OBACHAN'S SCRIBBLES

Friday, May 25, 2007

MY PINOKO DOESN'T SPEAK - PART 10 -


May 11th, 2007  -- Day 3: Surgery (Good bye, Pinoko) --


Good thing was that it didn’t rain at all during my hospital stay. Rain always makes me depressed and I didn’t want to have a surgery on a rainy day. The bright sunshine that morning made me less worried about the tracheal intubation. Oh, it will be alright… I’m physically strong and my veins are easy to see. So my esophagus and windpipe must be pretty sturdy, too... I know. No logic at all. But I just got tired of worrying. It was such an eventful day, and soon I became busy feeling “OH! This is what I read on someone’s blog! Now I’m actually experiencing it! Wow!” with almost everything I went through.

After 7 am, a young nurse shaved me and cleaned my navel. Then she gave me an enema and told me to hold it for a while, but like I had read beforehand, it was terribly hard. I assume that my intestines were not completely “emptied” then. Sorry, staff, if this would be a real stinky operation. :P
After that, I took a quick shower and put on a gown and elastic stockings. Uh… in this photo my calf looks pretty big but it’s just the camera angle. Ahem! According to the nurse, the hole was for checking the color of the toenails (to check the blood circulation, I suppose?).

Then I packed up and moved to a private room. BTW, they had 2 types of private rooms: one with toilet and wash basin (over 8000 yen/day), and one with wash basin (4200 yen/day). I was happy that I got the 4200-yen room as I had requested, because my private insurance can cover that amount (if I understood the insurance policy correctly).

Mom came in around 11:00 am. The first thing she said was “I got lost and went to the annex.” Yeah, I knew that was gonna happen, mom. You told me that you walked all the way around to get to the nearest train station on the 9th. But I didn’t tease her because I needed to talk her into staying in my apartment room until the 14th and watering my plants on the balcony every morning. It worked out. ;) And a nurse came to give me a drip, but now I don’t remember if it was before or after mom came.

Maybe 10 or 15 minutes before 2 pm, a nurse came to take me to the operation room. While I was walking with the nurse and mom, my mind was more occupied with pushing my drip stand properly in the hallway and the elevator. Sorry, I’m not an experienced inpatient… While waiting right outside the operation room, I saw my doc going into the room. I felt so happy to see his familiar face! So… maybe I’m more nervous than I think, ha?

Finally, I entered the operation room. Two nurses waiting inside introduced themselves to me and told me to get on the stretcher. Boy, the stretcher looks so narrow!! Also, the anesthesiologist introduced the EMT trainee to me. OH, GOOD LUCK!! REALLY!! The stretcher started moving, and it was so nice that someone kept telling me how the stretcher was going to move and what was coming next all the time. And thank goodness, NO rock music. (Someone wrote on her blog that the staff had rock music on in the op-room and she felt more scared than relaxed because she doubted the staff’s seriousness.) The stretcher finally stopped. I don’t remember exactly but I guess the ECG patches were attached and a surgical cap covered my head. Then an oxygen mask covered my nose and mouth, and I heard someone (the anesthesiologist?) saying “You’ll fall asleep right away.” That was the last thing I remembered.

Then I heard someone calling my name. I felt my abdomen being quickly covered with a diaper and bandage.
So… it’s over…??


And the next time I opened my eyes, I was back in the private room in the inpatient ward. An elder nurse was standing next to the ECG machine (?) and mom was sitting next to my bed. The nurse told me to breathe deep, and she asked my mom to tell me to breathe deep, too. The funny thing was that it was as if I forgot how to breathe spontaneously -- I really needed to force myself (or make a conscious effort, if "force" is a little too strong word) to breathe. Wait a minute… isn’t breathing supposed to be more effortless??? I felt lazy about breathing after a few breaths and stopped it for several seconds, then took a deep breath to catch up, which probably scared my mom. She walked around my bed and peeked in the ECG monitor several times when the nurse was not around. Hey, don’t worry, mom. You know how long I can hold my breath when I dive to pick abalones in the ocean… But maybe that’s not the point now… I don’t know how long I continued such clumsy breathing, but gradually it became easier. I even lifted up the oxygen mask a couple of times to scratch my nose.

At around 7 pm, mom left. During that uncomfortable night, the elder nurse came in so many times to take care of me. In addition to checking vitals and emptying the urine, she wiped my face with a warm towel, wetted my lips several times with a big cotton swab, and brought me an ice pack because I had a slight fever.

Now my biggest surprise was: the incisions didn’t hurt almost at all. My elder relatives -- those "experts of hospital stay" -- had said that after their surgeries, the anesthesia wore off in several hours and the pain started, but the doctors and nurses were reluctant to use pain killer. So I expected to feel a throbbing pain in my abdomen. But it didn’t happen. Actually it was the back pain that bothered me more.

After the oxygen mask was taken off, I asked the nurse if I could lie on my side because my back hurt, and she said it was OK to do so for a short while. As soon as I lay on my side, a B-I-G burp came out! So this is what someone commented about on my blog? Must be the leftover gas (CO2)? The nurse quickly folded the cover and placed it against my back to support. Boy she was so good. During that night, she did this and that to reduce my back pain and make me feel comfortable, and she was so quick and efficient! I felt so attached to her, honestly.

It was another sleepless night, and I kept wondering why the incisions did not hurt while the back pain was that persistent...
(I think the anesthesiologist came to check on me that night, but I don't remember exactly when.)

To be cont'd...

手術の日

入院中に一日も雨が降らなかったのはありがたかったです。私雨が降ると気分落ち込むし、雨の日に手術ってイヤだったんで。その朝も明るい朝だったおかげで、気管挿管の件に関しても気が軽くなりました。まあ大丈夫でしょう。ワタシ身体は丈夫やし血管は見つけやすいし。食道も気管も頑丈にできてるやろ…。わかってます。なんの論理もありゃしません。でも、心配するのも面倒になったんです。その日はすることが多くて、じきに私は何につけても「あーこれ誰かのブログで読んだ!私もいよいよそれを体験するかぁ~!」といちいち思うのに忙しくなったので。

午前7時過ぎ、若い看護師さんが、剃毛しておへその掃除をしてくれました。それから浣腸して、しばらくガマンするよう言われたけど、他の人も書いてたように、それはすごいキツかったです。たぶんその時完全に腸は空にならなかったと思う…手術してくださる皆さん、もし臭い手術になったらゴメンナサイ。その後、さっとシャワーを浴びて、手術着に着替え、弾性ストッキングを着用。えーこの写真では、私のふくらはぎがエラく大きく写ってますが、これはあくまでカメラの角度のせいです。看護婦さんによると、ストッキングの穴は、足の爪の色をチェックする(血行を見るため?)時のためのものだそうです。

それから荷物をして、個室に移りました。ところで、ここでは個室が2種類あって、トイレと洗面台付のタイプが1日8000円以上、洗面台だけ付いてるのが1日4200円でした。お願いした4200円の方がOKでラッキーでした。それなら入院保険でまかなえる額(のハズ?)だったので。

母が午前11時ごろに来て、最初に言わく、「いやぁ迷うて別館に行ってしもうたわ。」はいはい。そんなことやろと思ってました。9日に帰る時、最寄のJRの駅へ行くのにとんでもない遠回りをして歩いたって言うてたもんね。でもそこでからかうのはじっとガマン。なんせ14日まで私の部屋に泊まって、毎朝バルコニーのプランターに水をやってもらうよう説得せにゃなりませんから。説得は成功でした。;)
それから、母が来る前だったか後だったかは覚えてないけど、看護婦さんが来て点滴が始まりました。

たぶん2時に10分か15分前ぐらいに、看護師さんが来て、一緒に手術室に移動。彼女と母と一緒に歩いていく間は、廊下やエレベーターで点滴のスタンドを押すのにずっと気をとられてました。慣れてないもんで。手術室のドアの前で待っていた時、ちょうど主治医のセンセが入って行くのが見えて、見慣れた顔が見られてすごくうれしかったです。というところを見ると、思ったより緊張してたんやなぁ私。

ついに手術室に入ると、そこにいた看護師さんが2人、私に挨拶してくれて、ストレッチャーに乗るように言いました。うわ、ストレッチャーって幅が狭いぃ~!!そして麻酔医の先生が、救急救命士の実習生を紹介してくれました。がっ頑張ってよ幸運を祈るで、ホンマに!!ストレッチャーが動き出すと、誰かがずっとストレッチャーがどっちの方向に動くかとか、次には何をするか、前もってずっと教えてくれ続けたのが、ありがたかったです。それとありがたいことに、ロックミュージックなんぞかかってなかった!(いや誰かのブログに、手術室でロックがかかってて、リラックスするよりも、ほんとに真剣にやってくれるのかが心配になった、って話が書いてあったんで。)ストレッチャーが遂に止まると、順番は定かに覚えてないけど、心電図のパッチが貼られて、シャワーキャップみたいなのをかぶせてもらって、酸素マスクが鼻と口をおおったと思ったら、誰か(たぶん麻酔科の先生)が「すぐ眠くなってきます」と言う声が聞こえたのが最後でした。

それから誰かが私の名前を呼ぶのが聞こえて、オムツとか腹帯(?)をササっと装着してくれるのを感じました。
え…終わったん…??

次に目を開けたら、もう病棟の個室に帰ってました。年配の看護師さんが心電図の機械の隣に立ってて、母は私のベッドの横に座ってました。看護師さんは私に大きく息をするようにと何回も言って、母にも、私に大きく息をするよう声掛けをするようにと言ってました。オカシなことに、私、自然にひとりでに息をするのってどうやってたか、忘れたみたいになってたんです。ほんとに、強いて(というか少なくとも、意識して)呼吸をしないとダメで。チョット待て…。呼吸ってこんなに努力してするもんやったっけ?2,3回呼吸するとなんか面倒くさくなって、何秒か呼吸を休んでしまい、それから埋め合わせに大きな息をして、という状態やったんで、母はびびってたみたいです。看護師さんがいない時に何回か、心電図のモニターを覗き込みに行ってました。心配しなや。私がアワビ採りに海にもぐる時、どんだけ息を止めれるか知っちゅうやろ。けどたぶんそういう問題じゃないか…。そういう変な呼吸がどのくらい続いたかわかりませんが、だんだん息は楽になってきて、時々は酸素マスクを持ち上げて鼻を掻いたりしてました、私。

母は午後7時頃に帰り、その夜はその年配の看護婦さんが何回も面倒みに来てくれました。血圧と熱を計ったり尿の容器を空にしてくれたりの他にも、あったかいタオルで顔を拭いてくれたり、濡れた大きな綿棒で唇を湿らせてくれたり、ちょっと熱があったので氷枕を持ってきてくれたり。

何より驚いたのは、傷がほぼ全くと言っていいほど痛まなかったこと。親戚のお年寄り-もう入院のエキスパートといっても過言ではない人々-が言うには、術後数時間したら麻酔が切れて傷口が痛みだすけど、医者や看護師には、なるべく痛み止めは使わんほうがいいと言われる、という話だったのに。だから私は腹の傷がズキズキしてくるだろうと思ってたんです。でもそれはなくって、どっちかというと腰痛のほうが大変でした。

酸素マスクがはずされた後、腰が痛いので横向きに寝てもいいかと看護師さんに聞いたら、少しの間ならいいということでした。横向きになったとたん、すっごい大きなゲップが!!誰かが私のブログにコメントで言ってくれてたのって、このこと?!コレって体内に残ってた二酸化炭素が出てきたんよね?看護師さんは、布団を手早く折りたたんで私の背に当ててくれました。この看護師さんホントにベテランで、腰痛も含めて私が楽になるように一晩中いろいろしてくれて、またそれがムッチャ手早くてうまい!

その晩も、よく眠れなくて、ただひたすら、腰痛がずーっと感じられるのに傷の痛みが感じられないのはなぜ?と不思議がってました。(たしか麻酔科の先生が様子を見に来てくれてたのもこの晩だったと思うけど、いつごろだったかハッキリ覚えてないです。)

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posted by obachan, 5/25/2007 11:27:00 AM | link | 3 comments |

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

MY PINOKO DOESN’T SPEAK – PART 9 –


May 10th, 2007  -- Day 2: Bad decision?? --


I couldn’t sleep well. I managed to sneak out the four-bed room at 3:30 am and fill my growling stomach with inari-zushi, but it didn’t help. The room was a bit too warm (or was it my hot flash??), and hearing other patients toss and turn made me feel restless. Maybe I should have brought ear-plugs like someone advised on her blog….

Around 10:30 am, I met the anesthesiologist at the nurses’ station. He explained the procedure of general anesthesia using a small leaflet and filling out a form, and his handwriting was again… uh…you know. One more addition to my personal survey on doctors’ handwritings. ;) Anyway, what I heard from him about general anesthesia was an education to me – I had googled quite a bit about dermoid and laparoscopy, but not about anesthesia.

Yes, I did have the typical concerns... What if it doesn’t work on me and I feel the pain? Sleeping pills didn’t work on me a couple of times before… like the time I couldn’t fall asleep after taking 2 tablets of Etizolam. What if the anesthetic wears off earlier than they expect and I wake up in the middle of the surgery??... But no worries. They keep giving me anesthetic during the operation and stop it properly so that I can wake up properly after the operation is finished. Good grief!

Another thing I didn't know until then was that a tube was supposed to be inserted through the mouth into the windpipe after I went unconscious. It was for helping me breathe during the operation, he said, because spontaneous breathing can be very unstable when under general anesthesia. And when talking about possible risks, he emphasized the risk of damaging teeth, mouth or throat while inserting the tube, in addition to the possible allergic reactions to the drug(s). My god, I had no idea what anesthesia had to do with teeth, but now I know…

But the real excitement came after that. He started, “BTW, we would like to ask for your cooperation…” It was about EMT’s tracheal intubation training. Then he also mentioned an accident which happened just recently (May 2007).

Anesthesiologist: “Have you heard about the case that an EMT inserted the tube into the esophagus by mistake?”
Me: “Uh, No…. What happened to the patient?”
A: “She passed away.”
M: “ .......... ”

Now, this time I WAS scared. I knew why he needed to tell me that, but it scared the hell out of me. He went on explaining, using another printout, what kind of trainee would be operating and how a professional anesthesiologist (he) would supervise it and secure the patient’s safety, etc. etc. But still the decision wasn’t easy for me. Sure this will look nice if I say YES here and share it on my blog, -- the readers will go “Oh, you are so brave, obachan!” -- But is it worth risking my life?!

Finally I said “Yes,” but believe me, it wasn’t for a juicy blog topic. I think what it is is that I have a tendency to emphasize with health care providers. Maybe it is the influence of many manga and TV dramas I got hooked on, but that’s not all… I couldn’t help saying “Yes” when I remembered how it was when I was a trainee in mental health in the U.S. more than 10 years ago. Gosh, it was a nightmare to find enough numbers of guinea pi… no, volunteers to give WAIS-R and WISC!! How can I forget that? Those volunteers were my lifesavers. Think about that... **And many patients must have volunteered for this training here at this hospital and had no problem at all. All professionals start as trainees and they have to practice on people. Maybe it’s my turn to return the favor to the world… ** But…will I be able to sleep tonight? :(

Also that day, a nurse came to my bed to check if I had all the necessary items for the surgery ready. I had been told to buy a T-bandage, abdominal bandage(s) and two paper diapers. (Those were packed in one kit and available at the vending machine in the hospital. One kit was a little over 1000 yen, IIRC.) She wrapped them with my bath towel and told me to give them to the nurse before the operation. She also advised me to take a shower and wash my hair. Good idea. I won't be able to wash my hair for several days after surgery.

That night, I took a gastric acid inhibitor (Famotidine??), a sleeping pill (Lormetazepam?) and a laxative (Pursennid?) at 9 pm as scheduled. Thanks to the sleeping pill, I was able to sleep for 4 hours. Oh, better than nothing. At least, I took 4 hours break from worrying about a tracheal tube going wrong way in my throat. If I had known more details of the accident I heard from the anesthesiologist, I would have felt more at ease. From what I read on the paper after coming back from the hospital, the situation of the incident seems quite different from a closely supervised training in a hospital. But not knowing much details, my imagination was almost getting out of hand that night. Darn me! If I have to worry like this, why did I say OK in the first place? But I guess that's the way I am... Oh, come on, it will be OK... ( Repeat ** about 30 times. )

And actually, the worry wasn’t the only thing that disturbed my sleep. My back pain started, and I hated myself for not bringing a cushion or something to the hospital. You know, one of those tempur stuff, or "powder beads" cusions. It was my biggest mistake.


To be cont'd...

入院2日目 (手術前日)

… 眠れませんでした。泣) 朝の3時半に4人部屋を抜け出して、いなりずしで空腹を満たしたのに、それでもダメ。部屋がちょっと暑かったのと(それとも私の 「のぼせ」だったか?)、他の患者さんが寝返りをうつのが耳についてしまって。ああ誰かがブログに書いてたように、耳栓持って来るべきだったか…。

午 前10時半ごろ、ナースステーションで麻酔科の先生から説明がありました。ちっちゃなパンフレット見ながら、説明書にいろいろ記入しながら。で、またこの センセの手書きの字が…以下略。とにかく、そこで聞いたことはほとんど知らなかったことばっかりでした。デルモイドと腹腔鏡についてはだいぶググッたけ ど、麻酔に関してはしなかったんで。

そーなんです。私もよくある心配をしてたんですよ。もし麻酔が効かなくて痛みを感じたらどうしよ う、って。私、睡剤が効かなかったことあるしね~、あのデパス2錠飲んで効かなかった時とか。もし、センセが思うより早く麻酔が切れて、手術の最中に目が 覚めてしまったらどうしよう…。けど心配要らなかったです。手術の間、麻酔薬の投与は続けられてて、手術終わったら目が覚めるようなタイミングを見計らっ てストップするものらしいので。ああ良かった~!

もうひとつ、その時まで知らなかったのは、意識がなくなった後、口から気管へチューブが 挿入されるということ。全身麻酔がかかってる間は、自力の呼吸は不安定になるから、呼吸を助けるためにだそうです。リスクの説明の時には、麻酔薬へのアレ ルギー反応のほかに、チューブ挿入の時に歯とか喉にダメージを与えるかもしれないことをシッカリ言っておられました。何で麻酔と歯が関係あるのかと思った けど、そういうことやったんかぁ…。

ところが、ホンマに刺激的やったのはこの後ですよ。麻酔科医のセンセが、「ところで、ご協力いただきたいことがあるんですが、」と言い始めて、何かと思ったら救急救命士の気管挿管実習の協力お願いしますの話。で、センセはつい最近、5月の始めにあった事故の話をしたんです。

麻酔科医の先生: 救急救命士が誤ってチューブを食道に挿管したケースを知ってますか?
私: いぃえ…。患者さんどうなったんですか?
先生: 亡くなりました。
私: ………..。

こ れはビビリましたよ~。なぜセンセがその話をしておかないかんかったんかはわかるけど、でもコワかったです。センセは、また別の説明書を使いながら、どう いう救命士がこの実習をするのかとか、患者の安全のために麻酔科医(このセンセ)が監督指導についているとか、いろいろ説明してくれたけど、それでも返事 するには迷いましたわ。そりゃ引き受けたらこの話はいいブログネタになるやろけど-- 読んでくれた人が、まあObachanなんて勇気があるの!とか言うてくれるやろけど、そのために命掛ける程のことか??

最終的に私OK したけど、決してブログネタ欲しさのせいじゃないです。信じて下さい。結局私は、医療従事者に感情移入するクセがあるんでしょう。たぶん、今までにハマっ たマンガやらテレビドラマの影響もあるけど、それだけじゃなくて。私が10年以上前、アメリカでメンタルヘルスの分野で訓練受けてた時のことを思い出した ら、協力しましょうという気になってしまったんです。もぉあのIQ テストの実習のためのモルモ…じゃないボランティアの数を確保するのにどれっっっっっっっほど苦労したか。忘れられるもんですか。あの時のボランティアは 救 いの神やったやん、考えてもみて…。**それにここの病院で、同 じようにこの実習に協力して何の問題もなかった患者さんもいっぱいいるはずやし。プロも最 初はみんな訓練生やったはずやし、みんな生きてる人間で練習せないかんし。たぶん、今回は、私がこの世に恩返しをする番なのかも。….けど、今晩眠れるや ろか….。**

ところでこの日はほかに、看護婦さん が、手術時に必要な備品で私が揃えるものをチェックしに来てくれました。T字帯と、腹 帯と、紙オムツ2枚買うようにと前に言われてたんです。(これは全部セットになって病院内の自動販売機で売ってました。1セットが1000円チョットだっ たと思います、記憶が正しければ。)看護婦さんにシャワー浴びて髪も洗っておくように言われました。そうよねぇー手術後何日か髪も洗えないやろうしねぇ。

そ の夜9時に、スケジュールどおり、胃酸を抑える薬(ガスター)と眠剤(エバミール)と下剤(プルゼニド)を服用。眠剤のおかげで4時間眠れました。まぁ無 いよ りマシ。少なくとも4時間は、気管チューブが間違った方向に行ったらどうしようという心配から一休みしたわけやから。もし、麻酔科のセンセから聞いた事故 について私が もっ と詳しく知ってたら、もっと気が楽だったろうと思います。退院後に新聞で読んだところでは、事故があった時の状況は、病院内で監督指導の先生がついて るのとはかなり違ってたらしいから。けど、そういうことを知らないもんで、その晩には想像が勝手に飛躍してしまって。ああもぉ私のアホ。こんな 心配するくらいなら、OKしなけりゃ良かったのに。まぁ私ってこういうタチなんや…。もぉ、きっと大丈夫よ。(以下、**部分の繰り返しを30回ぐらい。)

そ れに、あまり良く眠れなかったのはこの心配ごとだけのせいだけじゃないです。腰痛が始まっちゃって。なんでクッションか何か持ってこなかったんやろうと自 分に腹を立ててました。あの、低反発腰枕というヤツとか、パウダービーズのクッションとか。もうこれ、最大のミスでした。


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posted by obachan, 5/23/2007 02:47:00 PM | link | 2 comments |

Monday, May 21, 2007

MY PINOKO DOESN’T SPEAK – PART 8 –


May 9th, 2007 -- Day 1: Admission --


Mom and I arrived at the hospital around 8:20 am that morning. It was too early for our scheduled check-in (9:00 am), but I wanted to have a nice breakfast at the coffee shop in the hospital. Mom had to take an early train, and I knew she didn’t eat anything before leaving home, even though she said she did.

After breakfast, we checked in. A nurse took us to the in-patient ward and showed us around. My bed was the one closest to the door in a four-bed room. Good! I can easily sneak out the room and munch on something if I get hungry in the middle of the night. :D And I like the cover with pink flowers. Looks lovely. Honestly, my biggest concern then was whether I could have a good sleep during my stay there. I usually have a late-night supper around 10 pm after my nighttime job and fall asleep around 2 am. Hey, how could I adjust to the “Dinner at 6 pm, Lights off at 9 pm” lifestyle and get a good rest?

Yeah, I was definitely ready for a rest after the major cleaning during the Golden Week AND the “two days in hell” after that. On those two days, things kept going wrong, problems were found one after another at work, and as if it wasn’t enough, the spin-dry of my washing machine completely broke after I started washing the mattress on May 8th before work. Oh no! What did I do? I shoved the wet mattress into a huge plastic bag and rode my bicycle to a nearby laundromat (or coin washers), then to the closest ATM to get small changes for the washing machine. Guess what. The ATM was temporary out of service!!! That night -- the night before my hospital admission -- at 9 pm, I was drowning in a cold sweat and half crying in the office because the amount in our cashbook and the cash at hand didn’t match… Man, I’ve got to feel cozy and be lazy here in this room! This is my break and I DESERVE IT!

BTW, I had bought these eating utensils as well as two bath towels and a pair of slippers at our famous Daiso 100-yen shop (Of course. Where else?!) for this hospital stay. Those were listed in the “things to bring” list in the pamphlet I had been given. I knew they were available at the shop in the hospital, too, but I wanted to choose the ones I like at Daiso, which I believe was a less expensive idea, too. Other than those items, I brought underwear, two face towels and a hand towel, “travel size” toiletries, my digital audio player, digital camera, rechargeable batteries with a recharger, a couple of books, a notebook, writing utensils and a small paintbrush. I had thought about bringing my laptop with me, but decided against it at the last minute.

Unpacking didn’t take long. When sitting in the room, mom and I were asked to come to the nurses’ station. There my doc was waiting to explain the surgery procedure to us.

I found this site (Japanese) after I came back to my room from the hospital, but I wish I had seen it before my hospital admission. Nice illustrations, aren’t they? If I had seen them beforehand, the doc’s explanation would have made more sense to me. Anyway, doc said that they would basically make 3 incisions, one being about 3 cm big and others 1 cm or less. Gas would be put into the abdomen to expand it. The dermoid (5 cm) was too big to come out from the 3 cm incision, so the cyst would be put in a sac first and then cut into smaller pieces within the sac and be extracted with the sac.

Then he talked about possible risks during the surgery, such as spillage of the content of the cyst, damage to adjacent organs during the operation and excess bleeding, as well as those after the surgery including thrombophlebitis and infections. About the thrombophlebitis and deep-vein thrombosis, he explained in more details (using a printout) and mentioned the use of elastic stockings. Yeah, I’ve read about the stockings on someone’s blog. He also said that they would try to remove the cyst only and save the rest of the right ovary, but if not possible, they might go for a total extirpation. And there was a possibility to change to open surgery if the removal was found difficult with laparoscopy, he said.

None of these sounded scary to me. Nothing is 100 percent safe, of course, but with all the information available to us today, it was not too difficult for me to be basically optimistic about the removal of a 5 cm dermoid cyst. And I basically trusted my doctor. He didn’t say anything different from the educational materials on this tumor that I had read both in English and Japanese. In his explanation, what was unknown was unknown, possibilities were possibilities and risks were risks, quite straightforward. That’s what I liked. So I was pretty calm, and to my relief, mom didn’t look scared, either.

After mom and I signed the agreement, there was nothing left for mom to do at the hospital. So she left for home before lunchtime. The rest of the day was boring. I did some additional shopping (a box of tissue paper, TV card and inari-zushi for my late-night supper), emailed my friends with my cell phone in the waiting area (it was allowed there) and tried to take a nap but couldn’t really fall asleep. I guess I was too excited. Wearing hospital pajama with a bar-coded wrist band on my wrist -- Now I’m officially an “inpatient!” Yay! ... Forgive me. I have been terribly healthy and always had a slight longing for being an inpatient.

Early in the afternoon, a young nurse gave me a questionnaire at the nurses’ station about my medical history and lifestyle. Later in the evening, a young pharmacist came to my bed and explained the medication (incl. drips) I would be given during this hospital stay. Gee, this could be more drugs than I had in the past two years. Glad that she gave me the printouts with the names, photos and descriptions of the drugs…There’s no way I can remember which is which.

I spent the rest of the day watching TV. I wasn’t worried about the surgery at all. But can I have a good sleep tonight? Oh I really want to… I really need to catch up with my sleep…


to be cont'd...

入院の日

母 と私は8時20分頃に病院に到着。9時の入院手続きにはチョト早すぎたけど、病院内の喫茶店で朝ゴハンを食べようと思って。母は早い汽車、じゃない電車で (スイマセン四国では未だにJRのことを汽車と言う世代が残っております)来たので、食べて来たとは言ってても、ホントは何も食べずに出てきたのがわかっ てたので。

朝食後、入院手続き。看護婦さんが入院病棟に連れて行ってくれて、そこの説明をしてくれました。私のベッドは4人部屋のドアに 一番近い場所。よっしゃ、ここなら夜中にお腹すいた時に部屋を抜け出して何か食べるのに好都合やん。それにピンクの花模様の布団がカワイイし。正直、その 時の一番の気がかりは、入院中よく眠れるかどうか、やったんです。私はたいてい、夜の仕事の後で10時ぐらいに夜食を食べて、午前2時ぐらいに寝るのに。 そんな、『午後6時夕食、午後9時消灯』とかいう生活にどう適応して安らげと。

そーです私は、あのゴールデンウィークの大掃除と、それに 続く地獄の2日間の後で、ホンマに休息が欲しかったんです。その2日間、物事は悪いほうに転ぶし、仕事じゃ問題がこれでもかと次々出てくるし、しかも8日 の日に仕事に行く前にマットレスを洗濯し始めたら洗濯機の脱水がブチ壊れるし。いったい何の報いでこんな目に?で、濡れたマットレスを大きなビニール袋に 押し込んで自転車で近くのコインランドリーへ、それから両替の為に最寄のATMへ。そしたら、そこのATMは「ただいまお取り扱いできません」!!その晩 -- 入院前夜の午後9時には、私は職場で出納帳と現金が合わずに冷や汗に溺れて半泣き状態…。ここでの入院中、わたしゃ絶対ゆっくりのんびりせずにおくもの か。これが私の休暇ですもん。あれだけエライ目にあった後ですもん!

ところで、この入院のために、こういう食事 に使うものと バスタオル2枚とスリッパを、われらが100均(モチロンですね)で買っておきました。こういうのは全部、病院からもらう入院のしおりの 「持ってくるもの」リストに書いてくれてました。病院の売店でも買えるとわかってたけど、ダイソーで自分の好みのを買いたかったし、多分その方が安いし。 このほかに、下着、顔を拭くタオル、ハンドタオル、旅行用サイズの基礎化粧品やらシャンプー・石鹸・歯ブラシやら、デジタルオーディオプレイヤー、デジカ メ、充電器 と充電用電池、本を1,2冊と筆記用具、あと絵筆を一本、持って行きました。ノートパソコンも持っていこうかと思ったけど、結局最後の最後にやめときまし た。 (パジャマは、洗濯物増やしたくなかったので病院の50円の貸し出しパジャマを借りました。あとヘアドライヤーは病院のが使えました。)

荷物を出したりするのはすぐ終わって、部屋で座ってると、ナースステーションに来るよう呼ばれました。行ったら主治医の先生が居て、そこで私と母に手術の説明です。

このサイト、 実は退院後に 見つけたんですが、これを前もって見てたらあの時センセの話はもっとピンと来てたと思います。イラストわかりやすいでしょ。とにかく、基本的に3箇所切開 で、一つは3cmくらい、あとは1センチかもっと小さく切る。お腹にはガスを入れて膨らませる。5センチの嚢腫は3センチの切り口から出すには大きいの で、嚢腫を袋に入れてその中で小さく切って、袋ごと取り出す、とのことでした。

それから、手術中におこりうるリスクの説明。取り出すとき 嚢腫の中身が漏れてしまう可能性とか、嚢腫の周りの臓器を傷つけてしまう可能性とか、出血とか、ですね。加えて手術後のリスクは、静脈血栓症とか感染症と か、って。肺血栓塞栓症・深部静脈血栓症については、また別の説明書を見ながら詳しく説明があって、弾性ストッキングを履くということでした。おおこのス トッキングの話、誰かのブログで読んだぞ~。私も履くのかぁ。それから、腫瘍だけを切除して残りの右卵巣はできるだけ残す努力はするけど、無理なら全摘に なる、そして腹腔鏡下で手術始めても、それで摘出が難しかったら開腹手術に切り替える可能性がある、ということでした。

特に怖いと思うよ うなことはなかったです。もちろん100%の安全ということはありえないけど、いろんな情報からして、5cmの皮様嚢腫の摘出って、楽観視するのが難しい ものとは私には思えなかったです基本的に。それにセンセのこと信用してたし、基本的に。ここのセンセは、私がデルモイドについ て読んだ情報(英語と日本語両方)と違うことは何一つ言わなかったし、説明の中でも、不明なこと は不明、可能性は可能性、リスクはリスク、でしたから。私にはそれが良かったです。なので、別に怖くなかったし、見たところ母も怖がってるふうじゃなかっ たので一安心でした。

手術同意書にサインした後は、母にはもうすることはなかったので、お昼前に帰りました。あとは退屈な日でした。 ティッシュ一箱と、テレビカードと、夜食用のいなりずしを買い足してきて、待合から友達にケイタイメールして(そこでは携帯使用OKだったので)、あとは 昼寝 しようとしたけど眠れず。やっぱ興奮してたんですね。病院のパジャマ着て、手首にバーコードの入ったリストバンドして、これで私も正式に入院患者!…スイ マセン。不謹慎やけど、今までやたら健康だったもんで、入院患者というものにちょっとあこがれがあったんです。

その午後、若い看護婦さん とナースステーションで、私の病歴とか生活習慣についてアンケートみたいなのに記入。夕方には、若い薬剤師さんが私のベッドに来てくれて、今回入院中に私 に使う薬(点滴も含め)の説明してくれました。いやぁこりゃ過去2年間に飲んだ薬の全種類よりまだ多いかも。薬の名前と写真と効能を書いた印刷物くれたん で大 助かり。絶対どれがどれやったか覚えてられんもん。

あとはテレビ見て過ごしました。手術の心配は全然しなかったけど、夜眠れるかどうかが心配で。今までの寝不足をホントにホントに解消したかったので…。

続く...


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posted by obachan, 5/21/2007 12:07:00 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'M BACK!!

Six days after the surgery. Now I’m sitting in front of my laptop, being surrounded by the stuff I brought back from the hospital. Gosh, look how many papers I had to sign! There’s even a photo of Pinoko sitting right next to the keyboard now. I asked for one copy for me and the doc said OK. I’m not going to post it on this blog, but let me tell you… she’s much more photogenic than many of the cysts I’ve seen in cyberspace. Honestly.

Anyway, it feels wonderful and so relaxing to be back in my room. But at the same time, I’m feeling a little sad, missing the hospital staff who took care of me there. Now that typing doesn’t exhaust me as much as it did two days ago, I think I’m ready to spend a couple of hours every day for reminiscing those extraordinary days. Yeah, it was such an unforgettable experience...
;)
posted by obachan, 5/17/2007 12:08:00 PM | link | 4 comments |

Thursday, May 03, 2007

PREPARING ...

First day of four consecutive holidays. I’ve decided to use these holidays for cleaning my room and baking goodies. Why baking? To cheer myself up before and after the surgery. I’m going to bake a batch of my favorite oatmeal raisin cookies and store them in an air-tight container so that I can eat them at the hospital. Also I’m going to bake my favorite “creamy apple cake” and freeze it before I go to the hospital. Then when I come back to my apartment from the hospital, the lovely cake will brighten up my gray days when I’m still too weak to cook or bake or go shopping. How about that? Also, the coming recovery period will be a perfect opportunity to try some food delivery services I’ve heard about but never tried yet. Seriously, I can’t think of any better excuse to try this kamameshi delivery.

Anyway, right now my room is a complete mess… Boy, this is going to be a major purge. I have kept so many books and materials from my days in the U.S., which I thought I needed to keep close to me to remind myself how energetic I was then. But let’s face it… seeing them gradually gathering dust was not empowering at all, and the space occupied by such “glory of the past” stuff was actually dead -- nothing new was coming out from there. I was a fool who didn’t admit that.

Do you know what opened my eyes? Remember the post that I wrote about the liar(s)? Soon after I wrote that post, I actually left the volunteer activity that I had been doing with that person. Then for the first time, I realized how much I hated feeling disgusted like that. After I completely withdrew from it, the change was amazing… The skies started looking bluer and trees greener, and I’ve been feeling so energetic since then. It was then that I looked at the dusty corner of my room, and my inner voice said, “Hey, they’re not making me happy at all. Now I can make this part of the room a better place.”

Trust me. I’ll struggle with the mess for a while, and be feeling much, much happier on the last day of this Golden Week.

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May 5, 2007
* Great news. Today I unexpectedly found 40,000 yen (US$332.82) in my old bag before I threw it away.
:D

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May 6, 2007
Now I'm done with cleaning my room. Yay! Also managed to bake an apple cake and 6 blueberry muffins this evening. They are all sitting in the freezer now.
Tomorrow is going to be my major shopping day at Daiso 100-yen shop. Yeah, I'm getting ready.
posted by obachan, 5/03/2007 09:49:00 AM | link | 4 comments |