Saturday, February 2, 2008

Snappin' out of it

The last time I was completely put under with anesthesia was when my oldest child was born, in 1989. After 36 hours of labor my baby went into distress and I was suddenly swept away from my husband and into a stark white dismal operating room. I remember distinctly my large round belly being shaved with what had to have been the dullest Bic razor they could find and then waking up some unknown time later feeling sick and dizzy.

When I awoke in the recovery room, it took a minute to remember where I was and why I was there. I waited for what seemed like forever for someone to come by so that I could ask about my husband, and of course my baby. At long last a nurse walked by and told me that my husband and family were waiting for me up in my room and that the baby was safe with them.

This nurse further instructed me to just relax, they would take me up there at 2:30p.m. I believe that was 2 hours away and I began a relentless campaign to every person that passed by to take me to my husband. I was successful and was delivered to my room at something like 1:50pm to find that there was not one person waiting in my room. Apparently all family had been sent home to shower and eat, this would have been good information for me to have! They did not bring me my baby (who I had not yet met) until someone arrived to help me with him. I'm not sure why the nurses couldn't help me, hummm, it just felt all wrong.

At last my husband arrived and our baby was immediately brought into the room. I was at last allowed to hold him and gaze into those beautiful baby eyes when the ill effects of the anesthesia crept up and I began to vomit. I think I had held him for maybe 45 seconds or so. This was a huge disappointment and was distinctly not the joyful scene I had imagined over those previous 9 months of pregnancy.

Fast forward 18 years and I am once again in a recovery room with a gentle and kind nurse urging me to wake up. "Julie, can you open your eyes? It's time to wake up." I cracked my right eye open half a peep to discover that I was not only dizzy but somehow in the midst of a huge wave that kept crashing over and over the top of my head. "No, I can't."

Unbeknownst to me, I was the lone patient in the recovery room and try though they might I simply could not snap out of the power of the morphine. The nurse gave me several doses of the anti-vomit medicine but to no avail. After 4 hours of laying there in a stupor I asked where my husband was, "He's out in the lobby doing push-ups." Bless his sweet heart, and what time is it? "It is 5:00pm. You have been out of surgery for hours and he has been waiting patiently for you to wake up." Wow, last I knew it was 9:30am and I was just wheeling into the operating room.

It is such an oddessy to have an entire day gone with no recollection that you have been poked, prodded, incised and stitched all without your knowledge! Not to mention drugged beyond belief!

The first several days following surgery were a dizzy dream that required additional pain medication that kept me dizzy and dreaming. It has now been eleven days and today is the first day that I can honestly say that I feel like me. My spirit feels happy and optimistic and I thoroughly enjoyed cleaning my kitchen and preparing dinner. Phew - that was a seriously long haul. It will still be 2-3 weeks before I can get back to full speed, and perhaps 3-4 months before I have recouperated and cleared all the toxins of those drugs from my system but happily today
I am back.