I had my mastectomy on Friday February 11th, 2010. I didn't go in until 1:30 PM so I had to fast until then. That was hard, not even coffee! We got there and only had to wait a brief time before my husband and I were taken to pre-op. I changed into a gown and put on a lovely blue surgical hat and little hospital socks. The nurse came over and introduced herself and went over my procedure and put an IV in. She chose the back of my hand. She put in a little lidocaine first but that IV hurt like heck! From now on I am going to insist on not getting them in the back of my hand! I became a little tearful after and she thought it was from the IV but I told her it was just from pre-surg jitters.
Then an anesthesiologist came in and talked to me about a new procedure called a spinal block which would help with the after surgery pain. I told him I have had two epidurals in the past and had bad experiences both times. He said they would give me "something to help me relax" first so I agreed. This procedure involved me sitting up with my front half laying on a table with a folded up blanket. They put in numbing medication first, and then did an ultrasound to find where to put in the spinal blocks. They started and I will tell you, it hurt like heck. The pain wrapped around to the side and I was ouching and moaning each time they put in more. Finally after the ninth injection I began hyperventilating and said I was going to vomit or pass out. They stopped and lay me down and decided they would not proceed. I was glad because that was terrible. What little they did get in worked somewhat however. I was sent back to pre-op and waited another hour while they finished up with a different surgery. My Doctor had met with me earlier and drew her initials above my left breast. Here is a picture of us together.
I was finally brought down to the surgery room by a different anesthesiologist and they began prepping me. They explained everything. I slid onto the surgery table myself and they strapped down my IV arm. They put the mask over my face with regular oxygen. Then they told me they were going to put me to sleep. I could tell when the medicine went into my veins. I felt a buzzing feeling. At the same time I could start to smell the gas. I just prayed to Jesus and I was gone. Next thing I remember was someone telling me I was all done. I was in the recovery room and could here a man close by yelling in pain or distress. He was waking up from what I think was emergency surgery from a sledding accident. Sounded pretty bad from the way people were talking. I went to my regular room after I woke up enough and my husband took this picture of me! I was not happy about that!
It turns out every time they gave me morphine I began vomiting. Once they figured out it was the morphine they stopped that. I only slept about two hours that night. I was so uncomfortable and the bed was making my butt sore. I was happy to go home the next day. I had two drainage tubes in and still do. Here is a graphic picture of my incision. Be warned now.. it is graphic!
I still have the tubes in and are hoping to get them out early next week! People have been so supportive of us the last couple weeks. I will be meeting with the oncologist in March. Starting chemo and radiation at some point. I will have to get another operation to get a port put in for my chemo.