Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Through Tammy's hospital visit

So there I was, lying flat on a gurney, the room a beehive of activity around me. One nurse was busy putting little heart monitor patches on me (five to be exact and another on my finger) while another fitted an oxygen cannula into my nostrils. Next came a blood pressure cuff on my upper left arm, which, unfortunately, came un-velcroed the first time it tried to take my blood pressure. Apparently this is a common problem with the automatic blood pressure machine. As soon as one of the nurses spotted the problem, she fixed it.

The door to the room was curtained off, and the doctor was sitting on one side, busily talking on the phone. In fact, he talked on the phone until right before the actual procedure started, but I guess it couldn't start without him since he would be the one doing it. I decided it was good that he had the nurses to do all the necessary prep work. I also wondered who in the world he could be talking to until right before he started, but he did come talk to me briefly.

He laid a hand on my arm and asked if the medicines he had given me at our visit two weeks before were working out. I told him one was really helping, but the other didn't work out so well since it gave me terrible heartburn, the opposite of what it's supposed to do. He looked surprised at this, and I told him that he had prescribed a second pill for me that seemed to be working just fine. I was slightly taken aback that he didn't realize the switch in pills since, apparently, he was the one who authorized it. . . oh well.

The nurse who had fitted the cannula into my nose came over again and pumped a little juice into into my vein through the IV in my right hand. I thought it was interesting how the lights in the room suddenly started looking strange and I was aware of everything and yet nothing all at once. I also felt slightly dizzy. Good thing I was lying down already.

In my half drugged state, the activity and the lights were getting to be a bit too much, so I closed my eyes, not sure if this was the sedative and if so, how long it was going to be before I went completely under. Not yet, since the nurse next instructed me to turn onto my left side and curl into a ball, then adjusted the pillow underneath me.

I suddenly noticed that my right hand seemed to be burning and slightly sore. I rubbed my thumb gently with the other hand, and the nurse must've seen the motion. She explained that my hand might be slightly sore from the medicine. The nurse who had put the IV in had told me that it would be uncomfortable to have the IV in my hand because the pain medication tended to burn, but since my veins are tiny and hard to find, there wasn't much to be done about it.

Finally, it was time. The nurse on my right side asked the doctor if he was ready, explaining to me that it only took about 30 seconds for the anesthetic to take affect. My eyes were already partially closed, but I didn't even realize I was completely out until I woke up in the recovery room.

My first recollection was someone saying something about the procedure. Despite being quite out of it, this made it into my consciousness as well as the fact that the doctor would soon be in to talk to me. I turned to my friend, K, who had driven me to my appointment (because I would be heavily sedated I was not allowed to drive for 12 hours, so someone had to give me a ride there and back) and made small conversation. She mentioned something about how she could tell I was still drugged by how much I was giggling. She must not know me very well yet or she would wonder how much was drugs and how much was my normal behavior. :)

I didn't giggle when the doctor came into the room. He explained the results of this procedure, as much as they were available, and told me to continue taking my pills and schedule a visit to his office in two months. I questioned him if this would make my pain go away and he told me there was a good chance it would. I can only hope so!

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this journey through my minor medical procedure. It's been almost 7 hours since it happened, and I feel pretty good. My stomach was in terrible pain a little while ago, and my throat is sore, but both of those are relatively normal. Wish me luck with getting the results soon and that they show something conclusive!

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Oh Tammy! What happened? Are you OK!?