|Getting dropped off...|
After about 10 minutes of scrolling through my phone, trying to find something to occupy my mind, I was called back to pre-op. Mary (Yay - a comforting name!) was my first nurse. When I reached my little curtained area, the first thing I saw on the computer screen saver was Carol Allen. Carol and her family were some of the first people I met when I moved to Raleigh in 1998. While a student at Meredith College, I regularly babysat her daughters (Hard to believe that 1 is in grad school, 1 in undergrad at Carolina, and the third is in high school - I feel old!). Carol has been through breast cancer two times since 2006 and has been an inspiration to me. Seeing her smiling face was just what I needed at that moment to calm my nerves! Look at the her story on the Rex Health page - you'll see what I am talking about. I took the time to send her a quick Facebook message when Mary and I were done reviewing my vitals, etc.
|Hanging out in pre-op|
Around 7 a.m., they moved me to the operating room. This is where things became fuzzy. I remember being rolled into the room. One of the nurses "introduced" me to all the staff in the room. A few moments later, she put a mask on my face, told me to close my eyes...
I didn't do a great job of warning my parents about how long they would be at the hospital. Dr. Lambeth said my surgery would be somewhere between 6 and 7 hours, but he would do his best to finish as quickly as 5 and a half. Well... I told my parents to be at the hospital around 12:30 p.m., and forgot to tell them that he wouldn't be done till 1 or so. My Daddy and Mama were quite worried because they were expecting Dr. Lambeth to come out a lot earlier than he did... My surgery ended up taking 7 hours and he didn't get started until 8 a.m. Whoops!
The next thing I know, I was waking up in recovery. I had a great nurse there too. Unfortunately, I can't seem to recall her name either. I guess that's the downfall of all the drugs. I think I arrived in recovery around 2:30 p.m. I basically just relaxed there, in and out of my drug-fog. I ended up being stuck in recovery a lot longer than planned due to issues with the pharmacy. They told my parents I would be assigned to room 7088. My parents headed to the room and continued to wait with very little information about where I was.... I am sure she was asking every nurse that went by to find out something. Unfortunately, all they could tell her was that I was still in recovery.
Around 6 p.m., I finally got to my room. My first nurse was Sandy, with Ameline as nursing assistant. They were both very nice, sweet, and helpful. Ameline's first offer was to get me a bunch of ice chips and some ginger ale to help my sore throat. I didn't know how helpful the ice chips would be but she told me that if I let the ice melt and run down my throat, it would soothe the terribly sore feeling from the breathing tube they inserted during surgery.
Jason called while I was waiting for my dinner and checked about coming to visit. I had told my parents to tell him not to come earlier (I don't think I said that, but the nurse told them I did. I blame drugs again.) Jason and his parents arrived a few minutes after dinner arrived. We talked about different things, but nothing terribly complicated. They stayed about half an hour and then headed to Neo Asia for dinner. I was so jealous that they were going there while I was stuck in the dang hospital. I made Jason promise me a dinner date there soon.
The rest of the evening was spent with my overnight nurse, Wanda, and nursing assistant, Allison. Wanda was super awesome. Before she worked on the surgical floor, she worked for a plastic surgeon. She was full of all kinds of good tips for when I got home. Allison was so sweet all night too. Let's just say that she didn't have the most glamorous job.... I think I fell asleep around 9 p.m. I didn't sleep a lot, but the sleep I got was decent.