Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What I remember the days after my surgery.........

This is a picture of the adrenal glands and how they sit on your kidneys

This is a real picture of the adrenal glands (not mine).

So again I don't remember a lot after my surgery. I do remember asking the doctors if I could get up.... they laughed at me and simply said "No." I was on some pretty heavy painkillers for the first bit which I assume is why I don't remember very much.

I do remember that my stomach was quite sore... almost felt like I had done a MILLION sit

ups... not that I have ever done that many but you get the point. I had 8 incisions in my stomach

This is NOT me... but this is similar to the incisions that I had, except I had 8 not 6.... I had one in the center of my stomach right below my sternum bone... that was probably the most painful one.... the doctor had made an incision then had to later extend it because he couldn't get to where he needed to with the first cut.

I remember waking up and my Mom, my Aunt and my Cousin Tahlia were all there. I remember asking the doctor if I could get up, and they just laughed then I fell asleep again. I drifted in and out of being awake for a bit. The first day that I really remember I remember being quite sore but determined to sit up. I remembered the doctors saying that if I got up and walked around, the sooner I would be well enough to go home. So my mom helped me sit up in my bed.... which was extremely painful.... you don't realize how important your stomach muscles are until something happens to them! I sat up in my bed for a bit then I had my mom help me up. I couldn't stand straight because it felt like I would rip out all my stitches.... so I "granny walked" to the bathroom. Let me tell you... that was a scary site.... my hair was everywhere, my face well lets just say no make-up.... and ya I looked awful..... I was finally able to see the damage myself.... Up until this point I wasn't able to see my stomach very well. I knew there were bandages on my incisions but I couldn't see all of them. I lifted up my very stylish hospital gown and got to see all 8 incisions at once.

My first thought was "Man I look like Frankenstein!" I honestly wanted to cry.... my body is so scarred and damaged.... and I know it won't ever go away.... I will have these scars forever. I hate my body, and there is nothing I can do about it. I could see the blood leaking through some of the gauze, and underneath the gauze I had tape, then under the tape I had stitches. I was only in the bathroom long enough to look at my battle scars and to go pee... I had my mom knocking on the door asking if I was okay. I was getting pretty good at manoeuvring the IV pole around the small area in my room. Walking to the bathroom and back was enough for me at that point. I had to lie back down for a bit. My mom helped me get back into bed... there was a real trick to getting in and out of my bed without hurting my stomach. first I sat down on the bed facing the window, next I turned my body and held onto the railing of my bed and SLOWLY eased myself down. The first couple days I needed my moms help because it hurt to much to do it on my own.

Over the next couple days I had my mom help me get up and go for "walks". Our walks at first were only around the ward... that is all I could handle. My mom was VERY encouraging, I remember the first day that I was able to walk to the elevator she was very excited and kept encouraging me (but also kept reminding me not to over exert myself). I was actually progressing quite fast... even when my mom wasn't at the hospital I would go for "walks" by myself and every time I went I pushed myself to go just a little bit farther. I was still having trouble breathing properly so the doctors had me blow into this little hose and there was a little ball inside of it with a happy face on it that when I would blow into the hose I was supposed to hold it between 2 lines for 5 seconds. I was like "Seriously? This will be EASY....!"... well let me tell you it was not. I couldn't even do it for for 2 seconds! I blew into the thing about four times and every time the little ball would just fall back down to the bottom... with that stupid little happy face staring at me.... the doctors kept telling me that if I kept practicing eventually I would be able to do it, it was just because I was laying on my back for so long and I just needed to get my lungs in shape again.

Everyday was sort of the same... in the morning they would come do blood work at 6 am, then the nurse would come in and take my vitals, and everyday they would ask if I wanted to shower. It was a chore for me to shower. The water hurt my stomach (because of the incisions), it took me a long time to wash my hair because I would have to take breaks (yes I know this sounds bad, but I honestly got tired just washing my hair!) Then once I was done showering it took me about 10 minutes just to dry off and put the beautiful hospital gowns on (and yes I am being sarcastic about the "beautiful" part). Then I would go back into my room and eat my breakfast (which was usually either apple or orange juice with a little box of Cheerios and milk) and wait for my mom to arrive. Once my mom got there we would sit and visit, go for short little walks, and eventually I was strong enough to venture outside. I was POSITIVE that I would be going home soon, the doctors had said I would be able to leave on Saturday, May 10th, but it never happened. Now it was Sunday and I was POSITIVE that I was well enough to go home. We had to wait for the doctors to come later that afternoon and let me know if I was able to or not... mom suggested that we go for another "walk" so off we went.

About halfway through our walk I started to not feel so well.... so I suggested that we go back to my room so I could lie down. When we got back to the room I went into the bathroom, then all of the sudden I was in pain.... not just a little bit.... A LOT!!! I tried to breathe deeply but it wasn't helping.... I stumbled out of the bathroom and leaned up against the bed, I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. I told my mom to get a nurse.... QUICKLY!!!!!! She ran in a panic to get a nurse. She wasn't sure what was going on but later she told me that she knew I was in pain because my robe was undone at the back and my bare butt was hanging out... she tried to cover me up but I just pushed her away to go get a nurse.... it wouldn't have been so bad but there was a window right beside my bed which gave people in the elevator a plain view! Once the nurse came into my room she asked what was going on.... I told her that I didn't know all I knew was that I was in A LOT of pain... they gave me more pain killers and after suffering for about 15 minutes the pain killers took effect and I was able to rest somewhat peacefully.

Later that night the doctor decided that I needed to have an x-ray done to see if they could determine what had cause my sudden pain attack. A guy came to get me with a wheelchair and wheeled me down to X-ray. A couple hours later they came into my room. They had decided that the reason I was having difficulty breathing was that my lung had collapsed during my surgery (which is fairly normal for having a 6 hour surgery), and the reason I had so much pain in my stomach was because my bowels were not working and everything had backed up inside me. They told me that the bowels are very touchy and if they even get bumped a little bit they tend to stop working. I was told that the surgeon had probably "bumped" my bowels and they stopped working. They would start again but it could take a little time.... I told them that they had better keep the painkillers on hand because I swear that was the WORST pain I had ever been in!

That happened Sunday evening and they told me it would be a couple more days before I would be allowed to go home..... great!