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I had my gallbladder surgery last wednesday. I've been under general anesthesia before so I thought I knew what to expect. Everything I read about the surgery was that it was simple and not a huge deal. To expect grogginess and some pain after but nothing terrible.
When I was woken up, however, it felt like I had woken up in the middle of a bad accident. It was like being jolted awake. There was no sleepy, drowsy, slowly coming to. And the pain was EXCRUCIATING! It was way worse than the pain my gallbladder had been causing. I felt terrified both by the abrupt awakening and the searing pain. I was sobbing which was making it all worse. When the anesthesiologist and recovery nurse told me to calm down because me crying would just make it worse, I was able to stop sobbing. But the pain did not stop at all and I was still very upset and scared. Still cried a lot. It was almost like going thru child birth.
I was left with just the recovery nurse and she seemed baffled that I was in so much pain but at the same time was telling me its normal and I should have expected it (confusing). She kept telling me to breathe more deeply but deep breaths in made the pain worse. She kept increasing whatever pain meds she was giving and told me that they wouldn't let me move to the regular recovery room until my pain level was a 4 out of a 10. I stayed at a high 8 for a long time but it did sloooooowly start to taper. She seemed anxious for me to report a 4.
She also was unhappy bc once it did get more bearable I would start to nod off after awhile and she didn't want me to because then my breathing got too shallow. But other times if I started nodding off she told me I must be starting to feel better and that it was a good sign. It was confusing. At some point she put the tube in my nose to deliver oxygen. I'm guessing all the pain meds plus my erratic breathing probably lowered my oxygen levels?
She made a point to tell me multiple times that she had given me all the pain meds she could give me safely. But I didn't ask her for more I was just crying and in pain and asking if this was normal and why was it taking so long to get better. I kept telling her I was sorry and I was trying to calm bown because she seemed pretty annoyed by me being so vocal about how much pain I was in and it taking so long to get better. The whole experience was so bad.
Now I'm certain the nurse could have been nicer and more patient and understanding. I'm pretty clear her reactions to my pain were NOT normal. And I'm pretty sure I haven't explained the whole scenario exactly. But what I'm asking is, are there others who experienced such horrible pain right after surgery? I've been combing the internet and not finding anyone with a similar experience so far. I can't understand why my pain was so different than others. Also, the way I woke up from the surgery was very different than from what I recall from previous experience. This sort of all of a sudden shocking jolt into being totally awake was new and added to the terror from the pain. I don't understand what made it different. And I also wonder how much pain medications are normal to get afterward. From the way the nurse kept telling me she had given me the max, it seems as if this is not usual.
I'm sorry this is so long. I'm just really confused by my experience. It wasn't what I expected and it doesn't seem to match others' experiences. It doesn't really even match what I was told to expect by the medical staff. I almost feel traumatized by it. It was that scary. So if you wouldn't mind sharing if you had a similar experience or if you too think mine sounds weird I would so greatly appreciate it.
I am feeling better 5 days later. Still sore and tired. Some stomach issues. But nothing compares to how I felt that night post-op. Gah.
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