When I added “Surgery” to my blog schedule I had no way of knowing how I’d be feeling when it came time to write. I could look at the dates and see that the Saturday I planned on blogging about it I’d be a week and four days post surgery. However, according to the internet before two weeks I’d still be an incapacitated invalid and according to my surgeon and nurses I should be walking a ton but absolutely not overdoing it…whatever that was supposed to look like in real life. Well. Here’s how it actually looks a few days shy of the two week mark…I’m pretty much back to normal. I’m trying to not lift heavy things (mostly because everybody told me not to) but I’m pretty sure I could if I really paid attention to how I move. Training for surgery paid off in a big way and eating with a focus on nutrients and protein has also helped tremendously. I feel normal, which is fantastic. I’m healing beautifully and my surgeon cleared me to do anything I feel like doing. I’m a little worried about people worrying about me (eh?) because I know I’m not good at slow and rest, but I really, really feel great and capable. Plus, while my husband did a spectacular job of doing all my jobs on top of his…I’m super excited to have the dishwasher be loaded efficiently (Gayrn and Naomi are getting better every time!) and we’ve got bees coming Thursday. My life is missing me.
But surgery itself was an adventure and I learned a lot of things, especially about myself…like me on a valium-like anti-anxiety drug is kind of funny, me and being really bad at waiting, and me making nurses laugh about being so eager to get home.
We were all set for surgery day. I put together a schedule for the girls and Naomi ran the show. Neil and kids sorted out a menu and shopping list so they had food covered. I got checked in, had a spiffy bracelet, and Neil would get to watch my progress on a monitor in the waiting room.
Prep proceeded at a great pace…we were all set to go by 11:30. Then we were told 12:05. Then my surgeon’s previous case got complicated. Mind you I had the IV in and was therefore chained to my bed. Also I was sporting lovely hospital wear so we really couldn’t go anywhere. Four hours later…our agonizing wait ended. They came and got me and while walking down a hallway one of the nurses hooked a tube into my IV and the last thing I remember is looking back to make sure Neil was following my bed.
He says I told him I loved him…I don’t remember that.
I woke up in the recovery room with a lovely nurse who was gearing up for a Disney trip with her family that weekend. This cup became my buddy for the next few days. Anyways, as soon as possible they brought me to my room, helped me maneuver off the gurney and into the room bed, and showed me how great it felt to have a folded up sheet resting on my belly. Who knew? Neil was there and I got to smooch him before he raced home to rescue our kids. He was supposed to be back with plenty of time to pick Garyn up from school at 3 pm. He got home at 9. Ahem. Corra and I had talked a lot about hospital food and we were both sad I did not in fact get to have green jello. But I took a picture of breakfast for her. It wasn’t too long after breakfast that I was allowed to go home. I hobbled myself down to the main lobby where Neil and the girls came and found me.
Recovery has been delightful. My seminary class sent home flowers, and a family in the ward dropped off a cake. Corra read to me, Neil made me whatever I wanted and Tatanka has made sure to maximize the time with my head so close to her nose. Neil even made me a chocolate pavlova…it’s amazing and I’m going to have to try making one. Naomi helped with school whenever I needed her too and I’m so grateful she was able to take over at times. At my one week check up my doctor took off the bandage and now I’m just waiting on the butterfly tape things to fall off on their own. Corra is kind of dying to see my incision and I don’t blame her. She is back to wanting to be a doctor (for animals).
Moving for the first few days was rough. Laughing, coughing, and sneezing were to be avoided at all costs. My bladder still isn’t sure what to do with all this space in my stomach, so that feels weird. The tumor really was humongous. I’m past all that now, and the only lingering effects are that it gets mildly uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time. That’s fine by me…I’d rather be up, moving around anyways.