Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Surgery on the Baby Ward

So a week ago I went in for a surgery I wanted nothing to do with. I LOVE that my insurance called it elective and tried to deny me inpatient status.

Well they can pay for me being sick for years from the debilitating pain, or they can pay for the surgery. They are paying for the surgery and fixed the inpatient status.

So Wednesday was the surgery. Ken and Mom (a.k.a. Pat, Shawna's mom) were there with me when I went in. There were issues with the IV. That was a first. They tried twice and the second nurse thought she got a line the second time, but it hurt like hell.

Met the anesthesiologist. Nice gentleman.

Went up to the OR. Saw my doctor and said good bye to Ken. Wheeled into the operating room. Face mask. (joy) Anesthesiologist saw that the IV was bothering me and while I was going under said they'd move that (THANK goodness I was asleep for that since it went through the muscle of my forearm) and asked if I was right handed.

Next thing I know, I'm waking up in recovery an hour early and no one was there. Not their fault. The surgery took half the time they expected it to take. Mom and Shawna showed up shortly and the nurse called Ken for me and told him where I was.

Turns out the client server we'd spent all weekend working on crashed in the middle of my surgery (better it then me). Ken was there doing triage. Turns out he was there till 1 pm the next day getting it up and running. Of course I told him it was okay to be there than at the hospital. It needed to be taken care of and I was being taken care of. Made some quick text runs to make sure the dogs were taken care of for the night. Did the same in the morning to get the morning cat feeding and dog walking taken care of by a neighbor (thanks Carinne) and arranged to get the dogs to a friend's house through the weekend.

My first nurse was not very nice. The rest of them were very nice.

Turns out they put me on the fourth floor after the surgery. Also known as Labor and Delivery. Yes you heard me right. They put a woman that had had a hysterectomy on the baby floor. Granted I shared a room the first day with a woman in similar circumstances (she'd had the same surgery) but the rest of the floor was full of new mom's and pending new moms. The hospital was full that day. They didn't have anywhere to put us, but still it hurt.

Having to get up and walk around the corridors to keep things moving and seeing the new babies and the pregnant ladies and new moms was difficult. When Ken got there Thursday night he was not at all happy with my location.

I actually slept well that night. We finally got the pain under control, and my blood pressure which decided to try a limbo when it's already naturally pretty low. Friday morning Mom showed up and a nurse walked in and said she had meds for my new baby and asked if the baby was in the room... All I could say was she had the wrong room. They REALLY need to be more careful about that.

So I'm home. The weekend was uneventful. Got the doggies back Monday. Thank you Lisa.

Then Ken got a phone call from a Sutter nurse yesterday. They wanted to know how things were going with our new baby... He told them:

" you put my wife, who had been trying to get pregnant for 5 years till she was forced* to have a hysterectomy, in a room surrounded by new mothers and babies and you called to ask me how our child is doing?"

Let's say the nurse that called was speechless and then apologetic and perhaps in the future Sutter will be more careful with a certain subset of it's patients. I do like Sutter. Don't get me wrong, but this time around, some compassion and care to follow up would have been better.

So I'm home. A nurse from the insurance company called today to check on me and make sure I was following doctor's instructions, she cleared up the inpatient thing for me and told me about the nurse hotline number if I need anything.

The kitty cats are taking case of me and the doggies are hanging with Ken in the office most of the day and gentleness with them is being enforced in the evenings with me. Ken is doing his thing and making sure I don't need anything.

As for the surgery. Everything came out easy. I got to keep my ovaries. I now have incision marks on my tummy that resemble the Southern Cross without the central star. My scar tissue had attached to my bladder on two sides. There was excess scar tissue from the appendix removal too, so they cleaned that up. Given the fact that there is excess and by excess I mean a a band of it (I saw the pictures) running from the front abdominal wall to the bladder that wasn't there the last time they went in, this probably won't be the last time they have to go in for scar tissue issues. I truly think they should study it for it's regenerative properties. It might help burn victims or something.

*forced is perhaps not an appropriate word, but we opted for quality of life and that kind of pain held no quality. Keeping the ovaries means we can try to a surrogate later. And hopefully the physical pain will be gone. The emotional will be around for a while, but I'm strong, as the Fates keep requiring me to prove, and I'll persevere because it's what I do best.


karin said...

I am glad you are feeling a bit better, but I cannot believe the insensitivity of the nurses and the hospital. I hope now that the surgery is over and done with, you start feeling much better! (((hugs)))

Becky said...

Good for your husband for speaking up. I know it's not intentional, but it hurts just the same. I've heard so many times of other women being put in the same situation.


Toni said...

<<< hugs >>> and prayers.

Cindy Jo said...

I hadn't heard about the nurse calling. Sheesh, Jenn, what can I say but SORRY you had to go through that. Good for Ken for telling them off.

AlisonH said...

How on EARTH did I miss seeing this earlier. Oh, Jenn, I'm so sorry.

I miscarried my first at almost four months: 20 hours labor, went in at 4 am, came out at 5 pm. In between, I had a roommate wheeled in from having the same surgery you just had. I could not imagine what it must have felt like for her, and she just so was not in the right place, it felt like to me. She needed to be where there were others going through what she was going through.

As did I. No reflection on her whatsoever. Just, I too was surrounded by happy tired new moms and babies all around and I'd just lost mine.