Reconstruction – Week 1

What a week.

I don’t even know how to articulate everything that’s happened. I’m not quite sure I remember it all. But I’ll try.

Sunday – Angels of mercy in the form of my friends came by to fete me before I had to fast. Li’l Vic came through with food and hair braiding stylees so I could manage to not have to wash my fro every day. So 6 (Vic, Lisa, Kim, Max, Joelle and I) of us got together and laughed and acted a fool while she lovingly blew out the fro and tressed it into cornrows for me. The afternoon was fun and interesting and the conversations had … will stay in my living room!!!! Nuff said.

Monday – was pretty uneventful. Had to stay home to do the “clear liquid diet” purge thingy. Which I HATE. And still do. So it was basically just running from the computer as I worked from home to the bathroom as the saline solution cleaned me out from the rooter to the tooter. The nerves really began on Monday. The anticipation of what was coming. What happened if something went drastically wrong and they had to do hysterectomy…. All the “what-ifs” came rushing in and I was quietly panicking under the guise of staying busy. I surfed the Inquisitive Geek with Fibroids site all afternoon looking for stuff to take with me to the hospital and then provided the list to Earl to be sure that I had all the most detrimental supplies at hand. Primarily Gas-X…

Tuesday – we got to the hospital right on time and they put me in a room in a purple gown with purple footies and I removed my contacts and rocked my Jimmy Choo frames (really? it’s the only Jimmy Choo anything umma own…) and I waited. Tante Sisi, David and Domi showed up to wait with me. They came and poked me a few times… fed me some pills for which the reasoning behind them now escapes me (nausea and something else), and then around 9:30 they called me in. I hugged everyone and kissed them and made my way to the OR.

IN OR – things were moving quickly but slowly all at once. It seemed that they were running behind time and Dr. Kofinas likes to be ON TIME, so they were all scrambling to get things together. About 10 different people moving around the room all stopping by to ask me questions. The anesthesiologist stayed around me the most trying to comfort me by talking to me in her Eastern European accent and while I appreciated her efforts, I wished very much that she’d just put the mask on me and knock me out already. That would have been THE most calming thing for me right then. But no. One of the assisting doctors came to me and lifted up my gown to examine my pelvis and decided she wanted to give me a bikini trim right then… so she pulled out a little electric razor and just went to shavin around. Tickled like crazy. Then she grabbed a long piece of surgical tape and dabbed it around that area, to snatch up the stray hairs I imagine. I heard them chattering amongst each other. “Which one is Dr. Kofinas” one asked. “You’ll know him when he comes in,” another reassured. It comforted me to know that he had that kind of presence. I can’t stand bland doctors. And on cue he came into the room “Hello, Hello, Hello!!! Are we READY, c’mon, c’mon we’re running behind!” his voice boomed through the room. Before speaking to anyone else he came and pinched my cheek and in his heavy Greek accent, “Hello, baby! Are you ready?” and I replied “Yes, doctor. thank you.” He makes you feel like he’s your uncle or something. It’s very nice. He smiled and walked to talk to the other doctors. He was introduced to another assisting doctor who I suppose was doing his residency and was asking him about what specialization he wanted to take up and I heard him say “OHH! So you want to be a GYN and be broke like me, huh?” and patted him hard on the shoulders. After a little more questioning about where my blood units were and counting of utensils I heard him say, alright to the anesthesiologist and the mask came over my face. I made a concerted effort to say “Good Luck everyone” before I was out completely.

IN RECOVERY – I came out of the anesthesia slowly and the regaining of my awareness was also the realization of how much pain I was in. I found myself saying “please…. please…. it hurts so much… please… help….” Folks were taking vitals of me for a few rounds before I saw my husbands familiar and smiling face. I was happy he was there but so unable to articulate anything. My mouth was cottony and my mind and mouth were disjointed. They had me on a morphine drip that had a button on it to give myself more if I wanted. I found that hard to fathom, but they did. And I clicked that little thing as often as I could. I think I was relegated to every 10 minutes or so and therefore, my body began clocking what 10 minutes was. But there was pain coming from a number of places I couldn’t understand… My abdomen… yes… that was the main source of pain… but… the first 3 fingers on my left hand…. were dead. Completely numb and tingling like they’d fallen asleep. And it took me so long to connect where I’d felt such excruciating numbness before… Carpal Tunnel? Can’t be. My line sister and my baby Tish came and sat quietly with me while I mumbled on and on about nothing. My aunt and cousin came in to check on me too… They had been waiting a long time. I went in at 9:30 and didn’t come out until 5:30 or so and I don’t believe that they let anyone come out to hang with me until 6 or so. So when they finally did get a chance to see that I was doing well, they did just that and let Earl be the one to let them know when I got a room. He sat by my bed patiently and either held my hand and looked at me sleep or was playing pac man on his cellphone. After administering 2 units of plasma to me and running 3 blood tests to make sure that my hemoglobin levels had indeed stabalized they finally moved me to a room upstairs at about 11:00 PM.

IN-ROOM – The room was a private one (hallelujah) and was nicer than some apartments that you can rent in nyc. Hard wood floors and marble in the bathroom LOL. Was VERY nice but small… but that was fine. What did I need gaping room for? I was just going to be laying there. In summation, I was there for the next three days which went fairly quickly. The nights were the hardest. Being there alone, one night being completely disconnected as AT&T was too damned impatient with there bill mongering to wait one more day, it was hard when I’d wake up in pain and know that the next pain med dose couldn’t come for another 2 hours. Biding my time in my mind was extremely difficult. I’d answer emails or check fb. Staring out the window was a downer because it was usually raining. One night, I’d reached the bottom. My stomach had bloated up to it’s fullest and gas was NOT coming out. Actually? NOTHING was coming out besides urine which was uncomfortable to pass. The pain meds were NOT taking… I was trying to find a way to cheat the system and have the Ultram (which is supposed to be Tylenol Extra EXTRA strength) and the Tylenol ES alternate so I could have less time in between them. Then the nurse came in and announced that I had a FEVER fever. Not the low grade that they were expecting and vehemently fighting off with a vengeance… but 101.6. Background – these kinds of procedures have a likely hood of a low grade fever involved because of the inflammatory nature of the tissues post-op. So you’re not actually infected – just inflamed. Normally, they would give you Motrin from the offset to PREVENT the fever from every cropping up to begin with. Unfortunately, I have negative reactions to Motrin or Ibuprofen at all. So we had to go the long route to Mordor. Over the course of the 3 days, Dr. Kofinas, Dr. Montez and Dr. Sullivan came in to regularly ask me a million questions, take close looks at the staples and assess where I was and how close I was to going home. On the day I thought I’d go home was the day I cropped up with the 101.6 fever and excessive bloating. Yet another angel, in the form of the Nurse assigned to my room during the day Vina, said, “Enough” and came in to the room and presented me with the Tylenol ES AND the Ultram, Mylicon for the gas and a suppository. Wait…. a what? A suppository. Yep. If it wasn’t going to come out on it’s own, we were going to make it do what we wanted to. I turned over and she did what she needed to do and told me to clench and wait. I’d know when it took effect. Man… after that??? My system flushed out and I felt like a new person. It’s amazing how that bloating can have you feel so down. I was light and bouncing around and ready to go home! But no… now I had to stay over night once more for them to observe.

By Friday morning, fever or no, I was fighting to go home. Earl showed up at 8:30 and tossed my bag of “going home clothing” on my bed and announced that we were going home NOW. Of course this was before paperwork was signed and vitals were checked one last time. LOL. But by 12 noon, we were driving slowly down the streets of brooklyn. A ride that normally takes 15 minutes took us about 45 to ease around potholes and let impatient drivers by. My trip up the stairs took about 10 minutes. Taking each step on its own and stopping to make sure that everything was doing fine in between.

And I’ve been here ever since. So considerably dealing with a touch of cabin fever, but visits from numerous friends and confidants have passed the time as I anxiously await Tuesday when they’ll take these staples out.

More to come… think that’s enough for now…
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