“You’re too old to be crying like that. You’re going to wake up the other patients,”is how I was greeted by a (not so kind) nurse who woke me up from my anesthetic after my jaw surgery last Friday.
As I’m coming to, I heard another nurse tell Nurse #1, that she was being mean.
“Well, sometimes I need to be like this so that they snap out of it,” she replied, as she kept swatting my arm back along my sides, to prevent me from touching the side of my face.
Was Nurse #1 being mean? Yes. But to be honest, it did kind of help to snap me out of it. For those seconds that you’re waking up from whatever it is they give you so that you do not remember A SINGLE THING, I was super confused. I did not realize I was screaming/wailing until she yelled at me. It was like I was a totally different person. Then apparently I decided to stop breathing as much as I should have been and my machine started buzzing and they had to put the oxygen back on me. After that, I started to calm down.
I know I spoke about my jaw issues here but I didn’t mention the surgery to many people or on my blog at all. I was so anxious about it that I decided to keep it more private. My original surgery date was May 6 but I was lucky last Monday when I received a call at work asking if I would like a cancellation date of last Friday. I jumped on this – and got the okay from my boss – as I knew it was a long recovery afterward and I just wanted to get this all over with. I was already so stressed out about it and it was still a month away.
I’ve only had anesthetic one other time in my life – when my wisdom teeth were removed. My mom took me to this surgery and I remember waking up to her asking the nurse, “why is she crying?” I remember the nurse saying at the time that it’s normal, some people just react that way to the anesthetic. But this time was a full out panic attack. I’ve had one before in my life – and thankfully Kevin was there to help me through it then. They are just so weird because it’s like you’re not even “you” anymore. You can hear the noises that you’re making but you don’t realize they are coming from you. A nurse later suggested that next time before I get put out for a surgery, maybe give them a heads-up that I may wake up with anxiety. She said that sometimes patients are so stressed going into their surgery, that when they wake up it all just comes out then. And unfortunately for me, sometimes you don’t have a kind nurse to help you through it.
After the panic attack, the next stage of Sarah coming fully conscious takes place – I get weepy. And apologetic. I remember apologizing to another nurse, “I’m sorry that nurse had to be mean to me. I don’t know why I wake up like that.” WHY WAS I APOLOGIZING FOR THAT MEAN NURSE?! AREN’T NURSES SUPPOSED TO BE NICE AS A JOB REQUIREMENT? She told me that 10-20% of patients wake up like that. Then she asked me if my mom was there with me. I said no, my husband. She was shocked and asked me how old I was. I told her 29. She told me she thought I was way younger. (When I received a follow-up call from my nurse on Monday, she told me I was known as “the little one from Friday” lol).
So fast forward to me seeing Kevin afterward and the first thing I do, obviously, is cry. Then I ask for more drugs because I am in a lot of pain. He calls my mom and puts her on speaker phone and I start crying again so she talks briefly to Kevin, reminding him that this is just how I am after surgery. I then get all weird with Kevin – apologizing for everything under the sun with him – and asking him if he will take me out on a date when this is all over. I, of course, am crying still.
I have the nicest nurse ever in the recovery room and I remember holding her hand when she gives me pills. I swear I do the weirdest things when I’m high. She then tries to get me up, and I tell her I feel nauseous. I end up throwing up not once, but twice in the hospital. The first time, Kevin is holding that little kidney shaped dish and then the second time, I shove my head into a huge bag. “Why is her head way in that bag?” the nurse asks. Kevin says it’s so that I don’t let him see my vomit. He’s right.
Shortly after, they wheel me out to the car and give me a couple more bags to throw up in – just in case. I end up needing one about halfway home on the QEW (the surgery was in Toronto). I feel bad for the car full of people beside us who saw that HAHA.
Anyways, I am home now. I’ve taken the week off of work – way more time than I originally said I needed but this is way more intense than I was (optimistically) thinking it was going to be. Every day I’ve had a nap. I’m still nauseous. And I’m still in a lot of pain. Every single hour I dread my timer going off, because I then have to do 15 minutes worth of exercises to my jaw (10 minutes heat, 5 minutes open and close as wide as I can, then 15 seconds holding a stack of popsicle sticks between my teeth). That last 15 seconds is the worst, most painful, longest 15 seconds of the whole day. And every other day, I have to add a new stick to the stack to eventually get to 25 sticks high. That’s how wide your mouth should be able to open after this surgery. Tomorrow is a day that I have to add a new stick. I’m dreading it. But compared to every other day since the surgery, I’ve felt the best yet today, so I hope it keeps getting better. Plus, I have the best nurse ever (Kevin). He’s been amazing. A lot of people don’t know, but he went through college to be a Paramedic, so he’s amazing with medical stuff.
Anyways, that’s all for now. I’m not sure if anyone’s been wondering, but I wanted to explain why I’ve been MIA from my blog as of late and why I most likely still will be for a while. Looking at a computer screen is not that helpful with the nauseousness. And I need to keep this post short anyways, because my timer is going off in seven minutes…