Going to keep this succinct ’cause A) I’m exhausted B) I’m on drugs and C) I can’t sit up to type on the computer, so I’m writing this on my phone.
I wasn’t nervous before surgery until the anesthesiologist came in. He talked about the intubation tube that would be down my throat to keep me breathing. I, of course, knew I’d have one of these, but in that moment, everything that was about to happen felt so vivid and scary.
My body was a roadmap filled with dead ends. One whole arm is a restricted extremity due to lymphedema, the other still had the huge bruise and stitches from my port being removed on November 1. I had a small biopsy taken out of my right calf a week prior ’cause, duh, I’m Irish. I would have the IV placed in my good arm by the wrist. The big question was, where will the blood pressure cuff go? Ultimately we decided it was okay to go on top of the huge bruise and stitches from port removal.
I remember being in the OR and asking everyone’s names. Then it was lights out. My next memory was being in a large room with lots of patients and a nurse telling me to take slow, deep breaths. I must have been anesthetized to the Gods because I spent 5 hours in the PACU and I remember almost none of it. I can recall a child crying on one side of me and a person retching on the other side. I don’t even recall being wheeled from PACU to regular recovery.
My sister was waiting for me in regular recovery. I truly don’t remember much from that stage either other than falling deeply asleep and then waking in a flash with a gasp because I had stopped breathing. She says I Could. Not. Wake. Up.
Jennie told me that the surgeon had come to speak with her after surgery and told her that they had to make an unexpected incision, opening the laprascopic pinpoint wider, to go back in. She had to make room, to the left of my belly button, so they could funnel a camera down to my vagina, as she couldn’t see it well enough from the outside (?) in order to stitch it properly. Doc said I’d be in more pain due to this situation. Boy was she right.
Despite the pain, I asked to go home that night. I would rather be in pain in my own bed than in a hospital. The IV pain meds were knocking me out and it was freaky. Oral pain meds seemed a better route.
That first night was awful, but also kind of special. My sister slept in bed with me and was available for my every need. She walked me to the bathroom many times, got my heating pad, brought me noshes and water. It was a long, weird, painful night.
The pain in my left abdomen has been terrible. I’m only even remotely comfortable when laying down. Getting up to seated, and then walking, is rather painful. I dread it. It is getting a little better each day, and I have alarms set so I don’t forget to take my pain meds. Getting behind on them is not an option. I am also wearing these fabulous adult diapers that I may have to adopt in everyday life. They are so comfy and, dare I say, chic?
I can sense how this recovery will be a long one, but I can also see that my body is an efficient healer.
Thanks to everyone who has reached out with words of support. My husband took the week off to care for me and run the household which has been critical. My friend Nurse Haley is completely hands-on and attentive. Next week and going forward will be a big crapshoot, we will figure it out. We always do.