Tuesday June 21, 2011, the day my life forever changed.
It's crazy to think about everything I went through to get to this point. All the classes, the research, the doctor appointments and the hoops made it seem like it was going to be almost impossible to even have this surgery. But I did it! I stuck with it, did everything they asked, had a little patience and on a beautiful Tuesday morning, my dream came true!
We had to check in to St. Marks in SLC at 8:30 a.m. Tom and I left around 7 after a pretty decent night's sleep (I was shocked, it was like Christmas eve!). We stopped and picked up mom, she was eagerly waiting on her front porch (I don't think any of us were excited, nope not a bit) and we headed down. Traffic wasn't bad and the weather was going to be perfect! I was more excited then nervous at this point.
We checked in to the hospital, I got in my lovely paper gown (at least it was purple, my favorite color) and I settled in to be "prepped". In typical fashion for my family we were joking and laughing the whole time, and, of course reading the obituaries, to make sure I wasn't there... yet! Finally it was time to head to the OR! I still wasn't too nervous as I had my little ride down to the 2nd floor. Mom had to leave us at the waiting room and I didn't say good-bye to her which still bothers me a little cuz.. what if, ya know? Luckily, I was still around to say hello, so it didn't matter but we'll get to that in a minute. The hallway that you get wheeled down on the way to surgery is amazing. The ceiling is all windows and I could see my beautiful Utah mountains and the sunshine on my face made me feel warm and comfortable. My dad was there too.
In the OR prep area, I had my IV placed by a sweet lady who got it on the first try! Then Dr. Smith, my awesome surgeon, came and talked to us for a second about how everything was going to be totally fine. For a surgeon, Dr. Sherman Smith's bedside manor is amazing! After our pow-wow with Dr. Smith, the anesthesiologist came and talked to us for a sec. I had made the comment that it kinda sucked that I wouldn't be leaving this hospital stay with a baby and he told me that he would totally steal one for me (cuz he had the creds to get into to nursery!) Sa-WEET! I talked music with the assistant RN who had an incredible south African accent, he plays guitar in a little jazz band and I told him I play the clarinet, we bonded over that and then it was time to head back to the OR. Tom had to leave me, but he did so with a kiss and look that made me know all would be well. Once in the sterile, cold operating room, I had to slide onto the table. I hate these tables. These are the tables that doctors are referring to when they say, we lost her on the "table". Now I start to panic. I don't want to be lost. I closed my eyes and tried to focus on my babies faces, which helped a little. The anesthesiologist gave me a shot of something, I said, "it feels heavy" and then I was out.
I don't remember much about the rest of that day, but I will fill you in on how I was "told" it went.
My surgery was only supposed to last an hour and a half at most but when they got in there they found I had a large hernia in my belly button. This wasn't the type of hernia that poked out, but instead it went in and the hole had filled with fat. They could not fix this laproscopicly so an incision had to be made in my belly button to repair the hernia. I now have a wicked bellybutton held together with several staples. Nice. So, due to the hernia repair, the surgery lasted a bit longer and freaked out my poor mom and husband. My mom said Tom was pacing the floor and checking the board with the stats like every couple of minutes. I'm glad they had each other to lean on during that time. The bypass surgery went perfectly, according to Dr. Smith, best one he'd ever done on someone my size. That made me feel good. He did say, though, that if I had been 50 lbs heavier, it would have been a much different story so I'm glad I kicked butt and lost that pre-surgery weight! It took a little longer then normal for me to come out of anesthesia but finally they took me back to my room and Tom and my mom were able to come see me. Honestly, I have no recollection of our first encounters, I was pretty doped up and floating somewhere in jenniland. Here are a few things I remember from that day... I fell asleep talking to my mother-in-law (which, sometimes can happen even when I'm NOT doped up lol, just kidding) My mom told me she was going to stay the night and then told me she was not going to stay the night. I think I got up to pee a couple of times and that's about it. Fuzzy memories by Jenni Sneddon. I did walk a couple of times also. The first time I only made it a few steps out of my room, the next time I made it to the nurses station (a few more steps out of my room) and later that night, by myself, I made it to the end of the hallway. This made me feel very good and impressed the nurses too! I had heparin shots which have now made my belly look like a warzone, a morphine button that I wish I coulda come home with, and those cool leg massagers and I pretty much stayed in my little drug induced coma for the duration of the day.
All in all, everything went as well as it could possibly have gone. I am grateful to Dr. Smith for his skilled hands and friendly bedside manor, to my mommy who is always there by my side and would have stayed the night if I had asked her to, to my husband who is my comfort and my protector and to all my family and friends who sent me well wishes on Facebook and text messages throughout the day! I love you all and now the fun begins!