Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's a game called Operation...

Sorry it took me so long to get back on here. Between working a couple of days a week, making lists trying to get what is going on in my mind in order, and taking naps as much as possible, I have been neglecting my blog. It has been on my list of things to do, but my lists have lists, and its rare that I get anything done. (Other than napping and going to work, LOL)

Ok, so where did we leave off? Oh yeah, surgery day.

Well when we left the hospital on Monday afternoon, they told me to go ahead and come in Thursday morning for the surgery. No time, just come in, in the morning. I asked a time and was told in the morning. So I decided to be a bit more specific and ask when the doctor comes in. The answer – in the morning. Doh. Ok, what time in the morning. Around 8:00. Ok finally an answer that I can do something with.

I told Lale to pick me up so that we could be at the hospital by 7:45AM, as I wanted to be the first one there to be operated on. (I was staying in Tocoa at my in-laws house until Thursday morning, since getting in and out of the truck, and in and out of our house would be next to impossible, and he had to go home because of the animals. So him and Andre stayed in Novillo, and Jordan and the little kids stayed in Tocoa with me.) And believe it or not, my husband was on time, and we got to the hospital by 7:45AM. We went in and sat down in the waiting area, and when they called my name, I went back with the lady. She tells me to hop up on this bed, and get naked, take out my earrings, and put on this gown, and she leaves me.

I have said this before, but I am not a small girl – in height, nor in weight. I tower over most of the people that I meet.* So you can imagine when I went to put on my “gown”. Actually it wasn’t that bad, but when you are already feeling vunerable, and in the hospital and they want you to put on a gown, well that’s bad enough. Then you have to ask for another gown to snap together because the gowns they gave you would just fit your 11 yr old. Well that just makes it 10 times worse.

So here I am, sitting on the bed (with hospital linens that have Hosptial Del Aguan stamped on them, and the name of a hospital from NY stamped on them as well), trying to get comfortable, I have to pee, but am worried that because the toilet is so low to the ground in that bathroom, I might not be able to get back up off of the toilet. I take a chance, and of course while I am in the bathroom, here comes the nurse to get me. She was a bit irritated that I wasn’t waiting for her. But oh well. I am sure she wouldn’t want me to pee on her during the operation, so she can just suck it up.

Anyways, I get into the operating room and find out what kind of anesticia they are going to give me. An epidural. AN EPIDURAL. I am having pins put in my ankle, not having a baby. Plus, I really don’t want to be awake when they are operating on me, but whatever, that I can deal with. The lady shoots me up with the epidural, and I am laying there. I don’t feel them when they cut into me, and when they are doing whatever they are doing, but when he starts moving my ankle around, I felt that. It hurt like crap.

I am laying there and the nurse is asking me whats wrong. I told her that I can feel him moving the bones and that it hurts, and she is telling me that it is just my nerves, that I can’t feel anything because my legs are heavy and numb. Um, ok, whatever. She asks me if I want something to calm my nerves, and I told her I didn’t care, that it wasn’t my nerves, that it hurt when he was moving my bones around. So she gave me an injection of something for my nerves, and after a few minutes I stopped crying. She told me see, I told you it was just your nerves. I told her, nope not at all. It still hurts like crap, but now I don’t care. And that was the truth. One thing I liked about being awake for the surgery, I liked listening to the doctors and nurses talking about all sorts of stuff. One thing the doctor said was he was going to invent a zipper for women to place in there lower stomach area so that when the time came to have a baby, the doctor would just open there zipper, and take the baby out. The C-Zip he called it, LOL.

After my surgery, they took me to my room (I was placed in the mens observation room for the night) and Lale came to see me. Because I had had an epidural, they kept telling me that I had to be flat on my back for 24 hours. I couldn’t even use a pillow. What the hell ever. I have had 7 epidurals before now, and I was up and around with each of them. But when in Rome… I liked the part though when the doctor came in around 11AM and he told me that I would have to stay flat until the AM, I said but I can get up to go to the bathroom right? He said well what part of flat on your back do you not understand. And I said what part of I have to pee and can’t hold it for 24 hours do you not understand. So he asked if I wanted a catheter. Um, let me think. You want me to stay on my back for 24 hours without getting up, you are giving me IV fluid, and plan on giving it to me all night long, do you really have to ask if I want one??? It isn’t so much a matter of want, as a matter of need. Oh but the good news, if I am feeling ok come 6:00ish that night, I can get some soup if someone wants to bring it to me. (like cup of noodles). Um, if I am supposed to be flat on my back, to where I can’t even lift my head off of the pillow, how in the world am I supposed to eat some noodles. Open wide and say ahhh, while someone pours it down my throat? Really, common sense people. Lets use it.

I was confused at one point. The doctor was telling me what he did during the surgery, and he kept saying No te voy a curar hasta Lunes. He isn't going to cure me until Monday?? What?? What in the world is he talking about? I asked Lale later - (and he told me exactly what it meant, and I forgot what he told me now) basically the doctor was telling me that he wanted me to come in Monday morning, and he was going to clean my stitches and check on them to make sure that they weren't infected. (and I had to curarme en la casa - I had to cure myself in my home ;)

And no, I didn’t listen to the doctors 100%. If no one was in the room with me, I sat up, I rolled over, I did what I could so that I was not laying flat on my back. Man, that hurts after a bit. The nurses were really nice, some helpful, some not so much. I think I got some extra care because most of them knew my father in law. One was so nice, but was an idiot. I asked for some help to move my foot, and instead of lifting my foot up by the bottom of the ankle on the cast area, they grabbed my big toe, lifted my foot up about 18” off the bed, moved it over a bit and just dropped it. OUCH. Then asked if it was ok. Um, yeah, perfect thanks. Oh no no no, you don’t have to touch it again. Amazingly enough, you dropped it in the perfect spot. Ugh. I just prayed that 8:00AM would get here quick so that I could go home. The night dragged on forever, but finally Lale came back to get me. I was so glad to go home. I was scared to move my leg, but once I got going I was fine – in pain – but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Oh, and not one headache from lifting my head up.

The next 10 weeks of ‘bedrest’ sucked. I had never been so freaking bored in my life. I mean seriously, I read The Joy Of Cooking three times. Not fun. When I went back to get the cast thing taken off, they did another x-ray to see how my ankle was healing, and this time one of the x-ray was taken a few inches above where it was taken last time. Well we found out during that visit that I had broken my shin bone, as well as the bones where my toes meet my foot. Plus my ankle on the one side wasn’t totally 100% either. So it was back at home for another 4-6 weeks of bedrest. No weight whatsoever on that foot. I had to promise the doctor that I would stay off my feet. Oh yeah. Fun times. Ok, I felt better already, I have children at home that need me up and walking around, and I was not doing that much bedrest. I did some, but I also did walking. I just don’t have time for bedrest when I am fine. When the final 6 weeks were up, I went back to the doctor, and he told me that I was doing well, and that everything was healing up nicely. (well I have an appointment with a doctor here in the US to verify that everything was done right, just to make sure)

Even though it was an adventure (as anything and everything is an adventure in a place like Honduras) I actually am not unhappy with the way that I was treated, and with the quality of care that I got. I went in there knowing that the care would be different, and I went in there with my mind open, but I also went in there paying attention so that if something didn’t seem right, I could ask questions. (I am one of those that don’t believe doctors are the end all and be all as some people do. I take what they say, and compare it with what I know, and with common sense and then make my own diagnosis, LOL). Would I recommend Hospital Del Aguan? Yes I would. In a heartbeat.

* A funny story about feminine products here in Honduras. I didn’t think to bring any down with me, and because my period wasn’t due for another week or so, I hadn’t bought any yet. (I was planning to make a store run that weekend, and it was on my list). Well I got my period early, and had to send Lale to the pulperia to get me a pack of pads. He brings them home, and I go in the bathroom, open the pack and just start to laugh. The pads here are so freaking SMALL. Seriously, they are like half the size of the pads here in the US. Maybe in the newish grocery store in Tocoa they have what I am used to, but in my search at the other stores I have only been able to find these small pads. I mean small as in – they are comparable to panty liners. I came out the bathroom, still laughing and told Lale that Honduras really isn’t the place for me. Honduras is for tiny people, Even the pads reinforce that. LOL.


Heather said...

What an adventure for sure! And to think this is just the beginning, lol!

Cubamericana said...

That's hilarious, bless your heart! Do they not use tampons? I studied abroad in Mexico and could not find tampons to save my life; every clerk I asked thought that it was crazy! Women just kept asking, doesn't that hurt?! I felt like I was in middle school trying to explain!

Anonymous said...

Yeah about the feminime products I think I would have to take my own. When I was living in a house with other Honduran women they even used the small very thin ones and I was like, WHat?

Olancho Bound Gringa said...

The pad story is sooo funny! I guess you'd better start stocking up!


Suzanne said...

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog, as I am also from the US and married to a Honduran man. :) I've generally been able to find tampons there in the farmacias in at least small towns (not the pueblo where my husband is from, but the next town over that's slightly larger). The pads in Latin America ARE TINY just like you said! I laughed out loud at that part of your post. Thanks!

Suzanne - Katracho by marriage!

Honduras Sprout said...

I needed pads for after the baby. I don't normally use pads at all. Ever. Okay, a panty liner maybe but I had a box for over a year that didn't get used until my son found them and they became stickers.

So I didn't really notice a size issue. But I'm in the city so maybe it wasn't hard for my husband to find. I just said "pads for nights".

That is a crazy story about the foot, ankle, shin, tendon. I could imagine you were bored out of your mind!