Saturday, March 23, 2013

Getting Ready for Surgery

It's 2 nights before my surgery. 2 more sleeps and then they are going to alter my pancreas forever. It almost sounds like Christmas except way less exciting. Tomorrow is going to be busy so hopefully I'm not going to be too panicked. Tomorrow I have to do laundry and clean my room and get packed for the hospital, and finish my list about who needs to be communicated and remember to finally take the nail polish off of my hand. Yes, singular hand. I decided to paint one hand and then the other, but then I was doing my nails while doing laundry, so it got all wrecked so I decided it wasn't worth doing the other hand. I was going to take it off, but then I got distracted.

There are more things that I am trying to do to make this easier on me.

One of them is that I'm making my bed pretty. I bought myself a fancy pillow, but so far it is causing me pain (which I sometimes get from normal pillows too so I don't know how much is the pillow and how much is a bad few nights because it isn't like I've been anxious or stressed or anything). I also bought myself sheets that seemed to come with a warranty, which kind of makes me feel like a grown up now. I also bought a new comforter for my bed too. I figured since I live in my bed most of the time, and I'm only going to spend more time here post-surgery I deserved to make my bed a super comfortable place.

I'm also planning several trips this summer when I'm well enough to go. So, I can get pre-occupied with trying to make plans to go out to Newfoundland for a big CYC conference, possibly going to Quebec to learn French for 6 weeks (LSQ too hopefully), I'll know about that next week. Then maybe a big adventure trip to somewhere at the end of the summer. If I get to spend my summer travelling it will make me a really happy me. I've never really been anywhere, other than North America, and only got my passport last summer, so I'm intending to make the most out of having an essential travel document.

We also made a hospital plan. I wasn't really into this idea at first, but it was forced upon me, and then we figured out ways that it could be helpful. Like for me it's super helpful to have a nurse check in with me at night about how the day has gone and what questions I might have for the doctor and what I might need from my doctors so that we can make a list together for rounds in the morning. So, we put it in writing that the nurses should do that with me. Also things like I really like to check my blood sugar with my meter and not theirs because it uses less blood and it is faster. There are other things on there too, but those are the kinds of things that went on it. Just things that are little that make things more comfortable and better for me.

I also had my pre-op appointment on Friday. That was kind of scary. Also really really annoying. They did an EKG, and the nurse made me change into a gown, but have it open in the front, and then she just flung it open and left me completely exposed for the EKG. It makes me wonder why they even bother giving you a gown to be honest.

One of the things that scares me the most about this surgery is the epidural and the fact that they want to leave it in for several days. I'm terrified of this. I think it's more a symbol of everything that is going on with the surgery and it's just a tangible piece to be scared of, but I'm really scared of it. It will be okay, and I think it would be bad of me to refuse it. The anesthesiologist decided that it would be helpful to describe to me in fairly intimate detail how an epidural worked, and the structure of your spine and where in the spine the catheter goes and all of this information that made it super super real. The part of me that gains a vast amount of medical knowledge from my doctors and appreciates the time they take to teach me all of this stuff thought it was cool. The rest of me would have really appreciated not knowing all of this information until after I had had it and it was too late. It just gave me very specific things to be scared of. I've talked with a friend about it though and it seems like it is going to be uncomfortable but okay to go through with. He really didn't help my anxiety though, he said that it is a "wicked" incision. He also reiterated that hospitals do hundreds of thousands of epidurals a year for pregnancy reasons and it is okay. It's a really common thing to do. So, on Monday morning until who knows when I'm going to have some kind of freezing in my spine. I also get to have an arterial IV and possibly an IV in my neck too. He also very strongly stressed that if I wake up with an NG tube I really really really need to not pull it out. I feel this is going to be both very easy and very difficult for me. Easy because I get super nervous about how it is going to feel when the tubes come out and very difficult because I feel like it's going to be uncomfortable and I am going to want it gone. It's easy for all the tubes to get put in me. I'm paralyzed and unconscious, but it's not so easy to have to deal with them coming out. Ask my parents how ready I was to keep my chest tube for forever.

I have to figure out my knitting post-surgery still. It needs to basically be garter stitch in a very simple pattern. I'm wondering if the owl sweater is top down or bottom up. I have the yarn for it, so it may be an awesome time to get a lot of really really boring knitting out of the way. Doing a Colour Affection shawl may also be in the cards too.

It's just kind of hard right now. I keep doing things or seeing people and thinking "This is the last time I am going to see you/do this before I have surgery". I'm realizing that I'm risking a lot and going through a lot for a little bit more than a maybe. It's a lot and it is really scary. I'm getting through it though. I'm getting most of my list done. I didn't dye my hair though. I'm a bit sad about that. With help I can probably dye my hair in the hospital though. That would be memorable. That was something that I wish I had offered to do for my Bubby before she died. She always liked that my hair was fun colours and often threatened to dye hers blue. It would be fun though. I'm trying to think of ways that being stuck in the hospital can be lighter and more fun. Someone I know gets dressed up for dinner in the hospital. I'm trying to think of what versions of that would work for me. Definitely doing my nails once I'm allowed to again. Dying my hair. Knitting. Having lots of people visit and help me make my zine. Being able to decorate things. We should all bring coloured duct tape and decorate my tubing or something. There have to be things in the hospital that we can decorate. I am definitely going to have the coolest step-down unit bed space ever.

Oh! The last thing is that I get to wear my Angry Pancreas shirt to the hospital. I'm actually really excited about this. Someone somewhere on the internet, on Cafe Press or Zazzle or somewhere made a shop that sells things that say "I have an angry pancreas" and have pictures of an angry pancreas and I totally decided that I needed to have one for bad pancreas days. Mostly I only wear it at home, but I am really excited to wear it to the hospital. I'm pretty sure that no one is going to notice and they are going to make me get into a stupid gown and be naked anyway, but it will make me happy. Small things. It's the small things that are going to help me get through it, so I'm trying to find as many of them as I can.

No comments:

Post a Comment