Here I am, a week post-surgery, and will issue a warning to those who may be reading this blog: you may not want to know some of the information to follow. I am going to attempt, for a few blog entries anyway, to translate some hospital and doctor-speak into real-life language. A practical guide to recovery from a hysterectomy, if you will.
So, today, I'm going to talk about the real truth behind taking good pain medicine, at least for me. Good pain meds means narcotics, heavy-duty ones, delivered initially through a tube inserted into the vein in my left hand. Now, you'd think this would be a wonderful thing - narcotics not only deal with pain, they also make you not care about whether you're in pain or not. After having my gut cut open from belly-button down, this sounds as though it would be welcome relief. (oh, yes, as an aside: my hysterectomy was "old school," due to complicating factors, so no lasers or anything else that can often make them easier these days)
Here's the scenario in my hospital room: nurse comes in with narcotic all ready to be neatly and quickly inserted into my i.v. for almost instant pain relief. Wonderfully caring nurse readies the i.v., pushes in the pain meds...and I feel instantly, totally nauseous. Which is not so much of a relief. So, nurse runs out for more meds - it seems that everyone, including me, is very interested in me not vomiting through the 3 layers of stitches in my gut. An anti-nausea medicine is immediately pushed into the i.v. and the next thing I know it's 3 hours later. This goes on for a day or so, different drugs being tried to see if I can handle any of them any better. Suffice to say, I don't remember very much of the hospital days. Incredibly patient docs and nurses finally found a combination of narcotic and anti-nausea that is tolerable, that doesn't immediately knock me out for hours and that, most of all, does not induce vomiting.
Also included in the list of my daily 'medications' is metamucil and colace, to attempt to counter the difficult side effects of narcotics. If you don't know what those are, be grateful. If you have had to make their acquaintance, you have my complete empathy. And we'll leave it at that for today.
Oh - except to say, with all seriousness, that the doctors of MAHEC Women's Clinic, the nurses and CNAs of Mission Hospital, and Chaplain Dorri Sherrill are unrivaled in their skill, their care and their attentiveness. I could not have asked for a better place to be and I am deeply grateful.