Saturday, August 27, 2011

The First Week After... and then some

      It felt so amazing to be home. Even though I was not all that uncomfortable or in pain, being home just makes everything seem like it is going to be alright. As soon as I walked into the front door I saw the decorations there. Balloons and different colored signs all over the fireplace welcoming me home. It brought a huge smile to face. However all i could think of was how tired walking up those steps made me and God I need to sit down. So I staked my claim on what I knew was going to be my temporary home for the next few days. The recliner! I would be sleeping on that for a few days because it would support my body easier then lying flat on my back and i could not turn onto my side which is how I naturally want to sleep. AH! The recliner feels so comforting and warm. This should be a nice quick easy recovery. Famous last words!!
     The rest of the first afternoon went pretty quietly and quickly. Hunger was not a problem, however getting enough water in was, so I tried as hard as I could to get as much fruit punch flavored crystal light into me. Not a bad start for the first day. It was now time to get ready for bed. I had Gus help get up and to the bathroom. As we were walking back from the first floor bathroom to my recliner, Gus asked what I had on my shirt. To me it looked like I spilled crystal light. No big deal , right? Unfortunately I was wrong and it was blood. One of my incision sites was bleeding and it soaked through my t shirt and onto my shorts. Quickly I sat down and Gus ran to get some napkins. One napkin flooded, another and another. Jesus was this going to stop. We put pressure on the wound and it finally stopped. I knew that the discharge instructions had said if there was bleeding to call the doctor, but there was no way I was going back into the hospital. I knew i would be ok and I could call him in the morning. I settled into my recliner with some gauze and tape covering my incision. Gus settled in on the couch for the night.
      I would love to say that I slept wonderful and woke up to a closed wound and not another problem. Yeah , NO! I did not sleep well. I kept checking the gauze to see if it was bleeding again on and off all night. Plus I was already getting a sore tailbone from sitting in the same position for so long. The only thing that wasn't bothering was hunger. They were right when they said some patients have to remind themselves to eat. That was my case. In the morning I had to tell my self to drink a quarter of my protein shake just because it was breakfast time not because I was hungry. And although I was thirsty I could only take small amounts of water in at a time so getting the 64 ounces they wanted I knew was going to be hard.
     After eating, it was time to hit the bathroom again. Help was not very far away as I sat there and luckily so. It seems sitting up in that position had made my wound bleed again. and the next thing I knew the gauze was completely saturated in a deep claret red color. Again, between Gus, my mom and I, we got the bleeding to stop with pressure and a anew bandage. Well I guess it was time to call the doctor. I left a message for the office and he would be calling back shortly. That was the case, Dr. Forrester called me back and I told him what was going on. He advised that I should just put pressure on the area and it should stop. I told him that was what we did and it seems to be ok now. Perhaps I was just telling him that so I wouldn't have to be seen. Making the doctor think, it was better than it was. The fact of the matter was for the rest of the weekend, every time I walked around or went to the bathroom or sat in a chair other than the recliner, I would bleed and it bled more than I thought it should but it always stopped. Truth was I was getting very nervous and depressed. Why ? Why was this happening to me? Why wouldn't it just stop already. Plus I could see that my mom and Gus were also worried although they tried to hide that from me.
      By the time Monday morning came around I knew I had to call the doctors office. It has bled for too long and I was now getting paranoid about the other symptoms to "look out for" on the discharge papers. I just knew for a fact my legs were swelling and that I MUST have had a fever, despite what the obviously broken thermometer I was using told me. I called the office and they had Dr. Jack give me a call back. She said it would be ok, that I should come into the office and it might just need a little stitch! Sorry, WHAT ?? I have never gotten stitched in my life unless i was under anesthesia. It's true, never cut a cut or anything like that deep enough where I had to get stitched up. Once again, all i could think of was the unknown pain, I did not want this to happen at all. I sat there thinking, "what's wrong with you? You just had major surgery and you're worried over one stitch??" DJ, (Dr. Jack as I call her only to myself in my head) knew I didn't want the stitch and calmed me down telling me she wold use a topical anesthetic first then the needle, then the stitch I wouldn't feel a thing. For some reason I believed her. OK DJ you know what you are doing. I told her I could be at the office after 4 pm.
     3:30 that afternoon, Gus and I were on the road. That is after another bandage change in the car which we brought with us in case they wanted to see just how much blood was coming out. We got there and into the office without any more bleeding and up I was on a table. Dr.'s Jack and Forrester were both there and they took a look. Turns out I developed a hematoma. Which is a collection of blood outside the vessels and just under the skin. It was old blood and needed to come out. I was NOT  bleeding to death. This was good news. Dr. Jack showed us how to press down on the wound to express the trapped blood and I was NOT going to need a stitch. I would have leeped off the bed in joy if Dr. Jack didn't have her entire body weight pressed down on my stomach getting old blood out of me. Of Course while I was at the office I had to asked to be weighed in. I was very excited to see what I lost already especially since I have had nothing but protein shakes and water since Wednesday.  I was never really hungry so this should be good. I took my shoes off, wallet out of my shorts, got on and .... WHAT ???  One fucking pound?? ONE ??? Well the receptionist gave me they well you are probably holding fluids still , etc, etc, etc. Talk about a depressing blow. I was just a school kid at recess when I learned the bleeding was not bad and I was getting a stitch and now this.
     I had no choice but to shake it off and know that there is more to come, I was still healing. SO back home we went. I started moving a little more and walking as I was suppose to. However every time I did there was more blood coming out. This time however instead of stopping it we would push on the area to help it get out. This continued on the rest of the week. As did the forced water drinking and the reminding myself to "eat". I was amazed at how hungry I really wasn't and how too much water at once would make my stomach hurt. Things seemed to be going well, I had no constipation and no vomiting of any kind. Now if this damn hematoma would finally empty and close up. A change was on the horizon and it was coming in the form of Wednesday.
     Wednesday morning came around and I had now transitioned to sleeping in my bed. I woke up and after a bathroom break realized I was bleeding again and had to change the bandage. Every time I did this I would apply pressure and blood would drip out to sometimes pour in a slow stream. I would continue until it was dry. This morning however, we hit the mother load. I applied pressure and a geyser erupted. A steady tiny thin stream not even as thick as an eyelash shot out of the wound. WOW this is new, I hope this is normal! This continued off and on for the next hour or so and really ran free in the shower. It was like a scene from Psycho. Until finally it stopped. I think it best to keep my dr.s appointment I had scheduled for Friday with the new development. I told the office on Monday I would call them to say if I wanted to keep Friday open or not since I had just seen them. I called and told them with the site still bleeding I would like to come in. They asked if I would come in on Thursday morning instead. HELL YEAH I WILL!! All throughout the rest of Wednesday I was waiting for the bandage to show new blood. I sat up, went to the bathroom, sat in different chairs, nothing!! Could this have stopped? I was starting to feel like I was now in the clear. Low and behold the night passed blood free. I was done. However there was another monster about to rear its ugly head. This however is not a complication it was a two pronged villain of cravings and self doubt.
     Thursday morning as I waited to go to the office, I was still not hungry but I wanted food. I wanted to chew, I want to eat. Watching the Food Network all week did not help either. LOL. With this new craving came the fears I had of can I do this? I still am the same person. I still hate vegetables that has not changed. Will I have the resolve I need to try different things until I learn to like them? I don't have a choice do I? I could not have gone through all of this to let myself falter. But I know it is going to be a struggle. Well fighting inner demons was going to have to wait. Its appointment time. Were I would find an ally in my fight.
     We got to the doctors office and I informed them that the bleeding had stopped so this was handled as a regular visit. I got called back, blood pressure taken and OH NO!, weigh in time! Please let me have lost at least another pound or so. Did I just see that number correctly?? Oh Thank God. Eight more pounds since Monday. I lost eight pounds in 4 days. Some quick math in my head and I have lost 57 pounds in total and 9 in one week. Jim meet your new ally against self doubt. Everyone was very excited. Especially me. I had not been this weight in two years and this is just the tip of the ice berg. The story only gets better.
     For the rest of the week right up until this morning things have been great. No bleeding, Losing weight and still not feeling hungry. I am still struggling to get the full gallon of water in they want a day but its getting better. I am really starting to look forward to week two where i can eat soft foods, something substantial. I have all my necessary inventory ready. We bought a bunch of stuff before the surgery just to be ready, Things like crystal light, jello, tuna fish as well as my supplements. One of the things I also got was a scale. Not a big deal right? Everyone has one. The only difference is, I have not been able to weigh myself on a standard bath scale in many many years. the one I found had a higher limit than most, but I was still too big for it. FOR NOW! I would be there soon I knew. SO this morning just for fun since I was close to the limit on Thursday I decided to get on it. With Gus standing beside me we look down. What ? Can that number be right ? Is this thing really working for me? I went down another eight pounds since Thursday afternoon. I have now lost a total of 65 pounds since June 21st and 17 since the surgery a week and a half ago. I just know I AM going to do this!

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