Saturday, October 6, 2012

A slow road to recovery.

It's been almost two weeks since I used my computer. Andrea has been kind enough to keep the blog going when I couldn't, but I think I can handle it now.

Surgery went as well as it could. Better, in fact. I don't remember anything after the time the epidural was put in, including that oh-so-flattering photo that Andrea posted. So I don't remember seeing my husband as they rolled me to surgery, or talking to the surgeons like I was supposed to before the operation.

I remember waking up in recovery, crying because my throat and shoulder hurt soooo bad, and my hip was cramping. I was on my side, which is how they positioned me for the operation. I'd been that way for so long that my hip was cramping. My throat hurt because they had to use a larger than normal tube, and leave it in longer than anticipated while stabilizing my heart rate/ They also had difficulty removing it.

A few more hours later and I woke up in my room on the 5th floor, where we began what was a 4-day battle to try and find a comfortable way to lay and control the pain. At that time I had three IVs in my two hands. Ow.

I knew chest surgery wouldn't be a breeze. I knew it would hurt. I did not know how bad it was going to hurt. despite heavy amounts of drugs and the epidural, I was suffering big time. I can honestly say that I would rather go through childbirth twice without painkillers, than ever go through this again.

I had a drainage tube in my side, and an incision on my back. The other side was sore from the surgery, and everything about my right side abs hurts, so there was really no chance to get comfortable. So for two days I slept most of the time, heavily drugged, and was comforted by my mom and husband the rest of the time.

I had amazing nurses. amazing. They did everything they could to make me comfortable.

After the two days, it was time to remove the chest tube, and wean off the drugs. So the tube came, out, which made me happier than I can explain. sadly, so did the epidural. Then they took away my magic pain button and tried to transition me to oral pain pills. this did NOT go smoothly and after several hours of agony, the my beautiful, wonderful, sweet nurse turned the magic pain button back on. By this time I was down to one IV.

It took a little more time, but we did transition off the IV meds, and starting planning to go home. On Friday, I got to enjoy my first shower since surgery and it was fantastic, even though I needed helpers to accomplish it, and a nap afterwards to recover from the effort of standing that long.

Friday afternoon we went and stayed the night at Kevin and Xandy's house in Bellevue. They were so very helpful for us during all of this, by watching JT while we attend appointments and opening their home to us. Friday night was extremely rough. We had trouble filling all the prescriptions to control my pain, and the nausea caused by the pain meds, and everything got out of whack, leading to an evening of barfing, which started on the car ride home. yuck.

On Saturday afternoon, we decided to make the drive back to the tri-cities, as my mom was flying out from there on Sunday. She had flown in from Maryland to help take care of me, and her assistance was amazing. She stayed in the hospital with me every night.

The drive was not particularly pleasant, but we made it. I'll post about life at home tomorrow, but for now, know that i'm doing fine and recovering slowly. Thanks for everything!

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