Friday, October 21, 2011

Summer 2011 Part 6 (Final One!!)

You all have been so patient with me telling my story. I appreciate that and I hope you've been enlightened and have somewhat enjoyed my adventure. This is the final "chapter" before I get to current status and blog about what's going on now.

I woke up in my hospital room. Keep in mind, the 24 hours following my surgery are really blurry. I do remember my husband being there. Those precious precious people gave Miss Hope a morphine pump. They are totally on my Christmas list now and forever. I had the leg covers (formal name eludes me right now) that kept massaging my lower legs to prevent blood clots (those bad boys are on MY Christmas list!). The catheter was in and I could have hardly cared less at that point. Little did we know that the morphine would relax me to the point where my body believed breathing to be optional. The machine would start beeping and my husband would say, "Breathe Hope!" Jeesh, man, I was SLEEPING HERE.  He finally left to head home and care for our kids and reassure them that I was fine. I may have spoken to Paige on the phone, but am not sure.

I had the bestest nurse in the entire free world that night. It was a young man who's name was Jake or Jace (the white board was across from my bed and no matter how hard I squinted, all I could see was a "J" at the beginning of his name). He was 25 and normally worked in the ICU. He was visiting the bariatric floor to see if maybe he would like to work there at some time. I do believe I loved that boy a little bit. He was in my room every 15 minutes checking my I.V. and the machines. He helped me move and get comfortable and chatted with me through my drug induced haze. He made my first night so bearable and I've already told the hospital to give him a raise (no joke).

Around 5 in the morning, he came to me and informed me that the catheter was coming out at 6 a.m. and then I was going to have to go for my swallow/leak test downstairs. I could not have a single drop to drink until I had this x-ray done in case there was a leak in my new interior system. I squinted at him and said, "So, who is coming to take the catheter out?"

He grinned and said he already had another female nurse coming to take care of that. I immediately felt relief. I told him that I surely meant no offense, but I was old enough to be his favorite Aunt and being Baptist made me modest to the core. He assured me he was not offended and that he normally did this with female patients to preserve their modesty.


After this lovely nurse came in and took out the catheter, it was time to stand up and get unhooked from everything for the ride to the leak test.

Here I am, full of pain and morphine and haven't eaten or drank in 30 something hours and they want me to stand and WALK to a wheelchair.

I believe the words "You people are HIGH" came out of my mouth at some point during this.

I was so nauseated, I couldn't hardly stand myself. Apparently, Miss Hope had hit the morphine pump a tad too much during the night. Gah, I can't ever remember feeling that sick.

I told them they better make this snappy, because I was going down quick. They gave me a bucket and off we went for the test.

I get down in the bowels of the hospital and there's this metal table. I have on a hospital gown and my pajama pants. Two tiny nurses help me get on the table and lay flat. Oh, my nauseated body!!!! I vaguely remember a man coming in with a balding head and shirt and tie on.

*Before surgery, we are stressed that you can only sip sip sip sip sip SIP SIP SIP liquid the rest of your life. No more gulping ever never.*

This man told me to DRINK the liquid he gave me. I held up my hand and said, "Let's be clear here. Do you want me to SIP it or DRINK it? Because I'm about to puke everywhere and I want to get it right the first time."

He laughed and told me this one time I had DRINK.

'Nuff said, my friend.

I started drinking.

Son of a gun, that was some nasty stuff. He told me to stop and I heard the clicking of the machine. He told me to DRINK again. Aye, Sir!! I took it down like I was at a college frat party.

Afterwards, I was gasping for breath. I forgot to mention that the table was flat when I got on it, but they tilted it until I was standing so it was not the best experience in my life.

They helped me get back in the wheelchair, handed me my bucket and back to the room we went.

The thought "Am I going to die?" crossed my mind.

Shortly after that, I was sitting in the chair beside the bed when my nurse J came in to say goodbye. I told him he should really come to the bariatric side to work. He laughed and asked why? I told him because we're not sick like those people in ICU, we're just crazy and we can have conversations! He laughed again and said it was a great shift for him. I never saw him again and was a little sad.

My husband showed up shortly after this to keep me company. It was time for me to start walking the halls. You have to walk a mile before they will let you leave. I was a shuffling turtle, but by golly, I walked.

My doctor came through when we were walking and he walked with me some and when I asked him if he wanted me to go back to my room to talk, he waved me off and said he was done with me that moment. (LOVE-for reals- his sense of humor).

I went in on a Thursday and was staying until Saturday. I begged for them to take the morphine pump off because that stuff is just evil, people. They refused and I am so glad because Friday night I went to turn over and got stuck. I was on fire and pulled something and couldn't move. I hit the nurse's button and when she answered, I told her I sure could use a little help. She came right away and helped me get comfortable. I didn't realize until a minute later, she hit the morphine for me. See ya until tomorrow morning!

I had a drain hanging out of my abdomen. Talk about gross?? Yuck. I didn't have to change it so I ignored it best I could. I've read where most people keep the drain up to a week or two. My doctor was awesome and took mine out on Saturday before I left.

After the results for the leak test came back Friday morning, I was given an ounce of water. One ounce. I was told to sip it and make it last. Seriously. My "meal" consisted of broth and lemon jello and protein drink. That meal was the best meal EVAH. I got that a couple of times while I was there and each one was so amazing to my food deprived body.

I know I'm rambling with this post, but I am truly trying to recall all that happened.

The surgery gas. Dear Baby Jesus and the little bitty lambs. That mess right there has the potential to bring an elephant to its knees. When I got home on Saturday, Neighbor Debbie came to sit with me while The Man took the kids out to supper and spend time with them. I sat in my recliner and dozed most of the time she was here. I woke up at one point and told her the gas was killing me! She has had a hysterectomy and knew where I was coming from. Together, we remembered heating bags the two of us had made a couple of years earlier. She went digging in my pantry and found two of them and started up the microwave. She put them on my lower abdomen and the RELIEF, people!!! I probably told her I loved her before I passed out again.

I did a lot of sleeping and between naps, I would walk around my house. That's because my husband nagged me to death about it. (I do love that man.) He was a rock for me. He knows as much about nutrition (for me or RNY) as I do and he pushed me when I didn't feel like being pushed.

Another point of interest I want to mention is hormones. Those blessed hormones. What I didn't know before surgery was that fat cells store hormones. Here I am shedding fat after surgery and guess what's popping in my body like a ticker tape parade in New York City?? Yep, hormones. (Guys, this may be a little too much for your liking, but the gals will get this next part.) I started my cycle two weeks early and it was like I had given birth but without the baby. I went to my regular family doctor to see if I truly was dying. She assured me I was fine and this is a by-product of surgery and especially this type of surgery. I asked her to give me a script for adult liquid Tylenol as I can never again take the amazing Motrin or anything like that.It was time to ditch the Tylenol with codeine they sent home with me. My cycle still isn't back to normal and I found out that may be the case for the next few months. Lovely. I tried to talk Doctor C into taking out my uterus while he was up in my abdomen and such and he refused. Said it might be a tad too much on my body. Humph. Sure am wishing he had by this point and time in my life.

Now you know how my summer went and how the rest of my life begins. I'm going to be posting some thoughts on food addiction and some of the hurdles I've had to cross in the two months since that fateful day. I have healed wonderfully with little dashes on my stomach from the laproscopic tools.

I went through my buyer's remorse I heard/read about before surgery. That was around the second and third week when I started coming back to my senses. I bawled over what I had done to my body (thank you yet again hormones) and just knew I would be miserable the rest of my life. Yes, there were loads of violins playing the most pitiful tune you ever heard all around my head.

I still have so many hurdles to get over and many issues left to deal with in my mind and body. I welcome you to come along on my journey with me and learn how I adjust and how my family adjusts.

We're the same 'Ol Edge...just trying to be improved!

1 comment:

(Wild) Rice said...

That little pump is a blessing and a curse. I remember having that thing after my gallbladder surgery that went so horridly wrong. I loved it and I hated it. I despised the pressure stockings. All I wanted to do was sleep and those things would fire every 30 mins. Not fun!

I too also remember the post-surgery gas pains. Boy, they sure do need to warn people a little better! It's worse than gas. It feels like there's a tiny little thing with claws trying to rip it's way out.

I'm sure you can remember my FB statuses, but I too had buyer's remorse after my gallbladder surgery. Sure, mine was an emergency situation and HAD to come out, but oh did I regret it. For weeks after the surgery I hated what had happened.

The drain? Girl, that whole thing was just creepy. Taking it out was the worst for me. *shudder*

However, now that I'm a few months out and I'm eating better, I'm still very grateful that I went through it all.

I know it'll never compare to what you are going through, but trust me. I fully understand.

Thanks for this wonderful story Miss Hope. You told it like it is without sugar coating some of the more unpleasant things. Bravo to you Miss Hope.