kansas medical center, wichita, KS

Heart Surgery Part I

In Blog by Eric BenjaminLeave a Comment

kansas medical center, wichita, KS

To be honest, I was taking this upcoming heart surgery lightly. It seemed so surreal and I wasn’t feeling sick. I have never had health problems and I especially never had heart issues, so it almost didn’t seem real at all. But since it was real, I figured it would be best to get this problem taken care of before it became a bigger health problem. Things wold get more real as the day came closer.

My last day at work was weird. I got everything done that I could and updated my coworkers on the rest. I set my email and phone message to reflect that I’d be gone for six weeks. It felt so weird. I had some symptoms but nothing seemed wrong with me in any major way and yet I was leaving for six weeks to recover from surgery. If everything went well, I would probably be back in four weeks but there was that 5% chance that the surgeon would have to open me up if things didn’t go well with the DaVinci Robot. Such a small chance I figured would never pan out.

Leaving work felt strange too. It felt like I was leaving the company. Wishful thinking. Actually I have to say even though that isn’t the place I want to work, it is providing me with very good insurance to take care of this problem. I can’t yet imagine how much it is going to cost. I drove all the way home feeling like I was starting a very, very long vacation. Little did I know how far from a vacation this was going to be.

We had to be to the Kansas Medical Center in Wichita on Sunday afternoon. I had never stayed in a hospital before and was unsure how to pack, but I figured I would be in one of those hospital gowns all week so I wouldn’t need to bring much. I was looking forward to getting this whole thing over with.

hospital nightgown

Me in my nighty. I hated putting that thing on but I was becoming a patient, something I never thought about until then.

We checked in and they showed us to our first room. They hooked me up to a heart monitor, took blood and ran some other tests. The nurse on nights said she would be back to “clip” me, give me a bowel prep and then I’d have to take a shower with special soap. Clip? Bowel prep? I wasn’t sure what that entailed but I would soon find out.

working on the mac at the hospital

Before things really got underway I spent some time on the Mac

hooked up to heart monitor

Marc and Ashley showed up to wish me well and hang out just for a bit. That was nice. They were the lucky ones that got to see me before the surgery. I wouldn’t be looking so good afterwards.

 Jen, Marc and I

When the nurse showed back up I was in for the most humiliating thing I think I have gone through. I tried to clear my mind and think of something else as she “clipped” me. It was pretty much like what my dog goes through every summer when we give her  her summer do. The nurse had to shave me down to get me ready for surgery. And bowel prep, well I’m sure you can imagine what that entailed. One thing I noticed through this hospital experience is that I had to give up some of my humanness to get through it. I was constantly (or so it felt) being poked and prodded and told to take pills and every bit of excrement or bodily fluid had to be accounted for. After this experience I felt really sorry for anyone that has to spend time in the hospital. It is not fun and can be near torture at times.

After I was clipped, had my bowel prepped, had my blood taken and heart monitored I went to sleep. My first night in the hospital. They woke me up early to take another shower with the special soap and got me ready to go to surgery.

I said bye to Jen and was wheeled into the operating room. At first it was only the anesthesiologist and a couple of other people in there with me. I didn’t see the surgeon yet. They were asking questions about what would be going on in this surgery. As I laid there on the table they sounded a little clueless to me. It didn’t give me the best feeling in the world. But that’s all I remember. Soon I was dead to the world. I was hoping I’d be done in around four hours and be recovering soon. But this would not be my lucky day. I would wake up in more pain than I’d ever known.