Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ok, We All Knew Recovery Wasn't a Walk in the Park

:) But it ain't so bad, either. I am home now, resting comfortably in my own bed. My friend loaned me a wedge-shaped pillow. I highly recommend this little luxury! It is nice for propping you up at a good angle. In the hospital, they made me sleep at a 30 degree angle, to prevent gastric fluids from roaming into my throat. I don't think that precaution is necessary at this stage, but it is a much more comfortable angle for me right now. Plus, it's a breeze for watching tv, which I plan to do a lot of. :) surgery was bright and early Tuesday morning. Everyone remarked at how calm I was, and excited to get it done. Secret: not calm - nervous. But I tend to think your attitude defines your experience, so I pushed the nerves aside and went into the surgery 100% enthusiastic and ready to go.

My surgery was at 7:30-ish, not sure exactly when it occurred. I was out of the recovery room and into my own room by 11:00 a.m. I was in pain, but not a tremendous amount of pain. The pain was only in one area: the bigger hole where they extracted the excess stomach. Ew. That particular cut is also dimpled in funny on my belly. The surgeon said it won't stay that way, but if it does, it's a small price to pay.

By 3:00 p.m. the day of surgery I was begging them to let me get out of bed. Argh! The IV, the catheter, the cords, the doting parents staring at me...too much, too much! They let me get up shortly after 3:00 p.m., and everyone remarked that was pretty early to be moving around. For me, it was the right thing. I started my two-day odyssey of wearing a path around the hospital floor.

I was still pretty perturbed about the painful incision site. It's so funny! I did not feel like I had surgery at all. My body felt fine, my head felt fine, etc. But this one spot on my stomach hurt like hell. I told the nurses I had two children without drugs (actually three, but it wouldn't have been fitting to take drugs for my third one, since we adopted him, so my labor experience was all cheering on and supporting the birth mom). I see no need to be a drug-free hero at this juncture in my life. :) So I kept myself pretty doped up with the morphine dispenser. Oddly, there was one medicine that I could only have a couple times - it was non-narcotic, it was in the ibuprofen family, and because of it being an NSAID, they were pretty stingy with the dosing. But *that* one was the one that worked!

At any rate, the pain was never too extensive. Certainly not much of a deterrent to the operation. I slept much of the day, I walked around with my catheter and IV cart, I sat up in the chair in the room.

Remember that, if you are planning your own surgery. Pull yourself up by your little bootstraps and take charge of your recovery. There were two other women who had surgery that day (not sure which procedure). One was significantly older than me, one my age or younger. The nurses had a hell of a time getting both of them out of bed. I heard the nurse tell another at one point, "Fifteen minutes - I told her in fifteen minutes she's getting out of that bed one way or another." It is so important to keep your body moving. Blood clots are scary. Plus, I think once you are managing your recovery instead of being managed by it, you feel stronger and more able to get well.

I slept fine the first night, although the heparin shots every eight hours are a bit of a downer. Why did I think I only got one of these?? Nope - every eight hours. I declined to have them in my stomach after being told I could have them in the back of my arms. Only one nurse was in tizzies about that during my whole stay. She was also the one who ground it into my flesh - after I was told by the first nurse who gave me my first shot that they shouldn't rub it in. Meanie. Anyway, I had several of them. They are sneaky in that you don't even feel it go in, then it gets to stinging. When I was on morphine, I didn't feel the heparin shots at all, nor the stinging. And at its worst, it wasn't too bad.

The next morning, I was given the opportunity to drink 60ccs of water per hour. ROFLMAO!!! As if!!  Oh my, I worked SO HARD on that little 2 oz cup of water (they put 2 oz in three cups lined up on my table). Nuh-uh. Couldn't do it. Oh, my stomach hated me for trying! It hurt, it felt like I swallowed a tennis ball. Slowly, slowly, slowly, I choked down several ounces. Because if I did it - I GOT TO HAVE MY CATHETER OUT! Yay!! That afternoon they took out the IV and catheter and I was a free woman. But they also started bringing me laughably huge portions of food: 1/2 cup broth, 1/2 cup sugar free jello, 1/2 cup diluted fruit juice. Oh boy - I never even put a dent in the meals, and another one would arrive before I had barely started on the first. That was a little silly. I did, however, manage to take in a few ounces of water - per DAY, not per HOUR. It was tough going.

Second day I took a shower, walked the halls much more. Watched TV. Watched my parents stare at me. Sigh. My mom actually had my dad drop her off on his way to work, so she was there when I woke up at 6:00 a.m. :) It is good to be so loved. Annoying, but good.

My ex brought up the kids to the hospital that night, but I had him stop at the library and pick up a book for me on his way. I had every intention of starting to read it but it hasn't happened yet. Now, I know my kids came up - I don't remember much of the visit other than they saw I was fine, I saw they were fine, we all hugged and they went home. I was pretty drugged still. My ex has the kids for a couple weeks after my surgery date, but I have checked in daily with my oldest (my daughter turns 12 next month).

Funny sideline - I told my girlfriend today that everytime I check my phone, my friends have blown it up with texts and voice mails asking how I'm doing. My daughter's message, though, says, "Guess what super-spectacular me did today??" Uh, she is coping well without me, I think.

So...I was discharged from the hospital mid-afternoon Thursday. I felt fine, save a bit tired and the one painful incision. My friend picked me up and took me to her place, where she had fixed me up a spare room and I had my own private bathroom. I got a prescription for liquid oxycodone, which we filled on the way home. I stayed with her for two nights, and just returned to my own home late this afternoon. I am comfily propped up on the wedge pillow I borrowed, and I am all set to watch tv for the rest of the night.

Last night, my friend and I went to the mall and walked around for quite awhile. Probably close to two hours. It felt great doing it - and then I was as tired as hell. I came home, took my oxycodone, and went to bed! Slept great and woke up this morning and took it easy all day. She lives on a little ranch with her husband, so both days I gathered eggs, helped her lead the horses out to the pasture, and made myself uber-comfy on the couch while she doted on me. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment