Tuesday

Gallbladderless part FOUR!

I can't promise this will be the last post but we're getting close. It's important to me to document this so that when I have another child I can look back and say, "I had my gallbladder out, I can easily push a human being out of my body!" Yeah, I'm not kidding about that, either.

The day after I came home was hard. Ted was tired, my mother-in-law was tired and I was still on percocet. I actually switched to the vicodin they prescribed me in the ER a couple weeks before (which I never took), thinking it was going to be better on my body. I was right. And wrong. It managed the pain better but it made my whole body itch.

One of the worst parts after Ted had his tonsils out a year ago was his pain management. He had a lot and he was puking. Vomit on a raw, operated on throat is bad news. Turns out he was allergic to percocet. But he didn't know that at the time. He'd been itchy and didn't make the correlation. Well, I took vicodin once and itched and couldn't bring myself to take it again.

So my second day home was just tough. Plus, my belly seemed to be getting bigger. The biggest incision (I think it's the biggest) is just above your belly button and it seemed like it was starting to stretch.

I still couldn't mother, clean, or do anything normal. I was sleeping a lot and I felt like the 2 people I was depending on to care for my kids were not as able or active as I'd like. I know I'm a little bit of a control freak, but this was tough for me. Also, walking was not getting easier, as I thought it would. It was not a good day.

Ted and I had a long talk that night about how I felt like I needed more support - which was absurd since I had 2 people there for me all the time! Chalk it up to the wacky pain medication head I was still coming off of. But Ted fessed up to the fact that he didn't realize how tough and all encompassing my job really is. So while I earned a lot of respect, it was in a tough way. And I had to take into consideration that I was also Ted's charge. He helped me stand, sit, get in and out of bed, he regulated all my meds, got me fed and brought me water ... and that's just the basics.

That was Friday. Saturday was better. And worse. I decided to "just say no" and really Nancy Reagan it up on Saturday. No more prescription drugs. I went on a constant and steady alternation of Tylenol and Ibuprofen and it mostly handled my pain.

Also, I left the house. In the car. I didn't go in the store with Ted, I slept in the car. I was too wiped out and now that I wasn't around my kids, I slept! But I left the house and that was a big deal to me.

In light of full discretion, I have to say why Saturday was so terrible. I hadn't pooped yet. There, I said poop on my blog. I've said nipples, prostate, and now poop. Wow, I can't believe you're still reading this.

I hadn't gone #2 since Wednesday, before surgery and my stomach was stretching and my belly button incision and little cuts where stretching. Ted was trained specifically in post Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) last semester and knew that a few things could be happening as my stomach stretched. There could be fluid building - which indicated nothing good. It could be excessive gas ... or swelling. But regardless, I was in more pain as my stomach stretched and we decided to take some proactive matters to produce results.

We got milk of magnesia and in about 2 hours things were better. I'll leave it at that and not be graphic. But I have to express, despite some almost immediate relief, that in the meantime, my stretching belly was not happy. After about 12 hours, I was doing much better.

Sunday was mostly good. Sunday I went to church. I was scared because I couldn't help wrangle the kids. But there were 3 adults and only 2 kids. How bad could it be?

Honestly, by time church rolled about (at 1:00) I was SO tired. And it wasn't because I hadn't rested. I was because of how tiring it was getting ready. Just getting my hair done was taxing, having my hands above my head and using my core muscles to steady myself. And getting dressed? I didn't want to be vain but I didn't want to look pregnant. And I did. But at least I know a dress I've gotten since Mer was born will look cute as a maternity dress someday.

A big milestone was hit on Sunday. A big mama milestone.


I held both my girls! I found out that if I splinted my tummy with a pillow, as long as they didn't wiggle, my girls could lay against me. They had to find their own way onto the couch and I couldn't get them down but BY GOLLY I could hold them once they were there. It was a huge moment for me. It was serene and big sigh of relief.

Sunday night I made a mistake. I thought I could get out of bed in the night without Ted's help. I actaully did pretty well getting out. I'd figured out a way I cold get my legs over and use them as leverage and sort of fall out. Sounds crazy, right? Well I gout out of bed, used the bathroom, and attempted to get back in bed. I ended up waking Ted for rearranging help and meds. But I got out by myself.

Monday, yesterday, I went to WalMart. WalMart people!! I woke up, showered, did my hair (!), meal planned, went to WalMart with Ted's ample assistance, and made the curtain in the previous post. I walked so much at WalMart that I needed a nap that afternoon but I did a big thing.

Monday was also the day my second born could have won the lottery. By that I mean she was severely lucky ... that she made it through the day alive. I had finally reached the point where I was well enough to do a lot of things but not able to parent and care for her and that was the worst thing yet. She was constantly out of my reach and being naughty. Climbing on things, pouring out laundry baskets, strewing potted plant soil all over the room (and later in the week all over the HOUSE)... I couldn't handle it. I laid down with Gwenna for a nap and my overwhelmingly intelligent and perfect-for-me husband brought Meredith to a friend's house and cleaned most of the house. Big thanks to my friend AND my smart husband.

Hours after I woke, I reported to Ted that there really was no single thing he could do that would improve my mood, even post nap, but he did the best thing possible. ... It was like a weight was taken from his shoulders and he could breathe.

It's hard to look back and see some of the stress having surgery put on my family. But I think we'll all be better off for it when I can care for them without illness and pain.

Tuesday. Oh Tuesday. Tuesday I DROVE MYSELF to my library committee meeting. I DROVE myself to my relief society activity and participated. I can stand, sit, squat... not really bend or lean ... but I can function in society again. I did dishes and I made dinner. It's kind of monumental how far I've come over the past week - in my eyes at least. I even have a system for getting Meredith off the table that doesn't include picking her up.

Today Ted brought his mom home to the Phoenix area and I was here with the girls. Our friend and neighbor checked in on us and watched the girls for a little bit while I made a super quick trip to the store. Otherwise I did it all on my own - 9:00 to about 3:00. The only mistake I made was not calling my neighbor to put Meredith in her bed. It seemed SO silly to have her come down just for that. But I should have. The moment I was upright with Meredith in my arms, breaking my own resolve to follow perfectly doctor's orders, I regreted it. I'm fine, but I hurt in the moment and know why I should not pick up even my almost 20 lb. even child.

But life is going on. And it's awesome. And I can eat whatever I want (although, I've been eating more healthfully after such a long time with almost no fat in my diet) and things are looking up. Who needs a gallbladder anyway??

2 comments:

The Browns said...

I'm glad you're doing well! I wish you a speedy and happier rest of the recovery! I miss you friend! I wish I was closer to help! [=] You remember what that is? =] Take care!

Geevz said...

UGGG! No fun at all! Narcotics are infamous for backing ya up. You poor poor dear.

I'm glad you have a lovely husband and supportive neighbors.