morphine, demerol, surgery… oh my!

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i am not known to be pain tolerant at all. in fact, my medicine chest is larger than the average teenage girl’s makeup kit. growing up with illness in the family has made me firmly trust in a caring physician’s and pharmacist’s knowledge. so much so, that it has been a bone of contention with me and others… but that’s another topic.

since december of last year i have been plagued with numerous bouts of gall stone attacks. thankfully i was put on the list for a cholysystectomy (gallbladder removal) for march 12th… of which i will no longer need, due to the fact that by 3 am on friday february 28th i had suffered with 4 attacks in the two weeks prior. unfortunately with the last one the pain would not subside on the dose of morphine administered, so i returned again at 9 am requesting (grunting) for more medication. it was decided at this time that i would be having emergency surgery the next morning in terrace, bc, a two hour drive on a good day. i also had an appointment booked with the surgeon there for 3:30 that afternoon, and as the ambulance couldn’t guarantee arriving on time for that appointment my husband had to drive me. i was heavily dosed with more medication for the trip and we were sent on our way.

after arriving promptly at 3:30, i was admitted to this new hospital’s emergency department, only waiting a short time for the dr. to assess me with a possible infection and immediately admitting me to the hospital for the duration. as this is only usually a day surgery, i was very thankful that they would look after me. unfortunately, although i was extremely hungry and thirsty, i was unable to have anything except ice chips.

i was able to sleep through parts of the night, about 2 hours at a time, as i was placed in a geriatric room (at least that’s what i thought it was), and one of my roommates was persistently pressing her call button every hour to remind the nurses about her medication or that she needed either a bedpan or a commode.

i had been warned that the 9 am surgery would mean 9 “ish”, but was surprised that i was actually in and out with not much waiting, although i did let them know i have anxiety issues, so i think they put me out rather quickly. what a total surprise when i woke up, was wheeled to my room, and there was a delicious meal of chicken, mashed potatoes, veggies, and tea waiting for me… all within an hour of waking up. on top of that blessing, both of my children arrived to see me. i believe at this time i was thanking everybody for what a good job they were doing… must have been the drugs!

my kids missed seeing my husband by about 5 minutes, and then he visited for a bit. i was already fed up with the stupid call bell going off every 5 minutes, so requested a new cd player with some relaxing music. that afternoon the dr. released me from the hospital, but wanted me to stay in town overnight, in case of complications… as i’d have to come back again. i did not want to chance sleeping in a dingy motel room, so he allowed me to stay overnight again.

what a blessing that was! the pain in my shoulder was unbearable. i couldn’t believe that my stomach was what had the surgery, but due to the gas they use to pump up the belly, it often causes back or shoulder pain. the morphine didn’t cut it at all, so it was on to demerol. well, wasn’t that sweet? along with hot flashes (due to the fact that i had to quit taking some medications which stop those) i was imagining things, as well as seeing things moving, which were not. i was also unable to sleep that whole night, and was in unbelievable pain, due to the fact that one of my nurses thought the dose the dr. prescribed was too high, so she only gave me half.  i had to wait three hours in extreme pain to be able to catch up with the full dose again.  i was exhausted, sore, and miserable… and i thought my man was coming to pick me up at 7 am to take me home.

it wasn’t until about 6:15 that i actually fell asleep. the dr. released me around 9 am. hubby came to get me around noon, but then my lunch was there, so i gobbled it down, they loaded me up with more demerol, and we headed home.

i don’t remember much after that. this past week i’ve pretty much stayed in bed, checking out facebook and new blogs, and… oh yes, my new downton abbey seasons 1-4 arrived early, so i was able to watch the complete shows this week. that was a highlight! as well as the lovely meals, desserts, and flowers i received from so many people.

i was thinking that although i’ve had medical issues throughout my life, the longest i’ve been in hospital at one time is 2 nights each, having my children and this last surgery. i guess i’ve not been as bad as i thought.

i must say that each person who helped me through the diagnosis, pain relief, surgery, and recovery have been a total blessing to me. i live in a great place, where this was all possible. my husband had his weekend turned upside-down. not something that is easy for him. but he handled it wonderfully.

this post hasn’t really been a typical one for me, but i just wanted to record it for myself, that i made it through… i won’t have to worry about another attack like that, and i’m thankful!

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Published by: bcsmithereens

hello, my name is dawn and i have been married for 30 years. hubby and i have two grown children (25 and 22). our family has lived in smithers, bc canada since march 17, 2001. this is the longest I have ever lived in one house. I love GOD, plants and cats and my husband (not necessarily in that order) i am an mk (missionary’s kid). i graduated in kenya… a long time ago! i love cats and kittens! (we have four) i really enjoy reading, preferring fiction and biographical. i currently am a bookkeeper for a locally owned internet provider. i previously blogged at: bcsmithereens.blogspot.ca. at the time i was going through a very rough period in my life. since that time i have undergone what i can only explain as a “Spiritual Heart Transplant”. i have begun to share my story with the public and have found that to be strengthening as well. i would love for you to follow me along on my journey, make a comment, or two… or three so i can get to know you too. hopefully i can be a blessing to you. thank you for your time. d

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