Friday, July 07, 2006

What's 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep worth to you?

The surgery was a smashing success. We arrived at the surgery center, and realized that I had never filled out a health care proxy for this particular hospital. Bigfella was born at the hospital across town, which has multiple forms on file giving Dyke Two permission to make all sorts of decisions for me. But, this hospital, if it has any forms I filled out on file, has my mother listed as my health care proxy. She's a good choice and all, and I trust her to make the decisions that Dyke Two would make, but yesterday, while waiting to go under the knife seemed as good a time as any to make Dyke Two's relationship to me as official as it can get here in Red State. So, I asked the receptionist for an Advanced Medical Directive. She said, (and this is a direct quote), "an Advanced what??" So, I explained that I wanted to designate a new health care proxy, and since this was a surgery center, I assumed that they would have the forms available. She shuffled through her drawers, and referred me to her supervisor. Her supervisor, upon hearing the situation, promptly said, "an Advanced what?"

So, Dyke Two and I sat and waited. When the nurse came back to get me, I promptly asked her for a form. She, at least, knew what I was talking about, but didn't have any available. So, with each person who came in to my little curtain area, my request for an Advanced Medical Directive got a little more impassioned. By the time my surgeon arrived, the general consensus was that the main hospital had the forms, but couldn't fax one to us. (at this point, three residents, two nurses, the attending anesthiesiologist and my surgeon were all looking for the form.) It was also the general consensus that I was a stubborn one, and wouldn't go back into surgery without filling out something.

Finally, they had me write on a piece of paper that Dyke Two was authorized to make all medical decisions while I was unable to do so. Then, all of us: me, Dyke Two, the anesthesiologist, the surgeon, the nurses, the residents, maybe even the orderly all signed it. And then, we pricked our fingers and pinky swore. (Since there was no notary, that was the best we could do.) But, they all assured us that in an emergency, they would not wait for my mom to arrive from across town to make decisions, and would let Dyke Two make the decisions.

So, happy, finally that there was some semblance of my wishes recorded, I allowed myself to be led into the torture room. I got strapped onto the crucifixion table, they put the freaky pumping boots on my legs, and they covered my face with a mask. I woke up 5 hours later, and after a few minutes of the room shaking, they were able to move me to a recliner. Dyke Two joined me, and we ate ice chips, drank cranberry juice and ate raisins. (the animal crackers they offered me had soybean oil in them, so they were a no-go.) And, I took Percocet. Yummy percocet.

According to the doctor, my gallbladder was way infected and nasty. The nurse called me stubborn, and said that my self-reports of symptoms and post-operative pain proved me to have a high pain tolerance. (I believe she actually called me "a tough one.") The nurse said I was a champ with the general, but that I slept much longer than usual. I said, "I have a 4 month old at home. I haven't slept for 5 hours straight since I was 6 months pregnant."

So, eventually, they sent me home with some Colace and Percocet. We got home and Bigfella, who had consumed a total of 6 ounces of milk all day, promptly latched on and guzzled for 30 minutes. He nursed two more times in the next 4 hours. Dyke Two made me rice and chicken broth.

This morning, I woke up well-rested, but with a sore throat from the intubation. And, Bigfella had two bloody diapers. We were about to call the pediatrician's office, since I hadn't eaten anything that he's allergic to. Instead, we called Swanson (the makers of the chicken broth) because the empty can had been picked up by the recycling truck. After 20 minutes on the phone with customer service, including many minutes of grilling about his allergies, his doctors and a lot of legal rigamarole, the customer service rep told us that the Swanson's regular chicken broth that I had eaten, does have soy protein in it. So, they are sending us coupons for their soy-free versions (Natural Goodness and Organic).

We were just glad to know that we didn't need to rush to the pediatrician, given that I was still a little woozy. Anyone have any tips on how to care for a 20 pound baby when you have been restricted from lifting more than 15 pounds for the next 4 weeks?


At 5:50 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I hope your recovery is quick. I had lasik eye surgery and slept for 10 hours. It was heaven.

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Liza said...

Good luck! Sorry to hear that chicken broth has soy protein. How weird!

WRT caring for BigFella, good luck. If it were me, I'd probably cheat a little on the weight restriction. How is he with being in the stroller? At least then you could avoid carrying him, even though you'd still have to move him in and out of it.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger ~*Courtney*~ said...

I hope you have a quick recovery from the surgery. It's difficult to have a baby at home and not be able to lift him. I had the same problem when my son was only a few weeks old. I had gallbladder problems as well, hence the surgery. Anyway, I hope you are doing well. :)

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Northwoods Baby said...

Looks like Bigfella might be in for some intensive tummy time; ;)

Do you have baby nurses or pp doulas in PRoS? Relatives who owe you bigtime? I'll be on the Shore for two weeks; I'm going to threaten to drive down and be a total noodge. You need kugel!


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