So I had my surgery on Wednesday. I really was feeling very irate and miserable by the time I got to the midweek. One of my co-workers had turned into a real jerk, I was honestly kind of on autopilot, and my walking had really become kind of painful to watch.
Believe me, it was even more painful to do. I had started to do everything a little less, because it hurt so much.
So I went into surgery with a pretty big grin on my face. Instead of focusing on the fear, I focused on the fact that I would deb able to get up and walk afterwards.
Now, I thought for sure I would have an anterior approach, but the surgeon did not agree it seems and so everything was done through the back. So that was also a surprise. The best thing was that I was able to talk the PA out of the arterial line they wanted to insert into me while I was awake…
So they wheeled me into surgery while they were still setting up and I was of course asking them if any of those instruments had been flashed etc… and then they put a mask on me and I fell asleep…
Woke in the PACU stage one with the same nurse that had gotten me ready for surgery. She was great, gave me a ton of fentanyl… but the sad thing is that fentanyl wears off very quickly, and when it;s gone it’s gone.
Once I got to PACU stage 2, I had a real problem, I was groggy from anesthesia and I had pain. The Nurse looked and said, “oh she can’t have anything she’s allergic” I explained that there were 2 meds I could have listed as give with benadryl. She refused. It went on and on like this. My work team came in to visit me and finally got her to call the MD. The PA came because he couldn’t understand what she was talking about on the phone… I know the nurse tried to make me comfortable, but in fact, I was miserable. At about 6 pm (remember I had surgery at 7 am) she asked what I needed, and I said really I just need to leave this area. It was so unpleasant, that I got to my floor crying. I felt I had wasted a day of recovery laying in PACU. They had not fed me, certainly they didn’t get me up… etc. And I was still groggy and angry. This was a bad combination. I was not very nice to even the transporters who you know…have nothing to do with anything.
Once I hit the floor though, everything changed. My nurse took charge and gave me an elephantine dose of pain medications to start chasing my pain.
They understood that I had been just SO excited to walk, that they got the brace shop guy over there a little late, and he gave me teaching on using my brace…and I was able to walk to the toilet!!!! My foot drop gait was gone entirely! I was so excited.
The PACU educator and manager came up and stated they were trying to understand what happened. I was completely annoyed, every time I said something the educator said, “thats not what happened, I did this, I did that” She flatly denied saying some things. So I finally just said, Look, clearly none of this is your fault, but it still happened in your unit, I had a horrible experience. She then had to shut up. The manager was a bit more understanding because frankly speaking… Hearing “It’s not my fault, and I don’t recall saying that” wasn’t helping me. So I am now not really a fan of Orlando Health PACU at all. I never really felt like the nurse wanted to help me. Apparently I was never given a call bell because it’s supposed to be one on one, so I’d like to know why I had to instead yell for my nurse the whole time, because it seemed all she wanted to do was sit behind a desk. I do believe she tried, but she was clearly not a creative thinker. She was one of those people that follows orders and that’s all. It is pretty appalling that I was NPO since midnight for surgery and all she could think to offer me was a coke. I did manage to tweet out a tweet regarding my PACU experience, and I’m not taking it down. No one should have to suffer like that. I really think somehow I was expected to be calling the MD and obtaining orders which were, ALREADY in the COMPUTER.
For the rest of the night I then sucked up Dilaudid and Percocet and benadryl. I did itch like a crazy woman, but I was fine. I never had to hit the call bell once, which was amazing. I know my nurse had other patients, but I felt like I was her only patient. I was so relieved with that kind of care.
The next morning I was able to walk with PT up and down the hall. They recommended home PT which was kind of funny, since I didn’t need the walker or any assistance. I did get tired pretty easily. I had the same nurse the next day and she was still fantastic.
The next night I had a different nurse and I was concerned, but she too was fantastic. I did hit the call bell once or twice, but she or the tech always came in a jiffy and helped me. My pain had finally gotten under control and I was feeling good.
The next morning I was able to go home! My surgeon says everything looks really good! So, I’ve been up and down walking and resting a lot and it feels just like a miracle that my legs work properly again!!!