Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Surgery

Well, I'm home from surgery! This was the first time I'd ever had an operation, so I have no idea how things go in the US. Here's how they go in Germany.

When I got to the hospital, they showed us to our room. After having separation anxiety from Hunter when I was in the hospital when Sadie was born, I had asked if we could have a family room this time, so that Sadie and Hunter could both stay with me. It's I think 45 Euros per night, and you definitely couldn't get a comparable hotel room for that price. We had a balcony and a fridge, which both went mostly unused. They also brought in a changing table and crib from the nursery, so we were all set. I had to put on anti-thrombosis stockings, which was the first part of a trend of them making absolutely sure I didn't get thrombosis.

Eventually, the nurses came and wheeled me down to the surgery area. They put in the IV, and the doctor said that it would feel like I had just drank a really large beer, which was pretty accurate. Then the next thing I know, he was waking me up and telling me the surgery was over. I was in a little room for a few minutes, I guess just to kind of wake up and get my bearings back, and then they took me back up to my room with Hunter and Sadie.

I was really hungry at this point. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon I think, and I hadn't eaten anything since midnight the night before. Eventually they let me eat. The meals were essentially the same as when I was in the hospital before, except instead of being a buffet you had to choose what you wanted beforehand. I guess this might be a good time to comment on one difference I've noticed in the way the medical system works. In America, the nurses do most of the actual care it seems like, whereas in Germany the doctors do ultrasounds, draw blood, all of that. The nurses are at least partially like waitresses. They would bring me the food and check on me every so often, maybe take my blood pressure but I think the system is a bit different from how it is in America.

Really my stay in the hospital was pretty uneventful. I found out the day after my surgery that they had removed the cyst and were able to leave the ovary intact. I got to see a picture they took when the camera was inside me, which was pretty cool. Obviously the food in the hospital was not so good, but I knew that going in. On Thursday, I was still pretty sore and didn't think I'd be able to keep getting up and down to take care of Sadie. So one of our friends was able to watch her for the day. He usually is a nanny for another child, but that child was out of town this week. Hunter and I were so grateful that Sadie could stay in the apartment and he didn't have to take her on the bus or train to work. Friday, I felt well enough for Sadie to stay with me, plus I had missed her so much on Thursday! I hadn't been away from her for that long yet.

One thing I thought was weird was that every night I was in the hospital, the nurses gave me these anti-thrombosis injections. I mean I guess I was mostly lying in bed, but I still thought it was kind of overkill. I do like how here, they put a lot of emphasis on prevention. For example, the ultrasound that revealed the cyst. I had never had an internal ultrasound like that in America, and here it just seems to be a part of the routine examination. I can't imagine how big it would have been if I had to wait until I started feeling discomfort. I also noticed this at one of Sadie's appointments last week. We had to see an... orthopaedie... is this orthopedist in English? I'm not sure. Anyway, he had to do this hip ultrasound, to test for dysplasia. All of our relatives in America thought this was really weird and were afraid something was wrong. But the doctor explained to me that it is something that in America is only done if the child is at risk; here they test everyone. He said that it affects three percent of people, and it's much better to treat it if it is detected early. The test was an ultrasound that took probably five minutes; it just seems stupid not to do it. Of course in America it's probably very expensive; here the insurance completely covers it.

Anyway, the hospital wasn't that scary and I go in to my doctor on Wednesday to have the stitches removed. The camera went in through my belly-button and there is still a huge gauze and plaster over it, so I kinda wonder if it will look weird when they take it off? But really I'm just glad the surgery was successful and I'm back at home with my awesome baby and my new mattress!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an overall okay experience! I'm sure glad the surgery itself was a success!