As you may or may not know, I went in Monday for a hysterectomy and pelvic floor repair, among other things. I was very excited to finally have my year's worth of problems and pain solved. It did not go at all as I had hoped.
This is what happened, give or take a few catheter insertions:
On the way to surgery (i.e. rolling down the hall towards the OR), I was quite chatty with the nurse. She commented in the OR that I must be on some good drugs for being so open and talkative. I stated that I had not yet received anything, and that I was just a talker. The nurses looked to the anesthesiologist in surprise and confusion, as I should have gotten some sedation before being wheeled to the OR. He was embarassed and quickly sputtered "well now she has it" and pushed some painful meds into my iv super fast, which caused my arm to burn.
Shortly after, I got the general anesthesia and was out.
When I woke up 3 hrs later, I had excruciating pain in my bladder. At this point, I was still in the OR, waiting for a room to open in recovery. I felt like I had to pee, but times a million. My bladder was so distended, I was screaming from the pain, begging somebody to help me pee. The new anesthesiologist pushed fentanyl and said that I was cathed, and that my bladder was emptying just fine. I pleaded repeatedly for him or the nurse to help me, but they either ignored me or pushed more fentanyl (which didn't help my bladder) until the fentanyl ran out. After I continued to cry, sob, and beg for relief, the dr got tired of my antics and pushed atavan to "calm me down." My blood pressure dropped to (approx) 70/40 from the shock of the pain I was experiencing.
One hour later, a room in recovery opened up and I was transported.
In recovery, I continued to sob, pleading for help with my bladder. The wonderful nurse there took pity on me, and decided she would check the catheter, thinking maybe the balloon holding it in was in a bad place, hurting me. When she got down to inspect, I heard her exclaim "oh my god!" I asked her what was wrong, and she responded that I didn't want to know. I asked again, and this time she said that she shouldn't even tell me. I told her that I wanted to know, and she informed me that my catheter was in the wrong hole. She later got the story, and told me that the supposed 175 ml of urine I expelled into the bag actually came out of me on the table, and that somebody in OB shoved a cath in me after. Nobody checked to see that it was in the right place, or that I was draining.
My bladder had been filling up the whole time (from iv fluids) and had no way to get out. The nurse re-cathed me and I immediately felt relief from the pressure, but was still in horrible pain from my bladder distention.
This amazing nurse, LeeAnn B., advocated for me, and helped me get pain meds that I needed, such as dilauded and morphine. She also kept an eye on that cath.
I was so upset and in pain at this point, I wanted badly to see my bf, who was waiting for me just a few rooms away. The drs and nurses wouldn't let him come back to see me, since they were trying to figure out this clusterf*ck that had happened to me. Since I was STILL in pain, one resident decided that they must have left packing in me, and proceeded to stick her hand up my vagina (horribly sore from surgery) and root around looking for gauze. She thought she found some, but I'm not certain whether any came out or not. Her answer to my pain was to remove the newly placed urinary catheter, and just let me "go" on my own.
The kind nurse finally got Keith on the phone to talk to me, since I was getting MORE than upset again about not being able to see my family. We spoke for a minute, then they made me hang up.
After about another hour, I was transferred to a room. I once again had horrible pressure and pain in my bladder, and tried to pee on my own. I tried for over 30 minutes, but to no avail. I asked the nurse to straight cath me, and she refused. By now I was desperate for help, since my bladder was overfilled again, and already super sore from the previous distention. I asked for more pain meds, and was refused again. They only gave me at first 1 percocet every two hours, and one "high dose" motrin every alternating hour. This, following major surgery. Amazing. I again asked to be cathed, and was again denied. I was told they didn't want to risk introducing infection. I asked for more pain control, and was again denied. They said that they couldn't give me higher pain meds without keeping me on a monitor, and that the room/floor i was in wasn't equipped for that. I asked to be moved to a new room to be monitored, and was denied.
I complained again about the bladder pain, and was again searched for packing. Finally an angry nurse straight cathed me and drained about 350 ml from my bladder. FTR, my post-prolapse bladder only holds 250-300 ml fluid. I know this from pre-surgical urodynamics testing.
For the next few hours, we did the dance of me asking for more meds, them repeatedly denying me. I was given atavan once again to "calm me down" when I got upset due to my shoddy care.
I hadn't slept all night, and I was in terrible pain. The nurse then came in to let me know I was being discharged. I was surprised (to say the least) because I was still unable to pee on my own. I asked to see my doctor again, and was again denied. I got mad and said that either they were going to page him, or I was going to walk myself up to the OB wing and find him myself to let him know what was going on. They paged him.
In the meantime, I still had to pee and was about to pass out from the pain, so I took it upon myself to go out into the halls to find a dr on rounds, and beg him, crying, to find somebody to help me pee. He looked at me like I was crazy, but he sent somebody. If he hadn't, Keith and I were going to walk out and find another hospital's ER to help me.
When my Dr. came down, he looked very very uncomfortable even talking to me. I think because he finally got wind of everything that had happened up to this point. Previous to this moment, we had an excellent relationship, and I trusted him completely.
He suggested that since I still couldn't pee, that I should be foley cathed, and sent home to let my bladder heal up a bit. Then he left. The nurse joked that she had already cathed me 3 times that morning (ha ha) and inserted the new cath into my bladder. When it was inserted, she blew up the balloon to hold the cath in place, and accidentally overfilled the balloon, popping it in my bladder. It sounded like a gunshot, but coming from inside my body. It was awful. When she tried again, I was in so much pain, Keith had to leave the room because he couldn't handle seeing me like that. It was too upsetting.
And so I was sent home. With a catheter in me, vague instructions on how to empty and change the bag, and some percocet. Keith asked if I needed antibiotics, the nurse replied "well, it isn't written, so I guess not."
notice the size of the catheter they repeatedly inserted. ouch.
leg bag. no instructions on proper hygiene or care
big overnight collection bag that i have to change myself
Wednesday morning I woke with pain so awful, I didn't want to be awake/alive to deal with it. The pain was all coming from my lower abdomen/bladder/vagina. We immediately went to the cleveland clinic er, where I was treated with amazing care, and was given the news that I had an infection in my bladder. I was given heavy pain meds and a script for Cipro, and told to follow up with my dr on thursday, but also urged to make an appt with cleve clinic urology asap.
It turns out that with all this trauma to my bladder, from the distention to the repeated catheterizations, the inside of my bladder is completely raw, so every time a drop of urine enters the bladder, i am in complete and utter pain.
And I get to stay like this until somebody figures out how to fix it.