Can you believe my insurance company thinks a mastectomy is an outpatient procedure?
So I was originally scheduled to be in the hospital for 23 hours, and I planned on being home Tuesday morning. It’s called a “simple” mastectomy, so I expected it to be a breeze, except for the actual losing a breast part. I even asked my kid to bring me a good cup of coffee at about 3:30, a couple of hours after surgery.
I was wheeled from the recovery room down a hallway, I must have dozed because I remember waking up and seeing my friend Tammy.
“What are you doing here? You’re a maternity nurse!”
“You’re on the maternity ward, and I’m your nurse.” (So lucky! My friend was my nurse, and being on the maternity ward meant having a private room.)
There were 5 visitors waiting for me to come out of surgery, and there were texts and phone calls to answer. And I was wasted. And I had some complications that showed up pretty quick, extreme reactions to anesthesia and excess bleeding. The bleeding started while the visitors were there. And later that night I passed out (on my way to the bathroom) and projectile puked on 3 nurses.
Oh, and remember Raj? My gynecologist? He showed up around 7 AM. Tammy followed him in. “She’s not your patient!”
“Yes she is!”
“Hey, Patricia! I wanted to follow up, but I wanted to wait until after your surgery. We found some unusual cells on your cervix, if it’s cancer, we can cure it easily with a hysterectomy. When you get out of here, I want you to come in to the office for an internal sonogram.” It was not such a good time to get this news.
The hospital stay was actually quite pleasant. The combination of blood loss and Vicodin had me pretty wasted. I hardly noticed the taking of vital signs every 15 minutes. Or the numerous blood takings. I did notice how they had to keep moving the IV as my veins blew up. I also noticed the 3 transfusions-getting a stranger’s blood is pretty disgusting, and it hurts.
There were lots of visitors, I tried to watch TV (I could not pay attention with all those commercials), I brought a book and my knitting. But thank God for netflix,wifi, and my laptop, because I watched the entire first season of Sister Wives. With all the trauma, drugs, and tubes, that’s about all I accomplished during the hospital stay.
Notice I haven’t mentioned pain? The actual surgical site never really hurt very much; maybe a 3 or 4 at its worst. The IV sites? 9 or 10.
Oh, and the food sucked. I went home Thursday afternoon.