Saturday, March 06, 2010

Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic expectations......that's what my surgeon told me today.  Apparently being the "tough girl" doesn't apply when you have surgery.  I've resigned myself to the fact that surgery doesn't agree with me one bit.  I've suffered with some sort of GI bug in addition to trying to recover which had me on my back just as much as the surgery and quite honestly, I really have no recollection of much of anything until about Wednesday of this past week.  I ended up allergic to my pain medication as I suffered from itching and a red pin-dot rash over 75% of my body.  And the kicker was when I passed out and cracked my head on the dresser Friday afternoon.  I remember bits and pieces but the "oh shit, oh shit" that I remember Eric expressing proved to me just how scared he really was for me and the fact he didn't get to me before I went down made him feel so badly.  Lucky for me I smacked the hardest part of my head and didn't ever really feel a bump or bruise on my head or even experience a headache after the fact.  There are silver linings to everything, I guess.

As I mentioned, I've been having a bit of a time with this recent surgery and to date 4 calls to the doctor/nurse and 1 to the hospital emergency room has been made, however I managed to make it in, on my own, for my first follow up Friday.  I actually was homebound for 7 days straight, not breathing any fresh (if you wish to call it that) air from the time I came home from the hospital until I finally got out and hobbled (thank you to my sweet boy) my way to my little one's first track meet of the season...something I paid for dearly for the rest of the night.  It felt good to actually be outside and I thoroughly enjoyed the sun shining on me for the little bit of time I spent outside.  Tanner is the sweetest boy I know, doing everything he can to minimize the distance I had to walk and making sure he did everything for me that would cause me pain.  Friday was my first trip out on my own and I felt like I had just been let out of prison!

I must throw this in....I do want to praise my doctor as he called back every single time within moments of the actual call to the office - he truly is the best!

As I sat in the chair talking to my doctor (yes, the same one who said he wanted to take a look and that "the easiest way is to get naked" while consulting him before the surgery while my husband was in the room) yesterday trying to find the answers to my questions as to why I am still in so much pain, why I was bleeding through the incision Thursday, why I am so super sensitive over a large area around my incision site and why I am having pain below the incision site into my upper/inner leg I let it slip that I felt like I was a complete wuss and really felt like I was a bigger baby than I actually thought.  This is where "tough girl" comes into play as I have always been one to just "suck" it up, that is unless of course, you throw needles into the mix and then I totally freak and run the other way, out the door of the hospital WITH my hospital gown on, open in the back for all to see booking it down the street (imagine smoke trailing me), but that is a whole other story all together.  I mean, compared to the pain that I have experienced (and it's been quite severe - believe me when I say this.....throwing myself in front of a moving semi was not out of the realm of possibility) this experience has been pretty severe and it's not like I am swinging from the ceiling fans and hanging from the chandeliers.  I explained to my doctor how compared to prior surgeries this one has been way worse than I anticipated (insert prior post opinion here) and I really just wasn't able to wrap my head around why I didn't feel like I was progressing in the healing process.

Apparently the old standard I was told while I was in the hospital prior to the emergency surgery after drinking that gag-me-with-a-spoon contrast for the CT which they found nothing on because I was "too little" came back to haunt me.  I mean, they couldn't even see my appendix which I do know was there because it was removed during said emergency surgery.  Somehow I don't have enough fluff, even though I would have to beg to differ - they don't look at me in the mirror every day.  Anyway, he mentioned something about skinny people having a much more difficult time with the surgery as it is more painful for them.  He comforted me by reminding me that he has operated on me before and that I am not a wuss but that I have unrealistic expectations of how I "think" I should be feeling and that I cannot compare this surgery to any other surgery or any one else's surgery.  I think that sadly we all sort of inflict, if you will, our opinions and life experiences on others when this sort of situation comes up and we forget that every surgery (read: experience) is different for every person and that while we mean well, and we feel as if we are helping the situation by sharing our experience of what can/does happen sometimes the best medicine is to just listen.  I know I have wonderful friends who do just this and I can tell you from experience that it makes such a difference in how I feel having that support there.

Ultimately what my doctor shared with me was that he really didn't know why I was experiencing such pain at this point in the game but that sometimes, as I stated above, littler people have much more pain than people who are bigger, that this is not abnormal but it isn't exactly normal and to just take it easy.  He also told me I shouldn't be hungry, which I am not and I am really curious as to how many pounds I have lost during this whole thing since I was also sick until Wednesday.  He shared with me several times that I am not a wuss and that again, I have unrealistic expectations and regardless if I was off my pain meds after a day, or two at the most, with my prior surgeries it's okay to still be on the pain meds at this point and it doesn't mean I am a big baby.  He did tell me, prior to going into surgery last week that this is a painful process and I am so glad he didn't tell me that when I scheduled it.  I think he avoided that because I sat there in my "tough girl" place telling him it couldn't be that bad considering what I have already been through and those things were pretty miserable.  I will say that I was put to sleep with the gas mask (man that crap stinks!) and a great visualization story that was told by the best anesthesiologist ever within two and a half breathes at which time they placed my IV (remember that little secret I told you about how I feel about needles?  Let's just say I've had some pretty awful experiences in that department.) into my hand (where I explicitly told them I didn't want it placed) to wake up to a needle full of tetanus being placed into my leg. Yes, my fear of needles is that severe that I requested a tetanus booster while I was under the influence!  Funny thing is my little tetanus situation got all the nurses talking about how none of them had had their booster....shame on them!  And the hospital went above and beyond to get me that little injection by making a special trip to another neighborhood hospital since they didn't get their shipment that morning, as they were supposed to.

All in all I am feeling better slowly but surely.  I'm still swollen and bruised.  Even my hand is bruised at the site of the IV.  I've been taking some Tylenol and alternating it with Advil.  I have less pain right but my problem is I have to remember to take it.  You'd think I would be diligent about it but for some reason I am not.  I tend to forget.  I am enjoying being waited on.....I have the best kids and hubby ever.

Now....if Tanner's car hadn't taken a crapola last night when he went to pick up dinner.  Poor Eric....he is sort of like me....he can never catch a break.  And me never catching a break....that is a whole different post for a completely different day.  Anyhooo.....I guess the boys will be trying to get his car back in running order this weekend while I lounge around "eating bon bons"!


Shell said...

oh princess I am so sorry
I had no idea
i will make sure starbucks fixes you all up forever and ever

Art Studio 522 said...

You are unbelievable! I can't stand it! You have such BAD luck with surgeries! You poor thing. Maybe you need to gain weight before the next surgery. I have never heard of smaller people hurting more than fatter ones. I guess it makes sense though. You need more padding. LOL

donnaj said...

i'm with donna-gain some weight-like the rest of us and you won't be in so much pain! :)


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