This video and blog post is a bit more personal than normal. My Journey with Venous Thoracic Outlet Syndrom part 3!
This journey has been more challenging than I thought it would be, but I am making progress every day! I am also not used to asking for help and I have needed so much more help than before. I am so very thankful for my amazing support system! I am also realizing how capable my kids are they have been a big help as well.
If you have missed my other updates you can check them out here:
On September 13th I went in for surgery to have my first upper rib removed. I spent 2 nights and 3 days in the hospital.
Monday Morning I got up early took a shower to get ready for surgery! My Dad picked up the kids to take them to school and my husband took me to the hospital. We got all check-in and then waited in the pre-op room. We had to get there at 8:30 am for a 10 am surgery.
The nurse came in to put my IV in she had trouble and tried two different times to put in an IV. Side note my left arm is super hard to find a good vein my right arm is better but they couldn’t use my right arm because that was the side I was having surgery on. Anyway, the nurse called another nurse to come in and she was able to put my IV in. But a little bit later my arm started to swell so they needed to redo my IV again. A third nurse came in and put in a new IV. This one was good until the next day when it started to leak. They sent in someone to redo my IV again! He tried two times wasn’t able to get it. He sent in an IV specialist and he was finally able to get a good IV set! Ouch! That was 7 different IV tries and they hurt so bad each time!!
My surgeon’s first surgery went longer than expected. Ryan had brought his iPad so we watched some YouTube. He also brought his laptop so he was able to get some work done while waiting!
My surgeon was finished with his surgery around 2 pm. I would much rather he take his time with his other patient than rush to get to my surgery! I was so worried about him being tired and needing to eat! Which I think he did! Because he came to see me around 3 pm.
It was finally time for me to go back into the operating room! My anesthesiologist met me in the hallway before going in. We talked for a couple of minutes and then I don’t remember anything. He told me I probably wouldn’t remember our conversation… I don’t remember going through the double doors or into the operating room. Next thing I knew I’m in the recovery room which is pretty much a blur.
I guess I told Ryan all about my conversation with the anesthesiologist and then I saw a little cup on the table and said “See they did save my rib!” It wasn’t it was just a cup. Then I told Ryan that he was so TALL and that the room keeps getting taller and taller! LOL, that was the funniest thing I did.
Visiting hours were almost over and Ryan needed to get home to the kids. I started to bolling and telling Ryan how much I love him I didn’t want him to leave me but he wasn’t allowed to stay overnight.
The nurse took me to my room and I was able to sleep until 1 Am. I woke up in so much pain I laid there a bit but the pain was so bad it made me cry. I hit the nurse bottom and she was able to get me some medicine.
The next morning I was so nauseous and in so much pain. I wasn’t able to keep anything down not even a cracker. My right arm was wrapped and was super swollen. They tried to prop it up with a pillow but when my surgeon came in to check on me he took off the wrap which helped the swelling.
Ryan came to check on me and Jack was able to come to the hospital to visit me but Gillian wasn’t old enough.
I slept most of the day Tuesday which helped me manage the pain and nausea. They tried several different meds to help with nausea but nothing was working. They ended up giving me a patch to put behind my ear and that finally helped and I was able to eat some dinner.
I was finally able to get some sleep Tuesday night but the pain was so intense.
Wednesday I was feeling better we had finally figured out the pain management and nausea. When Ryan came to visit me he was able to take me on a little walk around the hospital. An occupational therapist came in and had me walk around up and down the stairs, and try to put socks on and things like that. She also put a compression sock on my arm to help with the swelling. She gave me several exercises to do to help get my arm and shoulder moving and help with the swelling and blood flow. After she cleared me my surgeon then cleared me to go home.
Once I got home the real recovery started. It has been way more challenging than I thought it was going to be.
It has been so humbling going from working out five times a week to needing help out of bed and walking…
I have been so very lucky to everyone who has helped me in these first few weeks. From bringing us dinner, cleaning, driving the kids back and forth to school and so much more.
I have so much more to add but I think I will end this here and stay tuned for part 4!
Do you or know someone with TOS? I would love to know about your experience!
Have a great day!
Hi!! I’m Kristin McConnell, I am so glad you are here! I am a wife to my amazing husband and a Mom of two fabulous kids.