September 21, 2010
NAMC ~ 7:05 PM: so, here we are again, getting signed in and preped for another surgery. These beginning notes were taken by Lizzie while I acted as the "patient". Now, if I can only read her notes! We are in the ambulatory surgery wing with our first nurse, Jay. He is giving us the lowdown on what all we can expect, when it should occur and setting my first IV feed. Quite a while later, it seems, my anesthesiologist, Dr. Lima enters and we discuss my knock out drugs... in this instance a "general anesthetic". She promised to take good care of me and Ilda the Nurse (2) and I talked for a good while, while Liz kept calling Shayna unsuccessfully 13 rimes to get her up for school. Finally, she was able to reach her with a TEXT message!
Ilda rolled me down through the halls... and as a rider on the gurney, mostly we notice the hall walls and ceilings going by... and into the O.R.,where I first see Dr. Sankar. He is smiling his usual self and I quickly ask my two questions which I have been concentrating on remembering since we arrived: 1) can I get a room up on 4 North, the kidney floor? Sure. And (2); can I see / have the overgrown parathyroid? No. Its just a little brown peanut. We have to send it to biopsy... he reports. Okay.
Dr. Lima brings over my ultra-seal disposable face mask and gently places it over my nose and mouth and before I can say, "Winken, Blinken, and Nod" I'm off in the ozone and then I hear lovely Lizzie's voice saying something like, "Jack... here's your meds... time to take your meds..." and she holds them up to my lips, one at a time, in a little paper catsup cup. This is a very complicated process over and over and over again, for drowsy dopey me. I think I said something like, "Hooray. I am still alive and on the planet...", maybe. I was very sleepy and immediately went back off to dream-land. This part of operations is definitely my favorite part: in and out of consciousness with not a care in the world, cept of course knowing I am still IN the world. Liz notes in her notes that the time is 9:30 am.
So it goes... off and on and on and off for some unknown length of time, Liz is gone and left me with "sweet blond" (<-- Liz's notes) Nurse Valerie (#3) who is very sweet (and I don't use "sweet" hardly EVER). Every time I come up the stairs to consciousness she is there, telling me I did good and all is well, etc. I find out much later that the reason I dreamed of Liz bringing me my meds was that she WAS doing so... she had gone to the car to get them... and been allowed into recovery cause none of the staff can handle "outside meds" cause they are "unauthorized" and may be laced with poison or some such thing. Finally, at 11:30 I am mostly awake and it is time to be rolling on up to 4-N. Valerie kisses me goodbye, gently on the cheek, hugs Liz and sends us away to new nurses and adventures in hosptaland. (So far, Nurse Valerie is my favorite, as you can probably guess.)
We arrive to find Nurse Barbara and Cowgirl Sabrina who I recognize from my last stay on 4-N, a year and a half ago now. They see lots of patients but it only takes a few minutes to remind them who we are. Both of them are like "the best" and we are immediately kidding and teasing and making a fun time here on 4-N.
Bernadette stops by and we talk meds and tell her the surgery evidently went well. She has touched base with Sankar and relays his message of success and Liz tells about her brief talk with him just after he finished the operation. I can tell Lizzie is relieved. She and I set in to making this room our room, getting out the lap top and spreading our junk around in a homey way. They bring me "clear liquids" and I get my first coffee of the day (2 big styro-cups) along with orange jello, mushroom soup (clearly not clear), iced tea, apple juice, milk (clear?), and banana pudding. I drink coffee and pump Liz for all the answers about what happened while I was in La La Land.
She has already called my Dad, her Mom, John & Katie, Kim, Shayna, and Jen. We talk about how happy we are, how good life is, de tails of the day, etc. etc. while the nurses come in and out and measure all my bodily fluids and measurable signals of health. I find I have to stay in bed today and pee in the jar. I'll wait to poop til tomorrow, thank you.
Then, another meal comes! Its dinner! Two fajitas, beans straight up, ice T, a salad with French dressing, and more banana pudding, yum yum... Liz gets one of the fajitas and the iced tea and I gobble down the rest after we have talked and talked and watched the ABC Evening News. The she leaves to go home to Shayna.
Nurse Reba takes the floor after Barb and I don't recall yet much about this shift. I didn't get to see "The Good Wife", so I watched "Parenthood" which was pretty lame tonight. I busied myself writing the Ode to Liz, two paragraphs below...
The over-night crew comes on and it is Nurse Lissy, who remembers the thank you letter I sent when I left after the transplant, and which hung up in the Nurse's lounge for many months. This tidbit makes me feel very good that they so graciously accept my accolades last time.
Somewhere in the beginning of tonight's post, I wrote:
"I STARTED THIS POST AND THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN AN OLD TUNE POPPED INTO MY HEAD... and I dedicate it to my BFF, main squeeze, love of my life... Lizzie!"
Here I am again...back in that same old place again,
seeing all those friends again... lyin' here dreaming of you.
You stayed here with me again... and sent in the light again,
and gave me my meds again... as I woke up to you.
Yeah, I'm back on 4N again, resting in my room again,
and flirting with those nurses again... jest like an old fool.
I'm missing you here again... even tho you just left; when?
Here I am - can't find my pen...even tho you findin' it ain't cool.
Hope you're smiling now on the couch in the den, knowing that YOU are the comedienne
and that I'll take a taxi in the pouring rain ...cause I'm always comin' home to you!
l'm always comin' home again... laughing all the weigh is what I intendand back to my old self again... and waiting 'n' wanting to make fondyou.