Sunday, September 26, 2010

piece of cake

My surgery went off beautifully at approximately 6am on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, and was a success for both me, and my recipient. I want to share with everyone the many details of the procedure, and my path to recovery that I've begun, but I will warn you that my writing skills will be less than average. Me and Percocet have started a beautiful relationship and I gotta say, it's a lovely ride but I'm a lil' bit foggy. I'm a lot-a-bit foggy.

Given that, let's get the party started...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 ::
Mom and sis accompanied me to NY's Weill-Cornell Hospital where I began a day of pre-op testing at 10am. The usual pokes and prods, and I finally got to meet my surgeon, Dr. David Leeser. (Whom I might add wasn't all that bad on the eyes if ya know what I mean...) One track mind, I know. Anyhow, he proceeded to explain details of the procedure and didn't neglect to leave out the risks. I felt confident and secure with his ability, as I had done so much research on this facility and the team - I knew I had made the right decision to have my surgery at this hospital.

My breakfast that morning, at 7am, consisted of a large Starbucks latte and a berry muffin. I had plans to literally pig-out later that afternoon, in preparation for my big fast after 6pm that evening. At about 1pm, I was informed that I would not be allowed to eat anything else from that moment on. Whuh? You're kidding me, right? So, I ran downstairs and grabbed a banana and Nutri-Grain bar from the deli and inhaled it, with tears in my eyes. Instructions were given for me to begin my 'bowel cleanse' cocktail at about 4pm to prepare my pipes for surgery, drinking only 5 oz. of the 10 oz. bottle, which by the way I had to trek out and purchase myself because I'm sure that they didn't have any of those stocked up in the hospital anywhere. My first stop at the pharmacy one block away resulted in a wasted trip because they were out. Pharmacist sends me 4 blocks to yet another pharmacy that I never could find. So, I set out on an adventure to find one on my own. Walked another 4 blocks and saw a big 'DRUGS' sign in the distance and sprinted towards my destination. They had one bottle left and from the looks of it, it quite possibly could have been on that shelf for as long as I've been alive. I take it back to my room, brush of the dust and start nursing it at about 3:30pm, chugging lots of water with every sip.

Delicious, and refreshing!

Fast forward to about 7pm and I got nuthin'! Nuthin'! I'm getting a little concerned and decide to chug the last 5 oz. of the 10 oz. bottle and at 11pm I still got nuthin'. Little did they know that a Big Mac would have done the trick in less than 5 minutes, but nooooooo. Let's just say that at 3am I was awakened by a dance party in my belly that I would never welcome at any other time in my life but at that moment was ecstatic, and I raced to the bathroom.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 ::
I arrived at the hospital at 4:45am and was greeted by a security guard that would not allow us in. I said, "Don't you know who I am?" "I'm here for a kidney donation, and my surgery is scheduled for 5am." He proceeds to tell me that nurses don't  even arrive until after 5:30am. I call my coordinator, she gets him on the phone and I think rips him a new one, and he lets us in. We proceed to check-in and that's where the Stimpson clan begins to have some fun. Anyone that knows my family, knows we can't possibly go anywhere without behaving inappropriately and violating at least one rule. My sister and her digital camera did a great job documenting the morning's event and as you can see from the photos, acting like an ass comes naturally for those of us blessed to be a part of this gene pool.

Sneaking in a little performance before the transplant team arrives.

Getting caught in the act treating the pre-op like it's a playground.

More blood is drawn, IVs are shoved into what appears to be any available vein in both my arms, vitals are taken, my signature is slapped on yet another dozen or so documents and they give me this beautiful ensemble to don.

The Fall 2010 Donna Karan lounge collection.

Why can't they make these gowns available in primary colors?
Just think, if they were red they would never show blood stains.

Dr. Leeser greets me, marks my belly and then proceeds to share with me his intention of getting a cup of coffee before he meets me in the O.R. "Hey chief, can you make it a decaf?  Please?"

Members of the transplant surgical team slowly make their arrival and introduce themselves to me. A (hot) male nurse comes in to the waiting room to get me and I begin my walk to the O.R.

Bye-bye, Mommy.  Bye-bye, sis.

Shortly after this moment, I met with the anesthesiologist, and yet another surgeon. Why is it that it's times like these that I am in the presence of what seems to be a squad of Chippendale dancers and I look like death? Hello? Was being GQ model material part of the prerequisite when you all took your medical board exam? Really? I'm anticipating a slew of overweight, middle-aged, angry female nurses and I walk into a room full of men that resemble the Australian soccer team - and I have to get nekked in front of these yummies. I digress.... I'm asked my name, for the 15th time, and they strap me down on the table. That's it. I'm in la-la land and the next thing I see is a nurse leaning over me in the recovery room.

As I said, the Percocet is driving my moves as I recover and I need to wrap up this blog session. I have much more to share, if you can stand it. I hope to return this evening with Part II of the surgery as my recovery experience begins to unfold.

Until next time... this lady is gonna take a pause and pray for a bowel movement to happen in the next 24 hours or my head is going to spin around and I'm gonna spit blood at anyone in my path.