Trauma remembered, part two

Part one is here.

5a

During pro-op they told me to go to 5a, Surgical Ambulatory, since I was going under general anesthesia. The actual procedure, colonoscopy, triggers a different memory from what was explained in part one, a different rape, which is why I do full on anesthesia instead of light sedation. Anyway, the nurse calls me the day before, as is the protocol, to let me know when to show up; 630am. My buddy took me and was all jokes and lightheartedness so I went in feeling calm and relaxed. I changed into my gown and answered questions then made sure they knew it was general. The nurse said no, that the order was for light sedation. What?!?! Do I have to go through all this again?? Tears immediately showed up, as happens under stress, and I explained that this was taken care of. My primary care doctor ordered it, anesthesia knew about it, I took the anti-nausea pill already (super powered one to be taken 3 hours before), I even talked to the GI doctor who’d be doing it! OMG, all the anxiety from the previous Monday hit me. I could hear her talking with the rest of the staff at the nurses station; lots of confusion. She was calling GI, everything was a mess. As they discussed this (discussion interpreted in my brain as arguing) I got more and more anxious. When the nurse came to talk to me I said that if I didn’t do general I would walk right out. She went back, more discussion. Another nurse came in to try and calm me down. I was texting a friend like mad for support. She was like Breeeeaaaaathe. Finally the original anesthesiologist came in, the one from pre-op, and said I had to go to the GI floor, 8a, and assured me that I’d be getting general. I got back into my clothes, walked out without a word and went upstairs.

8a

I was terrified I would have to go through all this again, explaining I need general. I changed into a gown and had to go through it all the prep again: questions, blood pressure and so forth. She said I was early, that they would have been told to come at 830am. It was now 730am. So yay, I’d have a very long wait, laying there with a bundle of nerves. So I went ahead and asked if I’d have to wait till 930am. She said didn’t say no but did say I was first on for anesthesia. Fortunately I wasn’t crying but was till anxious. Here’s the thing: I worked with my therapist visualizing 5a and the holding on the 2nd floor, not 8a. I was in a new environment having to deal with a huge transition/change feeling like everyone would blame me for going to 5a, even though I knew it was they who told me! I had no point of reference to use my tools and was too anxious anyway.

Anesthesia

After only fifteen minutes the doctor showed up and asked a ton of questions and once again grilled me about other options, ugh. I had already discussed this with my primary doctor and we agreed that I ought to have at least one colonoscopy but more than that, I hate, hate, hate sudden changes and I was already prepared for this. As bad as this was, I simply couldn’t cope with changing my schedule and not doing it. It was horrible but he finally left. Then the anesthesiologist came introducing himself as Jerome. I think it was a Haitian accent he had which always puts me at ease for some reason. Haitians, South Africans, they always seem to have an air of joy and ease about them, at least the ones I’ve met. He said he read my whole history and assured me over and over that he would take care of me. I cried. Someone cared. I was overwhelmed. He kept talking and talking, giving me assurances, till he left. I kept asking if I’d have to wait 2 hours and if it was possible to get something for anxiety. He said he was going to take care of that as soon as I got an IV in. He couldn’t find anyone so he did it; he didn’t want me to have to wait. I was still texting in between when I was alone and he told me to put the phone away assuring me I’d no longer need it. He was right, as soon as he put whatever in, I immediately felt calmer. Well, to be honest I felt like I was suddenly floating, lol. It was probably getting close to 8am. Then, suddenly, I woke up. I was in the same bed but the nurses station was in the wrong place. I was done! If you’ve never experienced anesthesia, you aren’t put asleep per se. It simply shuts off the part of your brain that has awareness. You don’t dream, there’s no sense of time passing. You have no awareness of falling asleep. You’re simply gone, then you wake up.  It was 945am, no wait, 915am. yay, done!!!!!!! I had horrible gas pains obviously and my shoulder hurt, probably from how they had me laying. I didn’t care, I wanted to go home. They gave me some crackers and ginger ale and next thing I knew it was 945am and my driver was there. Thank god! I felt horrible but who cares, right? I got dressed, got wheeled to the front door, then my buddy drove me home.

Home

He stayed and had coffee and cookies. I always make him cookies and a couple loaves of bread when he gives me a ride. He prattled on about work, his boyfriend, life. That was good. After he left it was TV the rest of the day. I ate but it was awful and I had to resist the urge to purge. I know I didn’t discuss the two days of prep but on the second day I did end up purging Italian Ice. When that happens it is always harder the next day. I ended up eating a fair amount yesterday. I still felt awful but knew after a nights rest I’d feel right as rain and I did, I do. Clearly the most important thing is that I was able to drink coffee this morning without feeling nauseous!

Today is iOP. My nutritionist has instructed me that I’m to eat my meal plan as prescribed, no less. I changed my protein powder to a beef gelatin powder. It is still high protein but not as high as the other stuff. 17g versus 22g. It is flavorless, kind of like jello, so I added peanut butter and some flavoring extract. I am mentioning this because I think I said, in an earlier post, how my protein drinks make me nauseous. This didn’t! It’s also less calories which I have to admit is helpful. I’ll see my nutritionist this afternoon. It feels so good to get back into my normal schedule. I’m so done with all that. However, I have to mention that next Monday I have preop again with another procedure, urology, on Weds the following week. It will be 5a and the 2nd floor holding so I can use the tools I learned.  The surgeon who does this emotes compassion to the nth degree, which is helpful. Jerome, love that guy, said he’ll try to be the anesthesiologist but he has no control of the schedule. Honestly, they are all good, well except the one old guy, lol.

Okay, off to do laundry, get stuff together, get gas and get on the road.

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