Thursday, February 26, 2009

Images from outpatient surgery at BIDMC

When we arrived at Reception, they gave me a round beeper/buzzer thingy, the kind of thing you get at a restaurant when you are waiting for your table. Then we sat and waited for a while in a very nice and comfortable waiting area. They even have tables (kind of like study carrels) so A could plug in his laptop and surf the web (or do work, I'm not sure which) while we waited.

When it's time for surgery, the buzzer buzzes. I'm always tempted to say: "our table is ready!" to the nurse.

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Once inside the doors of Outpatient Surgery, we were ushered into a little private space, I guess kind of a cubicle, with a bed, some monitors, chairs, etc. There is a nurse there whose job it is to get you ready. She types all your info into a laptop. You change into a gown, put little non-skid socks on your feet, and get into bed. They give you a warmed blanket (so nice!) and ask you a ton of questions, take your temperature, blood pressure, pulse. Then different people come by: the surgeon and the surgical resident; the anesthesiologist and the anesthesia resident; the OR nurse. Everyone introduces themselves and is very friendly, competent, and confident. Everyone asks you the same questions over and over again: your name, your birthdate, what you are having done, when did you last eat, are you allergic to anything, etc. etc. Finally, the anesthesiologist puts a line into your arm (I have good veins, so this typically is not a problem), and pretty soon, everyone's ready to go. This time, I was awake when they wheeled me into the OR, and I got to see the strange OR lights. Then...I was out.

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Once again, I awoke, felt fine, no nausea. After a few minutes, the nurse helped me into a lounge-type chair and rolled me into a different area. Then she gave me ginger ale and graham crackers (I was starving!). I felt lightheaded but really okay. A came in, and we sat for a while. After about 20 minutes, I got dressed, used the bathroom, and we actually walked out of the unit this time (last time, I had a wheelchair). And that was it!

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The worst thing this time around was that I was starving. Surgery was scheduled for 2:15 pm and I couldn't eat or drink anything all morning. By the time I got into the Outpatient Surgery bed, I was starving and had a wicked lack-of-caffeine headache. And my sinuses were killing me. And I was very nervous. All those symptoms were gone, though, once I was done with surgery.

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I have had 3 surgeries this year (the basal cell carcinoma removed from my shoulder this fall, and the 2 breast surgeries this month) and I hope that I am done. No more surgeries for a while, please.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You paint a very vivid picture... I'd be starving and having a caffein headache by the afternoon (or earlier), too. So maybe I'll be forwarned and schedule any future surgeries for the morning. So very glad you're doing OK.