Are you ready for the big medical mystery, adventure tale that is my life? For any readers who are checking this blog out please remember that my experiences will not be the same as yours. I had to have a much earlier surgery that had gone very bad, revised and repaired. This has created many complications and frequent scares for us this past month.
The approval and subsequent scheduling of an actual surgery date set off a flurry of emotions. Depression and mourning: Really? I’m never going to eat a piece of bread again? How long will I have to wait to taste peanuts or diet pepsi again? Then there was a sense of “live for the day”: knowing I wouldn’t eat them for a long time if ever, I binged on my favorite Friday’s Bacon and Cheddar potato skin chips and Butter Toffee peanuts until I almost burst. Of course, right behind that came the euphoria that finally, finally we were heading towards a real solution to my many stomach and weight problems. I would dream about putting on skinny jeans and riding horses. Fear followed: what if it doesn’t work, what if I die on the table, what if I die from the many complications that this particular surgery often entails?
I checked in December 21st in the afternoon. Cutting and gutting me took several hours so I woke to a dark sky and the kind of pain that eats you whole. After a few punches on the pump that provided pain meds I was a little more comfortable and even managed to walk and pee on my own to the delight and awe of the nurses.
Over the course of the next few days I developed some killer back pain but everything else seemed to be healing well. I walked several times a day and began to talk about going home whenever I wasn’t whining about the back pain and trying to find enough pain meds to alleviate said pain.
The doctor let me go on a Saturday, a few days earlier than the original plan. My last words to him as I made my exit were that I hoped the pill form of Dilaudid would help cut some of the back pain.
The first couple of days at home seemed to go pretty well though I was uncomfortable with back pain. Greg lobbed the ball back at the doctor when he tried to make my post-op appointment and asked if they could send a wheel-chair as he couldn’t see how I would manage to walk all the way to the office. The doctor was concerned but I was still complaining of BACK pain and his job and been to fix my stomach. Surely the two were unrelated.
A couple of days later I could not find one place to rest that was comfortable. No amount of narcotics would calm the screaming neurons so this time when Greg called the doctor and insisted we go to the emergency room I decided to acquiesce.
That night, overcome with a sense of failure, angry at my body’s betrayal and scared that this was the beginning of something bad, I probably wasn’t the nicest patient. Drinking contrast dye seemed like an act of torture. Nice IV drugs made the CAT scan go smoothly but then a doctor came to my room, said “Looks like you’ve got a huge pocket of liquid sitting inside and we’ll probably have to do more surgery.” “Good night.” Yeah, because knowing there’s some toxic fluid that’s killing you inside is always a cure for insomnia.
to be continued: