IVC Filter–2 days before surgery

I slept off and on last night because I had to be at the hospital to have an IVC (inferior vena cava) filter installed. I had to be there at 7am  and I woke up at 4 and 5 then again at 6:15 when my alarm went off. Jerry was awake and we both dressed quickly. We were about to leave when i noticed I couldn’t find my phone. That took far too long and I found it in a pocket inside my purse. Our son is in New Orleans and we want to keep in touch even if I am unconscious most of the day.

The hospital where I’m having my procedure and surgery isn’t far from our house so we were only two minutes late. After checking in I was taken to Outpatient and changed into a hospital gown. I had to take off all my clothes except for my socks, which I was grateful. It was cold. I was cold most of the time but the nurses and staff covered me in blankets and this helped a lot.

My IVC filter was going to be inserted through my groin, I learned this on our tour. So last night when I took my shower I very carefully shaved my ladyparts. Three people asked if I had been shaved/prepped for surgery and I told all three I did it myself. One nurse actually checked. I think all three of them were relieved I had already shaved. I know I was. I’m a rather modest person and don’t want to share this side of myself if I don’t have to.

The surgery went well. A nurse started an IV in my left hand, I had a blood pressure cuff on my right arm and was hooked up to a heart monitor. I met my doctor who told me again what he was doing and asked if I had any questions. I asked how long it took and he said about half an hour to an hour and that I would be unconscious. They wheeled me toward surgery and I said bye to Jerry. I slid myself from the gurney to the operating table and a few minutes later the drugs kicked in and I was out. I woke up on the way to my room.

I spent the rest of the day flat on my back, my right leg still. I could not sit up so Jerry fed me giant chunks of  red jell-o and helped me take sips of Crystal Light, juice and beef broth by balancing the cup on my right shoulder and holding it. I was told to rest and sleep if I felt like it. I felt a little groggy but the sounds of the monitors and blood pressure cuff going off periodically kept me awake.  I also needed to use a bedpan twice. The nurses were very nice, helpful and maintained their dignity. I was a little grossed out lying in my urine and the bedpan was cold but we managed.   I was so glad to use my own bathroom when I got home.

The nurse told me to go straight home and take it easy, for Jerry to treat me like a queen. No lifting anything over 5 pounds or better yet, no lifting. No shower either, I needed to leave the incision alone and she pulled my gown back to show me a band-aid on my upper ladyparts. It covered my incision and needed to remain untouched. If I had bleeding for more than 5 minutes to call an ambulance and if I had pain to take Tylenol. We went home. I was hungry and had some soup while Jerry had a couple of leftover chicken breasts. I’m in my jammies now and so far everything is good. No pain, no bleeding and I’m relieved to have the filter in. Two more days to go. Tomorrow is the last day of the pre-op diet, the last day of pre-op period. I plan to do very little: read, rest and order Jerry around. I will pack and need to go to the bank but will mostly be thinking about my surgery and how things are going to change.

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