Saturday, June 21, 2008
5 days post-op
I have been really touched by the number of well-wishing emails and cards, and flowers, that I have received from friends and family following the news of my surgery. Thanks, everyone! It significantly boosted my spirits.
So, here we are 5 days post-op. I'm feeling much better. While I can't say that my abdominal pain has gone away--I traded the dull but constant pain for a more biting variety around the incision--I am much more mobile than I was a few days ago. I can go up and down the stairs. Thank God, because I was really going stir-crazy being confined to the upstairs for a few days. And, I can even manoeuver in and out of bed now with greater ease, which is great because I can't tolerate lying in my bed and listening to Jonas cry in the other room. I have to hobble my way in there, even if I can't do much for him. (My mom is taking good care of him in the middle of the night.) Going from standing to lying down is still the hardest thing to do, but it is getting better, less painful. I just have to be careful to not overdo it now. I start to show a little bravado after I get a few painkillers in me, (I mean, I feel so good!) but as they subside, suddenly I find myself tired and slow and needing to rest awhile again.
On Thursday I was allowed to remove the bandage and take a shower. Thank God, for the shower. The bandage was another story. I was scared to lift it up, fearful i suppose, that I would find a crusty Frankenstein-like track of stitches. It took me a good 10 minutes to peel back the layers of bandage, one at a time, until at last all that was left were a couple of strips of tape (?) that were pressed over a line of black stitches. The strips look like that kind of tape that's often used in mailing packages. You know the cream-colored tape that has little lines in it? I always loved the smell of that tape. How do they get it to smell like that? oops, straying off topic a bit. My abdomen is still pretty swollen. It looks like it did 3 weeks post-partum. Sigh. I'm not lovin' that. The area around the incision is kind of hard. All in all though, it looks better than I thought it would.
I heard back from the surgeon today about the pathology report. Remember that they found a benign tumor? Well, first it was a hernia (according to the CT scan); then no hernia, just a growth; and now a hernia again. Say what? Yeah, so get this. Now, I'm going to try to get this right. No guarantees on accuracy since I don't have the report in hand. It appears that I actually did have a hernia near my navel at one point in time, most likely caused during my pregnancy. A piece of tissue (more precisely the omentum, which is a layer of fat that covers your intestines, not be be confused with belly fat) came up into the opening. After the pregnancy, when my rotund stomach went down, the hernia closed and the tissue became "incarcerated" as they say, i.e. stuck. Blood flow was cut off and I believe at that point the incarcerated piece of omentum began to decay. All I know is that report used a word containing "necrosis" in it. They found this little gem when they went in there on Tuesday, removed it and closed me up with mesh as though I had a hernia (they had to go through the abdominal wall in the end, anyway).
I am fortunate that I got this thing taken care of when I did, as it could have turned into quite a nasty infection if left unattended. Who would have known? There is one weird thing that I keep thinking about. During my last trimester, I complained often about the pain in my umbilical area. There was a ring about 2-3 inches in diameter around my navel that was extremely sensitive and felt like it was stretched so thin that I was just waiting for Jonas to bust out, like a chick out of an egg. Everyone kept telling me that as totally normal. Now, I wonder if that is when this all happened, or at least if it was the beginning of everything.
Well, it's all water over the bridge now. Baby's out, tumor's out, hernia's closed and I can finally get on the road to a FULL recovery! I don't want to see another hospital for a LEAST a few more years. :-)
Wish me luck. And, thanks again for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. I'm blessed to have such great friends and a terrific family.
Posted by Liz V. at 5:13 PM