On Tuesday I had a small surgery scheduled suddenly – to take a camera into my kidneys, destroy stones via laser surgery, and install and a ureteral stent. I was very brave about the whole business. I am getting better at being brave.
I had this plan. I decided not to worry about the procedure, about anesthesia, about pain, about nausea, and about a stint installation. I decided not to worry until right before it happened. The anesthesiologist started wheeling me down the hallway and giving me the medicine – pain medicine and Versed, the magic cocktail of amnesia. I remember the anesthesiologist running my cart into the doorway, and in consternation apologizing. This was very funny indeed. My life is in your hands, buddy!
Then the operating room. So many more people in there, than it would seem necessary. Everyone friendly. I am on my way out. Goodbye!
When I awake from surgery, I am very very ill. I had an anesthesia not that long ago, for lithotripsy, without complication or illness. So this time they either gave me a different series of medications while I was under – or simply more medication. I throw up – over and over – all day long. So: no pain medicine. By the evening I am in so much pain am voiding from bladder and from belly uncontrollably. Cue a visit from paramedics – my first. I am on the couch sweating through my clothes. My pajamas are urine-soaked. I am chanting and moving rhythmically through the pain. Sometimes the swell ebbs and I experience the bliss of less pain. When this happens I can hear what the paramedics, what my husband, is saying.
My poor husband. He holds up well enough, but this is the kind of thing to make him very worried indeed. He cooks for me, buys me flowers, heats up a rice pack for heat. He takes the dog to the vet and helps the kids do their housework. He washes out my vomit bag and makes the bed when I’m not in the bed.
I am set back far more than I’d realized. I keep thinking I’ll be able to get up and go somewhere, but it’s not forthcoming. More rest. More fluids. Lots of blood.
My children are old enough to run the household. But not without direction. I am in and out of sleep much. The pain keeps me from wanting to be held. But the kids come in and ask respectfully. Last night, Phoenix held me close while I watched some Bob Ross. She giggled at his lovely, gentle mannerisms. I knew she’d like him. She liked his painting techniques, too.
She is off to bed and my son comes in. By now I am ready to sleep in earnest. I ask him if we can fall asleep together. He says Yes, of course. And so we do.
Middle of the night, pain awakens me. More ibuprofen. Back to sleep.
It sounds a bit rough, but almost anything is better than Tuesday was.