I'm feeling ok today. The incision is quite sore, as is my throat, my neck is very stiff, I have a headache, and some of my muscles are sore too. I'm coughing up stuff, too, presumably from the bronchoscopy.
I promised I'd tell you more about yesterday, so here goes...
The surgery was scheduled for 1pm and I was asked to arrive around 10am for all the admitting stuff. We got there a few minutes early and checked in and the person set up my chart and printed a LOT of stickers with my name and details on them for use on everything. All the stickers they'd printed during pre-op couldn't be used, you see, because my patient number was different from pre-op to the recovery area.
We waited a few minutes and got taken to my bed in the recovery area so that the nurse could admit me. She said she had to put an IV in and I asked if she could possibly use my port. She said yes and called the IV techs. I was so excited - which was apparent to everyone. The thought of having them fuss with an IV would have been too much for me. I learned something from the IV tech, as well: the fluids can't just drip into the port, they have to go through a pump. Otherwise, the fluid can put too much pressure on the port.
After the IV was set up and I was changed into my lovely hospital gown, we waited and waited and waited. Eventually someone came by and said that the doctor was running early by about a half hour. This was very exciting news... but then it turned out that he got called up to help someone else and we started five minutes late.
Normally as they wheel you into the operating room, they make you take your glasses off. When the anaesthetist who was taking me found out that I couldn't distinguish faces without my glasses, he let me keep them on so that I could see everyone's faces when I met them. I really liked that; it made me feel much more comfortable. Of course it meant that I could see everything in the OR, but that was ok.
As we were waiting for the doctor to arrive, we were joking around about where I work. They had to check my mouth size for the tubes and I said that I had a kid-sized mouth. The nurse asked if my boyfriend minded (!) or if he was used to it... I had no answer. What do you say to that? Weird.
After that, the anaesthesiologist started injecting fentanyl into my IV... and I woke up in the recovery room with one of the worst headaches I've ever had. I was wearing an oxygen mask and for some reason the oxygen mask made the headache worse. The nurse put a cold cloth on my forehead and an ice compress on the back of my neck. I also started having pain in my incision and she gave my Dilaudid through the IV and Gravol in case I was nauseous. I found out later that they'd given me Zofran via IV and that this can cause migraines. I've taken Zofran by mouth before but never IV, so maybe it did give me a migraine.
I fell asleep and woke up to the XRay techs there to take my chest XRay. I wasn't expecting that but woozily complied with their requests to sit up and take a deep breath. I asked about the XRay later and was told that they do it because in some cases, the bronchoscopy can cause the lung to collapse or bleed. Fortunately, nothing was/is wrong with my lungs.
At this point my oxygen level kept dropping. It sits about 96% normally, which is a bit low but expected because of the Fentanyl patches, and they'd given me the Dilaudid, another narcotic that depresses respiration. So of course my oxygen level was low, so they put one of those oxygen nostril thingies on me and that kept it up.
When I was taken back to the regular area, Ian came to see me. They asked if I wanted something to eat or drink, which of course I did because I was starving and thirsty. They gave me a can of ginger ale, four crackers, a thing of grape jelly, and two digestive cookies. I ate and drank it all and then I fell asleep.
I woke up about three hours later, just after six, with Ian still at my side. I guess the nurse had come by to check my vital signs but Ian told them to just let me sleep. The nostril oxygen thingy was on me the whole time which helped me sleep. When I woke up, they checked my blood pressure and pulse and then got me to the bathroom. Once I did that, they called for the IV tech to disconnect the port and when that was done, I got to go. They faxed a prescription to my pharmacy for T3s - which is funny, because when they asked me what pain medications I didn't like, I said "codeine", which is the narcotic in T3s. So much for that.
Of course I had all that pink stuff on me when I came home; I guess it's some kind of sterilizing stuff. We were able to get most of that off pretty easily even though the nurse said it would be a while before that happened. I do have welts under where the heart monitor thingies were, so now I know that I'm sensitive to that adhesive, too. Sigh. I wonder if taking Benadryl before having to have these adhesives put on me would prevent these welts?
The usual instructions are to keep the dressing on for two days but the doctor told me that I should keep mine on for three days because there are no steri strips over the dissolving stitches. So I'll keep them on until Saturday, I guess. Until then I'm not allowed to submerge the gauze or stitches in water. I can still have a bath but I can't submerge myself the way I prefer to. Oh well. At least I can still have baths.
So that's it... it went pretty well, I think. Ian's been taking good care of me yesterday and today. He stayed with me all yesterday and was with me after I got up this afternoon. I slept until 1:15pm today and I expect to sleep more tomorrow and over the next few days as I heal. I'm looking forward to getting the biopsy results from my oncologist on June 11.