It is 5:53am and I'm sitting at the kitchen table with a pint of Ben and Jerry's Half Baked Fro Yo and trying to figure out if I'm in pain. I know that sounds kind of weird, but having a tube in your kidney feels kind of weird, but in an uncomfortable way, not a painful way. I was actually doing a pretty good job of sleeping, but then I started to pass some little stones, and they are just too much to sleep through.
The surgery was very successful, both were, actually. First I had a procedure (that I was awake, but sedated, for) in which they cut a little hole in my back and my kidney and inserted a small tube. The second procedure is the one in which they broke up and extracted the stone. I was completely out for that one, and it was a good two hours long. Before I went under, anesthesia told me it would be important for me to stay on top of the pain, requesting meds before I felt like I really needed them. The longer I waited, he explained, the more I would need to control it. And he was absolutely right.
I woke up in a fair bit of pain, but it took a long time for the general anesthesia to completely wear off for some reason. I kept falling back asleep once I was transferred to a regular room, so I'm not sure if or when I got my pain meds. I do recall waking up at one point in tears and asking for medicine, but I guess my nurse didn't think I was very serious as I kept falling back asleep. Finally I did stay awake, but she wasn't returning my pages to the nurses station. I was moving around in the bed trying to find a comfortable position when I set off the bed alarm (apparently I was a fall risk and wasn't allowed to have my back leave the mattress), my room flooded with nurses and finally one flagged down my nurse, and I finally got on top on my pain.
The doctor told me in his office that it would be an inpatient deal and I'd need to spend the night, but when I was having my pre-registration interview with the hospital, they told me I was only slated for an outpatient procedure. So I called up the doctor's office and his nurse confirmed that it was an outpatient surgery and I could go home on Friday. Despite everyone saying it was outpatient, I had a feeling I would be spending the night, so Matt and I talked about what we wanted to do with the kids and I packed a few extra things. My doctor did confirm that I would be staying overnight just before I went in for my first procedure. Matt and I had decided that he would take Eleanor home for the night. We reasoned that I would sleep better (and therefore heal better) if our clingy newborn wasn't fussing in my room. I had spent a few weeks building up a supply of pumped milk at home and I did nurse Eleanor in between procedures. After the second surgery, though, I was in way too much pain to do any nursing. The nurses were adamant that I'd been given some drugs I couldn't breastfeed through, and I was in too much pain to research them myself (although I did ask for a list of everything I'd been given so I could look them up with someone whose main objective wasn't avoiding liability).
Anyway, Matt left in the evening before Abigail went to bed (we left before she woke up and we didn't want her to go an entire day without seeing her parents). Matt assured me that everything went well once he got home: Eleanor, who refused to drink a bottle at the hospital, realized she was starving and chugged a few ounces, she slept quite well through the night considering, and Abigail was so stoked to see Daddy that she acted out in every way possible to try to get attention. (Or back at us for leaving her. Something like that).
The night for me went about as well as trying to sleep in a hospital can. The nurse who came on duty at midnight was significantly more attentive and never forgot my pain meds. Between the nurse, the tech, and the blood draw lady, I was up about every two hours, which I definitely utilized for pumping to be sure my milk supply stayed strong. I actually even increased production by over-pumping. (I did pump and dump since I hadn't done any research. Plus I don't need a stock-pile any more).
So I actually did have a stent overnight, but it was a bit different that the stent I had last year and I also had a catheter - the combination wasn't as painful as last year's stent, but it did still cause a bit of pain. Thankfully they pulled them both on Saturday morning; I was pretty eager to have them gone. I was discharged around noon-ish and made it home in good shape - it's hard to be jostled around in car when you've had your insides all scraped up. When I had the stent in last year, I threw up from the pain every time I rode in the car and it lasted about a day after I had it removed.
I do still have a tube running from my kidney through my back. It's connected to a bag that I have to carry with me. It doesn't hurt per se, but it feels really, really weird. Like when I shift around, I can feel the tube against my kidney. It's weird to feel things with your kidney.
The doctor thinks they got everything out, and they're testing the fragments to see what is causing my stones. I'll go in on Monday morning to have the final tube taken out and hopefully get some answers. In the meantime, I'm passing a few little stone chips that didn't get suctioned out, avoiding any lifting, coughing, sneezing, or laughing (my back muscles are sore from where they cut into them), and trying to figure out if I'm in pain.
Overall, though, I think I'm doing well - stable, and not in too much discomfort. I was able to successful continue breastfeeding Eleanor, who was pretty excited to be getting her milk from the source again. Thank you all for the prayers!