Saturday, December 10, 2011

Surgery #2 - The Bubble

When I first removed the girdle contraption that they put me in after the surgery, I was a big disappointed as there was this big bubble, for lack of a better word, across my belly right where the skin roll use to be. Now the folds of skin were no longer there, but this bubble was pretty significant. When I read the post op information, I realized it was most likely filled with fluid and would require being drained by the doctor. I was relieved it was common, but annoyed it was there.

I didn't see the doctor until Tuesday (6 days after surgery). My mom and I had this nice Tuesday afternoon where we did a little shopping then went to lunch. She was going to go with me to the doctor, but I decided it was unnecessary, and she could drop me off at my apartment where I would get my car and drive myself.


Well, when I got to the doctor's office, the doctor saw me right away and was surprised to see the bubble. He said that it wouldn't be a problem and that it would be best to put in the drain, and when he did, fluid started coming right out, which was what was expected, but then it stopped. I was watching pretty intently when the doctor said to me, "are you really going to watch me do this to you the whole time." Well, that was enough to trigger my flight reflex. I started getting woozy and soon enough the only thing I could see was one eye of the nurse standing in front me as everything else was blacked out. They got me to lay down before I completely passed out, but the doctor kept working on my bubble. He was poking it in various places trying to get the fluid out, but there was no luck. The doctor asked me to come in on Thursday to see progress and other options. I read in between the lines that even though he didn't say it, I was pretty sure the main option was an additional surgery.

So, when I got there Thursday, he looked at me and said, "well, I hate to tell you this, but after I saw you on Tuesday, I had my assistant reserve some time in the operating room Friday afternoon because the best way to get rid of this is for me to go in there and remove it. Ok, minimally invasive to my work schedule, would be able to work Friday morning then go to the hospital, no big deal. Then it hit me: afternoon surgery means no food, no water all morning. BIG BIG PROBLEM. This no eating no drinking thing led to what I will consider at least one of the worst 10 days of my life yesterday.

Most people who know me, know that Marie without food is not someone you want to be near. CS, who has gone to so many races and tours with me I have lost count, has a scale of my blood sugar level. Marie hasn't eaten in a while, she's an 8, she hasn't said anything for 20 minutes... we are moving to a 9. My mom often warns people to stay away if I am hungry. Apparently, I don't handle it well.

It should also be said that I was suppose to take my debaters to a two-day tournament down in Canton, and while I am not the biggest fan of 2 day tournaments, I was really excited for this one as a bunch of my former debaters were coming back to judge, and I was really looking forward to seeing and talking to them. Still plan on going down there for a couple of hours, but it's not the same.

So, Friday morning, I woke up early to try to get as much done at work as possible. The doctor did say I could have clear liquids, but that wasn't going to help my Diet Coke addiction. I was hungry, but okay until about 9:30, and that is when the caffeine withdrawl headache started. By 10:15, I was starting to feel nauseous and couldn't fathom staying at work for a couple of more hours. I got up and looked at a couple of people, and they immediately told me to go home. I logged off my computer, went to my car, and to add insult to injury, it wouldn't start. I had to go back up to my group and get someone to give me a jump so I could get home. Seriously, was my car battery dying absolutely necessary?

I got home and laid on the couch waiting for my parents to pick me up. I was beyond miserable. My head was just pounding, and I was sick to my stomach. They drove me to the hospital and as soon as I got out, I started dry heaving in the walk way, then, the two advil I had taken came up in this nasty yellow bile. Yes, my caffeine withdraw gave me a migraine.

A nice volunteer pushed me in a wheelchair to the surgery center. The doctor was fortunately running early so I had my surgery about an hour early, for which I was extremely grateful, I wanted knocked out from this agony. After putting in the IV, I have never looked forward to an IV more in my life, they gave me some drugs, and it was like magic. The headache went from an 8 on the pain scale to a 1.

When I woke up after surgery, I felt great, no headache, no nausea, no anesthesia hangover. There was a lady who was across an aisle from me, and she had had a lump removed for her breast and was very happy to find out that the lump was benign. The last time I had been in that particular hospital, it had been for my thyroid surgery, when they removed half of it, not because they thought I had cancer, but because all of the tests had come back inconclusive. I recall waking up and wanting an answer to that question so I have cancer or not. When they said no, it wasn't cancer, it was a surge of relief and joy. I was very happy for this lady even though I didn't know her because I have had a glimpse into that hell she had gone through before the surgery.

After leaving the first recovery room and going back to the second, they sat me up, and the headache and the nausea came back. After an hour or so in recovery, they let me go home, but as soon as I got in the car, I thought I was going to throw up. I didn't, opted to lay down and was able to get home without any problems.

As I laid there, I got some frustrated texts from my sister, and SO called me. He said I sounded good, but I felt like that was far from the truth as my head was still pounding. Around 7:30, my mom gave me some mashed potatoes, and that was the straw the broke the camel's back. 10 minutes after taking my first bite, I yelled at my mom that I was about to throw up. She handed me a towel, and I threw up the diet shasta, the 2 cookies I ate at the hospital, and the three bites of mashed potatoes that I had just tried to consume. Mind you, throwing up right after you had your abdomen opened is pretty much the exact opposite of what you want.

I then took a couple of Excederin PM and started feeling better. They worked wonders actually. I fell asleep and woke up with no headache. Thank you drug makers for making my day of agony go away!

Now, after scraping out my "bubble" the doctor also put in 2 drains in my abdomen which I will probably have for the next week. Every 8 hours, I am suppose to drain and log how much fluid has come out. I am totally unsure of what I am going to wear for the next week to cover them, but such is my lot in life.

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