Friday, April 6, 2012

The Shortest 12 Hours of My Life

Narcotics are a wonderful thing (when used RESPONSIBLY, kiddies). I remember practically nothing about my surgery on March 28. 

5:15 a.m.
Dr. Geter did, indeed, come in and draw on me with a marker. Only it was no Sharpie. It was purple and very permanent. Very. He also used a tape measure, which concerned me. I was afraid he was trying to measure the droopage so he could replicate it, which is precisely what I DIDN'T want. Dear husband pointed out that Dr. Geter wouldn't do that, as he "would be sued for malpractice if he gave you the same ones you had." (That's true love, isn't it?) I did ask him if he could tighten up my turkey neck while he was at it, and he gave me a big smile and said no. Worth a shot....

The nurse started the happy juice before I left my room, so I don't remember the trip to the OR. I don't even remember the awkward maneuver of hauling myself from the cot to the operating table. And why is it that you have to do this yourself? When the surgery is over, they seem to be able to manage getting you from the table onto the cot. Personally, I think it's done just for the amusement of the OR workers.

In the blink of an eye, it was over. In the blink of MY eye, anyway. My family, in the waiting room, blinked several times during the nearly 12 hour surgery. I remember hearing someone tell me it was all over.  I remember someone telling me the sentinel node was clear. I remember hearing my parents' voices. I remember trying very hard to open my eyes and smile. I remember feeling like I had been held and loved by all the people praying for me. I remember wanting a drink and getting ice chips instead.

My husband spent the night with me and slept like a log all night. I know this because I DIDN'T sleep like a log. My vitals were checked every hour, and although I tried to sleep between, it was mostly impossible. I kept getting distracted by sirens and thinking, wow, this neighborhood has a lot of police activity. There were also helicopters going over periodically. SWAT team? Military? Try EMERGENCY ROOM. 

My sister in law, Kristin, arrived around 8 a.m. to babysit me so my husband could go back to Joplin and finalize his Everyday Heroes luncheon, scheduled for the next day. And she brought Diet Coke! Let the healing begin!

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