Four years ago, I underwent surgery to have an abdominal aortic aneurysm repaired (there were actually two aneurysms I was later told) and over the ensuing time, I’ve undergone yearly checkups to make sure the endograft was intact, in position, and taking care of business. Well, at this year’s checkup, the main part of the endograft is doing just fine… but the part of the endograft that splits off my femoral arteries, well, it needs some tweaking so that it doesn’t cause the main endograft any problems. This issue isn’t immediately life-threatening but it needs to be corrected.
So, it’s back under the knife this coming Wednesday – and on my baby’s birthday, at that, which didn’t exactly make me happy but, as it was explained to me, they can only do this in a special operating room with special equipment and this room isn’t always available so was either do it “now” or wind up waiting until some time next year, when this operating room would be available again. And, honestly, knowing my doctor, I figured he’d want this done before Christmas anyway and Linda wasn’t trying to hear putting this off to next year… and I heard that my step-daughter was raising all kinds of hell thinking that my surgery was being deliberately delayed for some reason so she was very happy to hear this was gonna happen sooner rather than later.
I guess one good thing is this procedure will take two hours, instead of the six hours it took four years ago. I’ll once again spend a couple of days in the hospital and if there’s anything bothering me about this, it’s having to look forward to hospital food again, that and having people messing with me every couple of hours; I’ve never understood why the staff tells you to get some rest but they never really let you rest.
If they’re not drawing blood, they’re giving medications, taking vitals – it’s always something and I think that in the two days I spent there before, I maybe got eight hours of sleep total out of those forty-eight hours. Another annoyance is they will automatically label me as a fall risk due to the stroke I had ten years ago… even though I’ve never fallen since having the stroke – I don’t count getting tripped by Zane, our cat, who loves trying to walk on my feet when I’m walking.
That means they’ll have me in a bed that will scream bloody murder if I get out of it without a nurse disarming it – learned that from the last time; it’ll be a problem if I gotta hit the bathroom and have to wait for someone to answer the call light, well, any time after they remove the catheter. Hopefully, they’ll provide a walker so I won’t have to suffer the indignity of peeing myself waiting on them when it’s easier to walk the twelve feet or so to the bathroom…
Not looking forward to the post-op pain when the anesthetic wears off and I suspect I’ll have another very large lump in my groin where they went in to tweak the endograft… but I was reminded during a phone call I had with them to make sure I ask for pain medications when I need them; I’m a kinda macho guy… but not that macho – bring on the Vicodin!
Tuesday morning, I’ll be talking to the anesthesiologist about what they’re gonna use, how I’ll be intubated – and size does matter, it seems; I just got finished talking to the hospital’s registration folks so that’s taken care of, and I’ve received verbal instructions on the meds I can’t take before the fact (no omega-3 at all starting now). I can shower and use deodorant… but I can’t lotion after I shower which means, thanks to the colder weather, I’m gonna be one ashy critter!
Surgery is at 0830 and they want me at the hospital at 0630… which means we’ll be up at 0530… sheesh…