure my sides what NOTHING to do with me right now, particularly the left side. The pain will probably be the worst today but should get better by tomorrow.  It did last time anyway.  *fingers crossed* 

I was awake and able to get back onto the hospital bed before being rolled into the recovery area where I'm pretty sure I was a star patient.  I was in very little if any pain, was able to use the restroom on my own, and was fairly quickly wheeled back to a hospital room to finish all the pre-release tests.  I was given a double chocolate muffin, heated up, which was a heavenly beginning to my food for the day at about 6 p.m. after a day of clear liquids only.  I left between 30-45 minutes later.


Dr. App has sent a sample of the "lot of stuff" off to be identified in case a different antibiotic would be more effective.  I'll be interested in hearing what nefarious microorganisms has been colonizing my body and knowing that we are using the most effective means of eradicating them.  Damn immigrants. 

[Can I make that joke in this political climate even when I'm talking about my body?  Before making an assumption as to my views on the subject in our country, don't.  My joke above in no way reflects my thoughts on the subject.  And no, I'm not inclined to share them.  And you'll likely be blocked or unfriended if you push the subject with me.  This has been a public service announcement of the Justa-Blog-System.]

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