Today marks 4 weeks since my brain aneurysm surgery and I'm finally ready to try to re-write the post that didn't save or publish the last time I tried. Except, that I'm over giving a blow-by-blow account of my recovery each day I was in the hospital. Instead, I'll just use bullet points about what I've learned about having a Pipeline and Endovascular Coiling Procedure. 'Cause it was nothing like what I had read on the internet.
- Even though the surgery is performed by entering the femoral artery in the groin area and NOT by cutting into the patient's skull, the use of stabilizing pins is necessary to keep your head immobile during the procedure.
- These pins actually pierce your head. And since you are on three kinds of blood thinners to prevent stroke and clotting, you will bleed profusely from these holes. Hence, the need for a head bandage.
- You will have no less than FOUR IVs in your arms. And four weeks later, the bruising will still be there.
- You have to be on a heart monitor with leads. This will make you feel like you are actually a computer with too many cords. Add a BP cuff and an O2 sat monitor and you see what I mean.
- percentages don't mean jack. I had an 8% chance of having a stroke. I had a 0.014% chance of hemorrhaging. I hemorrahaged.
- Explaining your back pain by comparing it to back labor only works if your nurses have actually been in labor before.
- If your blood pressure drops down into the 50's, you can still be conscious but its really hard to stay with it. I couldn't see but I could hear and respond to questions.
- My blood type is A+. Good to know!
- If you have a blood transfusion, you have to wear a red bracelet in the hospital to make everyone aware of it.
- ICU isn't a fun place to spend your stay in the hospital.
- Private rooms that allow children to visit are MUCH better :)
- Nursing Assistants (CNA's) are now called Personal Care Technicians (PCTs). There are good ones and ones that don't seem to particularly enjoy their job. I was lucky to have an awesome one who helped me wash all the blood out of my hair. I have pictures but believe me, you don't want to see them!
- But the best place to be, hands down, is home :)
- And the most important thing I learned is how wonderful my friends and family are :)