Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Big Show...and now?

July 22nd!! Can I say my rebirth day? I think I can, in some ways. I actually slept the night before the surgery. We stayed up until 11 to get me one last protein drink and 32oz of water since my surgery wasn't scheduled until 3:15. They wanted me at the hospital by 1:15.

  • 11:00AM the nurse and asked if we could head in sooner; Dr Chae was ahead of schedule! I was ready to go right that second but she told us to leave at 11:30. Would have worked out great if I hadn't forgotten my photo ID and insurance only to remember it about 10 minutes away from the house. Survived Homer-on-Bart style strangling from Cowboy as we turned around to get it. Amanda accompanied us; she and Cowboy would go to Family Night while I was in surgery.
  • 12:00PM check in to the hospital, weigh in; liquid diet has sucked 5 pounds off my in three days. Heck with surgery, maybe I'll just.....nah..never mind.
  • 12:20 inform surgical prep nurse that I am a 'very difficult stick,' she scoffs, as do they all.
  • 12:35 surgical prep nurse apologizes to me and admits that yes, I am actually a very difficult stick. I have three pokes for one IV line. Not so bad; my all time record was 14 for 2 lines.
  • 1:00PM Cowboy and Amanda come to sit with me a few minutes; Dr Chae stops by and is very efficient confident and business like. He promises to call Cowboy personally as soon as I'm out of surgery. Anethesiologist stops by, same drill.
  • 1:30PM I'm wheeled into the operating room where the technicians, anesthesiologist and I begin discussing Masterpiece theater...
  • 4:30PM Dr Chae phones Cowboy to say I am in the recovery room and doing just fine. I'm fading in and out but recal the recovery room nurses being gentle and kind, especially when the press that blessed PCA unit into my hand to administer the blessed blessed morphine.
  • 6:00PM Cowboy and Amanda come to my room to give me love and congratulate me but I'm still in and out and feel like I'm smothering; they turn up my oxgen. I think my sister in law tries to call but I can't talk to anyone; the nurse takes the phone off the hook.

I spent four days in the hospital, learning to manage my pain, trying to clear my lungs with that stupid repirizer. The staff were wonderful and attentive; just tough enough to keep me from being lazy but kind enough to let me rest when I needed.


  • Standing up and walking just a bit the same night as the surgery
  • Touring around the nurses' desk everyday,
  • Taking a shower, going to the bathroom without help and not throwing up once.

Sugar Free Jello tasted disgustingly sweet; I live on 2 tablespoons of broth 3 times a day but I wasn't hungry so it wasn't hard.

Cowboy brought me home from the hospital July 26th, driving as if I was made of spun glass (good because every bump kills me). He was up four times with me that night; I don't think he slept at all the first three days I was home.

I came home on oxygen because my resting pulse ox was barely acceptable and the minute I got up to move it plunged into "so not acceptable' numbers. I have a big machine that generates oxygen out of the atmosphere for home time and a portable machine with a back up tank for when I leave the house.

Amanda took on the role of dietician, nurse, CNA, hair washer and baby sitter. She now makes a mean protein shake and can figure up the calories and protein consumption for one day in less than 10 minutes. All the kids pitch in to help where they can; as the oldest, she's been absolutely priceless.

  • I make short journeys to the corner or down the street and back twice a day.
  • I have an external drain removed one week post op, the doc thinks I've lost at least three pounds since the surgery, tells me to take it easy but I don't have use oxygen when I'm just sitting now.
  • I think I'm losing between one half and 2 pounds per day right now. I know this sounds dangerous but after the procedure I've just had; it's normal. I take between 200 and 400 calories only on any given day.

My body is not hungry. Everything is swollen and the nerve endings in the new pouch are damaged; I can't feel hunger. However, I can think hunger. At first, thoughts of cheeseburgers, chicken or french fries just flit through my conciousness like weird dreams. The second I concentrate on them, my stomach burbles and I realize what a bad idea they would be. These thoughts are more frequent now, though, and a bit harder to deal with. I ran errands with Cowboy today (yay, out of the house for 2 hours, no breaks, in and out of the car and walking around) but had to flat refuse to go inside the pizza place to wait for his calzone with him. The idea was torture.

I would not say I am in mourning; I know I will have these things again, in small amounts. I would say though, that three weeks on liquids has gotten a bit old and the old noggin would really like some solid food to gnaw on. Good thing I only have a week to go before I go to soft foods; I'm planning chicken stew for the first night. Mmmmmm!

1 comment:

ChiaLynn said...

I'm glad to know you're doing well - I've been checking in since you said you had a date. :)