I’d rather not know…
Other than the general joys of surgery and hospitalization for the first time at age 33, I discovered some things that really suck about the world of being sick enough to require care at a hospital. (And one extra from my experience at home, too!)
- Because I presented at the ER with a fever and headache along with the godawful pelvic pain, they had to test me for the flu. If you’ve never had the pleasure of a nose swab, I wouldn’t recommend it. Too bad they didn’t have such a test for my pelvis to determine that, yes, it was full of infection. Seriously, the flu swab was the worst part of my entire time at the hospital. Yes, that includes the first couple days post-op. Yes, that includes what I’m about to tell you.
- I never knew what a Jackson-Pratt drain (a.k.a. JP drain) was and wish I could forget. But I had the fun of having one inserted during surgery to try and remove all the excess yuck out of my pelvis (TMI, I know) in the following days. When it was removed a couple hours before hospital release, it qualified as the second most unpleasant part of the entire experience.
- Health care professionals will walk away from you when you’re vomiting. Oh sure, they’ll help get you an emesis basin and make sure you’re not choking, but as soon as they know you have things under control, they’ll just move on to their next task. Eventually, they’ll come back and clean the basin. (Be sure to let me know if this was an unusual experience or not…)
- The staff checked my blood sugar for the first 72 hours, but not the last day and a half. Hello? I wasn’t eating anything solid for the first three days. Hello? My favorite meal consisted of diet lemonade and beef broth. Of course my blood sugars were going to run in range. Once I got home, I saw how solid food affected things and it hasn’t been pretty. I know, I know, I’m still on heavy-duty antibiotics and my body is healing, but it might have been nice to have been warned those last couple days in the hospital with a couple of blood sugar checks.
- It can take several days for water retention to go away after days on IV fluids. This is day #5 at home and this morning, I can finally say I’ve reached my pre-surgery weight. You would have thought that with restricted liquid diets and little appetite once solids were re-introduced, I would have lost weight. Ha!
Overall, I do greatly appreciate how smoothly the experience went. I had excellent nursing and support care, which made going through such a difficult surgery and post-op much easier. I only have a couple gripes about specific staff members, but I never have to see them again. I hope.