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View Full Version : What is it like when you wake up after surgery?



Pkscott
09-22-2005, 12:28 PM
As you all know I am terrified about my surgery. I was wondering what it is like when you wake up. Will there be someone with you when you wake up? Do you have any tubes in your mouth or nose? Do you have pain as soon as you wake up?
I'm also scared hat I will try to get up when I wake up?

LindaRacine
09-22-2005, 01:21 PM
Hi...

Are you sure you want to know? Sometimes, knowing more may make your fear worse. And, I'm guessing that if you ask that question of 100 people, you'll get 100 different answers.

You might want to ask if you can meet with the anesthesiologist before your surgery. (That may be part of the routine anyway.) In most cases, the anesthesiologist will be in charge of your care during the recovery room period.

Regards,
Linda

Ken
09-22-2005, 01:28 PM
Hi PK - I still remember waking up after my surgery! I had family all around me and yes I did want to get up and started to try to get up by reaching for the handle that hung over me - (bad idea) - and luckily I was quickly reminded not to do that and they removed the handle :eek: I don't remember feeling much pain as I was on pain meds - when I was awake - I would either visit family or friends or read and do crossword puzzles, etc.. I also made some new friends at the hospital (other patients, their families and the candy stripes) - I was a 16 yo boy after all!! :) I was in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks but as things have changed alot over the years your stay may not be as long - but even still it really wasn't a bad experience for me :) Do you have family or friends that will be with you?? You may bring some things to read, etc... good luck!!

Pkscott
09-22-2005, 01:56 PM
Some of my family will be with me at the hospital. My other family members will be at home watching my two little girls.

I guess I just don't want to be shocked. I know that the chest tube scares me because my brother had 12 open heart surgeries in his lifetime and he always complained about the chest tubes.
Did you have any tubes in your mouth?

itsjustme
09-22-2005, 02:22 PM
The first time I woke up I was in agonizing pain. (however, everyone is different) They ended up putting m back to sleep and sticking the tube right back in my neck. My husband saw me, but I don't seem to remember. However the second time I woke up I was still in alot of pain, but I just remembered wiggling my toes and smiling thankful that I wasn't paralyzed. :/ I just remember being really really stiff and crying for my husband almost hysterically. I don't mean to freak you out persay.

SandyC
09-22-2005, 03:18 PM
When I woke in the Recovery Room, the first thing I remember was being very cold and shivering. The reason is because while you are in surgery your body temp is lowered. The lowering of your body temp slows down bleeding. Being in the RR is like being in ICU. The nurses only have 1 or 2 patients, so they will be right there if you need something for pain. Your family will be able to be at your side

The tube in your nose is called an NG Tube (naso gastric tube). I wouldn't think that you will need one. You will not be able to eat or drink the night before surgery. You will also not be able to eat or drink until you have bowel sounds, which will be several days after the surgery. One of the reason for an NG is to prevent the patient from vomiting, but since your stomach will be empty it may not be necessary.

If you are having an anterior approach then you may have a chest tube. I had a chest tube. I never had any pain from it, even when they removed it.

You will proabably have a foley cathiter ( a tube to the bladder). This is a god send! You won't have to get out of bed to pee.

All of these tubes, if you have any, will be put in while you are in surgery, so you will be a sleep and won't feel a thing.

You should ask your doc about what kind of tubes you will have when you wake up.

Ken
09-22-2005, 06:40 PM
Some of my family will be with me at the hospital. My other family members will be at home watching my two little girls.

I guess I just don't want to be shocked. I know that the chest tube scares me because my brother had 12 open heart surgeries in his lifetime and he always complained about the chest tubes.
Did you have any tubes in your mouth?

I actually don't remember any tubes? I did have an IV... and as for being shocked - If your experience is like mine, you won't feel much from the pain meds - Oh & I forgot to mention - when I first came out of surgery, I was talking about things that didn't make much sense (a side effect from the pain meds or ???) - best described as talking in my sleep!! so needless to say my family got a good laugh!! :eek: :rolleyes:

sweetness514
09-22-2005, 07:13 PM
I first woke up without remembering talking to my dad in Italian which was weird since I barely ever speak that language anymore even if it was my first one. Second time was in the wake up room and I will be frank, I was in excruciating pain and had a huge pressure in my chest, pneumothorax (lungs filled with air) and kept calling "nurse,nurse please give me something more", meaning more meds.

That type of enormous pain lasted for about 3 days until they changed my meds from Morphine that didn't help much for me to Empracet-Codeine Med.
The Morphine made me very talkative and I was very thirsty for the first few days since I could not drink and was only allowed to have a watered sponge.

LindaRacine
09-22-2005, 07:23 PM
I think this is REALLY important...

Regardless of whether you've been offered something to drink or eat (even by a medical professional) after surgery, you should not drink or eat anything until a medical professional tells you that they've heard bowel sounds. If you eat or drink before that, you can easily end up with a very painful ilius. People I know who have had them after spine surgery tell me that they're far more painful than their spine pain. You will almost certainly be very thirsty, so the desire to have drink some fluid will be strong.

--Linda

blairf83
09-22-2005, 08:17 PM
I second what Linda said. I had a NASTY bout of paralytic ileus (sp?) the fourth day after my surgery. They'd put me back on normal food the day before, but my gut sounds were a little weak still. That is the worst pain I ever experienced in my entire life. It was so bad that in order for me to get my x-rays taken, I had to be sent down on a gurney- I couldn't even stand up long enough to get into a wheelchair.

As far as the initial wakeup... mine went kinda rough. My first memory is waking up crying. I had pain management issues for the first several hours... They figured out I was having bad muscle spasams, and added valium to my meds, and I felt a lot better

HGD24
09-24-2005, 12:23 AM
I'm sure they woke me up before this, but I don't actual remember waking up until I was in a private room with my husband and parents around me. I do remember pulling at my oxygen mask and telling the nurse that it was making me feel claustrophobic. They took the mask off and put in the nasal things instead...after that, I slept and don't recall being in any pain, although I'm sure I was, I just don't remember any of it. My chest tube was on my right side, about 6 inches below my underarm and I never knew it was there until my surgeon came in on day 6 to remove it. Same thing with the epidural that I had.

marmyte
09-25-2005, 04:47 PM
i don't remember waking up in recovery, but my mum tells me i was crying lots and saying it hurt, until they bumped my morphine up for the third time and then i calmed down a bit :D i have to say, the whole time i was in hospital, i didn't notice the pain, i felt it was incerdibly well managed, and i was also lucky that i took morphine well (it didn't make me sick, the girl next to me in HDU had a pretty rough night)

as for tubes etc, i'm in the UK so things happen a little differently from place to place but i had the following: oxygen mask (which they changed to a nasal tube for me because the mask was really annoying me), IV for fluid (so that was feeding me, so i didn't have to eat), IV and hand pump for morphine (known as PCA) which was attached to a cannula in the back of my left hand (the IV was in my left wrist), i had two little monitor pads on my chest, a pulse/ox clip on my index finger and possibly a BP cuff. i didn't have a catheter put in until later (they tried to let me go by myself, but i and the five others in HDU that night ended up being catheterised) and obviously a chest drain, but i didn't notice that at all, i was so numb

ask your anaesthetist, they'll be able to tell you what their policies are

Ken
09-25-2005, 05:58 PM
Some of my family will be with me at the hospital. My other family members will be at home watching my two little girls.

I guess I just don't want to be shocked. I know that the chest tube scares me because my brother had 12 open heart surgeries in his lifetime and he always complained about the chest tubes.
Did you have any tubes in your mouth?

Hi PK - for what it's worth, I checked with my mom and I did not have any tubes - just the IV - take care!! :)

sweetness514
09-26-2005, 03:11 PM
Wow, it's really interesting to see how it differs from one person to the next.

As I remember, had everything that Marmyte mentions plus that drain in my hip that I couldn't wait to get rid of.

Heathmoose
09-28-2005, 06:33 PM
I absolutely do not remember when I woke up. Apparently my parents and husband said that I asked if it was all done and I said that I still felt crooked. I also asked if I was taller. Again, I have no recollection of this. I was not aware of when they extubated me. I did have a chest tube, a universal line in my neck, oxygen going into my nose, an IV in my arm, and a cathetar, none of which bothered me, especially in the beginning. Removal of the chest tube did hurt, but it was so quick. They wouldn't allow me to eat for days b/c it took a while for my system to start again. They eventually gave me ice chips. I don't remember being in much pain at all. It is different for everybody...sometimes I still sit and try to think of what my first memory was, but I just cannot recall it.