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Posts Tagged ‘surgery’

Funny how I wait until life is all hectic again to start posting.

Things are going well, except that I developed this bowling ball of fluid in my lower abdomen, filling up a cavity left my when my guts where stuffed back where they belong. It was really uncomfortable and pressed on my healing incisions.

I was referring to the thing as my ‘fluid fetus,’ but this bothered my kids and nephews, so I opened the floor for a new name and one of my nephews came up with “Duncan.” So now I call it Duncan.

Anyway, Duncan was so annoying that if I’d been able to get my hands on a needle, I would have tried to drain the thing myself. But I didn’t have a needle, so I put up with it.

I did, however, have needle-nosed pliers, so I amused myself by removing most of my staples. By the time this occurred to me, the incisions were well healed, I’d like to point out. In a couple places, whoever stapled me up got a little slap-happy with the staple gun and didn’t do such a great job, so the staples were so tight that the skin was tearing. Ew. Of course, those were the bits Duncan made it impossible for me to reach with the pliers.

Finally, Duncan has begun to shrink and I saw my surgeon and got the rest of my staples out, so I’m beginning to feel human again. I even started back at work a bit.

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In other news, we took Asher off his ADD medication, Strattera, over the holidays. He’s been on it for 1.5 years, and while it appears to have helped him significantly when it comes to concentrating at school, it seems to be taking a bit of a toll on his health otherwise. In that time, while he continued to grow taller, he gained virtually no weight, maybe one or two pounds at most. He frequently had low energy, stomach aches, looked tired and had big dark circles under his eyes. He didn’t have much of an appetite and has been busily removing foods from his list of acceptable edibles left and right.

In the 2 weeks he was off the meds, he gained 5 pounds. He’s added another one or two since he’s been home. He’s got more energy too. He doesn’t want to start taking the pill again (he hates pills), so we’re giving school a go. So far, his teachers have only noticed he has more energy, but it is only 3 days. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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Random photos – Roxy got to enjoy Hanukkah too. She had fun with the gelt bag.

roxy1-dec08

Poker! My nephew’s friend was playing with the settings on my camera.

poker1-dec08

Boo had big fun tubing.

tubing8-dec08

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Crabbiness

Sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been both busy and a bit crabby and I write less when I’m crabby. I’m not the sort to spill it all out on the page. In fact, in the journal I have kept since I was 16, you can always tell something bad happened when there are gaps in the entries, but frequently, I don’t even give a hint as to what was upsetting me so much. I know that is backwards to how most people do things, but hey, different strokes and all that.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a colostomy. It was a side effect of the exploding colon. I do not like it. When I was in rehab, a nice lady from the Ostomy Association came in and gave me a pile of literature about living with an ostomy and a big running theme was, Isn’t this great?! There were little articles written by people who’d lived with ostomies for decades and just thought they were the best things, wouldn’t go back even if they could. Changing the bag is easy once you get the hang of it! It’s all easy, really! Just give it a couple of months and you’ll be happy, happy, happy!

I’m not happy. Changing the bag is shitty, much more so than just wiping your own butt. The bag is held in place by a big bandage, basically, with a hole for the bit of intestine sticking out, which is called the stoma. The bandage is called a flange, and it needs to be changed too. You rip it off and glue another on. Skin does not like this and gets all rashy. (There are many, many ostomy products aimed towards healing this.)

I’ve gotten used to all this and good at dealing with it, but I still don’t like it. Especially since my stoma prolapsed. This means that the stoma, instead of protruding only a little bit, sometimes hangs way, way out. Likes, 6 inches. Remember in Alien, when the little baby alien busts out of the guy’s belly and looks around? That’s kind of what it looks like. It’s intestine. It’s all ripply and alive.

Beyond the generally grossness of this, there’s my concern about hurting the damn thing, which makes me constantly aware of leaning against counters, putting on seat belts, etc.

So I’ve been rooting for a reversal in a big way. I’ve needed a couple tests to see if it was possible, and I had the appointment with the surgeon last Tuesday to see how possible it is.

It is. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he likely has to re-open my great big scar – the one that runs from above my belly button to my pubic bone. Hooking the guts back up carries the risk of a leak which could lead to sepsis – the problem I had in the first place. Or scar tissue could lead to blockage. The surgery also carries a risk of damaging the spleen or may require a temporary ileostomy which will then need to be hooked back up too. And I have to stay in the hospital for about a week.

That last one freaked me out more than one might expect, mostly because the father of a friend had a heart attack a few months ago and then had an emergency triple bypass and he was out 3 days later. It speaks to the seriousness of this surgery, which I had been significantly downplaying. Significantly. I’d read that reversals can sometimes be done laprascopically, so I figured, no big deal.

Only turns out it is a big deal. Hence, crabbiness.

The surgery is set for December 12th.

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She lives!

Fortunately, Maya’s ability to heal with unbelievable speed seems to be trumping the need to torment me with her misery. That, and those Tylenol 2s. I feed her half every 4 hours like clock-work and except for whining about all the food she wishes she could eat, Maya is doing really well.

Moments after I posted my last blog entry and told Maya it was time to leave, she said to me, “I just want you to know that if this hurts at all or goes wrong in any way, I’m blaming you completely.” She was serious.

I said, “Maya, I am completely aware that anything that goes on in your life at any point and involving anything will be blamed on me.” I was serious.

Right after the surgery treatment, I got to see her in the recovery room, and she was amusingly dopey. I asked if she wanted water. She stared at me blankly for a good five seconds before responding, “No.” A few minutes later, she asked, “Why are we here?” I told her, “You dental surgery – remember?” Five second pause. “Yes.” She then reached up and touched her frozen upper lip and asked, “Is this my lip?” When I told her it was, she said, “Are you sure?” like it was actually possible to confuse with something else.

It actually brought back memories of feeling like that when coming out of sedation, where the thought would formulate in my head but take forever to actually get out my mouth. (I’ve been sedated a few times – wisdom teeth, molar extraction, appendix, boob tumour. It sucks.)

(I also felt like that when I was sick after Boo was born, lying in the ER room, feverish and haemoraging. That was a bit different, though, because I think that was something more like shock. And in that case, I didn’t answer. I just lay there, thinking stuff but finding it just too much of an effort to bother to communicate with anyone. I even felt badly that it might be freaking them out, but not badly enough to fight my way out of it. Only when I realized Boo was hungry and I had to tell J how to latch her on did I get the strength to shake it off and communicate.)

Maya seemed to come out of it really quickly, which is something I never managed. I was marveling at how well she was doing as we headed out to the parking lot when I noticed that she was heading off the curb as we walked down the sidewalk. I just grabbed her coat and redirected her.

Then we ordered Evan Almighty on our ‘on demand’ cable and ate ice cream. Compared to my pre-Weight Watchers days, I didn’t eat much, but I still think I ate too much. And the movie was stupid. It would have been completely unbearable without Steve Carroll. But Maya was happy with both the movie and the ice cream, so the afternoon was a success.

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