My hospital stay
So my stay at the hospital was awesome. Considering hospital stays is not something you’d want to be in it was as pleasant as it could get. My pre-op nurse was cool. Guess what we talked about after all the prep work? Crossfit training of course. She was there till I had to be carted off to the operation room. While there, the staff that was going to be attending in the operating room introduced themselves and told me what they will be doing in there. One one the main surgeon’s right hand man. An anesthesias. Someone that was going to be monitoring my spinal column to make sure the surgeons don’t hit what they are supposed to. I thought that was cool. A couple rookie attendies. A couple nurses. And a partidge in a pear tree :)
I got carted in to the operating room. I don’t remember much in there but I must’ve been babbling a lot of crap because the surgeon’s assistant later came to see me in recovery and said I had everyone in there laughing. I can only imagine. Anyway, when he came to see me in recovery, I asked him about my disc replacements and was specific as far as quality, make and model. I asked him if it was a cheap China knockoff or a Michelin type brand? He and the 1st year student laughed (I’m at UD Davis Hospital and it’s a training hospital). He showed me on his phone how it looked like. Pretty cool on what they invent nowadays. If I can describe what it looks like, I’d say it looks like a magnetic phone holder in an auto with that pivot point. Well, I got two of them in me :)
My first nurse in recovery was a dude. He was so attentive to my needs. I wasn’t even asking for anything but he came and checked on me often. I had another patient in the same recovery room and that nurse barely saw her patient. Mine came and checked on my often. He did his mandatory IV stuff like saline, etc, etc but he’d ask if I needed any pain killers. I didn’t but since he offered, I said sure, pump that stuff in me. Yuup, I was high alright.
I asked for ice water, those calf massagers, and he got it for me. I swear he checked on me almost every 20 min. We got to chat about the hospital and the procedures there. I knew he was young. Told me about going to San Fran University for his degree. I asked if he was rich and he laughed and said he saved a lot and took out loans. Young but good hearted guy. The longest he was gone was an hr and that was only because he was having his lunch break. When his shift was over, he made sure he followed up with me with anything I needed before he left and made sure to say bye.
Next nurse was even nicer. Older lady with a Spanish accent. She may have been Mexican but I’m not sure. They handed off the baton and my 1st nurse informed the 2nd nurse about me. The morning Supervisor nurse came in and introduced herself to me too. Again, we started chatting and she was with me for 15 min talking about the gym, losing weight, and other fun stuff. She finally got paged and had to be but she spent a lot of time with me.
The 2nd nurse introduced herself. She told me what she needs to do to me and what she will be pumping into my IVs. I had 5 of them. One on each foot and one on my right hand. Sheesh. Anyway, I told her that my IV might be clogged because my saline bag was empty and my first nurse was giving me oral liquids so I could get off of it. But she needed to pump in meds. I told her that it may be dried up. She said not to worry, I will flush it out first. I asked her “with what? Clorox?” haha. She laughed and said “No, I’m using saline see” pointing out the package indicating saline. I replied “But it’s not in Korean, German, and Spanish. How do I know you need it in Korean or not?” She laughed even more. She then said “If it’s clorox, you’ll be flushed for sure and I will get to retire without retirement pay”. Haha. As she proceeded to flush my IV, I told her she may need to give me her Mercedes after this. She laughed even more and actually asked how I knew she had a Mercedes? She said it was a convertable too. I just laughed and said I made it up.
After all the silliness, she (2nd nurse) asked me if I ate. I sighed and said yes, but it was a liquid breakfast. She said not to worry, I’ll get you something better if I can. So she paged the surgeon or surgeon assistant and asked if I could be on solids now. They gave me the green light and Voila!! I had a 2nd hobbit breakfast. But it was good stuff. Eggs, potatoes, cereal, milk, and coffee. I haven’t eating in two days so yeah, I ate the 2nd hobbit breakfast. All of it.
Later, lunch came and yes, I ate all of that too. I bet I gained a lot of weight yesterday.
Later, the surgeon’s assistant came by and asked me if I stood up yet. I told him no, didn’t know I was supposed to. He checked out my strength. Spreading my arms, pushing, pullling locking my wrist and whatever to make sure I still was functional and nothing bad happened. I did good. What sucked was that he was given the green light from the physician to remove my drain on my neck. I leaked 50 ml of blood. I saw the container it was draining into. The thing is that when they pulled the tape off, they pulled my skin off with it. So I got two marks on my chest where they didn’t even do the surgery. They changed my bandages and I now have to keep it on for three freaking days.
When they left, I showed my nurse what they did to me. She said she had something for that. It’s a rub on thing and it’s like a 2nd skin that lasts for 24 hrs. It felt so much better after she applied that on. She even gave me spare for when I got home. It’s been put to good use.
Near the end of my stay, I was sitting up and walking around already. I was able to go pee without using the bottle. The Supervising Nurse and my nurse were in the room and we were chatting again. I told them I loved that calf massager machine and asked if they ever snuck it over their desks when no one’s around. Haha. Then I pretended and told her to look away while I pretended to take the massage machine and stuff it in my bag. She said “ I”m not looking and not going to do anything”. Haha. I told my nurse to make sure when the supply people come that morning (found out from my 1st nurse about this) to make sure they resupply the clorox because she used it all on me today.
Then I had to get an occupational therapist to come by to check me out before I could be released. I have to say, I was itching to get out and was telling them to get me released already. This occupational therapist was cute too. I bitched about not being able to go to crossfit and she saw my real concern. So she discussed that she does it too and while she was pregnant she was going through the same pains I’m going through. But she said her doctor reminded her that she was pregnant and doing something stupid could make her lose her baby. So she said the same thing to me that I had neck surgery and doing something too early could cause bad things happening to my nervous system. She had a point so I said ok.
Before she’d give me the green light, I had to do some stuff. Pretty easy actually. She wanted me to demonstrate taking off my socks. Ok, no problem. Then we had to go to the stairway and walk up and down a flight of stairs. While walking down the hallway, she was holding my hospital robe because it’s open in the back. I told her no worries, I go to crossfit 5 times a week so I better not have a saggy ass back there. She tried not to be she smiled and smirked. I went and walked down then up a flight of stairs no problem. So we got back to the room and she gave me the green light to be let go.
I said my final goodbyes to my nurse, my surgeon’s assistant (that tore my skin), and the head nurse. I did a final joke and asked my nurse where was my new care parked so I can get it.
Previously, I got carted off on a wheelchair. Forgot about the person pushing me. We got to chat when she carted me off to x rays and back. I chatted with the x ray guys and asked if I could see the xrays before I left and they had no problems with it. So we got my xrays and they showed me my neck. It showed my previouss surgery fusions and my new disc replacements. The x ray tech said that it looked like I had some history of surgery. I told him yes. He asked when I had it. I told him last night. He perked up and said “And you are up and walking around now?” haha. I said “ Yes, I have a big man card”. He laughed.
Last stop was with the exit nurse for my prescription and what I needed to do. That was somewhat complicating but I got it sorted out eventually.
I have to say. UC Davis Hospital is top notch pretty much from head to toe. Best staff experience I ever had. Hope I never have to go under the knife ever again but if I do, it’ll be at UC Davis Hospital. My followup visit with my surgeon is in 6 weeks. My paperwork for SDI (disability insurance) is all done. Now I just need to heal and hopefully not get too fat sitting on my non-saggy ass :) This is way too long of a post so I’ll end it here.