Life after the surgery

I made it through the surgery without any complications one week and 4 days ago. I was admitted to the hospital at 8:30am on October 27th and released the same day around 2pm. It all happened so fast that I barely remember my time in the hospital. My wife took the day off and was able to come to the hospital which helped a great deal with my mental state. I was not terribly nervous about it but of course you can’t help but be a little concerned since there is always a chance that something can go wrong.

It was scheduled to happen at 10:30am and by 10:15am no one had shown up to prep me except the shaving nurse. Just about then a nurse came in and told us that the earlier surgeries had gotten behind so I should be starting around 11:00am. Around 10:45 or 10:50 another nurse and the anesthesiologist came in to begin getting me ready. The nurse took my vitals and the anesthesiologist asked me a few questions and got the IV started. Within minutes I felt like I was incredibly drunk but without feeling like I was going to be sick. I guess this must be the appeal of intravenous drug use. I remember kissing my wife and then rolling down the hall. As we went through a couple of different doors the nurse told me that I would notice a temperature change. Nope — too numb already. The last thing I remember was a nurse asking me to move over to another table and me doing it.

The next thing I knew I was back in the original room with a heavy head and a pain in my side. I looked around and saw my wife and a nurse telling me to wake up all the while hearing an alarm of sorts going off on the machine next to me. I had some kind of plastic clip attached the end of my left index finger that was monitoring my O2 and the alarm was going off because every time I went to sleep the O2 readings were dropping below what the nurse wanted and so the nurse kept waking me up. It was not really very fun I remember.

I lay there for awhile fighting sleep with the driest mouth when I finally asked the nurse for some water. Even though I had not had anything to drink since 10pm the night before, I felt like I had to urinate like I have never felt before. When I tried though (into a portable urinal while lying down) nothing happened. I guess they thought I should go home because they made me get up, which hurt so bad that I thought I was going to rip the wound open; and get into a wheel chair. Once we got to the car I knew I had to get up again. Yes the pain was still excruciating. Next I had to bend down and get into the car. Besides the pain that was occupying the majority of my thoughts, all else I could think was that I will have to pay them for this experience.
Well the ride home was not too bad because my wife missed most of the potholes. The ones she didn’t, well, I really wanted to cry. Finally, I am home and I am so looking forward to getting into the bed and then I remember that I will have to first get up, second walk about 50 feet, and third have to lie down again. Oh wow. Once I made it through that and my head finally hit the pillow I was out instantly.

After a couple of days I was beginning to feel better and on Thursday I got up and took a shower. Getting out of bed was still incredibly painful but I was at least able to focus now. The doctor prescribed Lortab and while that is supposed to be a great pain killer, one side-effect is headaches and man I got them bad. I gave up taking the Lortab on Thursday and just settled for Ibuprofen. Not as strong but the headaches were actually causing me to want to throw up and I didn’t want to be putting that kind of pressure on my abdomen. By Friday afternoon I was up walking around and feeling pretty well for the most part. I had stopped taking the pain pills altogether (no Ibuprofen as well) and was feeling a little optimistic planning to get back to work on Monday. On Sunday we went out to get some things for the new home and even though we were only out for about an hour or two it was more than I was ready for because I was pretty tired and a little sore by the time we got home. I figured then that I would wait to go back to work until after I met with the doctor on Tuesday the 4th. On that day I finally drove again and everything felt fine. Doc took a look at it, told me not to pick anything up that weighed more than ten pounds for two weeks and then said goodbye. It is Saturday now and I really do feel a lot better. I have been able to unpack some things around the house now and that has made me feel so much better. It has been really hard just sitting around and not doing much. It would not have been so hard if we already had the house set up and were moved in completely. But when you are trying to just relax and there are boxes everywhere it is most unrelaxing. All you can think about is getting that stuff put away. The hardest thing about this whole thing has been not being able to hold my little girl. She puts her hands out now in the gesture of “pick me up” and I have to just bend down and hold her. She has gotten her first cold and it has been really hard not to pick her up and comfort her. I can hold her on my lap but she is such a busy body that if you are not moving with her she begins to fuss about. I guess I am over the worst of it though and now when I completely healed, in another 4 to 6 weeks, I will not have any pain when lifting and bending. So here’s to modern medicine for repairing me.

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