We were originally told it would be 1-2 hours while Steve was in the recovery room and then we would be able to go back and see him. That 1-2 hours turned into about 4 hours. They could not get Steve's pain under control. The decision was made prior to surgery to administer pain meds and numb him through an epidural. Doing the epidural versus pain meds through an IV reduce side effects such as nausea and vomiting. When you have your belly sliced all up, the last thing you want to do is vomit! After FIVE attempts, they finally got the epidural working properly and Stuart and I were able to go back. (By this time, mom had to leave to pick up the kiddos).
We visited with Steve and he was in good spirits. He was laughing, joking, showing us his incision, etc. Stuart left around 7-7:30 and shortly after that Steve started having pain. It went from a 4 to an 8 quickly. If the epidural was working properly, this should not be happening. I let the nurse know and she called anesthesia. Before anesthesia made it to the recovery room, Steve got transferred to an overnight recovery room that is basically more like an ICU room. By the time he got to the room, the pain had escalated from an 8 to a 10. Anesthesia finally got to the room and assessed the epidural. It was again leaking and not working properly, so he finally gave up on the epidural and is getting IV pain meds through a self administered pain pump. Unfortunately, he suffered at about a level 13 on the 1-10 pain scale for a good hour to hour and a half. He is still having some pain, but it is coming in waves and not quite as bad as it was. I am hoping he gets some rest tonight, but so far it doesn't look like it. Between alarms (his blood pressure keeps getting really low), nurses coming in, the pain, the narcotics, etc, he is just not able to get to sleep.