Monday, June 8, 2015


My pre-ops were scheduled for Tuesday the 12th. I was registered, received my hospital bracelets, had blood tests, an EKG, and a chest x-ray. I met with the Admit Nurse who provided me with my surgical instructions, the anti-bacterial soap I'd need to wash with, and the paperwork and brochures they're required to send home. She also told me what to expect of my surgery day and encouraged me to warn my husband so he would be prepared as well. She said the surgery itself would take approximately 2 hours. I would not be sent to recovery, rather I would be taken immediately from surgery to the ICU where I would be for the entire day and overnight. While in the ICU, I would be intubated and restrained (in case I woke up and started pulling out tubes) and would remain asleep until they were able to successfully wean me off the ventilator. My husband would be allowed in the room for 30 minutes every two hours, but no one else could visit until I was moved. When I was stable enough, I would be moved to the heart/lung unit and could expect to stay there until at least Sunday, but likely longer.

I left the hospital with bracelets and a masked smile. In reality, I was terrified. No one said anything about intubation or restraints! The surgeon had mentioned the ICU, but only as a matter or getting more individualized care. I had to keep both hands on the steering wheel driving home to keep them from shaking. I spent the rest of the day with a lump in my throat until I picked up my sister at the airport that evening.

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