Surgery Day - hospital and home again
The day is finally here. This process started so long ago, that I kind of never thought I would ever actually get here. I had a call from the hospital yesterday* with my admission time; I was to arrive at the East Sydney Private Hospital for 8.30am. It seems I would be the first cab of the ranks. This was perfect for me for no other reason other than I love food and couldn't bear to think about having to fast through the day. This admission time meant I only needed to fast from midnight. Perfect! It also meant that Dr Miroshnik would be nice and fresh.
The above pic was stolen from Dr M's Facebook page. It's funny, I used to imagine myself on the table behind him, on this day I was actually going to be on it.
My husband was due to arrive in Sydney at lunchtime, so it was going to work out perfectly for him to be at the hospital to check me out. (It is a requirement that you have someone to take care of you, otherwise they will not discharge you on your own.)
I was staying at the Meriton Apartments in Bondi Junction, which meant the hospital was only a 15 minute Uber ride away. It was a bit nerve wracking being on my own that morning. This is major surgery, right? It's a big deal...and here I was doing it on my own. Argh. Scary. I get to the hospital and it looks like a Woolworths as the bottom floor is exactly that....which is great to know if you need to pick up last minute shopping before you get new boobs. I couldn't find the entrance, so I walk around the entire perimeter of the building until I realise that I had walked passed it. #awkward So I pretend I knew where I was going and in I go. I travel up to Admissions on Level 4. There were only a couple of other people in the waiting room and I walk up to the desk. They couldn't seem to find my file. Yikes! Was this a sign? Can I back out? They had asked whether I had filled in the paperwork at Dr Miroshnik's office, which I had on the Wednesday during my pre op consult. I guess they never made it over to the hospital. She asked me to take a seat while they sort it out. It was only 8.15 by this stage, plenty of time.
I took a seat and waited while the admissions staff tracked down my file. I think they ended up getting copies forwarded through from Dr M's rooms. They asked me back up to the desk and we proceeded to go through all the formalities...and of course the hospital payment. This payment is paid separately to Dr Miroshnik's fees and is payable at your admission time. This was the last payment, it was now final. Super exciting! I sat back down in the waiting area and within minutes one of the nurses came and got me and took me in to the pre op room where she went through the standard 'Do you know what you are here for?" questions. She seemed to be in a super rush, which she kept apologising for, but it did make me a little anxious. I also wanted to take photos the whole way through, but she told me to put my phone and my bag and follow her. She led me in to a small change room and gave me a gown and cap to put on. She asked me to get changed but because she was running out of time, she would have to be in the room with me so that she could finish asking me her questions. Still anxious..... The rushing wasn't helping.
The next thing I knew, me and my gowned up self were sat in another small room. The nurse put me on a nice, big comfy chair with a blanket and some lovely leg warmers. They were great. I need some of those at home. Beats bed socks. She then told me that the anesthetist will be in shortly and then left me alone in the room. As I sat there, alone with my thoughts, I just kept thinking that I could make a run for it. I could totally walk out and go back to the hotel. Dumb....lol. I was in the room for what felt like a little while, but I am sure was really not...then the anesthetist came in. His name was Dr Vincent Da Silva. He was lovely. Very caring and informative. He made me feel very comfortable. He gave me an outline of what he will be doing and the medications that he will be using during the surgery and those that will be prescribed on my discharge later that afternoon. During admission, I was offered to have Dr Da Silva provide me with a script for the post surgical meds, or I could have the meds available to me at discharge. I chose the latter as I wasn't sure where the nearest pharmacy would be to my hotel, and frankly, it was just easier to be able to take them with me and not have to worry about having to get them when we got back to the hotel. (FYI - this turned out to be the more expensive option, by far. My meds totaled $160, provided at discharge. I could have had my script filled from the pharmacy opposite the hotel for around $30.)
Dr Da Silva left and within about 5 minutes Dr Miroshnik came in to the room to mark me up. I don't know why, but I wasn't even expecting to be awake when I was drawn up. haha. I just assumed this all happened in theater. We joked about it. He assured me that most of the markings would be off by the time surgery was over. The markings were the least of my worries at this point. (I really wish I had a picture of them. Such a shame I didn't have my phone.) Dr M was amazing, as always. He really does have a wonderful 'bedside manner'. He is caring and attentive but most importantly he is 100% genuine. He really is. In every interaction I have ever had with him, he never fails to make me feel like I matter. He came in and asked how I was feeling, of course I told him I was anxious but of course, excited too. He asked me if I was warm enough and we joked about the awesome leg warmers....other than that, the rest of our conversation was a blur. I was too traumatised knowing that I was stood in front of him, bare-chested again with my awful breasts.....consolation to that though, was that it would be the very last time anybody ever saw them like that! He left the room and told me he'd see me next door. I remember hearing music blaring from what I thought was 'next door' and had assumed it was Dr Tavakoli, another Plastic Surgeon who is known for playing 'cool' music while he operates. I am not sure if was him, or Dr M.
I don't remember who the next person was but someone then came in and took me in to the theater room. Now, I have had surgeries before, all in public hospitals...but for all of them I was put on a bed and wheeled in. Not this time. I was walked in through a door, which I was expecting to be another 'consult' room where I would be given a pre med and put on a bed, ready to be wheeled in to theater. haha. When the door opened, it was the theater room, there were 2 nurses, Dr Da Silva and Dr M in there. (I think....my memory is a bit hazy. There wasn't any music playing though...it was super silent.) I was told to get up on to the table. So this was a metal slab, much like what you would see in a butchers....um ?? It was cold. I remember letting everyone there know that I thought it was cold too, like I am sure they not heard that before. I laid down, the light above me was super, crazy bright and I just remember putting my hands up above my face to block it out. Dr M came over and moved it out of the way and said something....I can't remember what he said, my stomach was churning, I was just on auto pilot....I just remember his breath smelt really strong like he had just downed a triple shot espresso. This is a good thing! He is awake and ready to give me some of his amazing boobs. lol Dr Da Silva then said something, had me start to count and then......
I remember waking up quite a few times in recovery. I am pretty sure there were two stages of recovery, but I can't be certain. I was so out of it. It must have taken a good 90 minutes for me to wake up. The nursing staff kept trying to wake me, I kept thinking they were annoying and wished they'd just let me sleep. (Sorry about that...lol) When I finally woke up, for real...the nurse tried to get me to eat something. I don't even remember what it was, I just knew that I did not want it. I am guessing it was a biscuit, I think. I just wanted to look at my boobs. I assumed I would have the post op bra on, so didn't think too much about trying to sneak a peek. Then I saw Dr M walking towards my bed. I didn't know who it is, just knew that he was familiar. He came over and said "there she is." haha I am not even sure if I said anything back. I was so out of it. He seemed to answer me though, and said that he'd been able to get away with the 390s. This was great news, that's all I remember.
Then my husband was shown through to where I was. Yay! Unbeknownst to me, but they weren't allowing him through as it was taking me so long to wake up, they just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything else going on before they let him. As soon as he walked through the doors and towards my bed, I was super excited. I remember saying something like "I got boobies!" It was great to see him, I hadn't seen him for 3 days prior to the surgery.
I think Dr M may have had the post op bras with him when he stopped buy and had given them to the nurse, I can't quite remember (seriously, I was really out of it). After he left, she proceeded to let me know that it was time I got dressed. I thought she was joking. I didn't realise that I wasn't already dressed. You mean I could have had a peak at my boobs all along. I stood up slowly....felt quite faint and sat back down. The nurse gave me some anti nausea tablets and we tried again. Success. Pants and bra were now on.
The nurse gave me the pre purchased meds and I was discharged. It was home time. I don't remember getting out of the hospital, just remember waiting for our Uber. I was on a street corner, hunched over, feeling sorry for myself....and cold, but I had boobies! The Uber ride felt like it took forever and I felt EVERY bump he went over. Ouch. Even though the ride was only about 15 minutes, we managed to tell him what I was doing at the hospital. haha
We got to the hotel and I couldn't wait to just relax in bed, with my pillow fort. I think we arrived back at the hotel around 2.30. Of course the first thing I did was take some photos. haha. I could not wait to see the comparisons. Wow. I was blown away. This pic below is a 7 hour comparison. So amazing. I was so excited and completely shocked that this was the new me.
My husband was in charge of making sure my drugs were taken on time. He had written down all the times for each tablet. He's a great nurse. I was sent home with antibiotics, panadene forte (the strongest I can take without getting nausea) and valium. As far as pain was though, I really didn't have any. I mean, I felt tight and 'heavy' in the chest, but pain? Not really. I guess the surgery drugs were still working though and I was sure that I would feel it in the morning. The valium is a muscle relaxer. The dose is only 2mg, so it's not like it's going to knock me out. I was looking forward to taking it though, as I felt like I kept hunching over, sort of over protecting my new boobs and as a result my back and shoulder muscles were getting very sore. I took the first dose and chilled on the bed with my ice packs.
I think I spent the next couple of hours sleeping and eating a little bit of the food that I had at the hotel. My husband actually went out on the town with a friend that first night. (Totally with my blessing, of course.) All I did was sleep and chill in bed, take my meds and change my ice packs over. Didn't feel any pain, just some discomfort. All was awesome in my world of new boobs. I couldn't stop looking down my top. lol.
H xx :)
*this blog was written on the 24th July, but my surgery was date was the 6th May
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