What Tim didn’t tell you about the day of the operation!

Posted on June 15, 2013 by sonjabarrie

Tim kept a set of notes so he wouldnt forget anything when I woke up and wanted to know all the details!  Bless his cotton socks, his posts are short and upbeat (one of the reasons I love him) but sometimes he leaves out so much detail that you never really know the anquish he is going through.  Here's his notes from the surgery day, very telling. Remember, all this happened in just one day!


Wednesday June 5th
Had arrived at Quiron hospital “Clinica” 7:30am. A cab was waiting for us at 7:15am.
· By 8am we were in Sonja’s room, Yolanda met us in reception and escorted us through the check in and to her room explaining everything. The nurse came in about 8:15 and took blood pressure and asked the usual questions.
· By 8:30am the nurse came and collected Sonja for the operation.
· My job is to wait in the room, although they encouraged me to go to the restaurant if I am hungry.
· The surgery is expected to take about 3 hours.
· Now I am by myself I find my nerves have kicked in. I guess I feel more nervous now that Sonja is not here to keep me cheerful. I’ve not been nervous at all until I watched her being wheeled away – then it hit me like a brick : (
· Sonja’s room is great with a nice view, we can even see the sea in the distance. It is very new seeming, clean bright and airy. There’s a long leather couch that I can sit or sleep on next to Sonja. In addition there is a separate kind of private sitting room / lounge making it more like a suite. The lounge area has a small fridge and a second TV.

All prepped for surgery

Sonja all Prepped for Surgery


12 noon Wednesday
Sonja is good after the surgery and in recovery!

· Got a call from the surgeon (Dr. Clavel) at 12 noon, the operation went well, he replaced the three disks with no complications. Sonja will be in recovery for about the next 2-3 hours.
· So at that point I felt I could relax so I went out to wander about in the sun for an hour and bought some snacks for me and a crème brulee for Sonja… at least I think that’s what I bought!

4:30pm Wednesday
· Starting to get stressed and impatient so went for a coffee in the restaurant to try to chill out and relax

5:30pm Wednesday
· The phone was ringing when I returned to the room but I could not get to it quickly enough

5:45pm Wednesday
· Chasing at the front desk was a bit of a challenge as there was no one that spoke English much.
· Eventually I spoke to someone on the phone who said Sonja would be another couple of hours as they were waiting for blood test results

6pm Wednesday
· Called Yolanda on her cell but she was on voicemail

6:15pm Wednesday
· Nicola called me back and although she had left for the day, she would track down someone to help me find out specifically what was happening.
· Also said that I should go to the spine center on the 2nd floor (209) if I was concerned and they would help

6:45pm Wednesday
· Dr. Clavel & Dr. Catala (heart specialist) came to the room and told me that Sonja had what appeared to be internal bleeding and depending on the results of a test they would probably need to go back in to remove the blood. Said that her hemoglobin level was down to 80, which is not good. 120-130 would be normal.
· Dr. Clavel said it is only a small bleed but enough to want to keep her in IC (Intensive Care).
· I should expect her to be there for another 4 hours or so.
· He also told me that she had a bleed during the operation but had been able to suture it without any problem.
· During the operation he said that the disks where significantly degenerated including L5/S1, which was more degenerated than appeared on the original MRI.
· Frank (another ADR patient from the forum) is out of surgery, awake and doing well (2 cervical disks).

8pm Wednesday
· Call from Dr. Clavel he would be starting the remedial surgery to remove the blood and checking for the source of the bleeding. Went to the local supermarket bought some juice, bananas and cakes then went to dinner in the hospital restaurant.
· Discovered the fridge does not work and the fact that the phone has a blinking orange light does not mean there is a message!?
· Met Adrianna who is the English speaking person on night shift. She is very helpful.
· Frank & Joe suggested I use their fridge.

9:30pm Wednesday
· Tried (unsuccessfully) to get an update on Sonja.
· The staff had made up the couch into a bed for me.

10pm Wednesday
· Call from Dr. Clavel said the surgery went well but I should come down to ICU (UCI) Unit of Care Intensive
· Chatted to Dr. Clavel and the doctor managing the UCI.
· Sonja had lost a lot of blood and would need to stay in UCI for tonight where she is on a ventilator and lightly sedated to make her comfortable.
· They were also giving her blood to keep her hemoglobin level up. The goal being to stabilize her.

· They allowed me to see her and she looked better than I expected, she was cold to the touch and I stayed with her a while (till they encouraged me to leave) long enough to warm her hands though.
· Dr. Clavel said he would be back at 8am to check on her and he is on-call.
· He felt that she is in good shape and may be able to go to her room sometime tomorrow
· I find I am not particularly calm…

Don't know what time I fell into bed exhausted and still worried!

2 Responses to “What Tim didn’t tell you about the day of the operation!”

  1. Gabriel

    - 19th Dec, 15 11:12am

    Hi , hope all is well. I Am wanting same surgery. I have no life for many years am afraid of flying n needles n surgery. If you get time email me how your doing. Hope all is well


    Reply to this comment

  2. Kathy

    - 17th Jun, 13 09:06am

    I'm glad he didn't tell me.  Sorry Tim that you had to take all this on yourself.

    Reply to this comment

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