Saturday, January 15, 2011

Operation Jellyman Kelly: Laparoscopy

DISCLAIMER:  Any blog posts titled "Operation Jellyman Kelly" will no doubt gross you out.  These posts will describe our current treatments for if you have a weak stomach or don't know how you'd have a conversation with me in person after reading this....stop reading now.  ; )

The day of surgery was upon us.  Monday.  Two days before my 31st birthday.  Happy birthday to me.  =)

The weekend before had been spent having great fun with friends and family with a good old-fashioned skate party, games and extreme chocolate cake (that I couldn't have much of because of the pending self-enema). 

The self-enema; the biggest concern for me pre-surgery.

I had to read the instructions on the package several times.

A dear friend advised that I go with a "water-based" solution because it was supposedly less painful.

I took her advice to heart and purchased the "Fleets Natural" package.

I followed the instructions exactly and waited....


Five minutes later...


Ten minutes later....

still nothing.

Surely this couldn't be right.

The instructions clearly stated that I should feel an "overwhelming urge to go" within minutes.

Had I done something wrong?

After about 30 minutes in the bathroom my husband called upstairs and asked if everything was ok.

"Sure!" I shouted back.

Either I didn't have anything to expel or that "water-based" solution was just.....water.  Nothing active.

I emerged from the bathroom, not victorious as I'd hoped to be...but confused.

I told my husband what happened and he immediately went out for another enema...this time...a saline-based solution.

He wasn't going to let this "crap" get in the way of a successful surgery. ; )

The saline-based enema seemed to work a little better but still didn't result in much.  We took that as a sign that I was done for the night and went to bed.

The next morning went as planned.

I washed with the weird alcohol based body wash from the hospital, I wore loose-fitting clothing, I didn't wear any make-up and I didn't eat or drink anything.

In other words, I was a grumpy, hungry, mess of myself.

When we walked into the hospital I was fine.  I wasn't nervous, I wasn't afraid...I was just there.

When we got to the prep room and I had to change into that awful open-back gown....I got nervous.

A nurse came in and took my vitals, explained the process of the surgery, collected my clothing and told me to hop into the bed because that was my "ride" to surgery.

My darling husband snapped a photo just before I had to give up my Scottish hat....

It seemed like we waited in that room for a long, long time.

A bear of a man knocked on the half-open door and asked if I was ready to go.

My husband answered for me...(because I probably would have said no) and tucked me in and gave me a kiss.  "See you in a little while.  You're going to do great."

I was off.

Being pushed in a hospital bed is's like bumper cars...only bumper beds...

On the way to the pre-op area we hit at least 2 other beds.

We reached the pre-op area with no real injury (apart from a fresh dent to the side of my bed) and I was introduced to the anesthesiology team.

I answered a ton of routine questions, got my IV (which really stung) and waited....

and waited...

apparently Dr. T is known for being late to speaking with his patients right before surgery.  Some of the nurses started referring to him as Dr. Tardy.  I don't know if they knew I could hear them.

Dr. T finally showed up and asked if I had any questions.  I shook my head and said I was ready.

The anesthesiology team and nurses started rolling me to the operating room.

They told me they were administering a light dose of morphine to calm my nerves and that it could burn a little through the IV...


They weren't kidding.

My left hand felt like it was on fire!  I started to verbalize my discomfort but could already feel myself drifting away.

I saw the ceiling tiles going by...

I felt the bed hit something...again...

and that was it.

The next thing I remember is hearing voices and feeling like there was movement around me.

I tried opening my eyes but couldn't and heard..."Are you waking up already?  You haven't slept nearly long enough."

"No, I'm good, I want to wake up." I remember saying.

"You're not in a should rest."

"No, I want to go home."

I slowly opened my eyes.

The light was incredibly bright...or my eyes were incredibly sensitive to light at that point.

Everything was blurry, but I could make out two nurses moving back and forth between a few sleeping patients.

They had decorated the area with snowflakes hanging from the ceiling for the holidays.

"I like your snowflakes." I said.

"Thank you.  We've never really decorated in here before...I think it's nice."

My throat was a little sore, so the nurse gave me some ginger-ale and a cracker.

"How long have I been sleeping?"  I asked.

"Not long enough," she said.  "Only 30 minutes.  Most people sleep for an hour and a half before they come around."

I assumed that I would feel nauseated, or at least some pain...something...but I just felt tired.

And hungry.

"Can I have another cracker?" I asked the nurse.

She gave me another cracker along with some pain medication and explained to me that the surgery went very well and that Dr. T had already spoken with my husband.

"Did they find anything?" I asked.

"Nope.  As far as I can tell you are perfectly normal."

Perfectly normal.  How perfectly strange.

After about 15 minutes of talking to the nurse and having another anesthesiologist sign off that I was fine, I was delivered (via bumper beds) to the recovery room where my lovely husband was now waiting.

He seemed disappointed that I wasn't a bit more...loopy.

More vitals were checked, instructions were given to my husband and then I was able to change back into my clothes while my husband was sent for the car.

I was wheeled out to the car, hoisted up into the passenger seat and we were on our way home.

Once home, I was put into bed and only woken every 4 hours for pain medication (which I didn't think I needed but am glad my husband forced me to take).

Laparoscopy complete.

Recovery pending....

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