No swaddling or gentle wake-up this go round! Oh, no, my arms were strapped to boards to keep them out of the way and the pain, oh the pain, that assailed me like a visible force before I even dared open my eyes. Seriously, the only thing I could thing was to crawl away from the pain. Only that made it worse.
Now the pain wasn’t from my mid-section, no no. The pain was from my right shoulder. Did you know there’s a nerve that runs from your diaphragm to your shoulder? I can tell you _exactly_ where it ends up. It hurt so bad I was half-convinced someone had pulled my arm out of socket moving me from the OR table back to a gurney or something. Turns out it was from the gas they use to inflate the abdomen during laproscopic surgery, it can irritate the diaphram in some patients.
And, yes, I was expected–while in gobs of pain, mind you–to move MYSELF from the gurney to my hospital bed shortly after waking up. I really thought they’d lost their ever-lovin’ minds on that one. The nurse did say they could move me but that it would hurt more (like it was possible) than if I did it myself.
If you’re wondering why I was put into a room rather than discharged, I should explain. Yes, gall bladder removal is generally done on an out-patient basis but two things made us opt for what they call a 23-hour hold.
- The carcinoid syndrome brings with it a higher than normal chance that I will react negatively to anesthesia (which I did: they had to stabilize me during surgery because my BP went wonky early on; one of two little snags during the procedure).
- I was also having a liver biopsy while they were in there, to check on some things noted in previous scan results, and there have been cases of folks having a liver biopsy, going home and…just dying. (I swear that’s how my surgeon described it to me!) So a night of monitoring was in order, one way or another.