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Abs of Steel

26 August 2014
So, I survived surgery.  It's quite the story.

I woke up at 8 a.m. last Wednesday and immediately started work on my house.  I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned.  I wanted my house to look nice while I was recovering, mostly because I knew that people would be visiting and bringing over meals and I didn't want them to see how we normally live.  And also with the added bonus that if I died on the table, no one could judge my inferior housekeepery.  So I scrubbed as hard as I could; I mowed the lawn and weeded and at 2:00 I took my last bubble bath.  At 2:45 we dropped Sparrow at a friend's house and headed to the hospital.

I was supposed to be operated on around 5 p.m.  At 5:15, I was still hanging out in pre-op, bored out of my mind.  Luckily all my cleaning wore me out, so I was able to take a little nap while Hawk did some work on his laptop.  At 6 the doctors finally came in to consult with me.  The surgery was supposed to take around 45 minutes, with another 1.5 hours spent in recovery before I could go home.  Sparrow's first day of school was the following day, so Hawk and I were anxious to get going so that we could pick Sparrow up from my mom's and put him to bed at a reasonable hour.

Hawk and I said adieu and the anesthesiologist wheeled me to the OR.  He gave me some anxiety medicine and after a minute asked if I had felt anything yet.  "Um, no," I said.  So he gave me the rest of the syringe.  I still didn't feel it.  Sometimes when I go under anesthesia I can feel it kicking in, but this time was one of those times where it just went black.

The next thing I knew was pain.  Serious pain.  I entered the hospital at a pain level of 5/10 and I woke up from anesthesia at a 9.  The anesthesiologist gave me fentanyl before I had woken up all the way, but it didn't help.  The recovery room nurse gave me another amp of fentanyl, plus TWO amps of Dilaudid.  Then they gave me 2 oral Percocet, but I never got below a 7 on the pain scale.

While this was going on, I learned that the surgery had taken twice as long as it was supposed to and I started freaking out because Sparrow was at my mom's, and it was getting late.  Then I learned that the surgery hadn't even happened properly.

Apparently, there was so much scar tissue that the surgeon wasn't able to get through at all.  He tried to make a wider incision than normal through the belly button and that didn't work, so then he tried he to make a new incision through the right side and he still couldn't get through.  The poor guy tried for an hour and a half to make the surgery work and he couldn't do it.  I felt really bad (I still feel bad.)  The doctor said that in 28 years, he's never seen anything like this.  He said he's never not been able to do a laparoscopy.   What can I say?  I'm an anomaly.

Luckily, while I was under, Hawk called my mom and was able to let her know what was going on. She brought Sparrow to our house and put him to bed and then just sat around bored for a few hours.  We didn't get home from the hospital until almost midnight, so we were really grateful that she was able to do that for us.

It's been 6 days and the pain level is still unreal.  Especially for them not being able to do anything!  I had to go to the ER on Friday and they gave me 4 syringes of Dilaudid and it still didn't touch it.  I don't understand why I hurt this much.  I haven't dropped lower than a 7 throughout the entire recovery.

So I have abs of steel.  Or titanium.  Or there's a baby dragon in there.  Or maybe I'm part turtle shell. I don't know.

People keep asking me what's next.  I don't know what's next.  We've talked with the doctor briefly.  He wants me to get some gastrointestinal tests and rule everything out that way.  Then, once we've confirmed that it's not my bowel or stomach or anything else, he's thinking he will do another surgery where he opens me up and removes the scar tissue and checks for endometriosis.  This one will not be laparoscopic, so the recovery time will be longer.  Whiiiiich means that I can't even consider this surgery until the semester ends in December.

Realistically, it's not too bad.  I've lived with the same pain every day for 2.5 years.  I can handle 4 more months.  But I wanted this whole saga to be over.  I wanted it solved and I want the pain gone.  So the thought of hurting for the next few months is, well, painful.  Yes, there is a painkiller I can take to keep me sane through the whole thing.  But I just quit that medication and it was hard and I want to be done with it.

So that's the story.  I'm a medical anomaly with abs of steel.  And I'm not sure where we go from here.

But on the positive side, Sparrow has been doing well in first grade and he's coming home every day with new nonsensical German words to teach us.  Seriously, this kid is amazing.  I'm excited that he's learning a new language, but German sounds ... very pretend.  At least if he's faking it, he's doing it convincingly.  Ja, sehr güt.

3 comments to Abs of Steel:

K La said...

"The poor guy tried for an hour and a half to make the surgery work and he couldn't do it. I felt really bad (I still feel bad.)"

Why do you feel bad? That's the guy's job! He got paid like, five thousand dollars in that hour and a half, and he didn't even do anything beside cut holes in you!
You feel bad for something you have no control over? Cut that out, right now. No guilt. It's just how it is.

As you heal, will the pain level go down? Or do you think you'll be at a 7 for the next 4 months? Can't they do anything about that?

enordstrom10 said...

Hello, You don't know me but I prayed to Heavenly Father for answer and I found you. I am praying that you will be wiling to talk with me? My name is Erika Nordstrom. I live in St. Paul, MN. My email is enordstrom1@hotmail.com. If you want me to give you my home number to prove that I am not a scammer I can. I have major depression, anxiety and severe tactile disorder. The only thing preventing me from going to the temple (I've been there before) is the issue with how garments feel on my skin under my cloths and how the 2 rub together. No one understands! I am writing to you with tears flowing from my face as you may be my only hope to a solution. I saw your post and was wondering if you would email me or call me to talk about it? I would feel so eternally grateful!! My number is 651-756-1525. I pray that you ma find it in your heart to know that I am desperate to find any help on this subject and not a weird person on the internet. I just created the google account to write to you so if you are willing to talk to me if you could write to the Hotmail address that is what I check unless you prefer thankful!!! With much love and blessings to you, Erika Nordstrom

enordstrom10 said...

Hi there!

My name is Erika Nordstrom. I live in St. Paul, MN. I have a severe sensory disorder that goes along with my Major depression and anxiety. I prayed to Heavenly Father this morning with tears pooring from my eyes because the only thing keeping me from going BACK to the temple and being temple worthy is wearing temple garments. NO ONE seems to understand this and I get that. I did a search on sensory disorders and temple garments, found a reply/ post of yours and knew you were my last hope. That is why I am reaching out :) I am so desperate to talk to someone for some ideas on what to do or what they have done. I feel like you were my answer to my prayer. I know you are like a million miles away and honestly I could be any weirdo on the internet. But I am just a single mother of the church of a 7 year old little boy - Kohen - :) And I am desperate for advice. Is there any way that you would be willing to talk to me? If so, I don't check the google account as I just made it to reach out to you. You can reach me at enordstrom1@hotmail.com or 651-756-1525. I would be eternally grateful. Thank you!!! With love, your sister in Heaven, Erika