I made preparations for my 2 little ones to leave town for a week of fun at the grandparents. Both sets were wonderfully supportive to take the kids for 4 days each so my first few days recovering at home I could focus on myself. I thought that would be best for me and for them. I want to limit what they see of my arthritis for now, and me with tubes sticking out everywhere might just be too much for them - they don't need to see their mom like that. I made arrangements at work, I attended my pre-op appointments. I did not get a pedicure (thought I desperately wanted one) - apparently they check your toes for your circulation and nail polish gets in the way. Boo.
To deal with my stress, I went for a 2 - 5k walks the day before. I strapped on my ipod and pretended I was someone else for a little while. I swung my arms and tried not think about anything really, especially the life-altering/life-improving? surgery the next day.
I showered with anti-bacterial soap and put on clean clothes. I arrived on time, hungry and scared. They offered me a mild sedative, I took it gladly. They took my blood pressure, which was through the roof. The nurse asked if I had problems with my blood pressure. Seriously, is that a question? I'm about to have major surgery, and you're commenting on my high blood pressure...?
I was off to the anesthesiologist for a nerve block in my neck. Honestly, my anesthesiologist was one of the nicest doctors I have met - and that's saying quite a bit, given the number of doctors I have met over the years. The inserted a tube in my neck where they could administer medication to block the nerve (pain) signals to my brain. This is a good thing, considering the trauma my poor arm was about to endure.
My surgeon was well, himself. I asked the nurse to see him prior to the surgery and he breezed in as I was off to lala land - needless to say, there was no conversation. Oh, surgeons. I really just wanted a few reassurances that everything was going to be ok.
I awoke in recovery with my arm in a sling, a little dopey, a little thirsty and a little disoriented. The nurses were helpful and soon enough I was off to my room. There was a miscommunication, as my husband was told he would be called in the waiting room when I was being moved to my room - well that didn't happen. I was in my room, alone, scared and sobbing wondering where he was for an hour. Surgery is scary. I was scared. I didn't want to be alone. I needed John to hold my hand. I couldn't imagine going through this without the support network I have. Parents, friends and mostly my hubby.