My surgery was scheduled for Tuesday morning, February 17th at 10:15 am. But the hospital wanted me there by 7:45 am. Which made for an early morning, so like we’ve done for years we drove into Los Angeles the night before and just spent the night close to the hospital.
We get to the hospital on time, fill out the paperwork, get my bracelets and they prepare me a bed. Time passes, it’s now approaching 9:00 am and no one has been by. They still need to place my I.v and that is not easy, at least on me. There’s been a delay, the person having surgery before me had a difficult time recovering so they gave them more time. At around 10 am. Someone comes to put in my I.V, or so she thinks. We tell her that it’s hard to get an I.V in me so she goes and gets “The vein finder”. We laugh, wondering what it is, we guess that’s probably just a really powerful light or some kind of infrared thing. We were right but even with the extra help she failed to get the I.V placed so, maybe a little deflated she said I would need to wait for the anesthesiologist. I think maybe her confidence was shaken but the anesthesiologist got it in my hand with no problem. By this time it was almost noon but they gave me some sedation and then rolled me into surgery
Surgery went well, well as well as it could have I guess. My Trachea had gotten so small they said any kind of cold or upper respiratory infection and my airway would have just shut down. A normal, adult trachea is between 6.5 mm and 7 mm for a woman and about 7 to 7.5 mm for an adult man but mine wasn’t even 4 mm.
It’s funny when you wake from surgery and as you drift in and out of awareness you see and hear things that you’re not quite sure about, kind of like that scene in Dumbo. As I drifted in and out seeing my parents cartoon faces and hearing the woman on the other side of the Curtin ask for ice chips, I heard them say they had no room to put me in, so I would have to spend the night in a hallway cubical. I had been going to this hospital for years having the same surgery done, so I have spent a night in a cubical before, so I thought, “no problem” and just went back to sleep. When I woke again, they said that they found me my own Private room and it truly was a nice room, complete with its own giant window overlooking the city and the new helicopter pad. My parents sat in my room watching the comings and goings and a near miss of the helicopters. It wasn’t late but considering the day, they said goodnight and went back to their hotel room and, shortly after they left my room the fog began to role in and the helicopters had to stop flying.
All these years we thought the scarring in my Trachea was caused by the Tracheal stent they put in my neck during the time I spent in a coma but we were told differently. We were informed that my tracheal tube must have been smaller than an average adult women’s and therefore when the paramedics put the trachea tube down my tracheal opening, in order to save my life; they had no way of knowing that a standard tube might be too big and cause its own damage. It was an extra tight squeeze so it probably stretched and stretched until they finally removed the tube and put the hole in my neck and, thus, my Trachea needs to be re-stretched because of the trauma originally caused from the original tube they put down my throat. Now I will need to have this surgery done more often, at least for, perhaps the next few years.