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Home from the Hospital

I had a pretty good time at the hospital, even though I didn’t get any red jello and was too groggy for puzzles or knitting or even reading.

We got to the Civic at 6:15 a.m, and a few minutes later I was in my hospital gown and in a bed, where a friendly nurse took my blood pressure and did some basic information gathering.

There was a Code 222 over the intercom. The nurse told me it means either a baby or a mother in trouble in Labour & Delivery. I found myself thinking about this baby and mother off and on all day. Every time I woke up or was drifting off, I wondered if they made it.

Around 7:30 they said it was time for GC to go, as they’d be sending me down to surgery soon. We said our goodbyes and I asked him to hand me the small bag inside the big bag I’d brought with me. It contained everything I’d need for now. He was to bring the big bag back later.

“You’re so organized!” he exclaimed, “An inner bag and an outer bag!”

I only mention this because nobody ever compliments on my organizational skills. It was a first. I beamed.

Then Richard the porter wheeled me away, and we chatted about his new snowblower all the way down to Surgery. He’s hoping for lots of snow this winter, since it’ll be his first winter with a snowblower.

He parked me in a corridor, smiled, and wished me well. People came and went, mostly pushing carts, and they all said good morning to me. What a nice hospital.

One of the people was pushing a microscope on wheels. My surgery is called a microdiscectomy, and the ‘micro’ part is because a microscope is used. If you’re like me, when you hear ‘microscope’ you think of one of those high school science microscopes. This microscope was as big as my bathroom!

A nurse went over my paperwork with me. I reminded her I had to be kept warm because of my Cold Agglutinin Disease, and that they couldn’t put an IV or blood pressure cuff on my right arm because of the nodes that had been removed.

Then the Anesthetist came along, and he was much nicer than my last anesthetist.

Next, I was wheeled into the gleaming operating theatre. There were about ten people waiting for me there. Plus the giant microscope. The nurse wrapped me in some nice heated blankets. I thought about my special Zoom blanket and wished I could have had that too.

Then they started putting stuff on me, like cuffs and leads. The Respiratory Therapy student was given the task of inserting my IV. He looked all over my arm, and then my hand.

“Hmmm,” he said.

“I’ve been told I’m a bit of a challenge in that department,” I acknowledged.

While the anesthetist watched, he tried to insert it in my hand. It didn’t work. It hurt, but I didn’t say anything. They injected some freezing and tried again, and again it didn’t work. The anesthetist took over. He couldn’t do it either. He tried in my arm. Nope. Meanwhile, I busied myself reading the wall posters about female incontinence and Kegel exercises. I did a few Kegels while I was at it, because I can’t think about Kegels without doing them. (I’m doing them right now. You too?)

Finally the anesthetist said he’d like to put me to sleep using the mask, and then insert the IV while I was out. I said okay. Mask. Deep breath. I thought about the Code 222, the mother and the baby. Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Ho…………………..

And that was the last of anything for quite awhile.

The surgeon visited shortly after I woke up and I vaguely remember him saying it went well except for the IV being tricky.

I found out later that it took them an hour and forty minutes to get the IV in, and they finally had to put it in the jugular vein in my neck, and suture it for good measure.

My surgeon came back later with three other doctors and they told me that we won’t know for sure if was successful for a few more weeks. Also, they were out of beds. He’d had a choice of rescheduling my surgery or going ahead with it but not admitting me – just sending me to the Day Surgery Unit overnight instead. He chose to do that. (Yay.) So off to Day Surgery I went.

Then, more drugs and a rush of visions of art and good feelings of good people and good energy and GC and Duncan and the mother and baby, and more sleep.

The next few hours passed that way, just kind of dreamy and druggy.

GC visited for a little while and I was soooo happy to see him. He told me I was in Bed 13 1/2. Seriously, I was! He said my hair looked good, which it seriously didn’t. But I was groggy and couldn’t stay awake and then I was nauseous. So they sent him away and gave me three injections which knocked me right out again. (He came back for visiting hours but they wouldn’t let him wake me up.)

I had toast and yogurt and gingerale for dinner, but no jello.

Anyway, the night passed with many wakings-up and going-back-to-sleeps and thoughts of the mother and baby and pills and blood pressure readings. Eventually it was dawn and time to go. I went to the washroom and looked in a mirror and was shocked. I looked scary. My eyes were puffy and my face was grey and I had a bloody tube sticking out of my neck, and the surgical up-do was just plain BAD. I took the rubber band out, and tried to neaten it up a bit, but it was still pretty bad. I washed my face with a warm cloth, and that felt good.

Then they took the IV out of my jugular, and I ate breakfast and got dressed and chatted with my neighbour until GC came at 6:30.

It’s good to be home again. And I feel pretty good. I really hope the surgery worked. And that the mother and baby are okay.

29 comments to Home from the Hospital

  • Oh honey, I’m so glad to hear you’re all right! (And holy crap- an IV in your jugular!) Wrap yourself in that blanket and feel the healing thoughts.

  • Hey Mom, glad to hear you’re feeling pretty good already! I came for visiting hours yesterday as well but they told me the same thing. Sorry to hear about the Jello 😉

    Love ya lots!

  • All my good wishes, zoom. It’s one of the most amazing experiences, I think, waking up from surgery the way we do, so fast, coming from such a deep sleep to such bright lights and noise and smells, as though everything were … normal. That alone is hard to get your head around.

    Thanks again for this wonderful diary.

  • Glad you’re home so you can snuggle Duncan, GC, and your blanket. It sounds like the nausea has passed; I hate that part! I’ll keep my virtual fingers crossed for the best outcome.

  • Julia

    I tell you, there’s a market for good phlebologists! I never had one resort to my jugular, however! Yikes.

  • grace

    The Zoom blankie really was the perfect gift for you. My sister-in-law and favourite internet Scrabble partner has the same cold issues as you. I usually knit while we’re playing Scrabble. Hmmmmmmmm. Thought wheels churning.

    Glad you’re home.

  • Deb

    I am glad you are home and feeling pretty well. It is amazing that you remember so many details when you were in and out so much. Did they deliver my email to you? I went on their site and they hand deliver virtual mail but you have left too early for delivery.

    I once saw a baby (a big chubby baby) with an iv in his bald head because they couldn’t get a vein in his hand or arm.

    Tell GC again thanks for calling me to update us.

    Love you lots,


  • Mo

    Awesome news Zoom! I’m so glad the surgery is done and you are now on the healing side of the fence. Woo hoo!

  • Sally W

    So glad everything went well. You should really write a book. Every post you write is just so good, even what seems to be just everyday stuff, is very entertaining. You have a gift.

  • Um, Zoom? Sorry to break this to you, but you’re still under sedation. All that blogging you did was just a dream. You’ll have plenty of time to do crosswords in your hospital room when you wake up.

    – RG>

  • good to hear that you’re alive and well

  • I’m so glad to hear it went well and that you are home.
    I bet you are happy it is over.. Maybe GC can make you Jello
    with whipped cream on top. That was always my favorite

  • Gramps

    We are happy you are home and in good shape. The road to total recovery has begun ! Thanx to GC for calling- much appreciated.

    Will see you soon – Love you

  • Susan, I’m wrapped in that blanket right this minute!

    James, I’m so sorry I missed you. I would have loved to have seen your smiling face peering through the drug-addled fog! But it makes me happy today to know you were there yesterday.

    Skdadl, I know, it’s so weird. I wonder what it’s like for newborn babies emerging into all that.

    Auntiemichal, thanks, this is the best part – being back home and snuggly.

    Julia, yeah, the jugular! Good Lord! I’m glad I was unconscious when they decided to do that.

    Grace, in so many ways the Zoom Blankie was the perfect gift. I love this thing.

    Deb, no I never got it. Too bad – that would have been fun! Was the big fat baby okay?

    Thanks Mo! I feel good, and I keep feeling better as the day goes on.

    Thanks Sally, that’s a lovely compliment. I think it’s a Canadian thing, being able to write about ordinary life.

    RealGrouchy, I think you’re just a figment of my drug-crazed imagination. 😉

    Thanks Lala!

    Rita, he already did. With raspberries. They’re almost too pretty to eat – I’ll post a picture tomorrow.

    Thanks Dad…I love you too.

  • Sorry about the Jello.. I don’t know if I could handle the whole jugular thing.. that’s CRAZY. Glad it went well though. Here’s hoping for great results!

  • thanks for posting I have been thinking about you and wondering how all was going. I am sure that the computer was not the first thing you thought of but I sure appreciate the up date. Get better fast.

  • Nat

    I am going to stop complaining about my veins being difficult.

    Glad it went well… and glad you were treated so well.

  • Malva

    Thanks for updating us so quickly! I’m so glad it went alright.

  • reb

    Great to hear things are going well so far. Will keep good thoughts going your way.

    ps reading your hair issues has inspired me to consider getting a hair update if I ever remember to go for a haircut.

  • Lo

    glad you are home and safe and healing!

  • HOORAY!!!!

    I’m betting you find all sorts of jello in your mail :-)

    Sending good thoughts for that mommy and baby!

  • Zoom! So, good to read this post. I can stop holding my breath now. xo

  • Lisa in Toronto

    I hope you feel a difference immediately.
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
    Lisa R-R


    So glad to hear it went well! Also glad that you were surrounded by love and nice staff at the hospital and I hope your recovery is speedy! Yay zoom!

  • melinda

    Like everyone else, I’m thrilled to hear you’re doing well and will be thinking about you in the weeks to come, crossing my fingers for you all the way.

    I didn’t know they could put the IV in your jugular. Wonder if that’s what they’ll do to me in two weeks time (tonsils). They had to take blood from my femoral vein last week because me arms weren’t having it. Did the jugular hurt? (I iz super wimp, in case you hadn’t noticed.)

  • Leanne

    Glad to hear the surgery went well and that you’re home recovering with GC, Duncan and your Zoom Blanket :-)

    I was at the Civic twice last summer, for 5 days the first time, and for 10 days the 2nd time (which included surgery). I was really impressed with the staff there. With the exception of one mean nurse, everyone was friendly, courteous and helpful.

    I had lots of jello (I was on a liquid diet most of the time), but it was rarely red. Red is my favourite flavour. Each meal I tried to guess which colour jello I would get. It got too after a couple of days. There’s a very specific rotation (with too much orange in it. Orange jello is vile)

  • XUP

    Eek, when you guys said there were issues with the anesthetic, I never imagined they’d had to go for the jugular. You could think about maybe going Goth now. You’d be a super big hit with jugular sutures.

  • felonius bunk

    dr. stoker suggests i lift weights before doing bloodwork, might be worth a try – hey put a camera in the small bag, shots like that win prizes, hallowe’en’s just around the corner (but you’re not that vein, so suture self) anyway congrats, take it easy for a while and soon you’ll be back to giving gc your unmedicated beam!

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