Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spine fusion - more on the first four days

Get out of bed.  Put the brace on.  Do what few things you can do.  Walk a few steps.    Somewhere along in there I get cleaned up a bit.  Take the brace off. Get back into bed.  I suspect this brace and I will be together for quite a while. 

My visitors are saving my sanity.  Making me feel almost like a well person.  My friend Tom who drove me to the hospital has drawn the most wonderful picture of pink, happy get well flowers, and it's in a wonderful silver frame.   My daughters sent some real and wonderful flowers. 

In the flowers, which are really an orchid plant, is a little nest with a mommy or daddy bird sitting on it.  One of the sweet nurses is soon to be a mommy.  I ask if I may give her a gift, and hand her the nest and bird.  Twelve hour shifts for nurses seem tough to me, and right now I can't imagine handling 12 hours working on anything.

At this point, I think they have already started poking my abdomen with a gauge that shows whether I am retaining urine.  My body seems too tired to produce much of anything but a little nausea, tho I'm sure the anesthesia is long gone.

 I haven't said much about pain in here, for more than one reason.  I do have a high threshold.  Also, I remember vividly the night I needed the ambulance, and a lot of days before and after.  The weekend before the x-rays, I really did feel like someone was stabbing my right leg.  I did take pain medicine on a number of days before the surgery.

The hated long white clot prevention stockings are painful.  Do they put these stockings on guys, too?  I bet the men hate that.

The surgeon says he wants me to go to rehab at Huntington, which is in Pasadena, which seems too far from where I live, and where I have only 1 friend.  He wants to be able to look in on me and see how things are going.  I'm thinking he'll be my only visitor.

My suitcase hasn't even been unpacked--I certainly don't feel like getting dressed.  But finally the end of the day Friday is here.  The ambulance drivers are young and nice.  The gurney is shiny red and yellow just like in the movies, and comfortable.  I want a tiny mint.  They're not allowed to start if I do (danger of choking?) so I take it out of my mouth.  There is much talk on the phones about exactly where we are going.  Now we start out on what is a longer journey than I expected.

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