Last Thursday, November 10th, 2011, Danny & I arrived at the surgery waiting room at about 4:45 a.m. We couldn’t get in there yet because it wasn’t open, but at 5:00 a.m. the doors opened and we sat down. I signed in, gave the waiting room lady my surgery pass and waited. After awhile I was called into a private little room and was told to take off the clothes and put on the gown. The first gown they gave me had no ties, so I had to ask for another one. I was pretty scared, so being scared with a malfunctioning gown wasn’t going to make me feel any better. So after putting on a new gown and the cute little non-skid socks they gave me, a bunch of people came in to perform different tasks. Blood was taken, blood pressure as well, an IV was inserted at my wrist and I peed in a cup… again. After that there was a parade of other people who all told me what to expect – the anesthesia nurse, anesthesia student, and the doctor himself. He said the operation would take about 2.5 hours and that they’d come for me soon.
Well, they didn’t come for me until about 8:00 a.m. I had already been there over 3 and a half hours and really, I was ready to get this thing over with. They put some drug into the IV and ::poof!:: I remember being wheeled out the door… and that’s it. The next thing I remember I was in the recovery room. It seems like the operation took a bit over 3 hours. I looked at my abdomen to see what sort of damage I had; five little holes and one slice on my lower abdomen, just like I expected. I was full of wires and tubes and pretty much tethered to the bed. I had oxygen hooked up, heart monitors, IVs, some inflatable things on my legs and (oh lovely) a catheter. I had a pump with a narcotic that I could administer myself for pain. I didn’t really do that much – the pain was really very minimal. My family was there and I felt pretty good. Mostly I was just relieved the operation was over.
Long story short here, I started bargaining immediately for all the tubes to be removed. At the end of Thursday night, I had successfully gotten the oxygen removed. Later in the evening, I decided to stand up and see if I could walk – which I totally could. My muscles felt really sore, but not really painful. I pretty much stayed up all night on Thursday as people come in and poke at you every hour in the hospital. I moved my legs around, got up every few hours and drank a lot of water.
The next morning, my doctor said that all the rest of the tubes and wires could be removed – including the catheter. What a lovely day it is when you can pee on your own… just sayin’. He also said that I could finally try some real food. It had been 2 days since I’d had anything other than liquids, so I was pretty excited about this. After lunch, the doctor came in again and checked me out, told me that all my tests were good and that I could go home… today. I couldn’t believe it! They had told me that I would be in the hospital from 2 – 5 days. I’d never even hoped to have the surgery and come home the next day! Hallelujahs!
So anyways, I’m at home, I’m walking around, taking her easy, but not helpless. I get better every day and I’m healing super fast. I finally got some great sleep (there’s no place like you’re own bed!) and feel totally rested.
I have to admit that the prospect of having Krueger out was the scariest thing I’d ever had to deal with. I thought maybe I’d handle it better, but I was way scared of the surgery, notsomuch the recouperation, but the surgery itself. I don’t know why, but I just had an overwhelming feeling of doom. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. With the help of talented doctors and a super supportive family, having a nephrectomy was a piece of cake.