04/04/2015 at 10:24 AM Leave a comment

Surgery went well. It turns out that I rather liked the spinal anesthesia. I had been worried about it but the pain control was awesome without any noticeable effects. I woke up feeling good, no nausea whatsoever, my dear wife provided the starbucks and as far as i could tell my body ended at the belly button. The first night was rather difficult because in addition to the normal interruption for vital signs, menu  orders, etc. my blood pressure decided to drop in the middle of the night. I felt good, without any signs of low blood pressure but no matter how they took it, my systolic was under 80mm Hg and diastolic was somewhere in the 40’s. Not something they were happy with. So they decided to take it more often–every fifteen minutes in fact. that was not conducive to any sleep whatsoever.

Then the results of my post op blood draw came back and I had dropped my hematocrit by 10 points. Which is the equivalent of 3 units of blood, not an insignificant amount. Still my overall level wasn’t too low and without symptoms they decided to recheck it in an hour or so to make sure it was not a lab error. NOPE. same reading, and again in the morning when they checked it again.

The surgeon was clear I had not lost much blood so it is a mystery where it all went to. some of it could be dilution. this occurs when we give a lot of IV fluids ( in my case to raise up the blood pressure) and the blood is diluted so the reading is erroneously low, but that does not explain all of it.

Nevertheless I still got out of the hospital the next day and made it home for my snake nightmare (see prior post). I remember the surgeon asking about pain and i was still doing well. He then said that would not last and I would be having severe pain soon. Not something one likes to hear. He gave me lots of narcotics, more than i thought was called for. let me tell you, I was wrong. I am normally hesitant to take such medicines but over that past week I have overcome that preference. The pain although only occasionally severe is continuous and persistent. it wears you down, then my mood goes and I don’t want to be around anyone. it gets in the way of doing my exercises. So despite the severe nightmares that I attribute to the narcotics, I lay them out and take them on time. Like I told my physical therapist, I had to resort to my last resort: following directions.

I have had one great day, two good days and several tough days. on the good days I wonder why I can’t go to work. on my bad days I wish i had never considered the surgery. On the plus side my physical therapist says I am way ahead on my mobility. On the minus side, I have a ways to go before i can resume my aerobic activities ( a huge anxiety reducer).

Yesterday I went to the office for a meeting and to do some paperwork. I felt great getting back into my routine. I even wanted to find a patient or two to see. But soon enough the fatigue caught up with me and by the time I got home i crashed for a couple of hours. It took the rest of the day to fully recover. I guess this is going to be harder than I anticipated.


Entry filed under: Doctor Musings, true story. Tags: .

Night wrestling

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