Monday, March 3, 2014

Friday the 28th

Last week was a BLUR.  Literally, a BLUR.  The kids school was back in session after winter break.  The week before that was early dismissal for conferences.  In three weeks, I had been in charge of or helped with Teacher's Lunch, Cookie Dough Fundraiser, Box Tops Fundraiser, Pizza Party, Cookie Dough Delivery, and PASA (Parent Academy for Student Achievement).  I did not really plan on any or all of these to fall on the same weeks, but they did because apparently I am a poor planner.  Plus, I did have a lot of fun in there going on a ski trip and visiting Rob and Jen in Kelowna.  So, by the time I showed up to the hospital for my first ablation procedure on Friday the 28th,  my hair even looked tired.  I thought, easy peasy, I get to rest. I will be great by Monday.  The Dr. comes to me and explains that he wants to reverse the order of the lungs doing the right lung first.  This lung requires it to be collapsed and a chest tube to be inserted until Saturday.  If all goes well, I will go home then.  The reason he wants to collapse the lung is to put air between a nerve that helps me breathe and the location that he is burning.  My nerve on the other side was damaged in lung surgery in 2009 and while I know that I do not breathe "normally" on that side, I don't look like a am sucking wind or anything.  It is just different.  He is concerned that he may not be able to collapse my lung because with all the work done, I have a lot of scar tissue that the body creates to help protect itself which in the end can pose a problem when trying to work on them.  Ying and Yang.  I understand why he wants to do it, but I also am not mentally prepared for "chest tube."  If you knew me back during lung surgery, you probably remember a time I was walking around with one of those.  I think I named her Besty.  Not the best memories.  But it is what it is and I go.  They knew this was going to take a while and I found out when they told me they were going to put a catheter in.  Yippee.  I am thinking, the faster you give me the gas, the faster this is all over.  So, they do, it is, and I wake up.  Now, when some people wake up, they are groggy, some have a hard time, some are clear as a bell and some people decide that they are going to take their catheter out.  That was me.  They told me no, and I proceeded to start to get out of bed so that I could take it out.  They said no and told me that they were going to keep it in and I proceeded to take it out.  Apparently, we went back and forth until my Dr. came him and he said, "Just take it out" like this is pointless, and she is not paying a whit of attention to you.  They say when you are "under" you are your most true self.  Clearly, I am related to Virginia (my Grandmother) who is alive today, but not because she is charming.  I get to the room and Karissa is there.  I start to cry.  I hate chest tubes.  Then I say all sorts of nice things to her (making up for the catheter thing), and she said, "You are still on drugs sweetie.  I love you too."  She visits for a little while, and takes off when traffic died down.  She was there for 11 hours.  Where did I get her?!?!?!?  I call my family.  Talk to Mason and Nolan.  Nolan asks, "Can you see the burn?  How many holes do you have?  I wonder what you look like.  How many tubes?"  (Fast forward to Sunday when I take off my bandages and Nolan is saying, "Mason come here!  It is not that bad.  WOW.  Cool Mommy!")  I keep the door closed in the hospital rearrange my bed and get all the machines to either stop vibrating or within reach so I can hit the silence button.  When I first went to sleep, I had the inflatable pillows on my legs (plugs into a machine that I put face down on my bed to get it to be quiet), and IV, my port was accessed but doing nothing except making me itch, I had on a heart monitor, oxygen that tethered me to the wall, and chest tube that tied me to box.  I could lay one way.  One of the nurses that came in was like, "Do you want this machine here?"  "Yes, please do not move it.  It is the only way it is silent."  "Oh my Gosh, you are right.  That is brilliant!  Do you know how many different ways we have tried to quiet this thing?!?!?!"  Then she start bringing in other nurses to show them.  I think I slept 90 mins together.  On Saturday, three xrays and one chest tube pull later, I was in the car with my Mom.  This was its own adventure with where the car was parked and ended with the woman saying to my Mom, "Usually people remember where they parked."  She didn't hear that or we would have been off to jail instead of home.  She did say, "If I was not taking care of you, I would go back and tell that that lady...."  I know Mom, I know.  My Mom was right, but I just wanted out.  Saturday I slept, Sunday I slept, and then I was on Facebook somehow, but that wasn't me at the hockey game.  I sent an 8 year old in my stead.  Nolan got the Star Wars series for his birthday and I watched way too much of that and finally today I feel good.  No more spitting up blood, holding my chest when I cough to spit up blood, but there is still a fair amount of "please, please, please, be gentle".  Yep, this one caught me off guard, but the next one will not.  I will be fine and we are all cleared by insurance for Friday.  So, the next update will be next weekend.  Oh, the procedure?  It went as well as it could.  The Dr. said, 'You tend to ooze, so I lose my target, but I am getting used to it so I am cautiously optimistic."  I asked him if "ooze" is a technically term and he smiled and said yes.  We find out in three months.  With him in my corner, I am optimistic.

Happy Monday, Angie


Vicki Olafson said...

oh my dearest friend, what you endure to beat this thing. Strongest and most courageous woman I know...that would be you. Rest, please don't take on so many projects, let me know what I can bring you at any time and I hope to see you soon.
Much love

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if I would be able to take care of you as my patient
( HA HA )We would probably have some difference of opinions on the medical side And Yes I definitely did see your Grandma ion you in this post. Glad that the surgery went well. Keeping you on my prayer chain at church.
Keep up the good work.

Love Peggy Smith

Auntie Jane Hainsworth said...

Well oozing isn't so bad since you also ooze charm and wit...

Glad you got some've been a busy busy girl,

Hugs, Jane