Part 5: Recovery is a b*tch
After my surgery, they put me into a good-sized hospital room so I could recover. It had the bed (obviously), a recliner at the foot of the bed, and a cool little chair that would convert into a cot sat to my right. As with most hospital furniture, they were only mildly comfortable. Nevertheless, my husband and mother each took a chair and settled in for the long haul. The first night wasn't bad. They had me on a rotation of Morphine and Oxycontin, so the pain wasn't terrible. I could only have so many doses of morphine (maybe 3-4) in a day. Oxycontin was my night drug because it always knocked me clean out. I enjoyed taking the Oxycontin. It made me feel like I was flying, but every muscle was relaxed. Then, I'd sleep. It was nice. Morphine wasn't as pleasant. It rushed to my head and made it feel warm and fuzzy, but heavy. Not a great sensation. And everything went downhill from there. Friends, you never know how much you use your ab muscles until you can't. I could barely move; breathing hurt, and sitting up was impossible. I can't tell you how many times my butt or sides became numb because I couldn't move them enough to keep the blood flowing. The nurse tried to get me to sit up the day after, and I was in so much pain that I almost cried. It even hurt if they just raised the bed up while I was laying on it. I'd never felt that much pain in my life. Not only was I in pain, but I was also hungry. If you know me at all, you know that I. Love. Food. Well, it turns out that when you have five inches of your gut removed, you're not allowed any real food. I didn't eat anything the first day I was there, even though the nurse urged me to at least drink some coffee. The second day, I managed to take a few sips of coffee and one of the Boost drinks they gave me. After that, I mostly drank the peach-flavored boosts with sips of broth and coffee here and there. Still, it wasn't the same as eating a nice, gooey pizza. But I digress. My hospital stay was pretty boring since I couldn't do much, but we did get some excitement the second night. I had somehow twisted in my sleep and managed to crush my kidney splint, which was extremely painful. Now, both my back and front were throbbing in pain, and it took the nurse and my mom to calm me down enough to settle the pillows around me. I remember yelling at the nurse that nothing was going to help and she should just leave me alone, but that was the fear talking because I was terrified. I had no idea what was happening to my body, why I was in so much pain, and my head was fuzzy from a combination of sleep and morphine. It was not a pleasant experience, and I'm pretty sure I cried myself back to sleep once she got me settled and gave me a smaller dose of pain meds. I did apologize to the nurse the next morning, and she laughed and said not to worry about it because they get that all the time. She may have said something about my being one of their easiest patients, but I might have made that up. All I know is that we had made it through the first days, but the recovery process had only just begun.
Part 6 coming soon!