Surgery day was Thursday, October 15, 2015.
When the alarm went off in the morning, it was straight into the shower for an antibacterial cleansing then off to the University of Washington Medical Center. We checked in by 5:45am and were back in the pre operation room five minutes later. The room was a revolving door of nurses, doctors and anesthesiologists from my surgical team introducing themselves and getting me ready for surgery. One of the anesthesiologist placed the first of my three IVs with ease. James and I enjoyed talking to him about Africa, a place I would someday love to visit! He had just returned from visiting his family there. James tried to get his mom and dad's name so we'd have a place to stay, but no such luck. :)
Dr. Said came in with Dr. Miller and they sketched out the incision sites on each of my upper thighs. James said it wasn't pretty. They marked along my bikini line from the middle back of my thigh to the front of my groin, about 12 inches and then a vertical line about 6 inches long from the middle of my groin down towards my knee. That's about what I've got for stitches right now - Yikes!
One of the nurses from the surgical team stopped in and introduced herself. James asked her what the doctors do for lunch and breaks...10 hours is a long time to be in surgery. She giggled and assured him that they go in prepped with everything they need and it isn't a big deal. As Dr. Said told us, it is just another day at the office for him, although he also said he understood that it wasn't for us.
It wasn't too much longer and the anesthesiologist asked me if I wanted some valium before heading back. I told him no, as I was completely at peace knowing that God is at my side. James gave me a kiss and I was on my way down many back hallways to the operating room. When he wheeled me into the room, the surgical team was gathered around a large monitor looking at what appeared to be the CT scan of my upper legs. They were looking at the veins and arteries. They slid me over to the operating table and everyone from the team of 15 greeted me and shook my hand. They strapped me to the table, put a mask over my nose and mouth telling me to breath deeply. I was out for 10 1/2 hours.
James received updates from the head nurse every two hours. What a long day for him. About 6 1/2 hours into the procedure, the microsurgery portion was about complete and they were monitoring the newly transplanted tissue for blood flow while they began sewing up the donor sites.
Dr. Said came out after surgery letting James know that everything went well and then I was taken into ICU where they monitored my newly placed skin flaps every hour. They watch the flaps very closely the first 12 hours as that is when 80% of the complications occur.
|Waking up in ICU.|