Sunday, October 7, 2012

Surgery - Round 3

I had my third operation on Thursday to try and eradicate this fistula I've had going since May. Recovery this time has been a lot harder than the second round which I'm hoping is an indication that it's actually going to work, where the second one didn't.

If you want the gory details - I had a GORE BIO-A fistula plug inserted. Seeing the pictures on the product site were a little shiver inducing, but hopefully this one will be it - my surgeon said that it was "better" than the product typically stocked by the hospital, so he special ordered it for my procedure.

Thursday was definitely an interesting day - in the outpatient surgery area there are about 16 little alcoves along each side of a hallway - you're only separated from the hall by a curtain. A woman across the hall from me was being questioned by her nurse about her procedure (something they do to make sure everything matches up), and as miserable as I've been with this - sometimes little things you run into make you appreciate what you have. It turns out she was in her mid-30s and was there for a double mastectomy on top of removal of her ovaries and tubes. Yikes.

The surgery itself went well - the surgeon said that the infection had fully overtaken the fistula tract again (not surprising, given the amount of discharge I had been having), but he cleaned it out again and put in the BIO-A plug. I go back to see him in 3 weeks.

My post-op nurse seemed pretty interested in getting me out of there quickly - which I didn't necessarily mind, but I wasn't as clear of the anesthesia as I probably should have been. We went home and tucked me in bed - about 3 hours later I went to the bathroom to try and urinate. I don't know if everyone else experiences this, but it seems like the muscles used to allow urination really have to be kind of told what to do after a surgery like this - it takes concentration, and a bit of "effort" to allow things to relax and get flowing. So I did - several times - to empty my bladder, while the Man was standing just outside chatting with me. Suddenly, I started feeling a little wobbly - and just said "Help, I need help." He took my hands, and tried to guide me to the bed - and the next thing I know, I wake up thinking I'm laying in bed. Except I realize I'm not - my head is resting against the bed mattress, but I'm propped up on one arm and otherwise sprawled out on the floor. The Man helped me up and guided me into bed - I asked him to get my wrist blood pressure cuff - we put it on, and yeah - I was at 88/47 - just a little low. He said I'd been out for 5 to 6 seconds, which is not insignificant for an episode like that.

I have been having low-ish blood pressures for the last month or so - I've had some dizziness on elevation changes like standing up from sitting, or getting out of bed. None-the-less, this scared me enough that I asked the Man to take me to the ER to be checked out.

I had this odd phase for about an hour where my arms and legs were shaking, but not because I was cold. They took a series of blood pressure readings - laying down, sitting up, standing up, etc. The first series I had the dizziness and they were pretty low (under 100/60). They gave me some fluids, put me on a heart monitor, and drew some blood to check all of that. Took about 3 hours to get the blood results back - at which point my anesthesia had totally worn off, and I'd missed the time for when I could have taken vicodin and the pain was really ramping up.

They came back and did another series of BP readings which were slightly better - and finally gave me a percocet and decided that what happened was a vasovagal response brought on by still having some anesthesia on board, the history of low-ish blood pressure, and exerting some effort to urinate.

Not very satisfying - especially since I was worried about it happening again, but they sent us home after about 5 hours.

I've been on the vicodin pretty much every 4 hours since we got back - and draining enough that I've had to use chux pads to protect our mattress and my recliner. So much fun (really - super fun. really.)

I'm thankful that I have Monday off as an Evil Banker since it's Columbus Day, it's been a bit easier to sit for longer periods in the recliner, but any activity up and about in the house has really kicked in the pain. I suspect I'll be working from the recliner for the rest of the week, as I can't see my ass putting up with my Aero chair for 8 hours at a time.

I'm trying to keep my fluids up, though the best I've done is 40oz. Protein has been a struggle too - I probably ought to just have a shake while the Man is at work and let him feed me when he gets home, which I may consider for tomorrow.

No exercise until my 3-week follow-up appointment, which while frustrating, I'm willing to do if it means this thing will actually heal!!

Hopefully by next weekend I'll feel like cooking again, and have a little more to say here than "damn, my ass hurts and I'm still oozing like crazy."

So that ends today's issue of Too Much Information on the Internet.

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