Monday, May 30, 2011

Fresh Out of ICU

Here is how I look coming out of ICU before I am able to put on my own clothes The gown is the traditional ass flashing kind. When they had me put in on in prep it was HUGE and I had to wrap it around me in order not to go streaking through the hall to quick go to the bathroom before they hooked me up to the IV pole;

For the first time, they had me wear this ridiculous "skull cap" they referred to it as which would never stay on my head and annoying just kept hanging around my neck like a noose. Unlike the other 2 surgeries, they had some gauze padding on the incision. So I believe this so called "skull cap" was supposed to keep the gauze in place on the wound. For the first 24 hours I was lying flat on my back with only the pillow area of the bed elevated at least at a 30 degree angle because it is important to keep the head above the heart after a brain surgery. So although the cap kept falling off, the padding was not going anywhere. Mom and I pulled it up onto my head as best we could to take a picture.

The photo of my legs on the left is a picture of the compression socks they have me wear after the surgery. Due to the amount of time someone has to be lying in bed, there is concern of developing blood clots in the legs. I for one happen to suffer from charlie horse cramps in my calves on occassion and need to regulate my potassium intake and sometimes take supplements when running high mileage when training for half marathons. Plus I am a really active person so lying for such a long time is difficult. The compression socks basically act as if someone is massaging your calves by squeezing and releasing them. They are powered by the electricity connected to the bed just like plugging in a heating blanket. Therefore, after the catheter is out, I need to have someone take them on and off me each time I need to go to the bathroom. Mom or my sister always to this for me.

Oh......the other things-

The gloves are just the manicure kind that I wear at first for 2 reasons.

1) I have something called Raynard's Syndrome where if my hands get too cold they loose blood circulation. Oddly for the first time I DID have an attack while in ICU. I think I had to lie on my hands to get the cirulation back. So that must be why I am wearing them. I think an attack was triggered shortly before I was moved to my regular room. Being that it can be cold in medical facilities sometimes, the gloves are an essential that I packed in my surgery bag just like my eye drops I MUST have with me.

2) I have a dry skin problem on my hands. These gloves are actually designed to wear at night after you apply lotion to keep in the moisture and make your skin soft. Surgery day I was not allowed to wear any lotion but I could afterward. So that is another reason why I am wearing them.

What's with the pirate patch? Am I making a halloween joke?

No. Actuially this is another essential. It is very common after brain surgery to have double vision. I did not know that for my first surgery and so I tried to improvise by wearing an eye mask for sleeping over one of my eyes so I could read and see.

My "Keep Climbing" bracelet given to me by one of my heros, fellow Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor and Everest mountain climber Sean Swarner is gracing my right wrist (the hand that I am waving). In surgery prep the staff was so nice and allowed me to keep it in for my surgery which meant a great deal to me. hehe I sort of planned that and was hoping they would let me keep it on. :)

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