Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wrapping It Up

Yeah, it's been a while since I've updated.  I thought that some of you would want to know how things turned out.

Item 1--Surgery
I finally had my second surgery and it was a success.  However, I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and had to stay overnight.  Then, during the night my IV failed and I ended up covered in IV fluid (and blind, as I hadn't put in my contacts before I went to sleep because I was so out-of-it from the surgery and reaction to the surgery).  The nurses (and these were the ONLY nurses who were like this) pooh-poohed it and told me that my racing heart (which was the reason for the overnight stay) and the leaky IV were nothing to be concerned about.  I was shivering almost uncontrollably and was told that it was just a figment of my imagination---so I asked for a cup of hot chocolate.  I was able to control my shivering long enough for my hubby to sign me out.  He took me out to lunch, where I ate two bites before the shivers returned and I began feeling horrid.  I crawled into the back seat of the car and tried to sleep the entire trip home (1 hour), but I was freezing.  I put my jammies on and crawled under the covers---only to shake them off within five minutes.  I felt so bad that I called hubby in.  He checked my temperature--102.  (So I wasn't "faking" it when I told the one set of nurses that I felt awful!)  The surgeon told him to rush me back to the hospital---another hour-long trip--and when I got there, my temp was up to 104 and I was almost having convulsions.  I was re-admitted and kept on high-powered antibiotics for another 4 days.  I had so many antibiotics that I developed some sort of fungal infection that required a different medication.  Oh, and on my last night there, at 2 in the morning, I was transferred to another floor because my roommate apparently developed staph and the room needed to be quarantined.  Lots of fun.

Item 2---Stent removal

I had to have a second stent put in with that kidney-stone surgery, or the trauma to my urethra would have caused it to swell shut (oh goody!).  But the downside was that I would have to have it removed during my final office visit.  I got to the office well in advance of my appointment because I was told that I had to have lab work AND x-rays done.  I brought my mom with me to be my driver on the trip home, and she insisted that we take her vehicle instead of mine because she wanted to be comfortable (she's a wonderful woman, but in this instance, I should have put my foot down harder or picked someone else).  This will be important later in the story.   

Anyway, as I checked in, I was told that I was *obviously* mistaken about the labwork, and that I would just have to wait the hour until my appointment.  I even stepped over to the lab check-in area and double-checked, and they told me that I wasn't anywhere on their list for the day.  Sooooo, upstairs I went, where I waited for over an hour.  Then the surgeon's nurse came out and told me that even though it was time for my appointment, the lab results and x-rays hadn't come in yet, so they couldn't take the stent out.  When I told her what had happened, she said, "THAT is never supposed to happen!  Every patient we have has lab work before they are seen.  I WILL take care of this."  Sure enough, two minutes later, she printed off an official-looking sheet that showed the orders HAD been placed that morning.  So, off I went back downstairs.  I got in and out of the lab---I had to show them the special sheet AND use my "no-nonsense" teacher voice, but I got in and out.  I walked across the hall to the x-ray, where the receptionist told me that she had put me in the system and that I would be right in.........30 minutes later, EVERYONE else in the waiting room had been seen and I was still sitting there.  I was in tears, and my mom called because the surgeon was concerned that I hadn't come back.  Mom told that nurse, and they made another call to radiology--meanwhile I tiredly tromped back to the receptionist and tearfully explained that I had been sitting for over 30 minutes back there and that I was now an hour late for my appointment, that I had arrived an hour early, and that it was almost closing time, and that I lived an hour away and didn't have any more sick days at work to take. 

After that production, I was FINALLY taken back to x-ray.  The x-ray took all of 1 minute, and the tech was apologizing for everything, but I felt so awful that I just kind of like, "Fine, whatever.  I've been yanked around by this entire office today, and I haven't been treated like a human by any of you."  I am not normally like this, and I understand that mistakes happen, but in this ENTIRE two-month ordeal, I had heard, "We're sorry, stuff like this just doesn't happen around here" so many times that I could have just recorded it and played it back each and every time I entered a doctor's office in the big city.

When I made it back upstairs, it was almost 5:00, a full two hours after my appointment.  I was ushered in for the stent removal.  If anyone EVER tells you that this is a "mildly discomforting" procedure, they are a liar.  I was put into a reclining chair with stirrups--not comfy if you are five-foot tall!  Then, they laid me back and applied the topical anesthetic, which was as effective as water---it actually felt like a syringe of aloe vera gel being applied.  The doctor arrived for the actual procedure and tried to insert this little grabby hook in to grab the end of the stent.  Once again, I was too short for him to get the proper angle, so two additional nurses were called in to hold my legs up in the sky (beyond embarrassing) while he did the removal.  Now I was already cranky, tired, and teary-eyed from the previous three-hours of crap, so I was on the verge of a breakdown before he called in the nurses.  The tears started flowing at the embarrassing predicament and even though he was really nice, they didn't stop. 

"You might feel a bit of discomfort." ----words uttered by someone who has NEVER had a 10-inch long straw stuck up their body between their bladder and a kidney.  I was in agony---it wasn't a long period of time, but it was agony.  The topical stuff didn't touch this pain.  I felt every inch of that sucker as it was taken out.  But it was out.  FINALLY.  I laid down and sobbed for about five minutes before the pain leveled out and I could both sit up and put my feet down to walk.

They told me to lay down and not sit for the next few hours so that everything would heal.  But of course, my mom needed her comfort and we had taken her vehicle, which had two car seats in the back.  No laying down, and her car seats are not comfortable at all, so I endured an hour-long trip in agony, then crawled into my bed, took some heavy-duty pain meds that my doctor had provided, and slept.  The ordeal was finally over.

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