Monday, 2 December 2013

A Totally Unexpected Journey (Part 2)

So after the doors to the operating area closed, I asked for the anesthetist immediately. I needed my Hydrocortisone jab! ASAP!!! 

Mr. Anesthetist was such a nice, gentle man. You can see that he is an experienced and seasoned man where his job is concerned. 

As I had written in my previous blog, I have had such a bad experience during my last surgery. Thus, Mr. Anesthetist and Mr. Surgeon decided to not operate on me via the general anesthetic (GA) method. Because by operating with general anesthetic,  they would have to give me another 5 to 6 concoction of medications (including the happy gas) which is a norm for GA. And that mixture of concoction could trigger an anaphylaxis in me. 

I asked Mr. Anesthetist point blank, 'I'm sure as an anesthetist you have come across people like me who are allergic to various painkillers and NSAIDs and who are super sensitive.  How did you handle their cases?'

Mr. Anesthetist said that if they could operate via local anesthetic, then they would. But if they couldn't, they would have to think of another safer solution.

Usually the surgery that they were to perform on me is done via GA. They would do it via local anesthetic for me. Via a spinal anesthetic. And with a local anesthetic, only 2 concoctions would be used. And that would lessen the risk. So while operating, they would not need a painkiller. It is something like the epidural. But not the full force of an epidural. 

It took him awhile to find a vein in me as I have tiny veins. (And it was so freaking cold too!) Which is a normal situation as when I had my colonoscopy, even my feet got pricked to look for a vein. Finally he found one and it was at the wrist! The most awkward and painful position. I couldn't wait for the procedure to be over. So Mr. Anesthetist pricked both of my wrist and injected a small amount of the local anesthetic to 'test' if I would react to it BEFORE they gave me the hydrocortisone. If I had reacted, then I guess the operation would be off. And we waited and waited. And waited. And I was fine. He then pumped me up with the hydrocortisone and off I went into the operating theatre. 

The operating theatre looked so clean and fresh and BRIGHT! And there was some soft music playing at the background. The were about 5 to 6 people inside the operating theatre (OT) and they kept on assuring me that they would take very good care of me. 

First they had me sit up and lean over with my legs dangling over the operating bed. And then I had to prop both legs on a chair. And then I had to lean over while hugging a pillow and a nurse hugged me from the front. And I had to make sure my chin was about touching my chest so that the needle would enter easily into my spine. Once Mr. Anesthetist found the position to insert the needle, I felt this long needle enter my spine. And then followed by a warm fluid entering. And they set a 4 minute timer. And it made me warm and tingly and I started to loose all sensations in the lower parts of my body within 4 minutes. 

And then I was laid on my back on the operating table like a turkey ready to be stuffed for thanksgiving. My legs were splayed open with my knees pushed up to almost my ears. And then they locked both legs into some contraption and told me to hold onto one of its handles. They then gave me a blower to keep me warm.

The surgeon came in and asked me whether I could 'feel' anything. I could vaguely feel that 'something' was happening down there but that was about it. And then the surgery started. Mr. Surgeon then made some jokes and everybody bellowed into laughter. 

Mr. Anesthetist kept on checking on my drip, monitoring my heart rate and BP and made sure I was ok and told me that I was doing fine. He informed me that I would soon smell some 'burning' smell (I was being barbecued! Haha!) and hear some crackling and laser sounds. I don't remember how much time had passed but then it was over! 

They then cleaned me up and I was wheeled into the recovery bay. It was then that I started shivering violently. I thought I was coming down with an attack. It was actually the side effect of the spinal anesthetic. They kept me at the bay for an hour and kept on checking on me. I was shaking so violently. Finally it subsided after an hour. And then they wheeled me back to my room. 

You should have seen how relieved my parents were. They were so afraid of me not returning alive from the OT. I never want to put them in this position ever again. 

The team that handled me was really superb. So professional. And yet so caring. I truly wish them the best in their careers of saving people's lives and making the lives of the sick better! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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