I've been busy and tired.
December 23rd, for example. I got four wisdom teeth pulled out under general anesthesia. My dental surgeon, Dr. Slavkin, said that he might pull all 6 of my wisdom teeth (yup, if you haven't seen previous posts, I have 6 wisdom teeth). He mentioned just before the surgery that if they didn't appear to be bothersome, he wouldn't bother removing them. In the end, he didn't.
Everyone was pretty nice. While waiting for the IV team to put my IV in, it was decided that I'd go down to the OR and get it put in there as time was running out. My antibiotic was hanging from the IV pole, waiting to be attached. At that point, the transport guy came to lead us downstairs. Can you believe that he didn't even help me with my IV pole? There I was, in my blue cloth slipper things and my hospital gown pushing this pole across the hospital. What was the point of him coming anyways? They could have just told us (my mom and I) to go to the second floor and we'd have been just fine without him. Lame!
When I got to the 2nd floor, the nurse and the anesthesiologist spoke to me. I didn't like this setup. It was a regular waiting room and there were two other families in there. There was no privacy at all. Everyone that spoke to me spoke loudly so all of my business was heard by everyone else who happened to be in that room. The same went for the other familes...I knew all of their business too, and I think that wasn't necessary.
Shortly afterwards, a nice lady lead me to the OR. She normally works as an ER nurse. She helped me onto the operating table where she put those sticker things on my so that they could monitor my heart. She also effortlessly slid the IV needle into my right hand. The pain was minimal. Shortly after, the anesthesiologist began to give me some sort of medication to make me relax. I immediately began to feel uncomfortable. I had been tucked under some blankets like a cocoon so I couldn't move too much, but I began to feel itchy. My sideburns on both sides began to itch (yes, I take prednisone, and therefore have sideburns..!). Some other odd places on my body that I couldn't readily reach began to itch as well. I closed my eyes tight and tried to get over the itchiness. The ER nurse then told me that I was being given something else that would relax me even further. My arm would burn, she told me, just as it did begin to burn. Just before she mentioned it, I was going to comment on that as I thought perhaps the IV wasn't in properly. However, since she mentioned that would happen, I kept it to myself.
The ER nurse put a mask over my face and told me to take deep breaths. At first I was breathing normally. I was so woozy now after all the IV drugs. I heard her tell me again to take deep breaths so I did. Less than a minute later, I was fast asleep.
Still half asleep, I remember being rolled over to my side and having an injection in my bottom. If I recall correctly, I think Dr. Slavkin told me that they'd be injecting something into me...perhaps a steroid...I cannot remember.
The next time I opened my eyes, I was hearing a nurse ask me how I was doing and how my pain was. I nodded to let her know I was fine. At this point, opening my mouth to actually say something was out of the question as I had a mouth packed full of gauze. I also had ice packs wrapped around my face.
I drifted in and out of sleep for the next hour or so until I was moved back upstairs. This is where my Mom was waiting for me. I was happy to see her. The first thing that happened when I got up there was a change of gauze. The nurse showed me how she methodically rolled the gauze up so that some of the gauze would be in my mouth and some wouldn't. I couldn't pay much attention at that point as I was still pretty drowsy. After she put the gauze in, all I could think was "wow..with this gauze hanging out of either side of my mouth...I must look like a walrus".
I wasn't in a lot of pain, but Iwas concerned with the saline drip. Did I need this extra fluid flowing into my veins? Did it have any real function? When I asked the nurse, she promptly turned it off and took my iv out. An hour after coming upstairs, it was home time.
Mom and I made a stop at the grocery store. I needed soft things...applesauce and chocolate pudding. I wore my scarf around my face so that my gauzes didn't show. By the time we got back to the car the gauzes were wet, so I told mom to take me home so I could change them instead of the regular plan which was to go to the pharmacy and pick up the pain killers and antibiotics prescribed to me.
I changed my gauze while Mom went to pick up my prescriptions. Sheesh, what a horror movie it was to see those gauzes. They were just saturated. There goes my great hemoglobin!
I took my pain pills regularly and haven't been in much pain. I've been diligent about icing my face. Ensure, chocolate pudding, tea, and applesauce has been my main diet, but yesterday Mom made me mashed potatoes. Boy did they taste good. The night I came home from the tooth extraction, I could hardly sleep because my stomach physically hurt from lack of food!
Yesterday I dialyzed without heparin. I flushed 200cc every hour, and yet by the time I was ready to take myself off, I still managed to clot off my circuit. Maybe I need to either flush more than 200ccs or I need to flush more often. We'll give it another go and see what happens. I hate these 4 hour runs. I can't wait until I can use heparin again so I can get some real dialysing in. I'll have to wait until I know I'm not bleeding...then I'll do a couple of tight heparin runs...then a real run.
Well I think I've yammered on enough to make up for the missed days!