What is it like to recover from surgery? Well, it’s like being really sick, ironically. But you know there’s an end in sight.
My husband made a pallet in our loft where the TV is and I’ve been living on it since Friday. The bathroom and bedroom are close at hand and I’ve mostly hobbled between these three areas and have mostly avoided going downstairs. I’ve been taking a Norco every 4 hours and two Advil every four hours, so that I’m taking some kind of pain medication every two hours. It can be hard, though. Sometimes that two hour wait is killer.
The incisions themselves aren’t huge problems (except when a kitty or doggie unknowingly steps right on them), but my whole abdomen is stiff. I can move around alright though as long as I’m not walking – so basically I can sit up, change the channel, pull out my computer or a book, dig through DVDs, etc. Even though it’s been three days since the surgery, the air bubbles are still the worst pain. My stomach was blown up like a balloon and has gone down a few sizes but I can still feel air in there. There’s also a persistent pocket in my right shoulder, so I’ve tried to keep heating pads on it consistently.
On Saturday I did a lot of sleeping but I’m much more lucid now. I can watch a whole movie without dozing off. On Saturday my husband was singing at a wedding, so my mom came over to watch me while he was gone. The rest of my family visited briefly too. I sat up and managed to be quite chatty.
We changed my bandages for the first time on Saturday night per the doctor’s instructions. The incisions on each side look huge but clean. The center one bled profusely, and somewhere between being heavily medicated and that childlike horror at discovering one is bleeding, I lost it. I bawled. I covered my eyes and sobbed while my husband mopped it up and re-bandaged it, occasionally asking “what’s wrong?” in awe. I don’t know. Perhaps it was some ancient instinct that sees bloodshed as death itself staring out at you, some Neanderthal panic of loosing one’s soul and life source. It all felt terribly dramatic and it was hard to calm down.
That night I had a lot of trouble sleeping and kept waking up from very vivid nightmares. The pain meds make for wild dreams. I kept having dreams within dreams. I was able to keep consistent with taking my medicine though, since I woke up so much. That meant a huge medication hangover in the morning, though.
On Sunday I had my first outing. I was too tired to get up in time for church, but we were able to join my family for brunch at a restaurant (though we were a bit late even to that. Mornings are the hardest). Appetite has not been a problem at all for me. I prepared a lot of things to drink like smoothies in case I had no appetite, but today I had to send my husband out for more snacks. I’m hungry all day and eat huge meals, which is very odd for me. In fact, just before the surgery eating was a chore.
On the way home we stopped by Movie Trading Co to buy some new movies and video games for me.
Then I crashed again, not really feeling terrible, just very tired. That evening, a friend came to visit. She brought a new video game and I watched her play, which was a very good way for us to spend time together without me having to spend a ton of energy. Husband had rehearsal last night, too, so mom came over again to babysit me. I probably could have been alone but I’m still not very mobile or quick, so we figured better safe than sorry.
Last night I slept through the night, which was both good and bad. I got lots of rest, but woke up feeling like I’d taken many steps backwards. I feel pretty awful and pain levels are high since I went 8+ hours with no medication. And here I thought I’d be back at work today. Luckily, husband was able to get one more day off from his job, so he’s making sure I get food and medicine and all that good stuff.
The cat is very jealous of my set up.