My first surgery was a bit of a blur from the moment we checked in. Apparently the person scheduled for surgery before me just didn't show up so they were hurrying to get things ready with me to get me in there so I ended up going into surgery an hour earlier than I was scheduled for. I was a little put off by my anesthesiologist though and I like to feel comfortable with my anesthesiologist since I have such a thing with being put under. He was just very cold and brash and didn't really talk much to me. All business. And in all my previous surgeries, I'd say all of them always prepared me for when they were going to put me to sleep. I mean, I've been around the block and I really know when I'm about to be put to sleep - oxygen mask goes on and then pretty soon the anesthesia is hitting my veins, stinging as it flows through the IV. But I just like my anesthesiologist to talk to me. At the very least, let me know they're about to put the anesthesia in and I should be out soon. Just gives me about 8 seconds to prepare myself for what frightens me most about surgery. But this anesthesiologist said nothing. The oxygen mask was put over my face and soon I felt the sting of the anesthesia, my eyelids became heavy, my body began to float and then I was out.
It took me a little longer to wake up than normal but soon I was reunited with my dad and heading back to the OBC. I was put into an ICU room first. A couple days later they transferred me to the other wing where I would have my own bathroom and shower. My neck was not in too much pain but the backs of my axillas (my armpits) were in the most pain. I even got to have a day with one of my most favorite nurses, Jerri. I just love her. She's wonderful. Her favorite thing is to find a picture of a hot guy in a magazine ad and tape it up in my room. Hehe...
My second surgery, surgery #36, started off a little late. I was scheduled to be in surgery at 8:30am but they didn't even come to get me until 9:15am and then I waited a little longer down in the waiting room for inpatients going into surgery. I was not pleased with my anesthesiologist this time again either. She knew that this was to be my 36th surgery but she talked to me about things like I'd never experienced them before. Telling me that the donor site was going to be the worst part of it all and I'm thinking, "yeah!! I know! Done this 35 times already! This isn't my first rodeo." Then when I told her I liked to be told when she would be putting the anesthesia in my IV she overdid it saying things like, "Now you're first clue you're about to get the anesthesia is when we put the oxygen mask on you." Yes, I know. I know! I just like a heads up before I feel the sting of the anesthesia! And soon, once again for the 36th time, the sting hit, my eyelids became heavy and didn't feel like my own anymore, my body began to float and I was out.
After this second surgery of this two part surgery it took me even longer to wake up. But eventually I was awake again, in great pain, and headed back to my room in the OBC where I continued to sleep more, having a hard time waking up. This time I was also put on a Dilaudid PCA. I'm almost always put on a Dilaudid PCA after each surgery but for some reason after the first one I wasn't. But they smarted up and remembered how tolerant I am to pain meds so they got a midline in me before the second surgery and after the second surgery got me on the Dilaudid PCA to manage my pain better.
A couple days after the second surgery, I was visited by Garrett's new physician's assistant and was told that if I could wean off the PCA I could go home Friday. So I did just that and as I said in the beginning of this, Friday didn't work out and I was pretty upset. My mom had come up to take me home so I felt bad that she took time off work to come get me and then it didn't happen. But she stayed with me through the weekend which was nice. By now I was ready to go home and sick of sitting in my room, mindlessly watching bad TV as the days passed painfully slow so I wasn't sure how I was going to get through the Monday before I was to be discharged on Tuesday. But somehow I got through it and before I knew it, Tuesday arrived and they were pretty quick in getting me discharged. Finally I was going home.
My grafts look pretty good for the most part and my neck feels better where it had tightened up so badly. But I'm afraid already that it's going to require further action. We'll see. I don't know what's next. I have a post-op follow up appointment with Garrett next Thursday so I'll know more then. But what I do know, is I'm still in a great deal of pain sometimes.
(Neck release and graft)
(Back right axilla release and graft)
(Back left axilla release and graft)