Friday, February 18, 2011

Harborview - The Real Seattle Grace/Mercy West

OK, so after the MRI I really only recall someone telling me I would be going to surgery.   I think it was the ER doc or one of the Ortho docs.  I knew the surgery was for my back, but I still was not fully aware of the extent of my injury.  I think that was a good thing.  I just dozed off into a morphine induced sleep with little to no awareness, sweet dreams.

I came out of surgery fine, nearly 7 hours later and there were Bob and K waiting for me in recovery.  Wow, it seemed like a long surgery I thought, well Duh, they had to fix your spine you silly morphine induced lady.  I tell you I think the drugs are a good thing to keep you calm and less apt to focus on the reality, for now....

When they told me they were taking me up to ICU I think it began to sink in that I was pretty messed up.  ICU, that is for the really sick people, so why would I be going there I thought?  Maybe they just didn't have beds in the other part of the hospital?  No, really, that is what I was telling myself when it sunk in, "you just had major surgery and they need to monitor you, silly lady." 

OK, so there is a certain order of things in hospitals and ICU is at the top of the food chain.  You get one on one nursing attention and monitoring.  Yes, they seem to wake you up every 15 minutes to take your vital signs, but the service is top cabin.  My nurse "E" was absolutely the best.  Spunky, young, and very with it.  She was always there for me, think concierge at the best hotel and that is how ICU seemed to work. 

Once I was more awake and off the anaesthesia Bob told me what they had to do.  Broken vertebrae at T12, repaired  with my bone and cadaver bone to recreate the vertebrae that was broken into pieces and then they inserted two metal rods along the spine to effectively fuse the two vertebrae above T12 and the two below to stabilize my spine.  Wow, I really did it up good this time!   E, showed us pictures on the computer of the MRI before surgery and then after.  It was crazy and I hope to get digital copies to share.  The before showed my spine completely unconnected and off set, Ugh, and then with the repair I felt much more secure that I was going to walk out of that hospital.  Was I?  I guess I would find out soon.

It was not until later that night when my Boss, his wife and another VP from work came to visit that Bob slipped in that there was damage to the spinal cord by a bone fragment.  OK, hubby, what are you thinking not telling me the whole story and then sharing it at such an opportune (not) time??  He assured me, and the visitors they were able to easily repair it and no spinal fluid had leaked out.  Great, so this is how you let me down easy.  Thanks Bob.  I was going to have to have a talk with him later.  Give it to me and let me know it all!  I can handle it and after all I am the one who has to deal with it.  He assured me that was all, no more surprises and  I hoped he was right.   I had been so drugged up I really was not comprehending much going into surgery and had to rely on others for those lapses in time.

Later Lulu told me that they knew the status at Providence of my injury, but the ER doc there did not want to tell me.  That is why Lulu was able to keep the junior docs from messing me up in the ER at Harborview when they wanted to roll me over. 

Really people, I can handle it.  I am tough and I knew if from the moment I hit the ground.




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