----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: The Surgery

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Surgery

First, let me clarify: I wasn't really in a "Vicodin haze" after my surgery. I just wanted to add some color to my posting, so I don't want anyone (i.e., my parents) to start thinking I'm abusing prescription painkillers. The truth of the matter is that my doctor didn't want to give me any pain medication after my surgery, but then he gave me a small amount of Vicodin. My surgery was Tuesday, and since then I've taken maybe six pills.

I don't want to get too graphic about the surgery...let's just say it had some similarities to a colonoscopy, so sitting down has been kind of a pain. Not a fun area for surgery, let me tell you. But the great thing about such procedures is that you no longer have to have general anesthesia. I've had general anesthesia twice, once when I got my wisdom teeth out and once when I had lung surgery. It knocks you for a loop. I was so naseous when I woke up, and after my lung surgery, I just remember lying in the recovery room, moaning. For my actual colonoscopy (my mom had colon cancer young, so I have to be checked from an early age--super!) and for this last procedure, I was given an IV full of something called Verset. It makes it so you don't remember anything! In fact, on Tuesday, the most traumatic part of my whole experience was having the IV put in.

Okay, I have a fear of needles that I thought I had conquered when I had chemotherapy, but I still think that needles are not my friend. Plus, I have really bad veins that roll around and make it difficult to put in an IV. Also, the chemo created a lot of scarring, which adds to the whole problem. So, I warned everyone about my bad veins prior to the surgery. During my consult with the anesthesiologist, she told me not to worry because the nurses put in IVs all the time. Plus, she said they'd give me a local anesthetic to help minimize the pain. That sounded wonderful, and it definitely kept me calm going into the OR. What the anesthesiologist failed to mention, however, was that the local anesthetic was also administered with a needle! I don't know what I thought...I guess I figured it would just be some cream that they'd rub on my skin.

Anyway, when the nurse was getting ready to do the IV, I reiterated all the problems with my veins, but she seemed confident in her abilities. She found a nice vein in my hand and stuck me with the local, only to have the vein disappear when she tried to do the IV. Then, she tried a vein in my forearm without the local, but that didn't work, either. She didn't want to torture me any more, so she passed me off to a different nurse, who tried a vein in my other hand, with no success. Then the surgeon showed up and was ready to go, so a third nurse tried a vein in my wrist. After four tries, success! But I was left with some pretty nasty bruises and needle tracks from the process. At least they started the demerol or Verset or something right away. I remember being wheeled away and getting transferred to another bed, and next thing I knew, the nurses were telling me that the surgery was over. I waited around the recovery room for a while and then my mom picked me up and I went home and slept all afternoon.

I am recovered now, but still a little sore. This surgery was literally a pain in the ass. Ha, ha.


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