Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I don't think so!
Before I start telling you all about my hospital experience, I HAVE to tell you about this awesome t-shirt site I found: http://www.cafepress.com. This pic is one of their designs that I absolutely adore! If I could have purchased this shirt when my boys were small it would probably have been my uniform! Actually, had I seen the shirt last week I MIGHT have purchased it to wear to the hospital! But even without purchasing it I was able to make use of it's philosophy.
With little fanfare and much hyperventilating, I entered the hospital this past Monday for an angioplasty. Now, since I had just HAD an angiogram the prior Thursday, you would think "piece of cake", right??? Well, I thought that's how I would feel about it until I actually got there and put on the lovely designer backless gown they give everyone - then the fun began.
First I found out that they were running an hour behind. Normally, I wouldn't mind because I would rather the docs take their time doing their work than rush through it, but it was already 12:30 and I hadn't has anything to drink since midnight, and I'm an eight-glass-a-day-at-the-minimum water drinker. My tongue was sticking to the roof of my mouth. Lying on a stretcher with a metal bar running down the center of it didn't help much, either.
Then it was IV time.
Why is it that the girls at the walk in labs never have a problem drawing blood and the hospitals always do? Needles are for sewing, not for sticking into my delicate flesh, digging around for a vein. Thursday they had to call in "an expert" to find a vein; now we were having a repeat performance. Just as the nurse said that she was going to "try" to see what she could find, I thought of the t-shirt...I DON'T THINK SO! After I told her about the acute panic attack I was about to have another nurse appeared who used a tiny needle to numb the site before plunging the BIG needle in. What I want to know is how come I've never had this numbing stuff before, huh??? First hurdle over.
Next we finally went into surgery. By now I am shaking, and sweating. One of the techs turned tuned the radio to...can you believe...RAP! I hate rap, I can't understand what the "singer" is saying, and the "music" makes me nervous. My little cat friend appeared to me again - I DON'T THINK SO! I sweetly asked the tech to change the station 'cause I was about to get physical with someone. Actually he did say that he only tuned that station in to irritate the doc (oh great, just what I needed before he starts poking around my arteries!)...a running joke of sorts. ha ha
Now the doc asks me if I'm ready, and I guess you know what I was thinking...I DON'T THINK SO! Thankfully he remembered that I truly do have acute panic disorder and explained what he was doing as he went along - plus they gave me what they called "happy juice" in my IV, but let me tell you something: they lie. It does NOT make you happy, and you DO remember everything, or at least that's how it affected me.
Everything went PERFECTLY with the angioplasty. I was VERY happy to be taken to my room. I DON'T THINK SO only came up once more that day when a VERY young nurse told me that I couldn't have another pain pill, but I could have some morphine. (I asked her to explain why someone who is normally allowed to take up to six Vicodin a day can now only have two spaced six hours apart, but could have MORPHINE-a MUCH stronger drug-instead; I told her that maybe she should read my chart.) I got my pain pill.
Actually, now that it is over, I can almost laugh about it. It really wasn't so bad. And I didn't have a major panic attack, which to me was a bigger deal than escaping another bypass!
By the way, for those of you who don't understand panic disorder, think back to that dream where you were about to be hit by a car and couldn't run, or the one where you are falling and couldn't stop yourself, or the one where the monsters are coming out of your closet and you can't get out of bed to escape...multiply that by 1,000 and THAT'S a panic attack!
Thanks to everyone who sent prayers, reiki, and healing to me this past week. My internal radar felt all of your love - I hope you felt mine in return.