3.15.2011

The ICU


I woke up alone in the ICU.

Before this operation, the two things that made me anxious were #1 getting the epidural and #2 what it would feel like when I woke up. When I came to, I was relieved that I had no memory of the epidural and that my pain wasn't so bad. I just wanted some ice for my throat.

Nope. No ice. No sip of water. Nothing. (For twenty-four hours.) That was rough.

Steve was allowed back into my room after tests were completed and nurses had changed shifts. (Mandatory departure from the ICU for two-and-a-half hours, twice a day.) He stayed with me for a few hours and then drove home to Ogden to sleep for the night. (Visitors are not allowed to sleep in the ICU.)

Steve came back on Saturday morning, and everything went well until that evening. I told my nurse that my stomach was really hurting and asked if it was from the ice that I was finally able to eat. . . very slowly. But the NG tube that went from my nose, down my throat, to my stomach was removing all of the bile and other liquids, so that wasn't the problem. She told me it was just gas from the operation. By shift change time, I was in a lot of pain and told my new nurse I didn't think the epidural was working.

I was texting Steve, asking him to please, please come back to my room, as he was trying to convince the nurses in the front to let him in. By the time I was crying in pain, my nurse went to go get Steve. I've had a lot of abdominal pain in my life, and this was the worst. I could feel everything from the incision and I had horrible stabbing pains in my stomach area.

The epidural was checked and deemed just fine. The doctor on call was called in. There was talk of internal bleeding from the operation. A CT scan was ordered. There was screaming and crying. More screaming and crying as four people lifted me from my bed and transferred me to the table for the CT scan. I wanted to die. Really, as horrible as that makes me sound, I did.

Results were quickly read and everything from the surgery looked good. They switched the medicine in my epidural and hooked me up to a different source of medication, in attempt to drug me up enough to sleep for the night. The new pain medication used a button that needed to be pushed every ten minutes to release more medicine. My good husband stayed awake until 3:00 am, pushing the button for me, so I could sleep for a few hours. Then I stayed mostly awake, pushing the button, while Steve slept in his car. Sunday morning, the anesthesiologist came in and inserted a new epidural. The pain was finally under control.

If only they had listened to me earlier.

But I survived the ICU.

6 comments:

Molly said...

glad to hear. your incision is insane. how long is recovery and when will you start feeling better?

James and Jade Bethers said...

Are you sure that is you in the top pic? My heavens you look like a little girl in that pic!

The Clawson"s said...

I'm glad you're alive. You should have just come to Florida on convention with me instead of all that crap. I hope it makes your tummy problems non existent from now on. That scar is going to be awesome. You need to wear a bikini for the rest of your life just so people can admire your war wound!! Get better.

Min said...

Oh, I am so sorry for the pain. I am grateful it was not caused by a serious problem . . . I mean, of course, something more serious than artery surgery.

That picture of you! Is it you? It doesn't look like you. But I think it is beautiful. Something about the eyes and the white and the expression. Beautiful.

And points to Steve for being a great husband and pushing your button. Hmm, irony, that.

Now go recover. Quick.

Kassi Luck said...

That sounds like it was quite the experience. Dont you hate it when the dr's and nurses dont listne to you. That makes it so much worse, especially when if they would have listened to you in the first place, it could have saved you a lot of pain. I have to agree with those above that Steve definately gets an A+ for staying and helping with the meds.

Julie said...

Emily, that is CRAZY. I cannot believe all of this!! You are in my prayers!