Well, here it is, the first day after surgery. But in this post, let me do some recapping.
The Day of Surgery*
Yesterday I got to Medalie’s office at 12.30 p.m. for a 1.30 surgery start time. I checked in and my party (K and her dad) and I sat in the waiting room area for about 15 minutes before somebody came over and called my name. Turns out it was the pre-pre-check in. A woman asked me my name, my preferred name, and my date of birth. She then took my blood pressure and temperature, and asked me a lot of “have you have anything to drink today? What medications are you on? Etc., etc.” She gave me the rundown of the pre-surgery timeline:
-I would go back out to the waiting room,
-where I would then wait to be called back to be outfitted with my gown and IV, then
-K would be called back as well to wait with me while I was introduced to my surgical nurse, the anesthesia team, and where Dr. Medalie would then come and make his marks. After that
-I would be wheeled into surgery and K would be escorted back to the waiting room.
I was told Medalie’s team was running about 15 minutes late, and that anything inside an hour of the surgical time was considered “on-time.” I was okay with that, as I saw no reason to get pissy and rile myself up the day of my surgery over matters I had no control over. So I went back out to the waiting room and gave K and her poppa the rundown.**
We waited for about an hour or so (Medalie’s surgical waiting room is very pleasant, lots of space and there are t.v.s in one area if you are so inclined, but there is also plenty of room to sit in quiet areas, and there are lots of high ceilings and natural light so it’s not such a terrible experience to spend an hour or so waiting in this space), then I was called back for my gown and IV and markings by Medalie.
The nursing staff was friendly and knowledgable and patient. I was very comfortable, and just as I was about to get my IV, Medalie came in ready to mark me up. So the nurse stepped out and he got to a-drawin’. I am surprised anyone could use those marks as a map for anything, but it seemed to make a lot of sense to him.
CAUTION: PRE-SURGICAL TIT SHOT BELOW. IF YOU ARE A PRUDE OR A MALE HOMOSEXUAL WHO IS NAUSEATED BY FEMALE BREASTS, AVERT YOUR EYES:
OK, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED:
Then the anesthesiologist came in, and she was very kind and smiley, and assured me I wouldn’t remember a goddamn thing. Her partner in knocking me the fuck out, another anesthesiologist, came in shortly thereafter and gave me some nausea medication in my IV. Then, my awesome tattooed dyke surgical nurse came in and I was totally reassured. She looked competent and tough and I knew if for some reason Medalie became incapacitated, she would just take over and finish the surgery herself. She slipped some sweet relaxing meds into my IV, but just before took this pic of me and K:
It wasn’t long after K and I had some making out time that the anesthesiologist came back and told me it was time to get this show on the road. I was wheeled down the hall and into the surgical room, where I saw more instruments than I should have, then I slid my body onto the surgical table, and was asked to breath deeply into the mask. I kept breathing shallowly because I was drugged the fuck up already and just wanted to take a quick nap before surgery. So I heard, “Eli, breath deeply” a few more times, then I was out.
When I woke up I was in a recovery area and in no pain. My throat didn’t even hurt. K says I was back there for probably 45 mins. to an hour before I woke up and the staff led her back to me. After surgery Medalie went out to the waiting room and told K and her dad that surgery went fine (and in fact only took about an hour and a half, rather than the two that were scheduled) and went through a few details of post-op care. He used male pronouns when referring to me, which pleased me immensely, as he and I never discussed the pronoun issue. But he sees enough dudes like me, so he guessed right. 😉
The one foul-up of the whole ordeal was with the nurse who ushered me out of the hospital. She was giving me anti-nasuea medication through my IV and didn’t notice there was still some of the anesthesia in the line. So I got super sleepy again while she was trying to wake me up. She kept asking me”are you okay?” in this rushed voice, and if she hadn’t drugged me, I would have said, “No bitch, you just drugged me and I’m going to take another nap, shit.”
But really, I was fine (enough)***, just extra out of it, so they poured me into a wheelchair and the nurse rolled me out with K along side me to meet her dad waiting in his car out front. I don’t remember getting in the car or getting to the house. I do remember walking up the stairs inside the house and taking them one at a time, looking at them as I went up to the bedroom. And I remember lots and lots and lots of well wishes: K texted and called the people closest to me, my mom and sister and a handful of friends, and I am so thankful for all your support and kind words.
I spent the rest of the night sleeping and waking up for water and ginger ale, and after a few hours of that I woke up enough for some saltines and veggie broth in order to take some Vicodin, which went down easy and stayed down. I also took a preventative laxative (narcotics cause constipation). I slept through the night until the alarm went off four hours later for my next Vicodin, then four hours after that, etc.
When I woke up this morning, I was sore, but not in too much pain–really the spots that hurt the worse are the drain sites that come out from under my arms, basically in my armpits. But overall, I am in good shape.
Next post? Day one post-op!
Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli
*As well as I can recall it after consuming some pretty serious anesthesia and Vicodin for the last 24 hours.
**A special thanks to K’s dad here, who has been nothing short of a superstar supportive dad, who has pre-purchased a husband pillow and thermometer, who brought the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated to the hospital because there was an article in it about transgendered athletes, and who has called me by Eli, not screwing up once or reverting to my birth name, who has taken an active interest in my life and who has asked his daughter what this transgendered business is about, and what the deal is with why I have chosen this surgery and what I am going through, and who has never once gotten shitty or judgmental about it. Thanks Poppa T.
***As I recount this, K reminds me, “of all the things that could have gone wrong yesterday, I’m sure glad this was the only screw-up.”