Well guys, I promised that my mom would tell her side of the story, so here it is!
I’m sorry, but I simply can’t help but add my two cents, so look out for my comments in pink!
I look back at the past few weeks and I marvel at all that I have been through. After much pain and discomfort, my husband and I decided to see our doctor, who referred us to an orthopaedic surgeon. (when she says pain and discomfort she actually means her pain was so severe that she could not walk, no amount of pain killers could ease her pain and she was like this for WEEKS, ) He requested an MRI scan and the results indicated that I needed surgery (her second spinal fusion). Another two referrals were given and we opted for the doctor who came highly recommended. He looked at the MRI scan results and he diagnosed that the pins and plates from my previous op in 1995 had to be removed, and L3 and L4 of my spine had to be fused. The first date that was available was September 13, 6 weeks later. Hubby and I both concluded that this was just too long to wait. We kept calling the doctors rooms and prayed for an earlier appointment.
The call we were expecting from the doctor came soon and the date was brought forward to Friday afternoon, 30 August. I was admitted on the Thursday afternoon. The surgeon came in to see me and told us that the operation would take place at 8:00a.m, Friday morning. Well, that was the beginning of a roller coaster ride I will not soon forget! The anesthetist came in, told me what he would be doing, reassured me and left. Blood samples were taken and I got pain tablets and finally fell off to sleep. I was woken up at the crack of dawn, was offered a little pill that would calm me and I donned the theatre apparel and was soon wheeled off to theatre. I was first in line in a row of other patients. Kind and consoling passersby comforted us….. And then I lost all awareness of my surroundings.
I was awakened by loud voices and singing. My mouth was dry and I asked a passerby for lip ice! Only to hear an impatient response. Finally someone offered me Vix which I applied to my parched lips. Oh my hat! The things anaesthetic can do to one! I recall being woken in ICU by a friendly “Good morning Mrs Andrews! This is Michael and he is going to help me to bath you.” Michael, I thought! I’d never been bathed by a male other than my husband before, but I felt so ill I couldn’t even open my eyes! I was given a bed bath and the warm water and suds were just what the doctor ordered after a crazy anaesthetic trip! The sister in charge of me was a blessing, dedicated and committed! I never heard or saw Michael but I thank God for two people who worked together as a team and made a difference to my pain and anguish when I needed them. The day staff came on and I experienced this awful migraine developing. (my mother and migraines are good friends, she gets them often and quite severely) I pleaded for the lights to be turned off… this is ICU for goodness sake, the lights stay on! A beam of light shone right above my head and again, I pleaded to the nurses for relief from the light. Once again a compassionate male nurse came to my assistance and placed a cover over my eyes to help keep out the light while the migraine ravaged my body with no pain killer to quell the pain. Dozing off in fits and starts, vomiting and all that goes with migraine, even the perfume of the nurses aggravated my condition to such an extent that I thought I would not see the light of day (she really thought she was going to die, people). I questioned the container of blood next to me, still under the effects of the anaesthetic, and annoyed the nurse with all my questions! I never saw her again for the rest of my stay in ICU. Only to find out that the container of blood was the drainage from my wound! I was transferred to the general ward. By this time-Saturday night, sill vomiting and reeling under the pain of the migraine, the extent of which I had never experienced before, I was physically out of it. I hadn’t eaten since the night before my op, which was the Thursday night! Even though the doctor had said I could eat small meals, I just couldn’t keep anything down. All this time, I was been fed intravenously. Once again, I experienced a soothing bed bath and an awesome body massage… Only to discover later that a dollop of my L’Oreal face cream was missing! Which explains the silky body massage… Which I do not regret! (Ha! Ha!)
In the early hours of Sunday morning, still vomiting and feeling ghastly, I pleaded with the staff to call my husband because I thought I was on deaths door (she really thought she was going to die – like really, I can’t even begin to imagine what that feels like!). I told them that I needed him to know what was happening to me. I called for my doctor to come and check me out. The sister kindly explained that it was 3:25a.m. And it was not fair to wake my husband at this time, but that she would chat with the superintendent and find out what could be done blah blah blah! (basically she was saying you aren’t going to die, calm the heck down, lol) She disappeared and I never saw her again… I had fallen into a deep sleep! I remember just crying out to The Lord and praying that this ordeal would pass. I was aware of being carried on the prayers of family and friends.
The lesson of my experience is that I now appreciate little things like a bath, hot water, caring hands, compassionate and dedicated nursing staff. I’m into my third week of recovery and grateful because I know that I know who I know (The Lord Jesus Christ, she means!)
And I am just grateful that you lived to tell this tale, mom! xxx