Friday, May 11, 2012

I prefer it when things are uneventful

So I had surgery on Wed for the ever ongoing saga of my nose. This time around it was to straighten my septum, reduce my turbinates, and flush out any remaining crud.

As usual, pre-op was awesome at UCLA. I'm honestly really happy with the hospital in that regard. All the surgeons and fellows and residents and nurses came to talk with me about the masto and my concerns, to take a list of my medications, talk me through the procedure...everything.

I went in to the operating theater, was given my mask full of whatever and out i went.

i woke up about 2 hours later in the post op room which was very loud and bright. i remember people kept pushing fentanyl on me so i would not be in pain. part of me wanted the drugs primarily so i'd be knocked out and not have to listen to people but after a while it started to put me on edge so i requested that they stop administering it to me and prepare to move me to my room (you get private rooms at UCLA - snazzy!) which didn't go over well because the staff was concerned about pain. considering that i have passed kidney stones without painkillers, had sinus debridement without painkillers, broken my toe without painkillers, i know i can handle things without painkillers. however getting the staff to let me out of the intensive post op unit without painkillers was almost so painful that i wanted something to take the edge off ;) one thing that was annoying me was as much meds as they were pushing, i wasn't feeling it at all.

they got me to my room and all of the sudden i felt this intense crushing pain in my chest. i can honestly say i've never felt anything like it. i looked over at my heart monitor and my heart rate was constantly jumping from 65 to 130 and pretty much every number in between. I've never experienced anything like that.

Of course, no one knew what to do. My husband called the chair of the TMS and she went about and instructed the nursing staff and doctors on what h1 and h2 blockers to give me in conjunction with steroids. It's so funny, it was the most obvious answer but at that time it totally alluded me and ethan. this is information we've given people countless times before but when it came down to an emergency situation we were both kind of stupid...

the emergency meds helped considerably. i'm guessing epi would've helped more but i was contented to try to let it sort itself out on its own as i had a host of doctors hanging overhead and if things got crashy, they were prepared for it. i also had like, 5 EKGs and an echocardiogram. I'm going to see the cardio team on Thursday to determine what happened but all the tests and bloodwork came back normal so i'm assuming it was my mast cells. I honestly almost felt like i wasn't metabolizing the fentanyl correctly and that it all hit my system at once. I went from "ok i feel totally normal and i have a headache" to "holy fuck i can see through time" pretty abruptly.

One thing I will give UCLA is that all my doctors kept coming to visit. my surgeons, the anesthesiologist, my allergist, pretty much if they were a doctor at UCLA that i'd seen, they came to visit me. it was absolutely calming which was good since i think this was the worst masto experience i've had to date. so mad props go to the staff at UCLA and Val for getting us on the right path. I was actually really impressed that they were willing to listen to her regarding the emergency protocols...

so yeah now i'm in the healing process. my head is killing me, my nose is painful to the touch, but overall i feel optimistic. i am of course concerned about the cardio stuff, but as long as it's just masto and not something else, it will be okay. 

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