This entry is being written from memory 8 days later.
I woke up this morning to start recovering from the second surgery. I hope whatever they did last night corrects the problem and I can finally start to feel better and get to my babies. I miss them so much.
I’ve not been able to pump since lunchtime yesterday. I know how important it is to pump every 3 hours or so to establish my milk supply, and I have been asking my nurses to pump, but no one seems to feel the urgency to do so but me. I talk to the Lactation Consultant who tells me that it’s ok, but to know that I probably won’t get a full supply until a little later than usual. I don’t actually get to pump again until 25 hours after the last time, and to my great relief, I get more that pumping session than I had previously. I try to relax and trust that everything will be ok.
I have a wonderful, kind nurse who helps me shower today. It’s been several days since I’ve been able to and Katherine even washed my hair for me. I was afraid to get into the shower because I thought it would hurt my incision, but it didn’t. It felt really good.
Later, I am feeling a bit more mobile and decide to start pumping in the rocking chair in my room. The nurses still help me get in and out of bed and the chair, but I am able to sit for a while and feel like I might actually get out of here eventually.
My second time in the rocking chair, I finish pumping and call for my nurse. A woman who is not my nurse comes in and in a rushed tone, asks if I need something. I said yes, and she complained that she asked me that over the intercom, but all she heard was my TV. I apologized, as my TV remote has no volume control, and I never heard her talk to me.
I tell her I need help putting my milk away, and she picks up the container rather harshly and is bouncing around the room looking for a lid for it. I’m not sure where the lids are, and she’s being so aggressive with the container of what little milk I’ve pumped that I wish she’d just put it down. I tell her I will hold it, and she half laughs at me and says, “What, are you afraid I will spill it?”
I reply that I am and that every drop counts right now. I feel like I’m going to cry as she leaves the room with my milk, still looking for a lid — even though I’ve told her it is near the sink.
She returns, puts a lid on the milk and rushes out of the room. I still sit in the rocking chair, unable to get out of it by myself and start to cry. I don’t want to call her again, but I’m helpless in the chair and will have to call if I am to get out of it. My back is starting to hurt.
I want a different nurse, but when I call with the call button, I’m just going to get my nurse, so how do I request a new one? After abotu 5 minutes, I decide I must call again as I can’t sit much longer.
Fortunately, my previous nurse arrives and I asked if the other woman is my new nurse. My nurse said no, she was just busy and so the other nurse came in to help me. I started to cry and told her what happened. The nice nurse put her arm on my shoulder and apologized to me for the way the last nurse had acted. She helped my into bed.
The day went on uneventfully until my even nurse came on shift. I needed to pump, so I asked for her help. I had been using hot packs to warm my breasts before I pump, and so I asked for some. She told me that those are very expensive and I shouldn’t be using them — I should just use a warm washcloth. Feeling like a scolded child, I apologized and said I didn’t know, I was just doing what the previous nurses had been doing. This nurse warmed some washcloths and brought them to me.
When I was done, I gave her my container of milk and she opened the refrigerator to put it in. She saw my many containers, each containing very little precious milk for my boys. She told me I should be putting all the milk in one container, because it was a waste to keep using a new container for so little milk. I explained that the way I was doing it was the way one of my previous nurses told me I needed to be doing it, and that she had asked the nursery and they agreed.
This new nurse said she had worked in the nursery and knew it was ok to combine milk and I said perhaps we should call Seattle and ask, since that is where the milk is going anyhow. She insisted she was right and left the room, coming back to tell me she talked to the nursery and they confirmed what she said. She poured my milk into the previous container and continued to do so each time I pumped.
The next time she came to my room, she told me I was taking too much Vicodin. I didn’t know what to say, since I was just taking what they were bringing to me to take. I told her this and she said it was too much. She said it was going to damage my liver.
I told her ok, then just tell me what to do or take and she said it was up to my doctor. I said that was fine and didn’t understand why she was scolding me for the medication I was taking. I hadn’t prescribed it for myself!
The next thing I know, Dr. H comes in to talk to me. She was the second doctor who worked on my c-section with Dr. K. r. H tells me I am taking too much Vicodin, and I tell her I’m sorry, I was just taking what they were giving me. She proceeds to lecture me on how it’s just too much, like I’ve been demanding it or something, which I certainly haven’t! I just ask for my pain meds when it’s time and I take what the nurses have been giving me.
The reason Dr. K had put me on Vicodin this morning was because I had talked to my mom who told me that Percoset — what I had been taking — never worked for her after surgery, and when her meds were changed, she felt better. I thought perhaps some of the problem with the pain that led to the second surgery had to do with the pain meds, so I had told the nurse and Dr. K changed my prescription.
I told this to Dr. H who said that 99.9% of her post-surgical patients do just fine on Percoset and that I shouldn’t be changing meds based on “anecdotal evidence”. I told her I’m not prescribing my own meds, so just tell me what I need to take and I will do it. I was getting so frustrated.
Then she asks me what I think I should do, and I tell her I don’t know, she’s the doctor. I told her I am feeling like I am being chastised for something I didn’t even do, and now I’m expected to know the right answer. She tels me she is the doctor and will prescribe the meds and I just want to scream, “Then just do that and leave me alone!”
She finally decided the Vicondin is fine, she just adjusts the dose and finally leaves me alone. I’ve decided I’ve had enough of this place and I am goign home as soon as possible. I decide to stop calling for the nurses to help me with anything and just grin and bear it while I get in and out of bed and pump and store my milk.
I just need to leave this place and be with my babies.