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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Post Surgery Recap

As you can see by the gigantic bandage that is currently containing my left leg, I did go and have my varicose vein surgery yesterday.

The surgery was at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, which is actually really far from my house, but the drive was worth it since my doctor is one of the best in the area.  I was originally supposed to be at the hospital at 11:30am, but the hospital called in the morning to let me know that there had been a cancellation and asked me if I would come in earlier.  Since I had been fasting since midnight, I was eager to get going.  I hadn't slept well either, I was nervous about going for the surgery.

So, since we were suddenly going in earlier, I quickly took a shower and threw my things together to get ready.  I did not get photographs of  my leg before the surgery, which is really, really disappointing.

We made it to the hospital around 10am, filled out some forms and I was called back almost immediately.  I had a little pre-op surgery square (this is my name, I don't know it's real name, but you know, it's a place in a big room with lots of people in it that is squared off by a curtain, but happens to be just my space).  Nurses took my vitals and gave me a hospital bracelet, and my doctor came and drew all over my leg with a marker.  I started asking her questions about when I could do certain things, which had been my biggest concern before the surgery.  When can I run again? Two weeks.  When can I ride a bike again? Saturday, indoor only, absolutely no incline.  When can I do upper body weight training? Monday.   My questions answered, I settled into the bed to wait to be pulled into the ER.  They called Todd back and he sat with me while I waited.  Nurses came by and asked me more questions.  The anesthesiologist came by and spoke with me.

Finally, at around 11:45, I was taken to the OR.  I have to admit, it scared the crap out of me.  You see, I had a serious surgery when I was 14 that kept me in the hospital for 3 weeks.  That one was a big, huge deal and terrifying for me as a kid.  Suddenly, going back into an operating room seemed really, really scary and too much like that ordeal.  They did the usual things that they do when you have surgery - I was put on the operating table, given a warm blanket, and then the anesthesiologist told me he was "giving me something to make me feel more comfortable" and that's the last thing I remember before waking up with my leg in its giant bandage.

I was wheeled to post op, and the clock said 12:45 when I got there, so it wasn't a long surgery.  I was given some ginger ale, and I basically sat and observed the goings on in post op while still coming out of my anesthesia.  Everyone else looked a lot worse off than me.  My leg was hurting, but it wasn't too bad.  However, when I was wheeled to another area and had to stand up to move from the bed to a recliner...  that is when it started hurting.

They gave me cookies and cranberry juice, and they were positively disgusting.  I was thirsty like I had never been thirsty before, and the second I bit into a cookie, my mouth was dry and gross.  Even after ginger ale and 2 cups of cranberry, I was still having this problem.  However, I had to eat so that they could give me percocet for my painful leg.  Todd came back and sat with me, and let me know that the doctor had said that my doctor had told him that I may be in more pain that others because she hadn't closed the entire vein (confusing and counter intuitive, but apparently the case).  Part of my vein was still healthy, so it wasn't closed.

We drove home, with me still kind of dazed and baffled from the anesthesia and the percocet.  Yesterday evening, I was to lay down with my leg elevated, and get up to walk around 5 minutes of every hour.  I did this religiously, and I kept drinking because my thirst was totally unbearable.  In fact, how thirsty I was bothered me more than the pain.  I tried to work, since there was a software release last night at work, but I couldn't focus and I was just generally confused about the whole thing.  Finally, I just went to bed.

I slept fine, and this morning I was finally not thirsty anymore.  Today, I was told that I have to walk as much as possible, but I admit that is difficult with this giant bandage on my leg.  It's hard to bend my knee.  Walking is difficult.  I can't shower until I get the bandage off tomorrow.  I'm not in very much pain, though, which is great.  More than anything, my leg is eager to just be out and moving freely.

There is a danger of deep vein thrombosis, so tomorrow I go back to the hospital to get an ultrasound.  I'm sure it will be fine, and I can't wait for the doctor to take my bandage off!!


onelittletrigirl said...

I hope your recovery goes well and you are back on your feet soon!!

lindsay said...

I hope recovery continues to go well, and get some better cookies! :)

I woke up from my wisdom teeth bawling my eyes out. I hope your "waking" was less dramatic

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