Thursday, February 13, 2014

Post-op... Again

This is me, after all, and random surgeries are as much a part of my life as anything else at this point. This one was #9 in a hair over 9 years, and it should have fallen in the bottom half as far as how complicated/serious/painful it would be. (Simple gallbladder removal as the pesky thing was filled completely with large stones.)

Once again, this is ME. I should have known a simple gallbladder removal wouldn't stay simple for long.

Surgery was Friday, at a local hospital. Of course, the surgeon I was seeing came highly recommended, but he doesn't operate out of the one local hospital I've had good luck with. Fine. Fingers crossed, things won't totally suck. I should have known I'd be wrong. Don't get me wrong- the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and nurse anesthetist (who is actually a family friend) all did great jobs. But the pre- and post- op groups? Were horrific at their jobs. Epically so.

The nurses refused to give me proper pain meds, despite them being ordered for me. No joke- they refused to give me the oxycodone the doctor ordered for me because I had already been given tylenol in my IV... even healthy patients aren't supposed to manage immediate post-op pain with 2 tylenol. At one point, I had to get up to pee, and before I even made it to the door of my room, I was bent in half, sobbing in pain. With my history of extreme pain, it takes a LOT to get to me. Plus, I now have the SCS implanted, and it allows me to get some pain coverage in my stomach, so I had it jacked as high up as I could get it to go. 

It didn't help that my internal organs are more affected by the CRPS than we ever imagined. The air pressure from the laparoscopic procedure should not have caused such extreme pain for the length of time that it did, but it did, and the fact that the SCS helped cover that pain, along with the way it presented, taught us that my organs are more sensitive to pain than we knew.

Also,  never, ever, ever trust a nurse at a post-op unit to understand the words, "I can't take the pain, somethings wrong." They blew me off and assumed I was making it all up. It finally got so bad my mom convinced them to release me, so that she could get me home and on to higher doses of pain meds. (Two low dose percocet shouldn't be a "much higher dose" than what a hospital gives you in post-op....) They were giving me 1/3 of what I should have been getting at the hospital. Once I got home and had access to heating pads and actual meds, I could breath again. Sad. 

I did learn one thing from all of this: to only have surgery at a few, select hospitals. I don't care how fancy they are, they can still be a nightmare waiting to happen (I'm looking at you, Rochester Methodist...). Stick to what you know works. Any future local surgeries will held at a single hospital, the place that did  my SCS. Because, well, this is me. There will be more surgeries, it's just a matter of what they turn out to be for. 

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