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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My asthma lungs do not like surgery....

Last week was The Dreaded Surgery. I had been hoping to avoid surgery, but The Knee was being a LITTLE cranky and wanted some attention.

This getting older stuff really stinks.

So, despite trying physical therapy/elevating my knee/keeping ice on it, The Knee decided it had had enough. So, surgery was the next option.

I would rather do just about anything rather than have surgery. (I mean anything - defrost my freezer, scrub the toilets, wash out my disgusting garbage cans.....) I know from past experience that my lungs do NOT like surgery. I also know that I need to stay on oxygen for a while after surgery (which I carefully explained to the nursing staff.) It seems like they are always in a hurry to get you off oxygen, and to send you home after surgery. "Look at the great progress you are making!"

So, despite my best efforts, The Lungs were not happy after surgery. The oxygen monitor kept going off, and The Nurse was saying, "Take a breathe. C'mon Andrea. Breathe really deep for me." Argh!. 

Did I not carefully explain that I needed to STAY on oxygen for a while after the surgery?! I was too weak to say, "Why don't you just put the oxygen back on????" I had to really concentrate on breathing for The Nurse. I flopped my head over to one side to look at Hubby and hoped he could read my blank expression while I held my dripping purple Popsicle.  We have been married long enough, that he should have known I was trying to communicate to him with my mind and say, "Honey, will you please tell the nurse to put my oxygen mask back on?" 

But Hubby failed Mind Reading 101. So there I laid with my dripping purple Popsicle. Hoping someone would put my oxygen back on. It seemed like Body had forgotten how to breathe on it's own. Oh yeah! I'm supposed to breathe in and out! 

Finally, The Nurse decided that I could stay there a while longer (why?) or I could go home.

So, home we went. I had to focus on breathing in and out for the next few hours. Who knew it could be that hard? It used to seem so natural. I knew that I needed to breathe deep to open up my lungs, since some people with asthma can develop breathing problems after surgery.

I used my rescue inhaler to keep my lungs open. And I made sure I took my maintenance medicine inhaler too. I also slept upright, since that felt easier on my lungs.

Next time, I am going to do what my kid's kindergarten teacher used to do for my kids. I am going to pin a note on my hospital gown that says, "Please keep the oxygen on Andrea for several hours after surgery - she has moderate asthma." I may even add some sparkly stars to the note.

Think it will work?


  1. Oh, it's not uncommon for hospital staff to disregard your requests. When I had my wisdom teeth out, they put penicillin in my iv, despite me telling me them several times I was allergic. I think they are so into a routine they forget special cases.

    1. Yes, that's why Hubby was there, to fix that for me. I guess I needed to be more direct with instructions.

      I am going to make a sign next time....

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