For some reason I thought a Marines shirt was the appropriate choice. Maybe for confidence. We arrived in the still dark of the morning, and after some wandering around found the office. Checked in with the usual paperwork, depression inventory, had vitals taken. Blood pressure was crazy high, but I was nervous and couldn’t take my BP meds yet. Got a nifty wristband but they cut it off before I left, so no souvenir. I have, however, been finding various connecting electrodes and bits of adhesive jelly here and there. Like a personal scavenger hunt for the elements of the hospital bill.
While we waited, Wife and I scanned the wristband and figured out which numbers were my patient number, record number, etc. It can be fun hanging out with a medical records junkie. There were half a dozen other people and their minders waiting, but I was picked for first today.
After a review of my meds and a check-in to talk about my depression, I got to take a test to judge my confusion level. I nailed it, 30 out of 30. It was a pretty easy test, although I had to do math at one point and, well, math is math. I waited a very short bit and they took me to the procedure room.
No changing into hospital gown needed, just lay down on the bed and chatted with the doctor (whom I’d met a couple weeks ago) about what we were doing, side effects, etc. Another conversation with the anesthesiologist. One of the questions was “have you ever had a seizure” and I said “no, but give me a minute.” It took a moment for it to register and they all laughed. Wit as a defense.
IV was put in while I was talking to the doctors, which helped distract me from it and to be honest I don’t really remember it much. It was that easy and comfortable. My daughter had read that they will sometimes put a tourniquet on a foot so they can isolate the muscle relaxant and see the foot during the seizure. They did not do that, but I thought it was interesting.
I mentioned that I had a mood ring and was curious what it would do during the procedure. Unfortunately I forgot to ask afterward – I’ll ask next time. And finally, the anesthesiologist put a mask lightly over my mouth and nose, and after being told to breathe deep, my stomach dropped like on a rollercoaster and the world slid away from me.
The next thing I knew I was waking up and they were removing my wristband and a wheelchair was rolling up. My calves hurt like I had run a marathon yesterday. And I was a little bit nauseous. A little bit of a headache and groggy as hell. But it was over and I was moved out to a sub-lobby where they gave me a muffin, juice, and eventually coffee. Which was maybe a bad call on my part, since I needed to go home and sleep. The coffee was shockingly good. (See what I did there?)
Once I was cleared to go, Wife took me down to the lobby in the wheelchair…
.. where I got to line up with the other patients waiting for rides. By the time we were on the way home I was really starting to sort out how I felt. It felt like the weirdest hangover. You know how it feels like your skin is crawling? My head felt like that. On the inside. But it was not uncomfortable. Just odd. We had a few moments where I felt like the die in a magic 8-ball when we turned a corner, but that was actually kinda fun.
By the time we got home I was doing much better and even though I wasn’t very steady on my feet I got out of the car all on my own. And then I slammed my coat sleeve in the door. Oops.
I went straight to bed and was out fairly quickly. When I woke up an hour or so later I felt like a warm gummy bear and I just wanted to stay in bed and rest. So I did. Checked out my phone a bit but decided that I needed to watch a movie or something. I have been wanting to see The Rankin and bass Hobbit again so I watched part of that. I consider that actually to be a worse decision than watching One flew over the cuckoo’s nest last week. Just all that singing is so horrible.
My super wonderful and supportive wife made me an excellent peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some milk and I had lunch in bed. She joked that it was like how our daughter sometimes just takes her food to her room to eat.
The rest of the day has been fairly uneventful but I do still feel a little groggy. My calves still hurt, I’m still really tired, and I find myself randomly wandering from room to room looking for something to do or looking for something. I’m going to have to structure these weeks fairly well because I can’t spend all of my days being this bored. Although I did watch The Favourite and felt like I was much like Olivia Coleman’s character as the Queen Anne just wondering the palace aimlessly.
I don’t intend to all of my entries to be this long and this detailed I just wanted to cover the first day and what the process was like. I don’t know how much or how often I will update, but this is definitely a fun exercise and a great way to remember and sort out my days.
4 thoughts on “Day One: Woah”
It sounds like things went well. It’s fascinating to me what people remember of general anesthesia…funny that you remember your stomach falling. The last time I was knocked out I remember just talking to my surgeon and then waking up in recovery. Such a strange feeling. Glad to hear you got some rest! I’m glad you took Harvey. 🙂
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This is good stuff, Robert! Did you find out why your calves hurt so much?
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I’ll ask tomorrow but I think it has something to do with the muscle relaxer.
I also have to follow up and hear about the mood ring. 🙂