Tuesday, November 15, 2016
I won't list off all the ridiculousness that happened on the day of the procedure, but I'll tell one story. Apparently, I am in the habit of coming out of anesthesia during surgeries or too soon after surgery. I thought about warning my anesthesiologist of that, but I figured I'd rather wake up early than to be put too far under and have something really bad happen.
So, I felt myself waking up and heard all these voices around me. I thought I was dreaming and said, "No, no. My surgery isn't until next week." I don't know if I said that out loud or just in my head. Then I heard a nurse say, "She still has an instrument in her." Right then I got zapped with a horrible pain, and I'm pretty sure I was writhing around, because people were holding me down. The doctor responded, "I had to leave a clamp in because there was a lot of bleeding. I'll remove it."
A second later I felt instant relief and fell back asleep. A while after that when I was supposed to be awake, a nurse asked if I remembered having a clamp removed and what the doctor said. I said I did. I suspect she had to fill out paperwork to record that in case further problems arise. I can see how some people could end up with PTSD after waking up during surgery.
I had asked about post-op care before the surgery, and the doctor only mentioned the possibility of pain pills and antibiotics. She ended up giving me neither. The post-op nurse told me no lifting and no exercise. Two days after the surgery I had ants in my pants and did a few barn chores, because I'm not good at sitting idle. I paid for that in pain and pressure, so I looked up on my discharge papers how long I can't lift or exercise, and they said not until my doctor okays it. Well, I'm not seeing my doctor until the end of the month, and I can't have other people doing my barn chores until then.
My husband is home from work this week to do barn chores on my behalf, and a friend is coming by twice a week, so after this week I may have to just let the manure pile up until someone can get around to it. The truth is that this isn't a good time for my husband to take over the barn chores, because he's been having back pain, side effects from steroids to treat that back pain, and he's been passing kidney stones. He started physical therapy for his back and was told that his tailbone is crooked, probably from all the times he's fallen off skateboards and when he fell off Rock. I'm sure he would love to go into the hospital to have some of his own health problems addressed right now instead of taking over my daily chores. I've been trying to do my part by feeding and taking the dogs outside. It's amazing how much free time I have, not having to feed and clean up after the horses. I don't know what to do with myself.
My doctor gives me a hard time for waiting several years to take care of my health problem, but literally every time I tried to focus on fixing it, a dog or horse (or several of them) got sick or injured or had surgery and I had to take care of them.
I do wish that doctors would be more forthright about post-op care, because had she told me no lifting or exercise for two to three weeks, I probably would not have gone through with the procedure. I live on a ranch, for Pete's sake. I have to lift and exercise for many hours throughout the day. People who live in cities rarely have to lift or exercise unless they specifically use a gym to work out or have a job that involves physical labor. If it's not a part of their daily routine, I guess it doesn't occur to them that it might be a part of someone else's daily routine. I'm sure that's why she never bothered to mention it... either that or she knew I wouldn't go through with the surgery if I had known.
The other thing I wish I could change is that some doctors and nurses are in the habit of shoving legal papers under your nose for you to sign after they've taken your reading glasses away and sedated you. They just quickly summarize what the document says and ask you to sign while three burly men wait in the wings to wheel you into the operating room, urging you to hurry because everyone is behind schedule. Couldn't they have sent those papers home with me in advance and let me read through them? For all I know, I was signing a paper agreeing to pay the hospital a million dollars.
I did manage to refuse to sign a paper that said I understood that they would be using a specific tool during the procedure. I said I didn't know what that was. The nurse said, "The doctor didn't talk to you about it?" I knew the doctor was just in the room listing off risks of the surgery, but didn't remember her mentioning this tool. I didn't know if she never mentioned it or if I just didn't remember, so he ran down the hall and dragged her back into my room to explain it to me. I could hear her protesting, assuring him that she did speak to me about it. This time she leaned in close and made sure she had eye contact with me and that I could hear. Seriously, all of this should have been done before I was given a sedative. It would have made everything a lot simpler... and also legal.
When I was wheeled into the operating room, a surgical assistant was complaining that the doctor hadn't filled out any of the paperwork, so no one knew anything about the patient or the procedure, and he had to do it himself. I found that hard to believe, because I had people calling me almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day, to get information from me and tell me how much money I would have to pay up front. I haven't received a single phone call after the surgery asking me how I am doing, though. Of course, I'd call them if anything were wrong, but I do miss the good old days when patients were treated like human beings and doctors at least acted like they cared.
Now when I view posts, I mostly see words of hate toward some general group of people. Either the Democrats are hating the Republicans for voting Trump into office, or the Republicans are hating the Democrats for being "sore losers" and protesting. The reality is that it has less to do with party affiliation than they think. I know Republicans who did not vote for Trump and Democrats who did. It's more a matter of there being Trump supporters and non-supporters, and in some cases, specific issue supporters and non-supporters.
I've always been of the mindset that I did not care to share my political views, because that's what ruins friendships. I actually stopped speaking to one friend in part because she wouldn't shut up about it, and I knew I was going to blow and spill out all my unwanted opinions if she pushed me too far, so I just avoided her. However, with so much misinformation being circulated around within social media, including fake news stories about the candidates, I am now thinking that it is important for people to discuss such things before an election so that those who are educated on the issues or have personal experience with the issues can expose those who don't know to their viewpoint. Elections are too close nowadays for us to remain silent.
However, it is important to express viewpoints in a respectful manner. When I see someone repeatedly calling the opposing party names like "stupid", I can't hear their message. I can only be offended.
Several other things need to happen. People need to accept that it is everyone's right to lead peaceful protests, even if we believe it can't change anything. The point is that people need to be heard, and though it may not change the outcome of the election, it still may influence the incoming government to move in a positive direction.
Also, when one or two people, or a small group of thugs, do something illegal and disrespectful as a way of protesting, that should not reflect upon an entire political party.
I chose to unfriend those who repeatedly made mean, nasty comments so that I don't have to have those ugly words thrown in my face every time I seek out cute and humorous photos and videos of puppies, bunnies, donkeys and baby elephants. However, I unfriended them a little too late, because I kept hoping they'd get over their rage and settle back into cuteness. Instead, I saw that they were turning their anger and hatred on those who had been unfriending them. Sometimes, when you can't reason with someone, it's best to speak with peaceful action instead of words. Eventually, embarrassment eclipses their anger, and we can all get back to what is truly important: Things that make us happy. Bring on the wiggling whiskers and wagging tails.