I really liked the new facility and the changes that came along with it. Everyone that took care of me there was wonderful except for one Nurse Ratchet. I may or may not discuss her in another post. Today, I want to share about the spinal tap and the extreme joy it brought me.
I found out Tuesday during pre-op that I was to get a spinal tap. This would numb me from the waist down. While I would still be under general anesthesia, I wouldn't have to have as much and avoid those nasty side effects that plagued me so much in times past. There were other advantages as well, like having narcotics directly injected into my spinal fluid. Still, the whole idea of someone messing around with my spine freaked me out and I was not in favor of it.
The two pre-op nurses didn't press the issue and went on with the other duties which included giving me pain meds and what I labeled 'nerve' pills. Having not had any pain medicine for 7 days and no food since midnight, the lovely little pills worked their magic very quickly. I told them I was feeling relaxed and they said that was a good thing.
Soon, a very kind doctor came in. He was a little older than me and could have easily been a favorite uncle. I liked him right away. We had instant rapport. I was soooooo glad he was my doctor. He took lots of time to explain the spinal tap procedure to me and although I was still fearful, I agreed. Although I felt like the doctor and I were having a nice coherent conversation, he seemed to chuckle a lot. At one point the nurses got so tickled that they hid behind the curtain and guffawed. I am pretty sure that they were laughing at me. My only concern was that I wasn't quite getting the joke. I wanted to laugh too, even if it was at my expense.
I was awake as I was taken into the OR. The first face I saw as I was wheeled in was a man who was the older brother I never had. I knew instantly that he was a good man and I could trust him completely. He told me not to be afraid because he would be with me the entire time and that I could lean on him while the doctor was doing the spinal tap. He called me "sweetie" and names like that. I let him. Ordinarily, that is a real pet peeve of mine. How could a man I hardly know use terms of endearment? This time, it sealed our bond. The last thing I remember was sitting with the top of my head on his chest and holding to the sides of his scrubs for dear life.
Then I woke up in my room. I told 65MD all about the nice, nice man that let me lean on him. He made such an impression on me that I told 65MD repeatedly just how nice he was. 65MD decided the thing to do was record me telling him all about my new friend. I've only heard snippets so far, but I didn't think I was slurring my words quite as much as the person he recorded.
The surgeon came in to check on me and I thanked him profusely for the spinal tap and exclaimed how good I felt. The nurse pointed out to 65MD that I was still numb from the waist down. The doctor, did not tell me that little bit of information. I realized later that pain was going to happen no matter what.
Besides, making me hilarious to the medical staff, and being able to tell who the good guys were immediately, the spinal tap also made me quite dizzy and have double vision.
When the therapists (it took two) came to get me up the first time, I could not do it because the room would not be still. I was determined to walk. It was my first post op goal and I was not going to get behind from the beginning. I insisted that they get me up and hold me up until the room stopped spinning. After about three tries, I began to feel as though the ride was coming to a stop and was ready to take a step. I asked the therapist for my 'walking frame' using a British accent. She started laughing so hard that she let go of me. I fell back in to the bed and bonked her head with mine on the way down. She refused to get me back up after that. So, the failure was not mine!!!
Actually, I got a lot of visits from the medical staff and more than one person said I was her favorite patient. Aside from the one aforementioned grump, everyone I encountered was my favorite as well.