The Big Day

So here we are, surgery day.

I’m hanging out in my uncle’s recliner, waiting for my 4 am alarm to sound. Sleep has been non-existent. I tried to fight the awake, but finally just grabbed my phone and resigned myself to a night of eyes wide open.

My mom is sleeping on the couch beside me, SH is sleeping in the guest room (although we texted for a bit around 2am after I saw him use the facilities).

The pre-op process started last night: I had to shower with antiseptic soap and put on all fresh clothes and then get settled in this recliner with my freshly-washed chair cover, quilt, and pillowcase. I even washed my llama hug pillow.

In an hour, I will take my second antiseptic shower, put on all fresh clothes again, and then take my allowed pills and modified insulin injection, repack the car and wait for it to turn 5:15 am.

I have a special controlled carbohydrate drink I must consume and then we will head to the hospital. Check-in is 6:15am, surgery is 8:15am. The entire surgery can take 6-12 hours (3-6 hours for kidney, 3-6 hours for ureter). So I guess I’ll have plenty of time to catch up on sleep. Or at least unconsciousness.

I’ll be in the hospital for 3-8 days, depending on how much they are able to use the robotic assist vs. traditional open surgery. (The more robot, the quicker the recovery, all things being equal.)

Just need to get through the next 5 hours, then I’ll wake up on the other side. Not so much for my support team, who get to spend many hours watching for text updates and beeper notifications. I firmly believe surgery itself is always harder for the family vs. the patient. After all, the patient is in bed, sedated, and being looked after. The family are stuck in stiff chairs, trying not to worry or miss something, willing time to speed up and bring the news that it’s done and everything’s ok.

My mom just woke up and went the bathroom. Maybe she’ll join me as we wait for the 4am alarm. I’m ready to begin. Let’s do this.