I was not worried about the surgery itself. I have lots of confidence in the skills of my primary surgeon, Dr. Castellanos. He's very experienced with laparoscopic gallbladder removal (and he also does bariatric surgery, so I felt more confident being of the heavier persuasion). He was assisted with another surgeon that works with pancreatic tissue (usually oncology). Both surgeries have a good amount of literature, and generally positive outcomes. So, I was more excited to actually have surgery than anything else.
I was scheduled to arrive at 5:30 am for surgery. Seriously. AM. That early. I already have a hard time getting to sleep before 2 or 3am, so I didn't expect to get any sleep that night. I even drank a latte later in the evening expecting to stay up. I was not to eat/drink past midnight (even though the schedule was that early). I stopped eating at 11pm. Took an allergy pill. And did my best to stay awake while not waking anyone else up. (I stayed at my aunt and uncle's, and my husband was there, too). I sat on the kitchen floor tapping away at the netbook. To my surprise, at about 3am, I was actually tired.. I got my hour of sleep before the alarm clocks started at 4am. Made it to the hospital with no incident by 5:15am. Went to "admissions" to pay my co-pay, then headed up to the surgery admissions floor to take care of the prep. Hubby was there with me until 'the time' came. At about 6-6:30am, transport came. With little warning, it was time for me to get wheeled away while my poor guy had to wait.
In the pre-surgery area, I had a nurse just go through the basic checklist of things to make sure I was ready. An anesthesiologist came by eventually, and started my IV site. I told the anesthesiologist that I may have Renaud's syndrome (get cold hands/feet a lot, but never actually diagnosed) and that I tend to "drool" a lot. Figured those were things an anesthesiologist should know. It affected where he started my IV site (in mid-forearm rather than on the hands). Happily, that IV site lasted the WHOLE time I was in the hospital (unlike the 10000 sites I had started in January). I really wasn't anxious about anything. I was just looking forward to getting more "sleep", so couldn't wait to 'go under'). The room was kinda cold. I remember being glad I'd be asleep because my arms were spread out and I was thinking of how my fingers were getting chilly fast. The put an oxygen mask somewhat over my face, told me I'd start feeling sleepy. I didn't fight it.
The next thing I remember about waking up was still being nekked up top. The first thing that came to my mind was to look at my belly and see my wounds/scars. They looked at me wondering what I was doing when I lurched up. I looked at the belly (can't remember if I tried to feel for the little wounds), satisfied, laid back down. I'll assume I went back to sleep after that.
Waking up in the recovery room, I was surprised at how warm I felt. Even my hands. I had pre-warmed blankets on me, too. Sadly, I was in pain. My throat was REALLY tender. I had an NG tube (the tube that goes in your nose down your throat and into your stomach), but I swear the pain felt really raw on the other side of the throat. I knew I would be intubated for the surgery (that did kinda make me nervous before), but I didn't expect my throat to hurt that much from it. I figure I was intubated, had the NG tube, and possibly had an endoscopic camera going down my throat at the same time. The camera may have gone down the intubation tube (I can ask the doctor during my follow-up). I just know it hurt a lot. Swallowing was not fun during the stay.
Not sure when I realized I also had lots of pain like I had experienced before. I assume it is pseudocyst or pancreatic pain, since the gall bladder was gone at that point. It hurt a lot below the ribcage, radiated to the back, and hurt a lot.. and I got really nauseous with the drooly thing I do (I just salivate a lot, but swallowing often makes me feel sick to my stomach). I was in pain, almost tearing up. I don't think the people in recovery expected that much pain. They gave me some morphine, but, as before, I swear it did nothing. I told them that for the pain I had been taking 4mg dilaudid pills (the prescription I got from the hospital in Jan), and the doctor said that equated to something like 20 mg IV morphine or something, and why the 2? mg they were giving me did nothing. He didn't want to give me dilaudid (I don't really know why), so they gave me more morphine. I was still in a lot of pain, but, it decreased slightly, and I guess as before the pain went away on its own, and I was left with the normal post-surgical pain.
Post-surgical pain wasn't that bad. Sitting upright from a lying position hurt a bit (love those hospital bed buttons). I had a good amount of gas pain/cramps. That would be sharp pain that would hurt a lot (sometimes brought tears to my eyes), but be gone in a few seconds. Just hold my breath, grimace, and it would be gone. Moving pain was transient, too. It really didn't hurt nearly as much as I had expected. My only experience with stitches before was having about 7 stitches on one of my fingertips. That would throb a lot and caused a good amount of pain. The surgical stuff was nothing in comparison. My throat hurt significantly more than the belly.
My belly had 5 cuts in it. One above the bellybutton (I had a previous scar on my bellybutton from a piercing), two on my left side and two on the right side. When I first saw them I thought they were just open (no bandages). Was confused, but eventually I realized I had steri-strips on them (like little clear plastic bandaids that keep the skin together). So no visible stitches. I think they are supposed to help leave smaller scars.
(more later, heading to bed now)