My 20 Staples War Scar Surgery

Well, I’m home since yesterday, I didn’t write anything since I was very tired and of course, getting back to my “normal” pain life.

Last Sunday many people at Church were wishing good luck for this surgery, even the Minister of the Unitarian Church phoned me, my pseudo Japanese friend, who’s in Vienna on vacations, sent me an email wishing me the same, the phone didn’t stop to ring like never before, a member of the caring committee gave details about the before, during and after surgery, I really appreciated this since she is a retired nurse and at the same time she’s taking care of her husband who has a heart failure. Knowing hospitals have bad reputation regarding food, I had my last supper, I felt like Jesus before crucifixion, so I tried my first Ontarian vegetarian pizza….it was good, I bought a small one and I left 2 little slices on the fridge

Monday came, for me, very early, at 5.am I was already awake and took my last shower. My Swedish friend came around 6am to drive to Ottawa Civic Hospital, just 5 minutes drive where I live. She kissed me twice and wished me luck. I wasn’t nervous, I wanted this thing done!!! I went to the 3 floor where 1 day surgery section is. A nurse put me my ID bracelet and I went to another room. They took my information and I had to undress just to wear that awful hospital robe where you can hide your butt. They make millions and they can’t invent something less humiliating.

And there I was, in the pre operation room, lying on the bed and a nurse came introducing herself and asking me all kind of questions, if I had a heart failure, pace maker, removal teeth, contact glasses, any illness lately, which to all the questions the answers were no. I asked her to take a picture of me which I put on my Facebook, I had to take off my glasses and watch, at some point she asked me again “did you remove your false teeth?” We just laughed, I just removed my glasses. She took my blood pressure and temperature. I saw other patients laying in bed too were leaving to the surgery room. And me turn came too.

A woman in her fifties wearing green surgery clothes (of course, they don’t have notion of fashion in hospitals) came asking for me, the nurse pointed at me and she said hi and moved my bed. She, and only she, was leading through the automatic revolving doors, we passed the food machine and I said “OMG, fooooood”, I wasn’t allow to eat after midnight or drink any water, so, seen bags and bags of Doritos and Chips was a feast for me. Then, we arrived to the Surgery Section of the floor. She left me near a wall that said “surgery room 16″. I was there some minutes when I young man came to ask me how I was and telling me the procedure, he was nice”. Minutes later I saw my butcher, Dr Gagné, wearing her mask, she just said hi, now I can say her social skills are zero, never talks or if she does, it’s only to give some advises or pointing things. Then the anesthesiologist came. And old man who asked me if I had a surgery before which I answered yes, my tonsils. He said “Do you know the risks of anesthesia?” I said “if you give me too much I’ll be a vegetable”, he smiled and said that wouldn’t happen.

Finally, around 8.30am they gave the order to put me in the surgery room. The moved the bed and I just walked to another bed in a T shape….it seemed more like those bed when they want to execute death penalty. I was there, and I said to Dr Gagné if she could take a picture of the fibroid, she said yes, and I pointed that I didn’t want she forgot anything inside my body. I saw the 2 doctors talking to each other when suddenly the anesthesiologist put me the mask just like that, my first reaction was “what are you doing?” and he just said, “it’s smells funny but just breath”, I wasn’t panicking but should have told me before he was trying to do….seconds later…lights were off.

I don’t remember to be moved to the observation room, I woke up in my semi private room, which in fact, I was the only person there, privacy was absolutely. I don’t remember what time it was, since I didn’t have my watch, I think it was almost noon. A nurse introduced herself but I didn’t pay any attention, I was groggy and tired, I just wanted to sleep. Which I did and I woke around 5 pm, in fact, they were waking me up every 4 hours to take my blood pressure, oxygen, and temperature. I had the oxygen cable on my nose despite I’m a mouth breather, another cable attached to my arm and to my friend painkiller machine. They explained quickly there were 2 bottoms, the red one to call the nurse and the blue to give me more painkillers. At night I was still confused and I wanted to call the nurse but I pushed the blue bottom several times thinking “damn, the nurse take her time to come” but at the end it was a good idea because the pain was bearable after. I had pain to turn left or right in my bed because of the staples (yes staples, in total 20, I look like a steampunk rag doll). I noticed too I had a catheter that was connected to a bag…it was my urine. I found very practical, at least for the first day, you don’t have to go to bathroom. The funny thing in all this was all personnel was concerned about my farting. In surgery bowel are pushed away, farting is a sign bowels are working again. It was funny to see who nurses where with hers stereoscopic listening my belly.

After a while the surgeon came just to say hi, the uterus was removed, the fibroid too and that she took a picture of it. Then, she disappeared. Around 7 pm they did the change of nurse. I met Karen, who took care of me, even better than my own mother. I can’t believe how committed she was, explaining everything, chatting, washing my legs, changing the pee bag, I mean, she did it as I was a special patient, or probably she made me feel special. At some point, I thanked her for taking care of me, to be alone in this country and you received that service, you just felt blessed. She worked 12 hours shift and then Marleen came to replace. With her, I did my first steps to the bathroom. Catheter was removed and I started walked without any help, it wasn’t that painful as I expected, probably to much painkillers but I felt fine. In the afternoon I was more active and I authorize to take a shower (a real privilege in that condition). Since any doctor came to see me and since I was feeling to well, I asked the nurse if I could go home….that night was very long…but well, the discharge time came on Wednesday. I met a new nurse, Jewel, a super cool woman, and she gave last advises.

My Swedish friend came to pick me up and I when I got home, my cat was happy to see….my friend and not me. Anyway, nothing is perfect in lesbian daily life I guess.

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