Sorry guys, I've just felt unbelievably lazy this past week but at some point updating this has GOT to be a more worthwhile use of my time than watching Bridezillas 3.0, Where are they Now? (mostly divorced - just FYI).
So, night in the hospital. Nurses kept doing what nurses do in hospitals. Waiting till you are finally resting peacefully before bursting in, turning on lights, assaulting you with cheer and checking vitals etc. The nurses were all perfectly sweet and I'm not complaining but they seriously have that shit down to a science. They kept checking my drains and got concerned because they weren't, well, draining. So around 3 a.m. they contacted Dr. Song and he gave the order to get me up and walking. I was very glad my husband was here for this part. Getting out of the hospital bed seemed completely impossible and the nurse on duty at that time weighed about half what I do, even post surgery. I was very happy to have his muscle although I had to snap at him a bit to get over being afraid to touch me. With him lifting me from the back and rolling a bit we got me sitting on the side. At this point, despite all the morphine, I freaking hurt. I wasn't crying but it took my breath away on a regular basis. And I still felt like I couldn't fully inflate my lungs (common side effect of the general anesthesia combined with the tightness of the muscle repair making it feel like there simply wasn't room for my lungs anymore) so taking my breath away felt pretty freaking serious. I made it to my feet, nurse on one side, husband on the other, foley bag hooked onto my IV pole. They tossed another hospital gown on backwards to keep me decent but at 3:00 a.m. on a post surgical hospital ward I really didn't feel like I gave a damn who saw my ass. My first instinct upon standing was to vomit. I stood there swaying and trying to telepathically communicate that if I opened my mouth to respond to their chirpy encouragement I was going to vomit all over both of them and then I would obviously split in half and die right there on the floor with my guts sliding all over the place (I watch Walking Dead, sometimes it is not a helpful counterpoint to my own imagination). I managed to mouth the word nausea and they both shut up. I stood there teetering on the edge for what felt like 15 minutes but was probably like 15 seconds and somehow WILLED the nausea away. There is nothing like the fear that a single retch will literally kill you to suppress that urge, just saying. So we began walking. They kept wanting to talk to me about how far I wanted to go. I like to think I wasn't entirely rude when I suggested we just put one foot in front of the other and see where we ended up. So we did a half lap of the floor. And then I opted to do another one. It wasn't so bad once I got going although I was bent in half and leaning heavily on my husband's arm and I figured if I needed to walk to get the drains working then walk I would because I felt very swollen and tight at that point and I knew that fluid needed to come out and that it would do better to come out through the drains than to explode out my incisions like the walker in the well (if you aren't a Walking Dead fan, you are welcome as you now DON'T have that awful image in your head). Getting back in the bed was almost as bad as getting out of the bed, it just had the whole appeal of not moving anymore as the ultimate goal which was motivating. And, lo and behold, next time drains were checked, they were draining. Like a lot. And so we slept for a bit.
Dr. Song came early in the morning because he had another procedure that day. He didn't remove gauze from my tummy so I couldn't really see anything there but he checked my breasts again and I was again amazed at how small and perky they looked. He declared himself very pleased and that I would be thrilled. There was discussion, mostly with my husband, about meds and the blood thinning injections and when I could shower etc. etc. I was in a fog. They brought me a regular breakfast and I had a bite of grits, a bite of eggs, a bite of biscuit and half a piece of bacon. I had been feeling the beginnings of hunger. At that point I felt like I had consumed 18 lbs of food and had to stop eating. For a moment I glimpsed what a life of not caring about food might be like and it was a glorious vision. I kept drinking water, I loved (and still love) my 30 oz giant hospital mug with the straw. Then I got hit by a momentary bout of nausea. It was a sneaky bastard, no one was in the room for some reason. I wasn't trying to move from one position to another. Nothing had changed except I had dared to swallow solid food. Luckily there was a vomit bag within reach and yes, I vomited. By all that is holy that hurt, but simultaneously there was mercy because the entire event was accomplished in one single retch. Agonizing yes, but just one. I've never vomited everything I needed to vomit in one single movement. I held my breath, bracing for the heaving that never came. I cannot express my gratitude for the briefest vomit of my life. And the vomit bag was very well designed and I managed to not make a huge mess. I pressed my call button, announced I'd vomited, and received the resulting tender ministrations with grace and dignity, feeling that I'd survived some momentous tummy tuck right of passage.
At 7:30 a.m. they removed the foley catheter. The scripts for my blood thinning injections were written and my husband took them to get them filled and go on to work. My step-mom arrived to take over the caring for me duties. All discharge orders were given, final instructions initialed etc. And then we all gathered around the proverbial pot (my bladder) and waited for it to runneth over. It did not. I could not leave until I peed on my own. Apparently my bladder had enjoyed this whole general anesthesia foley catheter experience and had declared itself permanently retired. Opening, closing, cutting things off mid stream. Who needed to worry about such things with that lovely catheter just allowing everything to flow through, for my body to become at one with the rhythms of the universe? At least that is what I imagine it was thinking (I clearly suffer from delusions that my body parts are separate sentient beings....I know, I'll ask my therapist to schedule me in a workshop or something).
We tried walking some more. I kept drinking water. Not only was I drinking water I was still receiving IV fluids. I walked, I drank. I pumped my magic morphine button. I sat on the toilet with my phone playing candy crush. I sat on a chair. I lay in the bed. All of these transitions were agonizing and all of them involved the life and death struggle with momentary nausea. By 4 in the afternoon I still had not peed. The nurse declared she was going to do an ultrasound of my bladder. I raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything. She returned having discussed it with her supervisors and having remembered that the area that needed to be ultrasounded to get an image of the bladder was a post surgical trauma site. So, the call was made to recatheterize me. It isn't that I didn't feel like I had to pee. I very much had to pee, it's just my bladder wouldn't release. I hummed, I cajoled, I made ridiculous bargains, I threatened. Warm water was poured over my hand. Songs were sung about waterfalls. To no avail. I've never been awake while being catheterized (well possibly during labor and delivery but I was in that whole birthing trance state where I was completely unaware) but it really wasn't bad, not painful at all. My poor step-mom had to watch so that the nurse could explain to her how to remove it again the next day. Yep, they were sending me home with it. I briefly stressed about how I was going to put my cute surgery day track suit back on with the catheter in the way and then we all collectively decided to f~~~ it. I went home in my hospital gown, with another one on backwards, my lovely compression socks and my sneakers. Totally commando.
This is now the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The drive was bearable, it felt good to be out of the hospital. I made it up the 3 steps into my house from the garage and to my waiting and glorious electric lift recliner. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH. Yes. This chair may forever and ever be my most favorite possession. I got settled. I had this idea that I was going to visit. That we were going to watch some cool TV and movies that I had saved up on all my streaming channels. I apparently was relatively chatty initially. Someone made me a mug of homemade chicken veggie soup of which I ate 2 bites. Shows were put on. Guardians of the Galaxy was watched. And I was comatose throughout almost all of it. Seriously, the rest of that day was a total fog. No, that's not right, it was a trippy FOG. I liked the percocet. I liked the valium. I was exhorted to get up and walk when my foley bag had to be emptied but otherwise I was left blessedly alone and I began to think, I have this thing licked. I even got up by myself in the middle of the night to empty my own foley bag, leaving my husband's walkie talkie silent. Little did either of us know, it was the calm before the storm. Next up: Thanksgiving Day, First Shower, First After pics, screaming bowels in the abyss from hell. Till next time! Ta ta!