Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We can rebuild her. We have the technology. :: 2

A Second Date with the OR

Just as Dave showed up with my GTL, I was told it was no more liquids or food time. Dr Levy gave me the option of surgery that evening or wait until Monday. There was no way in hell I wanted to wait until Monday, I wanted this over with so I could start pushing myself in PT. Little did I know I'd be stuck in the hospital until Tuesday regardless...

I had already survived one surgery, but the thought of the second one was scaring me still. Mike & Kim came up to be with us a few hours beforehand. I was so grateful to not only have Dave by my side, but to also have two of my biggest supporters there to help put me at ease. I knew everything would be okay, but it really helped to have three people I love to death there with me.

It was time for surgery. The pre-op room was more entertaining this time around. The anesthesiologist wanted to know what music I wanted playing as I went under and I just drew a blank. I remember Dr Levy coming in to see me and he was eating sour patch jelly beans. I was jealous. I remember being wheeled into the operating room and being just a little weirded out by it. I remember hearing Rocket Man...    

Stronger. Better. Faster.

Waking up in pain is never a good sign and this might have been a new level of it for me. I guess that happens when you are laying on the 8+ inch spine incision. It was a friendly reminder that I never want to have spine surgery again! Every bump the bed went over on the way back to my room made me want to scream. That night made the night after my first surgery seem like a cakewalk. 

The Bionic Back. Insane.
The next several days were a blur and seemed to drag on. I still hated the hospital food and barely had the ability to stomach any of it. I still hated having to go for X-rays and CT scans (mostly because those taking me didn't know how to do a proper bed-to-gurney transfer), but I had some badass hardware in my back now. I was still going stir-crazy. I just wanted to make a break for it... only I wasn't fast or sneaky enough yet.

PT was going quite well, even the day after the second surgery. I was in pain from the operation, but I was pretty much able to pick right back up where I left off with walking. Transferring from the bed to the wheelchair, walker or bedside commode was getting easier every day. I'll admit, it still was slow and painful, but I was doing it on my own. It was also a little weird because it felt like my back weighted an extra 20 pounds or so. It was difficult for me to stand with the walker and brush my teeth because my knees and hips were weak. I felt like such a failure at times because I needed someone there with me when I was brushing my teeth so I didn't collapse. How do you even begin to adjust to things like that? Life suddenly became a game of adapting...
Two incisions and a drain spot. Lovely.

The last few days at the hospital were quite frustrating. I was very thankful for everyone that helped me get through it because it was not easy. The combination of lots of pain killers and iron pills made my body hate me more than it already did. Not knowing when I was leaving for Health South was also complicating things. Eventually everything worked itself out on all levels. 

Finally, after days of waiting and not knowing, my ride to Health South was here. For the first time since arriving at the hospital, I had an awesome bed to gurney transfer too (why did it finally happen on the last day?!)! After 11 days and two surgeries in Fresno, I was heading to Bakersfield for my next adventure...

** Disclaimer: My heart and head weren't really in this post. The post following this one will explain a bit of the why they weren't into it. I wanted to share a bit about the second half of my hospital stay, but I am probably going to be thinking of different ways to share the progress on this blog when I start the next part of the adventure (acute therapy at Health South).

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