2013: Posts are continuously translated and added to the blog with their original dates

Thursday, June 5, 2008

3. The Story of My PEG Surgery

Hagar, the amazing nurse, arrived with some homework.
"I have some news for you", she said. "You have to undergo a little surgery to install a PEG. It's a very simple procedure, really, 20 minutes, local anesthetic, and light anasthesia. You can combine this with other doctor visits."...
"Do I really need this already? I want a second opinion!" I cried.
"I already talked this over with Dr. Drori and she approves", was the answer.
A flow of self pity gushed uncontrollably out of the depth of my being, carrying out with it a gallon of fluids from every opening in my face. When all the fluid reserves were spent, I wrote:

Equipped with this scant information, on a fast, and with no liquid intake, I was on my way.
Gail drove, Hadas came directly from work, Barak of course, and Roji too.
Esti, my dear friend, who we found out works there - what a rare coincidence - prepared everyone for my arrival. Thus, I received a VIP reception.
I was first in line for the OR.
Before they wheeled me in, Barak called out "May it be a easy delivery."

A professor, a doctor and a nurse.
I handed the professor a sheet with a list I wrote of essential information for the surgery, like allergy to Optalgin (pain medication), antibiotic intolerance, low lung capacity, etc. Consequently, the decision was made to forgo the light anesthesia.
I knew it!
They started preparing for administering antibiotics directly to my stomach, and told me to concentrate on my breathing and to swallow.
To swallow?! Try swallowing a green garden hose while on your back. You can't get enough air through your nose even if the procedure lasts only 20 minutes.
The doctor said, "She won't be able to endure this."
The professor said, "Worst case, we will stop in the middle."
"Let's start!"
The doctor tried shoving the green garden hose down my throat, while they all yelled together, "swallow, swallow" (like, "push, push" at childbirth)

I really tried, but it refused to be swallowed.

At this point, the nurse took over, caught me by my throat, and they all looked happy.
I yelled that she should let go of my thyroid gland, but they couldn't hear me, or were too busy.
I couldn't breathe, so I turned my attention to the screen to view the inside of my stomach.

The rest faded out, though they didn't give me any drugs.

I emerged from the OR with a smile of relief. Five sets of eyes, questioning, calmed down.
"Sorry," I wrote on the board, "no baby."
In the corridor I was placed between two beds that kept changing every few minutes. My main concern was that my toes, which were hanging out of my bed won't go back to the OR without me.
I had a choice of returning home in a Jeep, or an ambulance. I chose the ambulance. I couldn't see myself climbing into the Jeep... I was placed facing against the direction we were going. I was being  hurled right - left - up - down, and kept praying that the basket with scissors on the shelf above me won't fall on my head. All the while, the paramedic was communicating with a phone friend about his approaching wedding. When arriving home I entered sliding amusement park style off the chair, because of the plastic cover.
My body reacted in a post-op trauma. Aside from gas pains, and the incision pains, my leg muscles reacted with severe cramping.
Ahuva (a good friend) came in the evening. "How did it go?" she asked.
"A nightmare," I whispered.
"A nightmare," she kept repeating like a mantra, until she left.

Hagar, the amazing nurse, came in the morning.
"How are you feeling?" she asked.
"so, so", I answered.
"The main thing is, you're over it", she answered.
Translated by Rina Shapira
Originaly posted in Hebrew: 3. סיפור ניתוח ה PEG שעברתי

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