After the Operation

Derek Ouellette —  October 20, 2011

So today I had my operation. Keep in mind that I have never had an operation before.

I arrived at 8:30 but it appeared there was some sort of complication with the guy before me, because his operation lasted an hour longer than anticipated. This did not bode well for my confidence in the procedure. A resident nurse arrived around 10:30 (when my surgery was to begin) to explain that there was a delay and she said that she wanted to start an iv. She was so young and fresh faced that it was clear she was new, and even more clear that she was just as nervous as I was to put this iv in my vein. She tried and tried, having first a hard time locating the vein (because I was instructed not to have anything to eat or drink since midnight the day before, my vein’s had shrivelled up a bit). Finally locating one she stuck in the iv and apparently went right through it. I tried to be tough but the pain was excruciating and blood began to squirt out everywhere. She didn’t think it was going to take and asked me if it was okay that she try again. I agreed, but fortunately it didn’t come down to that.

Nobody had ever complained about the iv, so it was the least of my concerns and yet it turn out to be one of the most uncomfortable parts of the whole ordeal.

Finally I was wheeled to the operating room where I was asked to lay down on a long and very thin bed (i.e. if I tilted one way or another, I’d fall off). And there were these huge lights just over top of the bed. I felt like I had been abducted by aliens. All of these wires and stuff where stuck all over me and my arms were stretched out to either side of me like as if I was being crucified. They explained that after I was asleep they were going to put a tube down my throat to help me breathe. No one had mentioned this before and so it came as a shock. My throat is very sore right now.

They gave me anaesthetic which knocked me out so that the next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room to nurses asking me if I could hear them. It was about 2:15 in the afternoon. Because my throat was so sore I asked for water. Then another. And another. I also asked for more pain medication and they were happy to oblige.

Recently my wife’s cousin’s husband – a great big body builder guy – had to have the same operation as me, only a few months earlier. The rule of thumb at the hospital after a hernia operation is that as soon as the patient is able to pee he is allowed to leave. This man, Arlis, could not pee for the life of him. He was the first patient in and the last to leave that day (to the embarrassment of his wife!). With my intense dislike for hospitals – you might call it a phobia – I vowed that I would not be in as long as Arlis. I also found it impossible to get comfortable. As soon as I was wheeled to my room (2:30 ish) I wanted the cookies that were due me, my wife went and got me a coffee, and I had more water with the combined effect that I had to pee like a race horse. Two nurses helped me to the washroom – they were super impressed – then I got dressed, my wife went to get the car and I was on my way home by 3:15 – one hour after I awoke from the operation!

My first order of duty was to get a Tim Hortons coffee and a soup. I am in a LOT of pain, but did I mention my distain for hospitals. I’d rather be in pain in the comfort of my own home, which I am.

I was originally told I would be off work for two weeks, but that was pushed back to three (to the dismay of the store manager). I cannot drive for this whole period either and it is preferred that I stay home for most of it. But I plan to stay busy. As the marketing manager of my store I can do many things from my computer at home. I also stocked up quite the reading list. These include N.T. Wright’s “Simply Jesus” which arrived in the mail yesterday and I’m already into chapter 4. A copy of “Arminius Speaks” arrived yesterday as well as “Evangelical Universalism”. So I hope to read these while I’m recouping. If there is still time, I plan to read “Is There A Doctor In The House?” by Ben Witherington III and “Moral Formation According to Paul” by James Thompson.

Aside from this I will be working on designing a website for a business I am launching in January, Slides by Derek. And if time permits, I may (finally!) return to my manuscript that I shelved some time ago. I’m very excited about what I have and where I was going with it, but life got in the way. Maybe I can get that ball rolling again.

So much to do, but I finally have time to do some of it.

Thanks to everyone who has had me in their prayers. And a special THANKS to my wife for being such a fantastic support. I love you sweety!

Be Sociable, Share!

Derek Ouellette

Posts Twitter Facebook Google+

a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • Morgan Guyton

    Praying for a swift recovery brother!

    • Derek Ouellette

      Thanks man… those prayers are really working! I feel great.

  • Michael

    I’m happy to hear that you feel good :)