Tuesday, February 1, 2011

T-0: The Big Day

Pre-Op: Arrived at the hospital at 7:30am for the 10am procedure. Something I had read said leave everything in the hotel, so I complied and left my insurance card there. You should definitely leave rings, watches and other valuables at home or at your hotel, but definitely bring your ID (driver’s license) and insurance card. After some paperwork, I was shown to the pre-op area where I changed into a hospital gown and they prepared an IV on the back of my left hand. So far everyone has been friendly, polite and professional.


Operation: There was another SLAD-R spasmodic dysphonia surgery procedure scheduled before mine, but Dr. Berke had another procedure that morning before the first SLAD-R procedure, so I finally was headed toward the operating room at about 2pm. I was getting really hungry by that time as I had been fasting since my “Last Supper.” The last thing I remember is being wheeled down the hall, and talking to the anesthesia team. I recall telling them, “I feel great but this anesthesia stuff isn’t having any effect on me at all.”


Post-Op: I woke up about five hours later at about 7pm in the recovery room, and heard that everything went well. I’m happy and relieved to have the operation behind me. I have a tight compression bandage around my neck, but it’s comfortable and there’s no pain. I had a very slight, weak and at times croaky voice after the operation. I had expected that I would only have a whisper after the operation, so I am pleasantly surprised to find that I have a bit more than that. I seem to have a lot of phlegm and I’m periodically using a suction device (similar to what they use at the dentist’s office) to remove it from my mouth, as it’s kind of hard to swallow it. I didn’t eat or drink after the operation on this day but was no longer hungry, I guess due to the IV. Private rooms were in short supply so they transferred me to an “observation room” for the first night – as far as I knew, it was the private room and was fine with it. It was a bit hard to sleep because I kept using the suction to get rid of the phlegm.

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