Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Update: adrenalectomy surgery

Last Sunday I got the best phone call of my life. It was the specialist surgeon but I kept getting dropped calls so I ran my booty off downstairs outside barefoot and finally got signal, the doctor told me that they had an opening in the schedule for an operation and he asked if I wanted to get my surgery done the next morning and of course I said YES! My boyfriend said he hasn't seen me run and jump in months loll. I was expecting to wait another few weeks for it but god answered my prayers and miracles happen. So we packed all of our stuff, dropped off the dogs, had final meal and prepped to go to the hospital. They wanted us there at 4am so there wasn't much time for anything I couldn't sleep I was so nervous. Let me say that I was not prepared physically and mentally for what was to come next..
waiting for operation


When we got to hospital there was a lot of confusion since my surgery was a change in the schedule, I never had a consultation with the surgery team. Everything went by fast the nurse just told me to dress in the surgical gown and pee in a cup. Then I went to the Prep room where I had like a five minute consult with the surgeon. he's a cool guy who got most of his experiences in Australia and has done over 50 adrenal type surgeries around the world and he fell in love with that type of surgeries lol so I felt like I was In good hands. Once he left, literally 10 different doctors stopped by and made me sign my life away they went over the risks and complications and it was some scary stuff like "you might remember everything during surgery even with anesthesia and will have to go to therapy after but sign here" "you might run out of blood and need a blood transfusion and get hepatitis or aids but sign here" oh lord the anxiety was through the roof! but I just wanted to get that crazy tumor out so I signed everything.. Then muffin came in and held my hand while the anesthesiologist made me a a very strong cocktail, It just seemed like everything was melting then they rolled me out and all can remember was the doctors asking if I was ready to party with them before passing out lol. When I woke up in recovery random people kept coming in telling me stuff I can't remember but all I know was that instead of 3 incisions they had to do 4 because they had to flip my liver to get to the right adrenal gland. I was intensive care for 7 hours. I remember feeling cold wet stuff coming out and the nurse having to keep wiping blood I was leaking from my right arm catheter.  Finally got out of recovery and moved to a room where they hooked me up to multiple machines to monitor me that night. There was a lot of beeping noises that started to sound like a remix and the nurse telling me my heart rate is too low supposedly it got down to 37 bpm. Then every 3 hours that night the nurse came to check my heartrate, blood pressure, blood sugar, give morphine etc and take blood. omg I cannot handle getting blood drawn every few hours it was horrific. I think I got blood taken out at least 20 times last week. Then they told us that my blood sugar was too low and I had to drink pints of apple juice and eat jello the rest of the night which isn't that bad since I love jello lol. Atleast I know the surgery was successful because my heartrate, bloodpressure and bloodsugar use to be really high and now its reversed. Muffin was suppose to leave after visiting hours but the nurses said they'll pretend he's not there lol. I had absolutely no sleep that night.

my IV buddy & Usher loll
E.T.
Muffin


The next morning several doctors came to talk to me again repeated everything what I couldn't remember but to tell me about the extra incision and tell me that they gave me mega doses of steroids for the surgery so once it wears off I will feel the pain. Then the endocrinologist team came to tell me that the surgery was successful because I am no longer making any cortisol or hormones and my left adrenal glad shrank and is "asleep" so I will need to be on medication until it wakes up. Then they told me that I will have symptoms of cortisol withdrawal that will be very bad similar to a heroin addict withdrawing from the drugs. So basically for the next two weeks, I will feel like crap and have dizziness, fatigue, hot and cold sweats, shakes, nausea plus the cushing's symptoms but will feel a bit better as time goes by. They told me I won't feel normal again until my left adrenal gland wakes up and starts producing hormones again which could take up to 6-12 months and to expect a very slow recovery. They also pressed on that I do not ever want to miss a dose of meds or else I could end up In the ER and I can't be stressed out because my body can't handle it and I have to double dose or "stress dose" in stressful situations. wow so much things to expect now that I am recovering, but as long as I can kiss Cushing's goodbye, I will survive.

So that day my family came to see me and my little brother wrote me the sweetest card "I love you Vam" loll  then my aunts came to visit and share their scary experiences of giving birth to make me feel better. Muffin's family also visited and his little sister cheered me up. I was expected to be released in a few hours but then I started getting sharp pains down there when I went #1 and the nurses thought I had UTI so they took more blood and other tests. (warning this may be TMI for some people) We waited a few hours and tests came back negative but now the pain was excruciating and I had to pee every 10 mins. It went on all day, finally the nurses did a bladder scan and turned out my urethra was irritated from the folie catheter they stuck inside me during the surgery and so my bladder won't release the urine and I was retaining pee that was good for (atleast 3 pisses lol.) It got so bad to the point I couldn't go anymore and the nurses told me I need a "straight cath" I'm thinkin WTH is that?! OMG google it.... it is the most traumatic thing I have ever done. Worse than the surgery itself... anyways I don't want to get into detail with that but they basically told me I can't leave until I can pee pee myself and not retain any urine. Sighhh so they moved us to another room. all day and night, every time I peed I had to report back to the nurse who would do bladder scan to see if there's improvement. It was so painful and annoying because I needed to pee every 20 mins and had to get up and deal with surgical pain and all these machines hooked to me and drag my IV and monitor to the restroom lol then that night once me and muffin got all comfy on the bed to watch our show online, the new nurse came in and yelled " visiting hours are over!! How did you sneak in?! NO BOYS ALLOWED!!! You leave now now NOWWW!!!" loll she made us kiss goodbye then he had to leave.... :( that night was the hardest because I had to get up and drag all the machines with me. I was scared, the lady I was sharing a room with was bed ridden and had to poo in a dish and the smell circulated the room I wanted to pass out... then she had nightmares and kept repeating "god lord jesus don't let the devil get me" all night long.... The next morning Muffin came back and so did my aunts to check up on me and shared more scary stories of them giving birth lol. Then the nurse allowed muffin to take me downstairs in a wheel chair to the cafĂ© for lunch. I decided I wanted to walk but got so dizzy so had to be wheeled around that day. I was hoping to be released that day but My bladder was still not emptying completely so they kept me another night. Damn it bladder, you failed me again... So that day more painful pees, another straight cath and more blood being drawn. I had no appetite but that didn't stop muffin from eating all the hospital food lol. Then my surgeon came to tell me that he's not letting me go home until I can pass gas I laughed but he was dead serious...That night my sister spent the night and got to experience the horror from my bed ridden roommate haha. the next day the final dramatic bladder scan revealed my bladder was functioning again and as soon as they drew blood and everything looks fine, I can go home woohoo! Idk whether it was the steroids, surgery, tests, scans, straight cath, no sleep since surgery, scary roommate or what but when the guy came in for the final blood draw, I freaked out and I screamed and cried and said I just want to go home! I think it was the final straw I was acting all loopy bonkers and they all had to calm me down. Then I took some vicodon, fell asleep for an hour, and woke up to the nurse saying, "you can go home sweetie!" we all jumped for joy! Thank goodness!
Our little corner
yummy hospital food
to: Vam lol
^ cute <3
I bruise easily so be gentle... 

On the way home, I feel tired, cruddy, and stinky but different. A good different. The hard part is over and now I can start the recovery process of becoming myself again. I have to say that I was not at all prepared for that crazy surgery and long week in the hospital but I am so glad that I got through it and this whole experience from finding out about the tumor till now has taught me so much and how to stay strong. From what the doctors and recovered patient's say, the recovery is slow and will suck. Expect months for things to significantly change and symptoms to reverse... but that's okay, the worst is over. I just want to thank all for being there to support me family, friends, all the doctors and nurses. I thank God for answering my prayers and especially to my angel Mrs. Angie, Thankyou so much.

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