One week ago, I took D over to the military hospital to check in for his shoulder surgery. After filling out the paperwork, we were walked up the stairs to the waiting room. A little while later, he was called back to get prepared for the surgery. Once he was settled in and had lots of tubes and what not hooked up, I was called back. (I was told that I couldn’t be around when they did the initial prep.) Of course things didn’t start out very well when they put the IV in the wrong hand, so they had to redo it.
After a very long delay, we were told that the OR was ready, so I needed to leave the room as they didn’t want me passing out when they did the nerve block. (Let’s put aside the fact that I’ve been around a lot worse. lol!)
I was escorted out of the area and headed out to get some lunch as it was well after lunch time at this point. Little did I know that I shouldn’t have left the building – at all. I went to the exchange and grabbed something to eat and headed back to the hospital to sit in the waiting room. Only, when I got buzzed into the waiting room area, I was escorted into a room where my husband was laying around waiting for me to get back. (I had his clothes since he was supposed to be heading into surgery.)
I found out that after doing the nerve block, they realized that the equipment wasn’t working in the OR. The back-up equipment wasn’t sterile, and the machine that they use to sterilize equipment was down. So, now, poor D has a nerve block on his shoulder which means no feeling in his arm, and the surgery has to be rescheduled. We went home with me in a less than charitable mood to say the least.
As the nerve block completely settled in, D started to experience some difficulty breathing. He wasn’t able to use his arm at all. Needless to say, it was a very long and frustrating night. Later the following day, after the feeling in D’s arm had finally returned, he received a call letting him know that the surgery had been rescheduled for Wednesday. They assured us that the equipment was all in working order.
Mid-morning on Wednesday, we head back over to the hospital. His paperwork is not in order, so they have to get all new paperwork when he checks in. As we’re being escorted to the waiting area, we learn that we should never have been taken up the stairs on Monday. Policy stated that we were supposed to be taken up in the elevator because they don’t know what medical conditions the patient may have.
We didn’t have to wait very long in the waiting room this time around. They took D back and got him into his lovely gown, and then I was called back to sit with him. Due to the complications from the nerve block, D chose not to do the nerve block this time. I was also there when they hooked him up to all of the equipment this time. I watched as one person blew out the vein has he tried to put in the IV, so someone else had to come along and do the IV.
After some time passed, they rolled D back to the pre-op room. This time, I decided not to go anywhere just in case. I heard many apologies that day as several individuals (including the surgeon and head OR nurse) felt rather bad about the whole fiasco on Monday. After the surgeon closed D up, he came out and informed me that D’s shoulder was worse than expected. He said it was trashed and very angry. He went over all the pictures and the procedures that he did. Honestly, I really liked the surgeon and the head OR nurse as they were on top of things and pretty horrified by the less than professional nature of how things had gone down previously.
Once D was in recovery, I was escorted back to see him. He was in pain, out of it, and rather ill. I was pretty surprised that they immediately gave him water rather than ice chips. Needless to say, as soon as he took a sip of water, he got sick. I was a little taken aback at how quickly they released him from the hospital. He was so out of it and sick. He wasn’t even at a point where he could make sense of the questions they were asking him. Every time he moved, he got sick. It was not a fun trip home – at all. I felt so bad as there was nothing I could do to make things better for him.
The arrival home was not a fun event as he was so ill and out of it. The pain was not under control – especially since he kept getting sick which meant he wasn’t able to keep pain meds down. Once he finally got comfortable, he was able to relax and fall asleep. Sleep was ultimately what allowed him to start to feel a little better. Of course, I had to wake him up every four hours to give him meds, so it was a long night.
We’ve finally settled into a regular routine which still includes a regular med, exercise, and icing routine. He has a long road of recovery ahead of him, but we’re optimistic about what the future holds. It’s doubtful that he’ll get back to 100%, but we’ll both be happy if he has a functional shoulder again.