Monday, November 7, 2011
No Wimps Allowed
It now has been seven days since I had my hernia repair surgery. When I got home from the hospital after an overnight stay, I felt on top of the world--no pain, no aches, nothing. At the time I thought the recovery/recuperation from the surgery would be a piece of cake. Little did I realize at that point that this was what people refer to as "better living through chemistry". The next morning the euphoric episode of well-being laid in bed wondering what semi-truck had run me over! Recovery/recuperation had begun and let me say this--it is not for wimps!
The pain from the actual surgery was just as the doctor had promised it would be--worse than the previous two surgeries. After three surgeries one would think that I would take doctors at their word, but no, that preemptive and false euphoria of that first night home had given me hope. Silly me! The pain was real and hurt to do just about anything that I ever took for granted--cough or sneeze, tie my shoes, pick up a piece of trash, sit down, stand up--all were torture of the worse kind. Thank goodness for the wonders of those pills that the doctor sent me home with . . . that Endocet worked wonders. Amazing stuff and really did take away the pain. As I stated earlier, this was better living through chemistry!
Sleeping was another adventure. I sleep on my stomach, with all the incisions and stitches on my stomach, sleeping on my stomach was out of the question. I had to sleep on my back. Sleeping on my back induces noises that have a tendency to keep others awake. The wife does not appreciate when I snore. Also, sleeping on my back confuses our Dachshund, Dora, as she doesn't have her usual place to sleep. Needless to say there have been three unhappy souls in the bed lately. Add toe cramps to the unhappiness and one begins to understand how disruptive all this recovery/recuperation can be.
But the worse part of recovery/recuperation was getting the plumbing working once again. For those who have never had surgery . . . be forewarned! Anesthesia and pain medication does a number on the body's plumbing--big time! The doctor warned me about this, even suggested that I prepare myself by getting some laxatives, and must smirked as he left the hospital room. Again, another thing that I had forgotten from my previous two surgeries. Needless to say, the doctor was right and getting the whole plumbing thing working was a royal pain in the rear! The toilet and I were not good friends.
Typically surgical patients are not released from the hospital until they have passed gas and had a bowel movement--neither of which I had when I was released. Gas pain is the worse pain--it was even worse than the incision pain. It was like having a great big helium balloon trapped in the bowels that kept expanding and expanding until I thought I was going to pop. Never in my life had I wanted to fart and couldn't. After several days of suffering it finally happened--the pain and the ecstasy. It practically knocked me to the floor it hurt so bad, but felt so good to release all that pressure. I imagine the wife thought I had died when I let out that blood curdling cry. Who knew a release of gas--a fart--could bring so much relief?
The bowel movement took several more days before it was accomplished. During this time the pain was pretty immense, but the bowels were not cooperating. My wife was encouraging as she kept telling me to "let it rip!" The porcelain throne and I became well acquainted for several days. I read through most of the library we keep in the throne room. I moaned and groaned and cursed with each little false start. When it finally happened the moaning, groaning, and cursing increase as I honestly thought I was going to die. But I survived. Recovery/recuperation is not for wimps.
It has now been seven days. The pain from the surgery is diminishing and I am back at work. I still get tired, but it is not too bad. The plumbing all works and I would hold it up to just about any one else's plumbing. I can almost sleep on my stomach again, that will probably be another couple of days--both the dog and wife will be happy. I can tie my own shoes. I can even drive. The end of this recovery/recuperation process is almost over. In another week or two I should be practically back to my old self--scary as thought might be. I can't wait. I am tired of being this tough guy--I am ready to get back to being a wimp.