Posted in Health

The Brain Surgery and The Rest of My Hospital Stay

When they wheeled me to the surgical room, I said goodbye to my room and prayed with my husband for a successful surgery.  The nurse practitioner for neurosurgery told us that my neurosurgeon was very meticulous and precise that he won’t be shaving my whole hair.  When I get to the surgery room, they asked me if I ate or drink anything, if I have any metal stuff on my body (I do! I had an ORIF on my left ankle) or if I’m allergic to anesthesia or anything.  I told them I just had a sip of water as I was very thirsty, I had screws and plate on my left ankle and I was allergic to a pain med which I don’t know the name and the anti-seizure meds which they initially gave me.  They put an oxygen mask on my face and ask me to count to 10.  I had to do it twice before I was knocked out. 

When I woke up, I was already at the ICU and was attached to a catheter with a very huge headache.  All I remember from my stay at the ICU was saying “ow ow ow” almost every 30 seconds.  Moreover, I think every hour or two, someone will put a flashlight on my eye, ask me my name, birthday and where am I, asked me to pull and push their fingers and asked me to pull and push my feet to their hands.  The 24 hours I spent on the ICU was something I don’t want to repeat.  It was tiring and painful.  They put me on pain meds but I felt it wasn’t fast enough to get rid of the pain.  When my neurosurgeon came to visit, he said I’m so high on pain meds that it’s not fair for me since I was a strong and smart lady (Yeah yeah!  I have a low pain tolerance though!)

After my ICU stint, they moved me to a private room at a different neurosurgery floor.  The first 24 hours in that room was still a blur.  I remembered they want to do a CT scan on my brain with contrast but my first attempt (Oct 2, early am) was a no go as I was feeling nauseous and it was painful.  MY second attempt (Oct 2, late pm), I just endured it even though I was still feeling some pain.  It was a difficult experience, the CT scan machine was loud and noisy for me, and it wasn’t helping my headache.  They told me to stay still and endure for a bit more to finish it.  I remember repeating my “ow ow ow” mantra and almost crying myself throughout the whole scanning procedure. 

On Oct 3 (Saturday), I was feeling much better and I was able to eat something.  They put me on Miralax and Senokot to soften my poop.  This is an SOP if you’re on narcotics to alleviate pressure on your brain while you poop.   However, it didn’t help as no poop was coming out.  I did fart though so that goal 1 of 2 achieved.  I had a wonderful nurse who initially assessed me if I was ready to be discharged or not.

On Oct 4 (Sunday), the resident who visited me in the morning told me that I could be discharged.  I told her I wasn’t able to poop yet and I haven’t been checked by the physical therapist if I can manage staying at home with my husband.  They put me on magnesium citrate.  I drank half of it and it was too sweet.  I think my teeth were complaining with the sweetness. I sipped the citrate then I gulped some water.  It went on till I was able to drink half of it.  I even posted seriously on my facebook account about my life goals of being able to poop (Hahaha!).  That night, I slept late because I was in the bathroom and was finally able to poop (What a relief!) On Oct 5 (Monday), when the resident came, I told him, I’m ready to be discharged.  They gave me the discharged papers and told me the dos and don’ts while recuperating.  I took two Tylenols before I left my room.  I was rolled in a wheelchair to the pickup area and happily sat in the car.  Since we had to pick up the anti-seizure meds from the hospital pharmacy, I had to wait in the car for my husband.  The drive back home zapped my energy (I just want it to end!!).   When I got home, I rested the whole afternoon, ate dinner then sleep some more.  I’m just so glad my hospital stay is over with no more beeping of the machines and early blood draws (it made my heart palpitate, surprised me like I was scared).

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