Friday, April 12, 2013

Surgery #2

I've been a little quiet lately but I wanted to give an update just to have on hand for myself to look back on.

I am a week and a half out from having my second surgery to reverse my ileostomy and mucous fistula stoma. This recovery has been a lot worse than my first surgery was but I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I insisted on having a PICC line put in for this surgery and it meant that I had to arrive at the hospital at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Even though I'm practically a professional at having these things put in, I still almost had a panic attack half way through the procedure. They do not hurt as the area is numbed before anything is started, but it's very uncomfortable when they are inserting the line and testing to make sure that it's properly placed. The doctor and nurse do their best to talk you through the process to help keep your mind off of it but I still tend to get overwhelmed. I have had a different doctor each time I have had this done but I've been blessed to have the same nurse each and every time. She is a kind woman who prayed with me after they were done.

I went in to this with a very heavy heart. I received a frantic phone call from my step-mom on Easter Sunday regarding my mammaw. She is in complete kidney failure and has been in and out of the hospital and rehab center for the past several months. They rushed her to the hospital ICU that Sunday with an infection and they didn't expect her to live through the night. By the time we were done celebrating Easter at our home and I was ready to head out to be with my family I was notified that she was starting to stabilize. I made the decision to stay home so that I could begin the prep for my surgery. First thing Monday I headed to the hospital where I spent the better part of the day with my family and mammaw. I was fortunate to have been given time alone with her so that I could say my peace with her and I was so lucky to know that she acknowledged my presence by moving and trying to mouth something to me.

I knew going in on Tuesday that there was a chance that she could pass during my hospital stay and that I would be unable to attend her funeral. God was looking over her and she has pulled through and has been moved from the ICU to a regular hospital room. I can't begin to tell you how much better I felt during my hospital stay knowing that she was out of the woods for now.

Going back to Tuesday I was given some anxiety medication to help calm my nerves and I spent the next several hours in pre-op with Daniel and my sister Nikki who had come home that morning to be with me and our mammaw.

I don't remember much once they came to get me because they give you even more drugs to relax you before they even head to the operating room. I do remember moving from my bed to the operating table and that was it until I woke up in the recovery room. I don't remember anything of that day or the following after my first surgery so it was nice to be coherent so much sooner this time.  My surgery started at one and by 5/5:30 I was being wheeled to my room. My room with a roommate.

I had a very bad experience during my first hospital stay a couple of years ago when I shared a room with someone. I was a crying mess insisting on getting my own room. I think I even threatened to go home if I had to share a room with someone this time. By that time my aunt Robin was with Daniel so between laughing at my nonsense, they managed to calm me down. Thankfully I was given my own room by midnight that night. My poor nurses were doing their best to get that room clean and actually had the box fan I requested in the room trying to dry the floors.

My nerves were much calmer once I had my own room. I know I sound like a brat but believe me, I was justified in wanting my own room. A Crohns patient recovering from surgery with bowels that aren't working properly should not be forced to share a bathroom with another patient and I'll leave it at that.

The next few days were the same, just different days. I had a lot of pain that they had trouble getting under control. The morphine pump I had just wasn't cutting it. I think by the time I left the hospital I was on a dialdid pump, percocet pills taken orally, and was given another pain medicine via IV every four hours. My pain this time was horrible. I have five different incisions and the incisions where they reversed my stomas were the worst. I guess I had torn my ileostomy twice because of the weight I had gained and doing to much. I have to lose weight asap to prevent tearing open my incisions from the inside out. I have to wear a brace around my stomach for the next three months and I'll take it if it means that my insides are going to split open from the inside out.

The first few days after my surgery I spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom. I was expecting that hence why I insisted on getting my own room at the hospital. My pain is finally easing up but my appetite has taken a drastic turn. While I had my ileostomy food went through my system so quickly that I was pretty much always hungry. Combine that with being stuck at home with lots of temptation and not being able to do as much physically as I would like because of my prolapsed ileostomy...I ate a lot and gained a lot. Now, I have no appetite at all. I'm seriously forcing myself to eat so that I don't get sick and once again, I'm back to taking my ever loving time eating anything. I'm such a slow eater. Wednesday night my aunt Robin stopped by after work to sweep and take out the trash for me and she splurged and order us some pizza for dinner. I'm pretty sure it took me about three hours to get down to slices of pizza and two bread sticks.

Like I said, the recovery this go around has been rough but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm so excited to see how I'm going to feel in just a few weeks. Now I get to deal with my anxiety about bathrooms outside of the

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