II Corinthians 12:9-10

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities... for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
II Corinthians 12:9-10

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Man Up!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009:

The morning began bright and early at 4:30. After the kind nurse explained in full detail everything that was about to happen to me, I was wheeled to Pre-Op for a little pre-surgery adventure. I felt calm, with only occasional butterflies in my stomach... that is, until I heard screaming on the other side of the curtain next to me. Then, someone told me that they were going to put these electrodes in my head to monitor my nervous system and not to be worried if we see streaks of blood in my hair. (They told this to the girl who passed out after getting her ears pierced.) Then they instructed me how to move my feet when they tell me to during the surgery, because of how close they would be working to my spinal cord. Thankfully, I don't remember them actually doing any of this to me. Finally, it was time. The very last thing I remember? I reminded my mom to find out how I did on my trig test. Then I was out.

7 hours later...

I saw a bright light. Unfortunately, it was just the light from the x-ray machine. I heard the nurses count to three, and I suddenly felt like I was dropped on the x-ray table. Later, I found myself standing up with my arms crossed getting a standing x-ray, but only for a second before I was out again.

Soon, I woke up in ICU, while the nurses were taking my breathing tube out. I felt like I couldn't breathe because my face was so swollen. Apparently, I made the ICU quote of the day: "The worst part is over... now I just need to man up."

My throat was very sore, but I wasn't allowed to drink anything. But my awesome nurses let me have water with a little square sponge (which actually took care of that problem). Then I remember my nurse telling me many times to just breathe deeply, because apparently I was hyperventilating and didn't even realize it.

I couldn't describe the feeling even if I had to, but I'll make an attempt, because for me, waking up from surgery was the part I was mostly scared about. I think I was too out of it from the medicine to really feel the pain I should have been in. But I felt tense, like I couldn't move my whole trunk area and legs- almost like I had been hit by something really big, but I didn't really feel the pain. Thank goodness for medicine! Except they couldn't give me the really good, strong medicine, because I'm allergic to a lot of medicines.

That night I had a fever, which is fairly common right after surgery. I only remember being extremely hot whenever I woke up, which didn't help the way I felt overall.

That was my first day in ICU in a nutshell. I pretty much slept through a lot of it, even though I felt like I was awake for the whole day. For any of you who are nervous about having your surgery, don't be. Although I can't say it's easy, because it's not, the nurses know how to make you as comfortable as possible, the medicine will help, and you will sleep a lot. So the worst part wasn't quite over with, but I did my best to "man up" anyway.

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