Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 2

Around 8 am the nurse asked if I wanted breakfast. YES! YES! YES! It had been 32 hours since my last meal. Feed me! I was a bit worried that I would throw up like I did with the ice chip but I was willing to try. She increased the incline on my bed (It was always set at at least a 30 degree incline) and brought over my tray.

There was milk, juice, (she lifted a tiny tray), biscuit, sausages and… huh??? Obviously there were eggs on the plate at some point. However, either someone ate the eggs or they scraped the eggs off as an afterthought. I strongly believe it was the former. She then mumbled something about the eggs to the other nurse. However, she was trying to play it off.

“Do you want this?” Oh no, honey. I know something is wrong. I can’t hear very well, but I know someone ate those eggs. I said I wasn’t going to eat from a plate that someone else had. A male nurse came over and asked me what I wanted for breakfast. I asked him what my options were and he said I could have anything I wanted. Now, I don’t like eggs that much but you best believe that I wanted eggs that day. I asked for eggs, bacon, sausage and yogurt since I wasn’t going to drink the milk. It wasn’t until after breakfast was (re)-delivered that I realized I forgot to ask for biscuits. That biscuit looked yummy. I wonder why the other person didn’t eat it.

I ate breakfast like a starving child. Shoveling food in my mouth. Almost choking at several points. My throat was extremely dry (later it occurred to me that a tube had been down my throat during surgery hence the irritated throat). As I shoveled things in, I noticed that my hand eye coordination was a bit off but it didn’t slow me down. During breakfast, someone came to take me to do an MRI. She kept pacing in front of me while I ate and I wondered if it was her way of telling me to eat faster. She kept giving me looks too. But then she mentioned that she needed someone else to help her with my bed. That started quite the discussion.

Why is she being sent to MRI in her bed? Why not a stretcher? What happens after the MRI? Where do we take her? Is there a room ready? Is there a bed in the room?

Eventually a man came to help with my bed. However, he told me to eat slowly because I had visitors coming. Additionally, the first lady who was there to go with me to the MRI had disappeared. She then returned and the nurse insisted that they take me immediately. “But she has visitors coming.” “We’ll tell them where to find her, just take her.” OK then.

As they wheeled me out, I saw my mother, PT2 and Sue. They walked with me down to radiology. At radiology, the bed discussion started again. “Why are you bringing her in a bed?” “We cant push the bed in there.” Blah. Blah. Blah. Eventually, I was lifted from bed to stretcher. OUCH. The stretcher was wheeled into the MRI area. I was then lifted from stretcher to MRI table. OUCH. She then put ear phones on so I could listen to music during the MRI. However, they weren’t working.

Let me just say, an MRI after you have had brain surgery is NOT a fun experience. VERY uncomfortable. Pound. Pound. Pound. I willed myself to remain still and decided to try to sleep while they did it. To me, the entire process only took 20 minutes or so. However, my mother told me that it was over an hour. I guess during all the waiting and bed discussion, I fell asleep. Who knows. I do know that my sense of time was very off during the first couple days. They then injected me with the contrast for the 2nd scan. During my first MRI, I got sick when they injected me. I don’t know if it was a full blown allergic reaction. However, within seconds of the injection, I threw up and felt ill for the rest of the day. The doctor came to see me and advised me not to have an MRI with contrast ever again. Well, I thought to myself then, I don’t ever plan on doing an MRI with or without ever again so it is not a problem. Little did I know that that first MRI would find Mr. Epidermoid Tumor.

Anyway, after the MRI, it was another debate. What do we do now? Uhm. Take me to my room? What is the room number again? Uhm, 937. Are you sure we need to take her in the bed?Excuse me? Am I the only person who was listening to the nurse? Even when we got to the 9th floor they still seemed confused. There was hesitation outside my door before they wheeled me in.

At this point, I assume it was close to midday. But I was finally in my room. I can’t remember many specifics about Thursday. I got my phone back and was finally able to look at text messages and check facebook and twitter. PT2 still had the job to keep them updated though. And my mother was not happy that I was spending so much time checking my phone.

In the evening the Angels came to visit. During their visit Dr. Morcos (my wonderful neurosurgeon) also stopped by. He did the can you hear me now, the smile test, follow my fingers, squeeze your eyes tightly and whatever else. He then told me that I had stage 2 facial paralysis. (note to self, make that sentence linkable). I didn’t think much of it. After all, everything seemed to move just fine to me. Facial paralysis is measured on a 6 point scale – 1 being normal and 6 being full paralysis. If I was at a 2, then life was good. I didn’t even ask at the time what exactly was paralyzed. Later I noticed that I couldn’t squeeze my left eye as tightly as the right. But when do you ever need to squeeze your eyes tightly? I would soon find out. I think it was Friday that I noticed my bottom lip was paralysed.

Dr M then asked the nurse to give me an eye patch. Sweet. Pirate PT. Sweet. Dr M warned me to be careful when I ate and to eat moist food since my throat was probably really dry after surgery and swallowing could be difficult. Right you were, doc.

My mother spent Thursday night with me and I felt so bad. The chair was obviously uncomfortable. I wished she could have just gotten into the bed with me.

Now, I was getting medication and blood pressure and temperature checked about every 4 hours from what I could gather. Decadron for the swollen brain, Tegretol to prevent seizures (this was used to control my TN pain pre-surgery too) and Heparin (If you watch House, MD, you know this is a blood thinner). The Tegretol was taken orally and the decadron was at first put into my IV (I think). J, my nurse, said that I would be switched to oral drugs and wouldn’t need my IV anymore. However, they still left the one on my right hand in, albeit on a shorter, very-annoying-when-washing-hands tube.

Yaay oral drugs. Wait. Wait. Where are you going with that needle? Apparently, while Tegretol and Decadron came in pill form, good ol’ heparin had to be injected. Uhm, can’t we just put it in the IV? It is still there you know. It must be there for a reason, right? Apparently, just for decoration. J asked if I wanted the heparin in my arm or my tummy. Tummy??? Are you nuts? Take my arm! I am not afraid of needles. However, I can’t look at my blood being drawn – I get ill (I think that was what happened with the first MRI. Looking just doesn’t work for me). But that Heparin H U R T. And kept hurting for a while.

That night, my night nurse came to give me the Heparin and asked me to roll up my gown so that she could give it to me in my tummy. NOOOO. Can we just put it in my arm like the way everybody else does it? “No! I do not give heparin in the arm! You either take it in your tummy or not at all!” OK then. She scared me. It hurt so much worse in my tummy. It felt like she had left the needle in my tummy. Weeks after that injection, I still had a sore, hard spot.

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