The thought of being cut open can be a little scary for anyone. I’ve been through a few surgeries and I’m still nervous with each one. But one thing that comforts me is reading other people’s experiences. So, I’m sharing my outpatient fibroadenoma surgery. Not just so I remember but maybe it will help someone else. 🙂
My hospital did most of my preparation with registration days in advance. However, there was a little home prep before my procedure. I did a lot of laundry in the day before. I washed pajamas, bedding, and lots of towels. I put clean sheets on the bed and then it was time to shower with my soap as directed. Then I crawled into my fresh bed with my fresh pajamas.
It was a very long night so when my alarm rang at 5:10, I was ready to get going. I started my shower while my husband slept a little longer. While Shawn showered, I finished various tasks. Once we got the sheets changed (again) and I got all my extra items packed, we were ready to leave. I was a little nervous but I was ready! It was time to get this lump out!
The trip to the hospital was short because we live close. This was the main benefit to being at this hospital because I’m always sick following surgery. There was some confusion with where I was supposed to be going for registration. Eventually, we figured out where we were going and we got all registered. It wasn’t very long until they called us back. It was very busy and very fast after we were pulled to pre-op.
Once in the room, they went over even more paperwork and questions. They gave me the gown to get changed into. They began my IV in my wrist. While the nurse was starting my IV the anesthesiologist came in. My IV acted like it infiltrated but it was also functioning well at the same time (in other words… when you put pressure on the vein further up, the IV stopped flowing and it gave good blood return BUT at the same time it created the puffy swelling that comes when fluid is going somewhere besides the vein). So it was pretty confusing. They decided to have it stay and in the end, it turned out to be okay. It was in a pretty painful place though! While we were in pre-op, my dad and stepmom also showed up with my newest little-stuffed animal. I was so glad to see them and get to visit with them a little bit before surgery! The final step in pre-op was to do nausea medication. I ended up with a patch behind my ear but also a dose of IV medication. It was that dose of nausea medication that ended most of my visiting. That medication always makes me very anxious and my body just wants to crawl and move. Once they gave me that, I tried to rest a little bit and keep my mind clear before I drove myself crazy. It wasn’t too long until they came to get me back to the operating room.
The nurse announced my arrival in the operating room at 8:43. I was transferred onto the surgical bed. Honestly, this was where I began to really have to fight my anxiety attack. Once they checked my IV again they began strapping me to the bed. Not being able to move when I was awake was horrible. However, this was quickly escalated when they began to run the oxygen mask on my face as well. The nurse who initially started it wasn’t pushing very hard to create the lock (the surgical oxygen masks have the soft airbag that locks it around your nose and mouth). But when the anesthesiologist took over he was pressing very hard (which I know that he had to do). My body threw itself right into an anxiety attack (complicated with my PTSD). All the sudden my head couldn’t get through that I could breathe. It didn’t matter that I was able to take a breath and was okay. I was honestly just hoping that I would just fall asleep soon. It wasn’t long.
I woke up in the recovery room pretty easily. When I first woke up, I wasn’t in a whole lot of pain but I was also very tired. The next time I woke up, I was in a lot of pain. The nurse gave me a pain shot and then also got me a snack. She explained that the shot was quick working and was strong but it was very short lasting so we needed to try to get a pain pill on board as soon as I know I can keep it down. The nurse had given me a nutrigrain bar and it was the best one ever! 🙂 I wasn’t nauseous at all this time so I was able to get my pain pill pretty early on. But because we had waited awhile I was also given one more shot for pain. The theory was that the pill would take about 20 minutes to start working and the shot works less than an hour (I swear that shot only works for about 15-30 minutes… since I was really only back in recovery awake for about 45 minutes). So the pill would be picking up right as the shot was wearing off. I did have to stay in the recovery room for another 20 minutes following that shot for observation time.
My last step was to return to my room. It went quickly from there though! I knew in recovery that I had to pee but I also knew I wasn’t going to use a bedpan so I was putting off asking until I got back to my room. Once there, I was able to go in and use the restroom. Since I was able to get up and move without being sick or having any problems they also let me put my regular clothes back on. I still had my IV in my hand at that point. They said that they would check my vitals and then they could pull my IV as long as they were okay. While waiting, my dad and stepmom got to come back and I got to visit with them a little longer. They took my vitals, which were fine and they sent Shawn out to get the vehicle.I was back home by 11:30 or so. I was very happy that I wasn’t sick at all. At this point, we aren’t sure if it was the fact that we had the pre-surgical treatment on board already or if it was because we did a total change on the pain control post-surgically. The change in pain medicine meant my pain wasn’t as well controlled but man it was a good trade-off for not being so very sick!
Onto recovery– I will share more about that later!!
If you had to choose; would you rather be pain free but super sick or deal with a little pain but feel completely fine?
Thanks for reading,