(Sorry for the delay – had some internet problems here at the hotel!)
As I posted Monday, Miss M was all checked in, had completed all of the preliminary work-up, and was just walking into surgery. She was a little tearful, and admittedly had a bit of a freak out over all of the surgical equipment she could see as she entered, but reported later that Dr. Markowitz, the fabulous anesthesiologist, had her under in no time. In fact, she has recounted her experience to me and felt that it was less than five minutes from the time she walked in until she was fast asleep. Next thing she knew, she was waking up in recovery – seven and a half hours later!
When I arrived back at the Surgery Center at the conclusion of her surgery, it was just moments before Dr. Egrari entered to report that Miss M’s surgery had gone beautifully. He made a point to mention that she’d had no bleeding problems (which is a factor to consider when dealing with a malabsorber), he was very pleased with the results, indicating that her stomach was “as flat as this wall” and that he was able to salvage her tattoo on her lower back. He was also pleased with the symmetry and elegant size (likely a small C cup) the breast lift and augmentation afforded. He felt the end result was going to be simply lovely.
It was reported by Heidi, the recovery room nurse that Miss M had been given Zofran in her IV for the nausea she’d begun to experience since being brought out of anesthesia, and that she’d had her first oral doses of pain killers and had managed to successfully consume a bit of applesauce with those pills. After about two and a half hours of recovery it was time to begin to work toward getting Miss M ready to travel back to the hotel. Heidi had called in a prescription for additional sublingual Zofran for Miss M, and went over all of the other medications that had been prescribed at Miss M’s pre-op appointment a month earlier. I was given a page that listed all of the medications, how often they were to be taken (with a notation of when they’d first been given following surgery) – each medication had a small graph underneath it with space to make note the time of each administration of that medication. Heidi showed me how to strip and then empty the two JP drains that Miss M was now sporting. (Of course, I am pretty much the queen of the JP drain, so this was not news of any sort – but I was happy to demonstrate I knew the ropes.) Accompanying the education came a chart with space to record how many cc’s of drainage was emptied each time. And I got a primer on the care and keeping of the Foley catheter. Also given, several pages of great instruction about what TO do and what NOT to do.
At last it was time to get Miss M on her feet. She didn’t really enjoy it – but was clearly capable of taking small, slow, careful steps. I won’t lie – it seemed a long trip, the walk back to the car – but she did great, and was happy to get into the car, with the seat 3/4ths of the way reclined, and headed on our way.
We did have to stop at the grocery store down the way – Miss M snoozing while I dashed in – to pick up the Zofran prescription. While there I also picked up a few things so that I’d be able to make myself simple meals. Miss M came very prepared with lots of snacks for the both of us, but it wasn’t really until that moment as I waited for the prescription to be filled that I realized that there would be no going out to pick up food, and I’d better think quick! When I return with Linn this summer when it’s her turn, I’ll definitely be better prepared to know what to have on hand for this stage of the game.
We finally arrived at the hotel at 7:00 pm. Once there, it was quite the experience walking Miss M from the car, through the lobby filled with law enforcement officers (who were holding a convention at our hotel, along with their K-9 counterparts), up the elevator, and then down the hall to our room.
Remember the scrubs that were such a great idea? Well, not so convenient once you have to factor in a binder, two drains, a Foley catheter, and a fanny pack that holds the pain pump – all right at the lower abdomen/mons area. It’s true – we lost Miss M’s drawers half way down the hall toward our room. Thankfully, the hallway was clear of people! It was about then that we remarked to one another that nightgowns might be a better plan!
Once we got her settled I got her glass of iced water ready for her to start her number one chore: getting and staying hydrated. The evening hours were filled with getting sips of broth, crackers, the appropriate medications, and water in Miss M. She continued to experience significant nausea, so we had to exercise great caution. Hurling and lower body lift do not go well together! Dr. Egrari called to check on Miss M and reiterate how important it would be for Miss M to avoid standing up straight, to remember to follow the precautions she’d been given (and I’d been tutored on), and stay hydrated. He urged us to remember to call if there were any concerns or needs. Honestly, the hardest thing to deal with for the poor dear was the occasional dry heave and the fairly consistent nausea. Thankfully, by about 1am Tuesday morning the nausea seemed to be under much better control, and we were able to settle down and get a fairly good night’s sleep.