Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Days of Whine & Roses

Medical professionals think the rest of us are idiots. Sure they've spent years studying and working ungodly hours as interns for laughably low pay and wearing ugly shoes, but c'mon! None of these things justify treating me as though I'm a simpleton. (Maybe having to wear ugly shoes does. That can really ruin your day.)

Almost every time I've had to have an I.V. the nurses look at my arm and say, "Oh, my! You have tiny little veins!" I respond, "Uh huh. Don't try to put it on top of my wrist. You'll never get it." Apparently this is the equivalent of throwing down the gauntlet and spitting in their eye. They immediately dive at my bony wrist with their evil silvery needles and proceed to jab at my veins. If you've never had someone try to put an I.V. into your wrist bone, you're really missing out.

Saturday morning when I was being prepped for surgery, I had to endure this scenario again. I ended up, at the nurse's request, helping her by holding medical paraphernalia in my good hand while she focused her full attention on torturing my veins. After failing to find the vein in my wrist and leaving me with a lovely puffed up bruise, she begrudgingly moved up my arm and stuck me on the inside of my elbow, making it impossible for me to bend my arm even slightly.

Mr. Right and my four year old, The Duchess, joined me in the room and were sitting by my bed waiting for me to go into surgery. As usual, once the nurses spotted The Duchess, they came over to ooh and ah over her and struck up a conversation. When they discovered that as soon as I went into the operating room, Mr. Right was going to take The Duchess to McDonald's for breakfast, Nurse Jabby leans down and whispers, "Make sure you wash her up really well when you leave here. This place is FULL of germs!" Wow. That didn't freak me out at all.

As they wheeled me into the operating room, I looked around and said, "Wow. This is the first time I've been awake in the actual operating room." That's the last thing I remember. Lights out. I have a special place in my heart reserved for anesthesiologists. They honestly deserve $1,500 bucks for a half hour of work. Really. Do you want to FEEL them cutting you open? I think not.

My next memory is of waking up in post-op shaking violently and feeling like a truck was parked on my collarbone. I had to stay there for a little while because apparently I was having difficulty breathing in a manner that was satisfactory. Surgery is like a really bad carnival ride.

I always hate having to take prescription pain medication. I don't know how addicts do it. Heavy duty drugs make me mean and hateful and I do funny things when I'm looped. Besides the fact that they help kill the actual physical pain, I can find no redeeming qualities in pain killers. I took them for two days and then opted out. I've been medicating with anti-inflammatories and ice packs. This has alleviated the problem of feeling like I'm chronically dazed and I no longer hold cups up to my face like I'm drinking when there is no cup in my hand. (That Nancy Reagan really knew what she was talking about. Just say, "NO!")

The scale says that since my surgery, I've gained five pounds. *&%$#@*! How can THAT be?! Actually, from Saturday morning...pre-surgery, to Sunday morning...I'd gained five pounds. Five pounds in one day?! This might make one think that as soon as I came home from surgery, I began inhaling boxes of Twinkies, but I assure you this is not the case. This is so frustrating!! Now I'm in pain, incapable of any real physical activity, and a freakin' fatty. This is so not fair.

On the bright side, the flowers above were sent to me by my mother-in-law and father-in-law on the day of my surgery. Nice, huh? A beautiful little basket of sunshine to help me remember that I'm thought about and that I have much to be thankful for.

So, despite all of the godawful unexplained weight gain, the icky soreness, and the general grumpiness, I know that I'm a lucky girl. A whiny, lucky girl.


lakeviewer said...

You deserve being grumpy after your experience. Amy, you are brave, even in the pre-op state of watching your right hand helping with the punishment on the left one. From somebody on meds right now, hurrah for doctors who do believe you when you tell them your pain level has reached a 10.

Amy said...

Right on to that! Nothing like telling them you're in pain and having them say, "Oh, no. You're just being emotional." (True story from my last surgery when they installed the metal. Boy...was I mad!)

Linda Rae said...

I was told that anesthesiologists don't get paid for putting you to sleep--they get all that money for waking you up!

Get better soon, Sweetie.

Wendy said...

If you're able to be this funny, you're either still hopped up on the dope and lying about it (a sure sign of addiction), or feeling a little better. I hope it's the latter.
Get better soon!

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm so glad you made it through the surgery successfully. Thank God.

I'm a bodyworker and also a doula so I've spent many a day and late night in maternity with clients who are giving birth. The things that are said to them by not only the doctors but also the nurses (who are supposed to be kinder) never fails to blow my mind.

As for the doctors, I believe a big part of medical training is learning how to be hauty and disdainful. No other way to explain it.

Also people just don't THINK before they speak - not only in hospitals, though it has a far greater impact there than on the street.

I salute you for being able to write a funny post about a most unfunny experience. I'm glad it's over and wish you a quick recovery.

BRAVO!! Take care.

Amy said...

Thank you everyone for wishing me well and for your sweet comments. They are much appreciated!

Reya - I would say, "If you only knew..." but it sounds as if you DO know what things are said by medical professionals inside hospital walls. Oy!

Andrea said...

Glad your through what seems to be the hardest part. I, too, have had an IV placed near my wrist - wasn't a very pleasant experience! Take care of yourself!