Thursday, April 7, 2011

Continued Reflection Following Surgery

...WoW! That is incredible! The pain, I mean. One moment I found myself breathing into a mask in the operating room, listening to them tell me that this patch and that patch were cold. Then I was going to be out, and the next thing I know I am in recovery, writhing in pain. OK, maybe not really, but it seemed like it to me. Lucinda asked me the level of pain and told her 10, if that was high enough (I think I said that). The mask was still on my face. My feet were moving all over the place. She was talking to me. Explaining things to me. I didn't care. I was just confused and feeling bad. And I asked for my wife. I wanted her to hold my hand. I wanted to let her know that I loved her. Told Lucinda that. She called down and I heard her talking to someone, I figured that it was Penny. Drifting in and out, I heard her asking me things, telling me things. Changing from the mask to the nose thing for oxygen. OK with me. I didn't care. I drifted out again. Awake, going to be moving to a room. Don't ask me why but the number sticks in my head. Going to 213. Wait. Change that. Lucinda tells me that I am going to 212, have a room to myself instead. I should be rejoicing but I didn't really care. I was moving. Rolling along. Felt the bumps of the elevator, going in, coming out. Where am I? I have no clue. Room 212. Wait - no bed there. What? Where will I lay? They want to get a bed. Back into the hallway. Waiting for a bed to arrive. Familiar voices - family? Yes! Hurrah! Back into the room. Transfer from the gurney to the bed. Move over some more, a little more. Down to low. Bend your legs. Lifting, moving, that's better. I guess. I could care less. Smile. Say hi to everyone. There is Penny, Rachael and Shirley. Good to see them. Drifting again. Pain? No. Yes. I don't know. Just keep it coming. Checking me into the room, BP, temp, etc. Do I care? Not really. Just do what you want. Do you need anything? What could a person need when they just came out of surgery? A cheeseburger? Doubtful. Sleep? Yes. More pain killer? Probably. A smile from the wife? Of course. A kiss? More than anything. Drifting back into sleep, I think. I don't know what I am saying or doing. Hopefully it isn't too weird or strange. Things went well. The gall bladder was pale, white instead of green. Not a good sign. Means it needed to come out. Thank God they could do it through the holes. That is good. I am glad that the pain in the back is gone. Wait a minute...the pain in the back is gone! That is a good sign. That means that it was the gall bladder causing the problems. That is an amazing thing, to not feel that pain. Awake, talking, visiting, sleeping, watching, waiting. Then up into a chair. Can you believe it? I am sitting in a chair. I can't imagine that it is possible so soon after being in surgery. No idea what time it is, but I am sitting in a chair. I am in the chair when Matthew arrives and he got off work at 3. So that means it didn't take long to get in a chair. At least, I think I was in the chair when Matthew arrived. Or was it after he came back? Confusing, trying to remember all that took place. Ice chips were great! Never thought ice could taste so good. But they did. Then water. Sweet, sweet water, quenching thirst. Like the Word of God to a hungry soul, the water of life for a thirsty body. Wonder of wonders, I am through surgery and on the road to recovery all ready. Thanks be to God that it went so well!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reflection Following Surgery

It is over. The gall bladder is out! And I thank God that it is gone. Do I regret going through the surgery? No for a moment. It is nice not having that nagging pain that would never go over. Now I recover from the surgery. It is hard to remember that they removed an organ from my body. After all, I have only 4 holes to show for it - three on the right side of my chest/abdomen and one over my belly button. The one over the belly button is where they took the bladder out through. That is just a little weird, if you ask me. I look back on Monday and wonder what happened. It was a strange day - the weather was changing from 90 on Sunday to 40's on Monday. The sky was gray and foreboding. The wind was raw. And I waited all morning. It was a long night, as it always is when you are waiting for something. I think about the words of the Lord, "Be still and know that I am God." And it was hard being still. (It still is.) I felt more like the words of the Psalmist, "More than watchmen wait for the morning, yes, more than watchmen wait for the morning." I was waiting for morning and even after getting up, I still waited. Waiting is the hardest thing. Finally we arrived at the hospital at 11. I was nervous as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I sat but just barely. I wanted to pace. I was getting more nervous by the minute. Penny held my hand, knew my nerves and calmed me. Thank God for Penny. She is a rock in my swamp of nerves. Checking in was easy as we were preregistered. Finally the call came "Mitchel." Out of my chair in a flash I walked to the man who called my name. He checked the armband to make sure it was me, asked my date of birth, as if anyone else would show up to have their gall bladder taken out instead of me. I laughed (only to myself). And we were off. I was aghast. The one thing I needed I hadn't gotten - a kiss from Penny. My nerves got me out of the chair before I was thinking. I looked back and wished for one. Soon. Taking me back to the preop room, he went through the details of what was going to happen, laid out my robe, my booties (the most expensive cheap slippers I would ever have- chuckle appropriately) and left me to change. After changing, bagging up my clothes, I laid on the gurney. Prayers, prayers and more prayers. I sang a few hymns. Recited a few Psalms. Understood why I was making the 7/8 grade learn those passages from Scripture - they were right there in my head as the nerves were overwhelming me. Lord, hold me, was my cry. Jesus, Savior, pilot me, for the sea was really tempestuous at the moment. Finally, the nurse came in to start the IV. The man from anesthesia showed up. I wished for Penny to be there. Told him I was highly anxious. (Didn't tell him I was ready to bolt from there except I didn't have any clothes on at the moment, just that flimsy robe which would not cover much if I was to get up.) Asked for my wife (who at that moment was asking to come back as well). There was Penny and things calmed down again. The "I don't care" drug was taking effect. I felt better, less nervous...yeah, right. That wasn't true. I was still nervous, just felt more secure. God has sent me His angel in the form of my wife. Thank You God. And then it was time. They didn't wait till 1. They took me early. One final kiss and hug and I was off. Rolling along. Where to? Around the corner, past the obstacle course of stuff and then into a room. It looked like an operating room. Do I really want to do this? Is it really necessary? Lord, help me. Lord be with me. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want... The mask over the face. Breath deeply. This will be cold as we put the patches on you. Big mask over the face. People moving all over. Seemed rushed. Hurry. Put it here. It will be cold. Who cares, just do it. Cold again. Yeah, so. Breath. OK. Now I am going to give you something to put you out. When you wake up... To be continued.