The Follow-Up

The dread gallbladder surgery finally had a face when Day Surgery called Monday afternoon to tell me to be in at 8am the next morning for the old slicity-slice. When I was there for pre-screening they assured me that they never keep anyone waiting for long beforehand.

This was a flagrant lie.

Dustin and I left around 7, and I signed in at the front desk promptly at 7:45. I even waited until the gaggle of people crowded there left so I could be sure the ladies at reception noticed me signing in. Not because I need all eyes on me, but because if I have to face the facts, my super-power is falling through the cracks. This isn’t a pity party, just an honest assessment of my life.

Two hours went by. At first I was mostly preoccupied with being nervous to get pissy about the length of time, but when people we heard getting called into surgery were having their families called into their recovery rooms—people who came in well AFTER us—then I started getting a little hot under the collar. My name was called to report to the front desk, and at the same time they called my phone to ask if I was coming in. It was 10 by this time. The receptionist asked if I had signed in.

” Yes. At 7:45.” She looked shocked, then looked at her clipboard. Then flipped up a page. Then flipped up another page until she saw my name, completely buried under the people they’d skipped ahead of me. I was supposed to have been first in line with my surgeon that day, but didn’t actually get into the OR until 12:30 thanks to that happy little snafu.

The nurse who prepped me was great. I barely even felt it when she put the IV in, and I wish I could have some of those compression wraps they put on my legs for home. They were like having a wonderful calf massage every thirty seconds or so.

The anesthesiologist came in to say ‘hello,’ and looked exactly like Ebinezer Scrooge. Luckily, I didn’t have to see him again. His weirdly exuberant aides wheeled me away to the OR and I immediately cracked up laughing—”Back That Azz Up” was blaring in the background. My surgeon was super into 90’s hiphop they explained. He was such a small, nerdy looking white dude, with an Egon Spangler-esque demeanor that I never would have guessed. I mean, whatever keeps him pumped and feeling like a boss, right?

The anesthesia ladies explained that the drugs may burn in my hand a little has they come through the tube, but that it should only last for a second. Boy were they wrong. It burned like a mother and lasted about twenty seconds. They put an oxygen mask on me and said to take a few deep breaths. I managed one before I was PTFO.




I came awake all at once in the recovery bay. A lot of people talk about having loopy dreams and conversations with people who aren’t there while coming awake, but no such fun for me. Just intense pain that I was totally unprepared for. The stout lady furiously mouse-clicking at the workstation next to my stretcher gave me a shot of dilaudid, which without exaggeration was just barely enough to ease the pain, and I was wheeled into a private room. A few hours later the pain started coming back with a vengeance and my nurse gave me a single pill of the weakest OxyContin possible. She said I could have another in half an hour if I needed.

I needed.

When I called her back for the other pill she said “You’re a little on the small side, I just didn’t want to over medicate you.” Thanks? But seriously, over medicate me. Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent between crying in pain, and drug-addled sleep. The tech told me I needed her help to the bathroom, so at one point I asked her for help, which she did, but then didn’t come back to help me out. Thank glob Dustin was there.

Around 8 my nurse said they were ready to discharge me whenever I felt ready to go. A minute in the hospital is too damn long, so I let her know I was ready. She said she’d put in the order for my meds at the pharmacy and then come unhook me from everything. About an hour later Dustin’s like, “They fucking forgot you again.” Sure enough, she’d gone home for the night and no one even knew I was still there. He flagged down someone and let them know what was up, and the night tech and nurse came in to get me ready to go. The night nurse seemed completely incompetent, but did say that she didn’t think she was in the right room because my chart said I was 34, but that I look 24. The tech was like, ” You ARE very beautiful.” Seriously, you ladies are crazy but I love you.

Isnt it funny how when you’re in pain even the shortest drive is the longest of your life? We had to stop so I could take a pill before we made it, but eventually we did. Lulah was asleep when we left in the morning, and when we got home. It was the first time I hadn’t seen my kid for an entire day. We really like our kid, so that sucked.

I feel much better today, with a lot less pain. I even ate some jalapeño poppers! There’s a list of food I’ve been dying for but couldn’t have while on the low-fat diet for the last two or three months. Can’t wait to start checking those bad boys off! I’ll probably have to take up running or something. I lost twenty pounds in those months, and could probably gain all that back in a week.

All that fuss and it hardly looks like anything!

Anyhow, the kitchen is soooo close to finished so I should have some after pics for that soon, and then we can get back to making stuff!


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