Monday, November 1, 2010

Surgery, Recovery, and Loss

Well, I'm back. Apparently I DID get my surgeon on a bad day. On every visit after that, she was kind, attentive, and promising me that my nervousness was normal but unneeded. She corrected a lot of confusion and differences in her procedure as opposed to the ones I'd been reading about. There was no need for special procedures beforehand aside from showering twice with store-bought antibacterial soap and abstaining from food.
At 5:30 AM on September 30th, I arrived and was booked in a hospital room. Blue and Silly were allowed to stay with me through redressing, IV insertion, and pre-prep admissions. The IV sucked - it was bad. The nurse was awesome, very gentle and sensitive. The problem was my hands. She couldn't get in on one, and had a hard time getting the needletube in on the other. Then she had to reach for the bandages and pulled on the vein on accident.
While all this was going on, we were listening to the elderly trio in the other section of the room spout bigotry and insanity. Here's a special tidbit - which I heard several times before going under - "My name is BONE-ita. Not BON-ita. It's AMERICAN and you keep saying it the MEXICAN way. I am an AMERICAN."
Needles are EVIL.
So, we spent some time waiting after that, and eventually had a different nurse come in and tell me it was time to pack up the phone and go off to the final destination - essentially a loading dock of people on beds waiting for one of the surgery suites to be open.  The surgeon stopped by one last time to see if I was doing alright, and to let me know that I would be out of the hospital the same day, so long as they were able to do the laparoscopic procedure. The staff of the hospital was amazing. Very polite, very concerned, and full of praise for my surgeon's skill. Once I was in the suite, I was positioned and masked in short order. After a moment of claustrophobia over what seemed to me a facehugger of a mask, I was out.
When I woke, I knew immediately that they'd been able to go through with the surgery, but couldn't tell if it was done with the laparoscope or a direct (and large) incision. All I knew was the area where my gallbladder had been now hurt horribly. There was a nurse immediately at my shoulder, asking where I hurt and explaining they were successful with the minimal-invasion lap procedure. A spike of morphine later, I was being told that they were bringing in Silly with my belongings and that I would be on my way home in about an hour.
8 AM - thumbs up but eyes closed, holding son's guardian gift.
Silly helped me to roll into a sitting position and dress; braced me while I wobbled onto my feet and transferred to the waiting chariot. Once home, oh what a blessing. We would have issues getting my painkillers for the next THREE days, during which I would mostly sleep. All of my short circuits of the house required someone watching or bracing me, and I was afraid to even taste solid food. Eventually, I went from only having six kinds of fruit juice, vegetable juice, and juice-tea blends to having a supplemental half of a thin sandwich each day. A month later, I am on a *mostly* normal eating schedule. I'm still careful about what I take in, and watch carefully for reactions to everything, but so far so good.
My incisions have gone from big (and in one case black with bruising) to trim and sealed. It looks as though I'll have minimal scarring - a pair just a little longer than my thumbnail, one at the top of my abdomen and the other in the top arch of my belly button. Two dots on my right side to show where the clipper-clamps went in, and that's it! The surgeon, when I went back, was quite pleased with the status of my incisions. I'm well on the way to being as well - if not better - than I was before.
The report came back, listing no cancer (I had no idea that was something to worry about..), an inflamed gallbladder, and THIRTY gallstones. I was given four pictures taken during the procedure, but I won't torture anyone with those. Let's just say I now need to remember to say "Yes" when asked if I have any metal in my body. lol

As for the loss.. well.. I lost ALL of my links, thanks to a virus that broke my Firefox. That would be why I haven't written before now. I lost my link to my own blog, along with all of the carefully gathered links of blogs I love to read, informative sites, and items on my wishlist. I've since found a few of my favorite blog writers, but I'm still hunting down links for recipes, gardening, farming, and chickens. If you have a favorite, please feel free to share. :)

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