It was hard to turn my head in the bed because it felt extremely heavy – almost too heavy to lift. I got tired of being on my right side and asked the nurse if I could turn to the left. Now please note, that they just cut into the LEFT side of my head and I was requesting to be turned to that side. I was I that restless. The nurse said I could turn to the left but I could only do it for a short time. I decided not to because the energy required felt more than the momentary relief. Plus, I had two very uncomfortable IVs in my left hand – one was my A-line.
To pass the time I did some pilates (imprint that core!) I wasn’t tired enough to fall asleep so I really had to entertain myself. When I did try to fall asleep, it was just much too loud. My blood pressure cuff would start up every half hour (my groggy estimate). They were trying to get my blood pressure below 130 before I could be moved to a regular room. (Pretty sure, it never ever went below 130). To prevent blood clots in my legs, I was wearing little leg massager thingies (maybe there is a fancy term that includes deep vein thrombosis). Those were constantly going. I kept moving my legs a lot so I could have done without the massagers and still be safe from clots. Many times I was tempted to ask them to remove them.
Then ever so often a nurse or someone else would come and talk to me. About 3 or 4 doctors from neurosurgery came by and did quick neurological exams. Follow my finger, smile, can you hear me now? Oh did I mention that I had double vision? I don’t remember looking and thinking – oh, I have double vision, let me close one eye. It felt almost instantaneous. Maybe this was because I was expecting it.
At some point, I heard the nurse talking about moving me to ICU. However, there didn’t seem to be a bed available. Looked like I would spend the night in recovery. Later, they moved my bed to another section. The man who moved my bed said the nurse was alone in that section so they were moving my bed so that she could have company.
I started feeling the urge to pee. BADLY. I wasn’t sure what to do. I remember reading that they would insert a catheter into me and from the feeling of things down yonder, I assumed a catheter was in. But what do I do? Just pee? That felt a little odd. However, I hardly thought they would get me out of bed and take me to the bathroom – due to that pesky brain swelling bit. When the nurse came over to check on me, I told her that I really needed to pee. Her response – just pee. But… uhm… OK. I tried. I couldn’t. It just felt “wrong.” However, I guess I did do it. And do it a lot. Later there was a flurry of activity. The nurse checked my A-line, checked the monitors then ran back to discuss things with her nurse buddies. I wondered what was wrong. I wanted to ask but I was kinda scared to hear bad news. I didn’t feel sick but what did I know? My blood pressure could have sky rocketed. My blood gases could have been plummeting. Anything could have been happening – even an infection. Later, I overheard that she was worried about the amount of urine in my bag. Apparently, I peed A LOT. I guess I hadn’t peed throughout surgery and all the fluids they pumped into me finally came out. TMI? Oops. I don’t know if there was anything else that was disturbing her. I guess I will never know.
Around 6am, there was a shift change. My new nurse told me that I would be moved to a regular room – go me! Skipping ICU! She then asked if I wanted her to wipe me. Sponge bath alert! Now let me just say, one of my biggest worries about being hospitalized was having people (strangers and familiars) touch me. I don’t like people touching me. When I did an ECG during pre-op, I nearly died when the nurse had to touch me to put the gel pads on. *Shudder.* I don’t even hug people that much. However, I wanted that sponge bath. It had been 24 hours since my last shower. And I hadn’t worn deodorant in much longer than that. (I couldn’t use deodorant or lotions or any such before surgery). Wipe me down sister!
She got her little rag and in 20 seconds she was done. Huh? What? That’s it? She gave me some quick swipes of the genital area (“to prevent infection”) and then she was done. Hold up. I allowed you to touch me for that half-assed sponge bath? But then she said I would get a better one when I got to my room. OK. Good. Because momma likes to be clean.