A while back I excitedly announced that I was BACK and you all would hear from me more frequently. Weeeeellllllll . . . . then things got really crappy! 2 days after my come back to the blog world I landed myself in the hospital with severe pancreatitis. I spent a week in the hospital unable to eat and so drugged up I don’t remember much of my stay. I bloated up to unrecognizable from all the saline and IV meds the pumped into me. My hubby and kids visited several times but I was an emotional and bizarre sight to them. Hubby even brought my dog to see me hoping it might lift my spirits some. It did, until they left and I was alone again. The nurses were wonderful, evening sitting and talking with my about my boys, trying to take my mind off the fact that I missed Thanksgiving and their memorable ride on the Polar Express, my niece’s birthday and other family togetherness.
In my more sober moments of my stay, I took advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals online and finished my Christmas shopping. I realized after the fact that shopping online while on a pain pump is a moronic move, but fortunately I didn’t buy anything weird or spend thousands of dollars!
7 days after being admitted I was sent home feeling only slightly better, but my levels were down and the doctors felt I was recovering. I went back to work but still couldn’t eat anything besides Jell-O, pudding and watered down oatmeal. I was drinking Ensure protein drinks, I was weak and pasty. I was in pain.
I saw my primary doctor after a few days for a post hospitalization follow up and voiced my concerns that I wasn’t feeling any better. He told me he thought I needed my gallbladder out. I braved the weekend and tried to enjoy cutting down a Christmas tree with the boys and Hubby. I laid on the couch in agony while they decorated it without me. When Monday finally came around, I went to work for 2 hours and then headed over to the surgeon’s office to see what she thought was my issue. She was pretty adamant that it was indeed my gallbladder and that it needed to come out. She sent me for blood work to check for infections and check my levels. I had a CT scan to “clear my pancreas” before surgery. I was to head right to the 8th floor surgery prep after my scan. I wouldn’t go back to work for 2 more weeks. I needed yet another angry organ removed.
I called my boss and told her the bad news. She was very understanding as for the past 2 weeks they’d watched how sick I was and worried as I spent days in the hospital, only to come back in worse shape than before I was admitted. I called Hubby and he left work to sit with me in pre-op.
My surgery was supposed the typical out-patient surgery where I would spend some time in recovery, head to short stay and then go home. In short stay I cried in agony, I’d never been in so much pain in my life. They couldn’t manage my pain and decided to admit me to the hospital again. I slipped in and out of consciousness, more from the pain than anything else. I’d wake up and moan, cry and beg for something to get rod of the pain. They upped the dosage of meds and gave me something stronger only after I reminded them that they were giving me something weaker than what I took at home on a daily basis for my back and fibro.
Perkocet kicking in it was time for me to try to get out of bed. Have you ever tried to get out of bad after abdominal surgery? Holy shit does it suck! Not to mention that I was still incredibly weak from being ridiculously sick for weeks. It took 30 minutes to get me out of bed.
After a few little walks across the room and out into the hallway the surgeon decided I could go home. Armed with giant ice packs, pain killers, laxatives (ever try to poop after abdominal surgery?) and several other meds for the nasty lesions in my stomach we took the agonizingly bumpy ride home with my hanging my head out the window in below zero winds because I was nauseated from pain killers and motion.
It was a long recovery for my ragged body. I had hoped to only miss a week of work, but my surgeon wouldn’t allow less than 2 weeks of recovery time. I was secretly thankful for that as I wasn’t ready to return. When I did return, it was hard to sit for 8 hours at a time. It put too much strain on my tender abdominal muscles. I would get home in the evening and lay on the couch with an ice pack until I fell asleep.
Do I sounds like I’m overreacting to a common surgery? Maybe to some. But you have to remember this: Every person handles illnesses and surgeries differently. I have a condition that makes my nerves overact, causing recovery from surgery to take much longer and be more painful. I was recovering from a nasty illness and surgery at the same time.
Why am I being so defensive? Because people actually scoffed at how long it took me to feel normal again. Does it really matter what other people thing? No. But before we judge someone, no matter what it is for, we need to remember that we have no idea what storms they have been made to walk through.