Surgery Part III: Post-op

So, my surgery was pretty late in the day, and I was in no condition to leave that night. The doctor had warned me that if all went well, I would spend two nights. Wednesday night I slept pretty hard despite being woken up every two hours for tests (temperature, blood pressure, how much morphine I had asked for…). The foot hurt but not too bad, and the IV was only a little annoying. Mostly I was grateful for the morphine pump.

In the morning I ate breakfast and started taking pain-killers by mouth. I started to wonder why I had packed clothes and shower gel because getting out of bed seemed such a distant possibility. But a nurse came by at around 9 to ask if I wanted to get up and bathe, and I said yes, so she helped me put on my weird shoe and get to the toilet. They gave me some disposable wash cloths so I washed up with those. Then I threw up for the first time. I pulled the little bathroom help cord and a nurse came and helped me get dressed (as in she pulled the sleeve of my PJs over the IV rod). She told me I should try to sit in the chair that morning though I don’t really know why because it only made me throw up again, and the following nurse told me I should get back into bed if I wanted. Not making that mistake again! Anyway what with the vomiting, I was calling the nurses fairly often, and they were giving me those cardboard vomit containers (called “haricots” in French, learn something new every day!), and around 11:30 they gave me an anti-nausea pill. They said it was either the morphine or one of the pain-killers I took that morning that was making me throw up.

But I ate yogurt and apple sauce for lunch, and then stopped throwing up, and watched movies on my iPad till my visitors came at 3 pm, bearing Thanksgiving treats. By this time I discovered the biggest drag was the IV apparatus which I had to drag with me to the bathroom and which made me get up on the far side of the bed—those ten extra steps are a pain when you can only use one foot.

That’s about all that happened—J came back to see me that evening when I had a real meal, though it was pretty gross for hospital food. I pumped a couple times on the morphine pump that evening but they took it out Friday morning first thing.

The doctor came to see me both Thursday and Friday mornings between his other surgeries. I had an x-ray taken in the salle de réveil that I get to keep. Friday morning SIL’s boyfriend came up to the room to help me carry my stuff downstairs where I officially checked out (handed in the TV remote, got my arrêt de travail, got my purse) and we then stopped at the pharmacy for loads of prescriptions. The only drug I’ll actually take is paracetamol, but I have a prescription to have a home nurse come every day and give me an anti-phlebitis shot (I got two of those in the hospital too) and redo my bandage and count my platelets. So I had to call a nurse Friday afternoon and make an appointment for her to come the next day.

So that was probably a lot of boring unnecessary detail—don’t blame you if you skipped some. All in all the nurses were very competent and despite the system being weirdly disjointed (I have to reserve my own room?) I think it was pretty effective. And who knows, maybe that keeps costs down? I’ll get my bill by mail in a couple weeks. During the arrêt de travail I should be paid but not for my overtime hours (if only that also meant I didn’t have to prepare the BTS oral exams!).

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