I know it's been a while since I wrote. I recovered, and started puttering around the house- too busy to post. Then I had a set-back and it now is very hard to write. But, I'm going to ignore my discomfort as I know many of you are getting freaked. And, being the a-z creature I am, I'll continue where I left off
Back on Mickey's Hospital Land Ride, I was pushed down a corridor, where I groggily passed a pretty woman. She said "hi" to me and I said "hi" back. Her hair was up and I thought she was a nurse who was going to help take me to my room - then suddenly I realized that beautiful woman was my sister! I smiled big and said, "Oh hi!"
I think for a second she thought I'd had a stroke or something for not recognizing her.
I was right though, she was going with me to my room, as was the rest of my family; my husband and my two boys - they all surrounded my bed like little satellites.
What would life be like without family to help you through your worst moments?
As hard as the day had been for me, I knew it had been harder for my family. I'd slept through most of it, and I was getting dialudid to help me cope with being awake. They were not so lucky.
They had spent most of the day in a hospital waiting room, with no news about my condition. Even when they got news that I was okay it was many more hours before they could see me.
Everybody had taken time off work and school - my sister had come 600 miles for what she knew in advance would be a bad experience, even a nightmarish one. We had to take my son out of school, and he's one of those super-star students who is tortured by missing school. (When I was in high school I'd have gladly had everybody in my family have surgery if I could miss one day, and in fact, contemplated making that happen.)
I was comforted knowing they were there, and it's not lost on me that they put aside their discomfort to be there for me. I can only imagine what they went through during the 12 hours I was unavailable to them.
Collectively, me on a gurney and them surrounding me, we went through a set of double-doors into an air-lock type area with a laundry bin, and then through another set of double-doors to my room. As we walked through, the nurse told me my room was on the 13th floor and I was in Room 1331, and said, "I hope you aren't superstitious."
Nope. You could name my room, 666 Malpractice Death Wing, and I'd be fine as long as it was a private room.
It was dark, and all I saw were a bank of windows, black as night. The nurse told me that you could see the lights of the city, but without my contacts, I wasn't impressed. I was impressed by the fact that there was only one bed in that room.
That first night is pretty fuzzy. I don't remember how long my family stayed or much of anything that happened. I know my sister spent the night with me one night, but not the first. The large doses of painkillers I was getting, combined with recent anesthesia created a dream-like situation. I think my exhausted family left as soon as they saw I was settled in. I do remember at one point in the middle of the night nurses and rads techs came to take a chest x-ray and that hurt as they had to roll me on my side to get the board under me. I don't recall asking for pain meds - but I'm sure I did I don't recall pushing the button on my epidural for extra doses - but I'm sure I did. It was probably a bad night but I honestly don't remember now.
Morning dawned, and I realized I not only had a private room, I had one with an incredible view. I was now not only happy with the room, I was bragging!
I had a sweeping, panoramic view of San Francisco, from the TransAmerica Building all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was spectacular, and all mine. I grabbed my iphone and ignored the extreme and searing pain to tweet that view, and shame on you who aren't following me @butdocihatepink
Unbelievably, the day after my surgery -the surgery where I was flayed from mid-chestbone to belly button and across to my waist - AND had half my liver removed and burned - the sadistic nurses wanted me standing up. On my feet! With a catheter bag dangling down. Well, I don't have to tell you that was quite painful, and they didn't want me to just stand, they wanted me to move my legs back and forth. I lost my footing and sat down back to bed, suddenly (ouch) but got up to try again because I'm super brave and all that BS. (The sooner you do it, the sooner they leave). The second time I managed to do the Hustle as requested, then I got a sponge bath and went back to bed.
I felt better after getting up, hard as it was. If you have found this blog because you are having a liver resection, don't resist standing up. It jump starts your recovery.
They also gave me an inspiration spirometer to practice breathing - it helps prevent pneumonia. I was to practice it once an hour and get the little ball to a line she drew. I'm pretty sure I didn't do it once an hour - it wasn't that inspiring - but I did it several times a day. I never did meet my goal, however.
I'm not sure I could meet it now, but that's a different story.
PTSD and Cancer
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