It’s now been just over 3 weeks since the intense abdominal pain sent me to the ER in the middle of the night and my gastric bypass surgery complication saga began.
Since then, a case of badly twisted bowels turned into a nasty infection in my incision site. At first I had daily visits from a home health care agency to change what was a “wet to dry” dressing. That basically consisted of gauze stuffed into my open wound with bandages taped over my stomach to hold it all in.
The trauma of seeing my stomach laid open gave me panic attacks every time my dressing was changed. One week ago I was put on a wound vac, which keeps my wound taped up much more securely, drains the fluids that collect in it, and only needs to be changed three times a week. It hurts worse to change this, but it is making my wound heal much faster. Plus I feel much more secure between changes.
All in all, things are getting better.
I felt really good yesterday, did some laundry and even cooked dinner, much to the delight of my kids. Especially my oldest, who has some aspirations of becoming a chef and knows full well who the real cook in the family is. My sweet husband did his best, but nobody cooks like Mom.
Unfortunately, I overdid it (which is something I’ve done every time I’ve ever had surgery and started to feel better) and suffered come evening time. I was hurting very badly by the time one of my favorite shows came on (Kitchen Nightmares – I love Gordon Ramsay! I like the way he doesn’t tiptoe around or walk on eggshells with people. Yes, sometimes he’s over the top rude, but mostly it’s needed to wake up boneheaded restaurant owners who’s businesses are failing but still insist that their way is better than his. As if.)
I’m trying to wean myself off the pain medicine they gave me. Up till now I was taking it every 4 hours, staying ahead of the pain. Now I’m waiting till it actually hurts and went a good part of the day yesterday without any.
The only drama left is that I can’t drive yet, but I’m supposed to go to the wound specialists to have my vac changed. I really liked them, they were Waaaay cool. But we’re trying to get another home health company to come change me because getting a ride is difficult. Unfortunately, the HHC place called yesterday to say they hadn’t gotten insurance approval yet and weren’t sure they would. So I’m waiting to hear back from them this morning to see whether they’ll be coming to me, or if I’ll have to scramble to get a ride out to see my new friends at the wound place.
If I didn’t need to take pain meds to have the vac changed, I could possibly drive there. In some ways I’d rather do that. But I can’t do it without the pain meds, and the Xanax for the anxiety it still causes.
I’m also really missing my class. I teach a drama class 2 days a week at my kids school. My oldest son is in the class, and he says it’s just been a study hall since I’ve been gone. We had just had our first performance in the school chapel service about a week before all this happened, and the class as a whole had really bonded. I can’t wait to get back to them. I really hope I’ll do so next week, even with the wound vac.
Well, that’s pretty much it at this point. It was a bad experience, but I’ve survived. And like the nurse at my doc’s office told me, in the long run this whole thing will be a blip on my radar. A pretty big blip, but a blip nonetheless.
Thanks to all of you who sent thoughts/ well wishes/ prayers my way. They certainly had an impact, and are most appreciated.
Now go on out there and have a wonderful day!