Sunday, December 16, 2012

Road to Recovery

Well I got back from the hospital on Thursday afternoon after having surgery to remove my gallbladder on Wednesday morning. I can happily say that all went well aside from the doctor having to work around some scar tissue that had accrued from letting this go on so long.

Luckily my dad arrived on Tuesday night. I'm so lucky to have him. I was getting really tired of being too drugged to make informed decisions or being unable to fight for things that I needed because I was connected to an IV and weak from 6 days of no food and all the morphine being pumped into my system. I did have some wonderful nurses who I appreciated a great deal, but going through hospitalization all alone was a little scary and lonely and I was filled with relief when Dad got there. 

The only thing that made me super angry happened right before surgery started. They had the IV in my hand and were starting to prep me/put me out. The drugs going into my veins started to REALLY hurt and my heart-rate started rising and I begged someone to help me because it hurt so bad. They just kept telling me I was fine and going about their business- and when they got tired of listening to me, they smashed an oxygen mask onto my face. The next thing I knew, I was screaming in pain after surgery and crying my eyes out. I was so mad because I was helpless in that situation and even though I was in pain, they just shut me up till I was knocked out and they wouldn't have to listen to me. Not cool.

After surgery, I spent some time in recovery where they injected me with all sorts of pain killers and soon enough they took me to my room to sleep it off. Later in the evening I decided to try and walk a little bit, since that's one of the things they say helps with recovery the most. It was hard, but I did a few laps around my floor and soon enough I was able to move around unassisted at a reasonable speed. Of course, I was pretty full of drugs for the pain, but I felt good about my progress and my Uncle Jack came to visit me as well.

Best of all, they finally let me eat and drink. This was my reaction:

First, they gave me water and apple juice, and I swear it was like MANA FROM THE HEAVENS. I drank sooooo much water. My thirst could not be slaked by any amount of it. Later they brought me some fish, green beans and soup. They brought me a ton of other junk too, but I tried to eat light so that I could take it easy on my body. After all, without a gallbladder, my liver will be taking over some responsibilities. 

I had some trouble sleeping that first night, but I ended up just going for walks whenever I couldn't sleep. The next morning the doctors signed off on my discharge which I was ecstatic about going home. My dad made sure I got there alright and then stayed with me for a few days to help nurse me back to health and make sure I had everything I needed to stock my house for recovery. We went on a few walks and he helped me do some chores that needed doing around the house. My boyfriend came to stay as well, which was interesting since they had never met before. It was sort of adorably domestic watching both of them take care of me. I felt very loved and well looked after. I'm very lucky to have them. We all made an outing to see The Hobbit on Friday since I was disappointed that I had to miss the midnight release viewing plans that I had with my friends on Thursday night. We had a lot of fun, though of course the movie had its flaws. I had a little trouble concentrating because of the painkillers so I'll probably want to go see it again.

Funnily, the biggest struggle with recovery was... ::drumroll please:: Pooping. I know, I know, TMI, but HEAR ME OUT!The painkillers they give you make it hard to go and I hadn't been in over a week. Of course they give you medication to help, but it takes a while to kick in. It became PAINFUL because there was no room for more food (even though I was justifiably hungry after days and days of not eating), and because my organs had been jostled about quite a bit and they didn't take kindly to being shoved out of the way in favor of my body's refuse. Hahahahah! Sometimes I imagined that all of my organs were brawling over who deserved to annex who's apartment most in the new space in my abdomen, only to be thwarted by my intestines at the last moment. Anyways... I found it amusing, though it could be the oxycodone. For that reason, I've been trying to limit my doses of painkillers to times when I REALLY need them and that's seemed to do the trick. Yesterday I only took one dose after getting a coughing attack (which obviously really hurt) and today I've been pill free so hopefully I can pull through without them. 

My goal is to be back in the gym on Wednesday (a week after surgery), just walking on the treadmill to get my heart-rate up for a half hour. I've been building up bit by bit by taking a few easy 20 minute walks a day and hopefully I can stay on track that way. I don't want to let this episode distract me. I've been right back to my Nutrisystem diet as well now that I'm home, so at least I know I'm eating right even if if I'm not as active as I'd like to be. It's a little frustrating because this feels like a set back, but I'm trying focus on the positives like how much harder the surgery would have been to perform if I were still at my starting weight (not to mention a harder recovery), how willing I am to jump back into being active as soon as possible, and how positive my doctors were about my recovery process whilst I was still in the hospital. They all seemed surprised to see me up and about as much as I was. So, I have to be careful not to push myself too hard, but I also need to stay on track.

No comments:

Post a Comment