After several false starts, my Right Kidney was removed laparascopically on October 27th.
Having been scheduled for the surgery on October 20th, it had been a long week – On the original schedule I was there before 8am to be prepared and ready for surgery, and knew I had a 3 hour wait until 11am for my turn. 11am came and went, and by 11:30am I made myself comfortable across three chairs, and went to sleep. Midday came and I was being woken up, time to walk down the hall: hugs for Jerry and my sister, and off I went. Walked down to OR #12 right down the end.. and was asked to hop on a stretcher.. and was then told that they weren’t quite ready for me, that they would be back to me soon.. I was then on my own for half an hour, and eventually they bought out the previous patient… THEN… the mops and bucket parade were going back and forth.. and THEN EVENTUALLY… they remembered I was there… and YES they always knew I was there… BUT… too much time to think about things, cry to myself, feeling very alone… but now they were here to do the consent, and ask all the same questions all over again, mark my Right hand so they know which Kidney they were removing.. they asked me several times… and then I got worried and asked them … I hope you are not relying totally on my answer here, and relying on the SCANS to decide which Kidney to remove. Finally, they asked if I was ok to walk into the OR, and I said yes… got settled on the table in OR, and everyone is introducing themselves, and chatting away.. the IV to relax me finally gets done.. and then the decision as to whether to put the additional IV in to monitor my heart should go in before or after putting me out, so the O2 mask went on and then taken off, and then Finally ON, and I was ready in myself, like this was it… and I then there is a lack of continuity, I just know it was cancelled due to my heart being too irregular, and the Anaethetist got nervous. It was cancelled and I was being sent home… but fortunately a senior Intern said that since I had being given this IV, that they should take me to recovery and keep an eye on my heart… by this time I can’t stop crying, so my heart was totally, totally irregular.. I am angry that all this preparation had gone to waste, they knew about this and should have been ready for it.
In the meantime, my husband got a call from the surgeon to say the op was cancelled and I was being sent home. It took them an hour and a half before they got to see me.. as I was still in recovery. I think while all this was going on, they realized that sending me home was not an option, that since it was vital to remove the kidney soon, that they had to deal with the heart condition, so from recovery they took me to my room on the ward.
That became the start of a very interesting week, I saw umpteen Dr’s, all trying to decide what was going on, and what specialists I needed to see. I got day passes to go shopping, or an evening pass to go out to eat.. but on Thursday 23rd October, I was prepped for a Cardiac Ablation first thing on the 24th. I probably had an hour’s wait before the procedure, but they were only able to do half of it. They concluded that the problem is in the top left Ventricle, and to go in there, you need blood thinners in order to avoid a heart attack or stroke, and my Urologist said that could not go ahead before the Kidney was removed, as it would cause increased risk of bleeding during that procedure.
My op was now scheduled for the Saturday 25th October, when they only have one OR room in use. However, late Friday it was again cancelled, as due to an accident, the OR was taken up with 2 Kidney Transplants, and a Liver Transplant. The good news was that the Urologist changed his Monday schedule, so that I was first in on the Monday 27th October. On Sunday I was prepped and again ready for surgery.
Monday morning came and they collected me on my trolley, took me all the way to OR #11, where I had someone with me outside the room the whole time. By this time I had a ‘Dream Team’ of Urology residents that I had come to know and trust, and they were all there to make sure I felt safe and relaxed. My anesthetist of the day was Andrew a Scot, who loved ‘Dr in the House’ the old films of the 60′s, so he was an immediate friend. I did not have to walk into OR, and was transferred onto the OR table.. and after introductions to the nurses, they did not wait long to put me under.
In Recovery, I remember a resident asking the OR nurse how I was doing, and she said I had kep saying ‘I Made It, I Made It’, which made me realise what my mind set must have been going into the surgery. The surgery had only taken 2 and a half hours, and after another 2 hours I was back on the ward.
My Urologist came by with his team later that day, to tell me the surgery had gone perfectly, and all I now needed to do was recover and go home. He only came by one more time one evening on his own to check on me. His ‘Dream Team’, well they came by every morning, and often times individually during the day, and felt cosseted by them.
I did have to go to have a Cardiac Scan (Ultrasound) the day after my surgery, and they ruffed me up pretty bad, to the extent that when I was back on the ward the air was ‘BLUE’, and 3 of my ‘Dream Team’ appeared at the right time to lift me back into my bed.. but apart from this Ultrasound, I really was well looked after.
I am a Survivor!
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Posted under Gemma A S.
This post was written by Gemma A.S. on November 6, 2008