Saturday

3 October 2009

You know how on TV when surgeons butt-bump their way into the OR it's this gigantic room with spiffy tile walls and massive pieces of equipment that damn near beep in synchronicity?

Real life, not so much...

I was awake until I was in the OR and strapped down onto the table, and let me tell you, that was a major disappointment. They rolled me into a room that could have been a typical patient care room, but with a giant overhead light fixture and a way-too-narrow bed in the middle. No shiny, spiffy tile walls...just walls. No massive equipment taking up an entire wall, just an anesthesia machine--there may have been more but it wasn't THERE so I didn't see it.

They had me slide myself over to the tiny table--really! no one counted to three and then lifted me!--and then they strapped my legs down and then my arms out to each side. My last coherent thought was "holy hell...I'm being crucified."

Still...

We did not go to the base hospital because face it, retirees are low man on the medical hierarchy totem pole there*. Similar pain a few years ago had me sent home from the base ER with orders to follow up with my PCP within 48 hours...and that 48 hours turned into a month without seeing her, with another ER visit thrown in for good measure. They never did figure out what was wrong with me. I wanted to go to the civilian hospital, and that's where the Spouse Thingy took me.

I don't think he got the paperwork completely done before someone was taking me to the back, and as soon as they ruled out an MI they gave me an IV and pain meds. PAIN MEDS THAT WORKED! I totally love dilaudin (sp?) now. I didn't wait 3 hours just to see a doc, I saw him pretty freaking quick, and he took my pain seriously. Hell, everyone there did.

Instead of waiting a month for an abdominal ultrasound, I had one within an hour (or so...I may be fuzzy on actual time here. Drugs may play a part in that...) and was in surgery (and suffering crushing disappointment over the actual OR) by noon(ish.) From the time I hit my room until I was released, I had incredibly attentive care and didn't have to beg for pain medication. (And yes, they really do ask you repeatedly if you've farted yet...)

Gotta admit, Vacavalley hospital in Vacaville gets a big thumbs up from me.

Oh, and the at-home nursing care has been top notch, too. :)

*I don't blame the people working at the base hospital; I blame how terribly short staffed they are, and how crappily Tricare schedules appointments...after over a year trying to see my endocrinologist there, we had to get a civilian doc. The medical people care, the insurance grunts? Not. So. Much.

19 comments:

The Whiskeratti said...

Huh. Interesting look at how ORs really work. I'd no idea. I thought it was all TV-ish too.

Monty Q. Kat said...

Heh, I had the same question asked right after the new one arrived. It made me feel slightly better as I was sure the trumpet duet Devon and I were producing could be heard down the hall to the nurses station.

(Or maybe they were just trying to be nice...)

I'm glad you're on the mend. You're far too cool to be down for long. :)

kenju said...

I'm glad to know you had a relatively good experience there. I haven't been in an operating room in many years - so I'd be no judge.

Shaggy, Scooby and Scout said...

Glad you're home!
My hubby got the dilatid (sp) with his leg reconstruction a couple weeks ago too. In the thing where you can give yourself "bumps" with the hand button. Lets just say that button was clutched in his hot little hand for 3 days! By the way, I've given it my own alternate nickname..."Blotto".

Peace said...

http://www.rxlist.com/dilaudid-drug.htm

Chicka said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. Dilaudid is from Teh Gods.

The Meezers said...

MrsMax'sMom - we is glad you is feeling better!!!

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

oh wow! you must be really nice to the hospital beans for them to wait before gassing you. i get gassed as soon as i'm out of the crate
we're glad you're feeling better!! my beands hearts hurty you missed your trip to VEGAS. they love VEGAS. they always go to Hogs and Heffers in Old Vegas. If you've never been, it will give you something to look forward to next year.
we'll purr that you're back on your feet and ready to wait on Max and Buddah right away!

Marti said...

Hope you are feeling better. I've had some surgeries and don't recall the part about being strapped down on the operating table. Guess they were afraid you might bolt.

Best wishes from me and purrs from Pumpkin.

Mike said...

The patients are always straped down in the operating room. It is a safety thing to prevent falls. In most cases the patient might remember a safety belt being placed across them. I don't strap the arms down until after the patient is asleep so they don't remember that part in most cases

Spouse thingy

Ozark Mountain Cats said...

We're so glad that you finally got all fixed up. That tricare sounds a lot like Kaiser Permanente. Maybe someone will get you the new Terry Fator dvd that's just been released as a get well gift.

Derby said...

Thumper you get better soonest. Sounds like you are improving. Mum says TV hospitals are way too fancy versus the reality of what you actually get. Glad you got prompt attention in the ER as well.

Furkidsmom said...

We're glad you're okay!

Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

Lone Star Purrs said...

Glad that you are on the mend!!MOmma laffed at yur description of the OR!! Some that she worked in DID haf tiled walls...guess it depends on where you are.
::purrs::
~Meeko & Kiara

Momma here- I had to go to surgery after having the baby, and I remember agreeing to my own "Time Out"!! I guess some habits ae hard to break! (scrub tech for 12 years) As for Tricare....I"ve been trying FOR A WEEK to make an appointment for the baby!! Glad it's not important! Clinic commande may be getting a call.....

Ollie's Mom, Nikki said...

Glad you're doing better! My former PCP thought I simply had acid reflux, but when I couldn't eat anything other than popsicles and was in constant pain, they actually did another ultrasound. The stone was the size of a quarter. Pffft...

Hopefully they told you the pillow trick for getting up/down. Holding a pillow against your abdomen helps relieve strain/pain in those muscles when moving.

Take care!

Finnegan Buddy & Jasmine said...

Glad you're feeling better - please get all the way better reel soon!

Finny Buddy Jazzy & Mom

RANGER said...

Been there with you. Lost my GB, too. I was given morphine, which brought on hallucinations. I still remember seeing a giant eagle putting his head through the ceiling and looking calmly at me. I volunteered to try tylenol and did not need anything stronger. Well, the day thay removed the drain might have been an exception but that didn't last long. Mine was a civilian hospital, too.

Glad you are okay. Just like everyone else, I assumed you'd be interested in my experiences, too.

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

I waved a happy farewell to my gb about 13 years ago. I've never missed it at all :-)

I wasn't all that thrilled with my doctor's description of the quintessential 4F gb patient: Fair, Fat, Female, and Forty.

Gee, thanks, Doc.

Spitty's Mom

Lsamsa said...

Thumper...glad to hear you're on the mend & that nasty gall bladder won't give you any more trouble.
Had mine out almost thiry years ago...yup, the old long nasty cut (from stem to sternum)...but all was good once it was gone.
Spiffy...so funny, my doc said the same thing, yet I was 'fair, thin, female & thirty'...two out of four ain't bad I guess.
Take good care & hope you're getting pampered as you so deserve.