When You Give a Pain Patient a Big Surgery

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— 1 —

Surgery went great, and I feel wonderful! I had laproscopic gastric sleeve surgery on Monday morning, and came home mid-day Wednesday.  I think I’d have been fine coming home Tuesday, but they bribed me with a banana popsicle and I stayed.

popsicle

— 2 —

 I did a super-cute mani pedi, leaving most of my fingers without wraps so they had options for the pulse oximeter.

manipedi

They kept insisting I put on these fugly gray hospital socks, but I had packed my own fashion statement – sock monkey socks.

monkey socks

— 3 —

Michael and John tell me I was in a lot of pain, and was very nauseated that first day. At the risk of sounding like a politician, I don’t recall that at all.  I just remember having the handle for my pain medication in my hand all the time, and if I felt uncomfortable at all I just pushed it. I immediately felt better, but was asleep within a few seconds. Such is the battle with chronic pain. When I get the pain down to a level where I can function physically the medication is too much for me mentally. It’s a tightrope I walk every day. But Monday it was a wide, happy highway with flowers and rainbows and unicorns.

— 4 —

Tuesday I had a swallowing study, and once that was read I could sip water – what a blessing! I hadn’t even been able to have ice chips, and my tongue felt like a thick piece of beef jerky. Between that and the drugs I had on-board I’m not sure I communicated clearly with my visitors. Several people came by, and I really appreciated the company. Michael had taken off work Monday, and there was just no way to justify more time off unless absolutely necessary. So Paula, Lisa, Dianna, Adam, Tom, and Kim – thanks for coming by! And if you told me anything really important you’re gonna have to tell it to me again. I remember nothing.

— 5 —

At some point on Tuesday I got rid of the pain pump, the catheter, the oxygen (except at night) and my IV fluids.  So I was finally able to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom and in the hall. Not that it was a breeze, mind you. I had to turn off and detach the inflating stockings on my legs, tuck my heart monitor and the line connecting it to my pulse-ox into my gown pocket, and fashion some sort of covering for my rear. I decided to use a lightweight surgical blanket folded on the diagonal and draped off-the-shoulder with an asymmetrical knot. Tim Gunn would have been proud.

— 6 —

Michael and John did very well throughout it all, and they’ve taken excellent care of me at home. I tend to push my limits, and have already cancelled two things I was just sure I could do easily. Live and learn! Oddly, the room I was in at the hospital may well have been the same one I was in after Aaron was born. The seventh floor used to be Labor & Delivery and Mother/Baby. That changed so many years ago I’d forgotten. Michael remembered, though!

— 7 —

For now I’m just having three very small full liquid meals a day (my stomach holds 1/2 cup or less, depending on swelling) sipping water throughout the day (no gulping. Gulping hurts.) and taking all my usual meds one at a time. Sometimes I even break them in half. I stay as active as possible, but bouncing is bad. I was sitting on the edge of the bed and Michael flopped down next to me and I thought my whole gut shifted upward about a foot – ick. But if I take the nausea pills I fall asleep. Generally I do feel pretty great, though. Much better than I thought I’d feel after a major abdominal surgery! Thank you, everyone, for all your prayers!

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3 thoughts on “When You Give a Pain Patient a Big Surgery”

  1. Great blog name/motto. May God continue to bless you in your recovery. Though not the same, I had two c-sections. There is a fine line of how much to push yourself in the recovery process. Popped over from your comment on my SQT. See you next week!

    1. You are SO right! And it’s hard not to cross that line when you’re stubborn (like me) or have two little ones to take care of (like you). Thanks so much!

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