Pain in the Neck, 2

When we arrived in our hotel room, I mean, hospital room, we actually caught our breath. We were on the top floor with a corner room. There were windows on 2 sides of the room, and the view was spectacular! Here’s what we saw:
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We decided that things could certainly be worse.

The next morning we met with our surgeon. We liked him. He explained that the disc in my neck was “shot”, and that is was a very severe case. He wanted to prepare my expaectations about the pain, though. He felt that I had a couple of sources of pain, and he didn’t want to lead me to believe that this surgery would alleviate all of my pain. I found that to be very disappointing, but he explained that letting me go home would be dangerous. The disc had to be treated before we could go forward in treating any of the other pain. The procedure was called ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion). They basically took the bad disc out and replaced it with a man-made disc! I’m bionic!

That day was full of more testing. There was another catscan, x-rays, and labs. Kait brought B up to see me and this is where we found out how quickly you could get the nurses to come to your room without even calling them. Apparently children aren’t allowed on the floor. Is that not the saddest thing you’ve ever heard? Stupid flu season.

Another friend came to hang out with me that night (surgery was scheduled for the next afternoon), so I wouldn’t be lonely, since I sent Stu home to be with B. I insisted that nobody needed to spend the night with me, because I had not been operated on yet. I was still quite capable of spending the night by myself. So I thought…

Sometime around 6am, some bright-eyed nurse woke me up by flicking the lights on and poking me in the arm with a needle. No more eating or drinking for me, and this IV would provide me with the fluids I needed to stay hydrated. Uuuuummmm. Is there Starbucks in there?! I think not. I started to panick at 7. I called my own nurse. My surgery wasn’t until 2:30pm. Can’t I have my coffee?! She kind of whispered that I could, but if anyone asked, I didn’t hear it from her. But she also said that once 8:30am hits, the answer is a solid NO. Then she brought me some instant coffee and hot water. I almost passed out. WHY DID I TELL EVERYONE I DIDN’T NEED A SLEEPOVER BUDDY?!?!?! I got on facebook and began pleading. I think my status got, like, 25 “likes”. Shut the front door, people, I’m serious, the clock is ticking! No one showed. At 8:25am, I poured those stupid coffee rock things into that lukewarm water and drank it down just to avoid a withdrawal migraine. And then I chastised my friends on facebook as if they had not recently been feeding my family, keeping my child and dog, cleaning my house, decorating my Christmas tree, getting my mail, and buying my groceries. Being an addict makes you behave BADLY. Caffiene is an ugly ugly drug.

Then I got dressed, which seemed to confused all of the medical professionals. Thy kept asking where the patient was. Can I help it that I hate that nightgown? And it’s good that I got dressed, because around 1, my pre-op party began.

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They got to learn about all kinds of fun personal things about me. I’m hoping Pastor can incorporate some of it into one of his sermons.

We were having so much fun that when it came time, we were completely caught offguard. They handed me gowns, and these terrible, awful compression socks that I didn’t know I would be wearing until the moment I left the hospital. Everyone came down to the pre-op room with us, and everyone really loved the id tag that they put on my in case I got misplaced.
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It was very crowded in the little bitty curtained off room where we met with the anesthesiologist and the surgeon and I don’t remember who else. I loved it like that. I was kind of scared that we were going to get kicked out for rowdy behavior, though. We gathered together and prayed right before they took me back and I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for giving us all of these people to pray with us. What a gift.

The anesthesiologist gave me a shot of something that he said would make me “happy and loopy”. I was awake in the OR and it was like a party in there. I think I was a bit too alert for their taste, because after my 15th question, they put a mask on me and said, “here, breathe this in and pretend you’re at the beach.”

And I prayed that I would wake up. And He granted me that prayer. Because I did wake up.

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