Last week I was under the mistaken
impression that somehow because my surgery was laparoscopic (read: less invasive), it would somehow be less painful (as have been previous laparoscopic surgeries). This idea is indicated in many places and recovery is touted as shorter and sweeter. My thoughts? If you have to have the same surgery (hernia repair) that I did and cannot have it laparoscopically, start the painkillers now (even if the surgery is months off). No joke. I will grant that apparently the hernia was bigger, hence more pain, however, in no way, shape or form was I prepared for the agony of post-operative pain.
I was barely in recovery for an hour last Thursday (after being reassured time and time again prior to surgery that I would go home that afternoon), when it was deemed that I would likely need to stay the night. I was in such awful pain that I could not breathe without feeling as though I had the world's most giant cramp in my side. I'm quite amazed any oxygen reached my lungs, given how hard it was to inhale, exhale, you name it.
After a quick meeting with the surgeon, it was decided that I would be sent off to my own room to hopefully improve overnight. Knowing that the Salty Dogs (well, one of them) had the kids squared away left me only to worry about myself...and the thought of poor Peter being too proud to ask the nurse for a pillow. I mean, those benches in the rooms look comfy and all, but the poor boy definitely had a crick in his neck on Friday morning.
I spent the entire night and most of the next morning alternating sleep with worrying about being asked to schlep to the bathroom again (why do hospitals not have higher toilet seats? I mean, really!). Then there was the high pain vs. nausea. You see, the high pain causes a bigger need for painkillers. However, more meds on an empty stomach? Yeah, not a great combo. I mean, the ice chips helped and all, but it's really sad when you can't even barter up for half of a ginger ale.
Finally, in the morning, I was given the green light to go home, at about the same time I was told I could eat again. Of course, no one actually told the food service this news and Peter got a big, ole "No can do," when he tried to go crazy and order me wheat toast. No worries, as it took me two hours to eat three bites, since I kept falling asleep while trying to eat my breakfast. And if you are wondering why there are no photos of this splendid experience?
Around noon, my wheelchair showed up (the nurse actually asked me if I wanted one. It took me FIVE minutes to get out of bed and walk 3 feet to the bathroom...what's your guess?). After the world's worst wheelchair ride (not the driver's fault), I had possibly the worst car ride home. The only thing worse than being nauseous and in a large amount of pain, is being in too much pain to actually be sick. Maybe in hindsight that's a good thing?
We made it home, I rolled into my recliner, and can't say I did much other than walk to and from the bathroom, take my regularly scheduled painkillers (bless those pills, just bless them) and sleep for two days. I couldn't even consider Netflix until Saturday night (seriously, that's how much I didn't want to be awake and feel the pain).
Finally, it started subsiding a bit yesterday. I was able to *walk* (I use this term loosely, like a zombie would use the term *breathe*) over to Kelsey's lemonade stand, freak out a few passers-by, hang onto a tree for dear life, and then return home to collapse for several more hours.
After another good night's sleep and an even further ebbing of the pain, I was ready to pull out the big guns today. I walked a roundtrip of approximately .10 miles to the steps of the basketball court so I could watch Nick ride his new bike. Somewhere in there, I not only perfected my zombie shuffle, but very likely pulled something. So, again, back home, in the recliner, down goes a painkiller (only one, but still), and I have to hope for the best that tomorrow will be a less painful day.
I would like to say that I really hope to never have another surgery related to this whole disaster. I am sure for some there is some great cosmic lesson, but I have just found out that I really don't like scary diseases and I like multiple surgeries even less (like zero surgeries would have been just fine with me). So, I am finished with all of the above for a good, long time.
Now, all of the above being said, I do owe a few thanks to those who have helped out so much over the past few days.
Salty Dogs: For everything! Sangria and margaritas on the beach, I promise!
Peter: For your kind understanding when I ask you to fluff the pillow beneath my right leg *just so* about 18,000 times a day.
Caitlin: For helping out Saturday afternoon and not saying a word.
Kelsey: You noticed the very first time I walked on my own and congratulated me with a taste test of cookie dough. Oh, and for being such an incredibly super-independent little Nugget!
Nick: You are an awesome Little/Big Guy and thank you so much for taking on every task I've given you, from getting me more seltzer to finding the remotes. Even better? Offering to help me walk to the bathroom, calling me "Sweetie" every time you ask if I need help, and reminding me that you are sorry I needed another surgery.
And, now I bid you good night, as the pain has kicked it up a notch again. Let's end on a precious note, shall we?