Tuesday morning started very early. Dan got up first.and got ready for the day, then I took my turn in the bathroom, taking the final of my three prescribed antibacterial soap showers. We were at the hospital by 5:45 a.m., and they took us immediately to a room where I donned my stylish hospital gown and had an IV line started with saline solution.
An hour or so later I kissed Dan goodbye and took the ride to the operating room, which felt exactly like a walk-in freezer. Thankfully, I don't remember much about being cold, because very quickly the anesthesiologist began adding some of his magic fluid to my IV. I remember him asking if I was okay, and I started to answer that it was a little tingly . . .
As if no time had passed, someone was tapping my shoulder and saying, " Mrs. Judd. Wake up. Your surgery is all over." It hadn't been like sleeping, because when I sleep and then wake I have a sense of time having passed. Not with this, though. I really couldn't believe the surgery was over.
They moved me to my room. I don't remember if Dan was already there or if he came up after me In fact I don't remember anything about those first couple of hours. I need to ask Dan if I was loopy enough to be saying crazy things. Or maybe I don't want to know.
What surprised me was that at noon they brought me a full meal. No ice chips or clear liquids, no chicken soup or jello . . . regular food. I had requested a low carb diet, because of my diabetes, but their "low carb" was nothing like my "low carb." That first meal was a piece of breaded chicken with gravy, roasted potatoes, green beans, a biscuit, jello - regular, not sugar free, salad and apple juice. The rest of the meals, throughout my stay, we're similarly "carby," but I didn't worry about it. I had very little appetite, so just worked on getting something in my stomach and didn't worry about my blood glucose. Lots of time to get back on that train once I'm back home.
The next morning I was supposed to begin therapy. But when they got me up and walked me to the door of my room, my blood pressure plummeted and I nearly passed out. They took me back to bed, joking that some people will do anything to get out of physical therapy. But they came back later and I did much better. That tine I was encouraged to try to walk (with my walker, of course) to and from the gym, but I only made it part way each direction. The exercises were really painful, and I wondered if I'd ever be able to do them well.
Thursday morning I was feeling much better. I walked to and from the gym and did all of my exercises like a pro! Same in the afternoon. The doctor told me that morning that I could go home if therapy went well, but after another very low blood pressure episode (69/46), we all decided one more night in the hospital would be wise. My therapy session on Friday was really good, and afterward I got to take a shower, which was delightful.
Highlights of my stay included visits from numerous friends and a Skype visit with the grand kids. I hope my disheveled appearance and drug-induced dopiness didn't scare them! Hearing them chatter on certainly picked up my spirits.
The medical staff was amazing! The nurses and aides couldn't have been more caring, attentive and professional. The housekeeping staff and those bringing in my food were cheerful and friendly. And, of course, the doctors, who literally held my life in their hands, were terrific.
Dan drove me home on Friday, and we'd hardly gotten home before two friends from church, Janet and Linda, were at our door with a delicious dinner of roast pork, sweet potatoes, green beans, salad and fresh fruit cups.
Yesterday the home health care therapist came to work with me. I think a therapist will come every day for a week, then every other day for a couple more weeks. I'm doing real well today, feeling somewhat independent, strong and encouraged, and also grateful as can be for Dan's care and attention. Without him here I couldn't have come home, and home is exactly where I want to be right now.
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