Over the weekend, the hubby and I took a little road trip down to Galveston Texas to tour the new Pleasure Pier. If you aren't from our area, let me explain. Galveston has many piers that jut out into the gulf. One had a hotel on it. After Hurricane Ike demolished what was left of the pier and building, the question of what to do with the space came up. So, Galveston put a carnival like space out onto the pier. There are restaurants, a merry go round, roller coaster, log ride etc. as well as all the fun carnival games you remember from childhood. The place just opened this summer and we'd been too busy prior to this past Sunday to go down and look it over.
So, we started our afternoon sitting in the bar of the Bubba Gump Shrimp company enjoying some Cajun steamed shrimp, cold Shiner and people watching (my favorite sport). The place was packed, the staff was busy and the people watching was awesome. One customer was getting on the bartender's nerves to the point I was ready to open bets regarding who was gonna win the inevitable brawl (the bartender was a cute little blonde chick, about 100 pounds soaking wet). The brawl was everted by a smart manager who found an open table - far away from the bar- for the obnoxious customer.
In any event, I digress.
I ended up going to the toilet during our time @ Bubba Gump. Washing my hands afterward, I glanced into the mirror and almost laughed out loud. I was not the biggest chick in the mirror!! No disrespect to the other women in the toilet intended, this blog is after all, all about me and my journey.......but for the first time in a very long time, I was not the biggest chick in the bathroom !!!!. I did contain myself and stifled my laughter (they would have had me hauled out for insanity if I just burst into hysterical laughter after looking in the mirror) but I did giggle all the way down the stairs and back to the bar. Taking my seat on the bar stool by my hubby, he asks what happened in the bathroom.....and I told him. He just shook his head and laughed with me.
Again, I am amazed when I think of all the sad, little conditioning that has occurred over my 20+ years of obesity. Until Sunday, I wasn't aware that every time I was in a room, I was scanning to see if I was the fattest chick there........and sad to say, many times I was - the fattest chick in the room. All of the subconscious bull shit I've done to myself over the years continues to simply appall me. And it was so undeserved. I've always said being fat is 1) NOT a character flaw and 2) if that number was my IQ rather than my weight, we'd be excited!!! And I've believed that......but yet, here I was comparing myself to others and beating myself up without even knowing it.
Well, the beatings end here!.........let the love-in begin!!!
I am weightless..........and I'm not talking about those 3 numbers on my scale. I'm talking about my soul. I have found myself to be unbelievably happy, giddy in fact.
Why? I am no longer guilty.
I can only compare how this feels to 3 prior events in my life -
1. When I realized my relationship with God was between me and him - alone.
2. When my good-time boyfriend became my love of my life, best-friend husband.
3. When a fine doctor in Birmingham Alabama gave me my very first day of no head pain - in 33 years of life.
I had no idea I'd been carrying around this incredible weight of guilt related to my own obesity and food. This is marvelous! I feel free.......and empty.
I am seeing the world thru a whole new pair of glasses. I have the emotional energy to do things I used to sit on my hind quarters and think about.
Case in point, I hate to exercise. I'd always hoped I could come to view it as a necessity of life, like brushing your teeth. I don't love to brush my teeth, but I do love the after effects. In any event, I went with the hubby and 17 year old to our local Y on Saturday to "work out". I walked a little over half-mile on the treadmill and did some weight lifting for the arms (keep in mind, I am not 2 weeks post op yet). I wasn't miserable. I dare say, I kinda enjoyed it. And I'm going back this afternoon after work.
All that space where guilt lived is now empty. I get the opportunity for a do-over! A re-creation of myself, if you will.
Maybe I'll fill that space with dancing....I like to dance. And I'm a bit old school in my taste.
So, this afternoon, you will find me on the treadmill at the Y, earbuds blasting Nelly's "Air Force Ones" and I'll for sure 'get to stomping in my air force ones!'..........and I might be 'shaking a tail feather' to boot!
A disclaimer to this blog. It does contain one swear word in a conversation between this mother and her son. Before you get all judgmental, let me explain. We are a family that laughs.....at ourselves and each other. Sometimes, to make the conversation absolutely hilarious, we will take on a different accent and different character. This is what occurred. Having said that..........on with the story!!
Yesterday, Sunday....5 days post op. My daughters drove from their apartment in downtown Houston the 30 treacherous minutes out to our home in the suburbs to "visit the sick" (referring to me). My daughters are fantastic people; busy, young college students with lives of their own. How sweet they would tackle the old southern tradition of "sitting with the sick" on Sunday afternoon.
Right!! What the real deal was......we, as a family.....are addicted to HBO's True Blood and it comes on every Sunday night @ 8pm (No, I did not get paid for that plug). One of the sisters had taken her share of the cable bill money and had a fine time with a friend in Disney World....so....their cable was off. That was only part of their reason for visiting. The other part was they were hungry and they know I will always feed them when they are home.
So secure in their knowledge that momma would feed them and we would watch our program together, they do what all good Sunday afternoon visitors do.....took a 3 hour nap!
Well, after the sleeping beauties awakened, my 17 year old son was downstairs giving them a hard time. He asks, in a gruff tough voice "what are ya'll doing here? You HAVE an apartment1"
The sweetie sisters answered in their most precious voices "We came to see how momma was."
My son's reply, in a voice that would strike terror in any faint heart "It ain't like she's sick or anything. She just had surgery, that's all."
At that point, I butted into the conversation. Now, let me set the stage. I am a girl, born and bred in the deep south of Alabama who was transplanted to Texas 4 years ago. My accent is as much a part of who I am as the red hair my stylist touches up every 4 weeks at the salon..........only I was born and will most likely die with the accent.
So, butting into the conversation, with my interpretation of a New Jersey housewife accent, I say "I am too sick......I have a disease 70% (don't know the actual statistic, this just seemed good off the top of my head) of Americans suffer with. It's called Obesity,... you bastard!"
The girls, my son, and myself just fell apart after that with laughter! Oh my word, it was the funniest thing. He didn't have another word to say and neither did they. We laughed for a solid 5 minutes. And they laughed even more, because with all that belly busting laughter, I moved a few more gas bubbles and accentuated the laughter with burps and "poots".
Laughter is the best thing we can do for ourselves and those we love. Laughter is as good for the body as "GasX", and a whole lot more fun.
So, "Send in the Clowns" cause "what don't kill me only make me stronger"!!!!
Good grief, with that motto, I should be a beast............soon to be in a much smaller package......with ridiculous high heels!!!!!!!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, he'll sleeve me tomorrow.....it's only a day away!!!
Yes, I love music.....and shoes. Funny how those 2 things seem to be the back drop of my life and memories.
But for tomorrow, I am as ready as I'll be.
My mother asked yesterday if I was afraid, if I was prepared. My answer was, " I don't have time to be afraid or prepare. Are you kidding me?" And that is so true. Between work (I really do love my job), my 4 kids, and 1 very pregnant daughter in law.....I am a busy girl. I laughingly told my mom "I'm really kinda looking forward to the 24-48 hours of peace and quiet!"......she just sighed.
My sister calls today (she is the youngest). She is excited for me to have the WLS so she can see how much trouble it is. Honestly, why am I the guinea pig? I'm the oldest, that's why. She's obese too and knows something has gotta give.......she's just hoping that something won't be her knee!
Weight, really is a ghost......haunts every aspect of your life.
My kiddos are pretty pumped. The father's day card I gave their father depicted a man dressed in tails with a shapely woman in a red dress on his arm (wearing great, black, high high heels). They all laughed and said,"Dad, that'll be you and mom next year!' I laughed too cause I was thinking the same thing!!
I don't have any wisdom, poignant thought at this point.
I'm too busy day dreaming about really great heels.................
We've been in a fairly stress filled situation the past few months, and recently it has gotten more so. Stress isn't related to my surgery or weight loss........is related to other family issues. Nothing tragic, just stressful.
So Wednesday evening, I told my hubby he had to get me outta this house........and being the wonderful charming chap he is......he did. I was just tied in knots and needed to blow off some steam. I don't have any girlfriends that I can share this with, so unfortunately for the hubby, he gets to play that part.
In any event, I digress.
So, we're riding down the road in his truck, he turns and asks "What do you want to eat?" I replied, "Does it really matter? I'll eat 4 bites and that'll be the end." And, we laughed..........and went for his favorite food......MEXICAN!
So, we're sitting in this Mexican cantina, listening to the pitiful "live" music for Wednesday night and it happened.........
I found myself wishing I could just stuff myself with food (chips, queso, salsa) and beverage (code word for Dos Rita - Dox Equis beer inverted in top shelf Margarita!) so............(now this was an eye opener for me)........I could FEEL BETTER!!!
OMG!!!!! It's been 1 1/2 months since surgery and not once has that thought crossed my mind. Typically, I'm giggling at being the world's cheapest date, but somehow with all this stress, I WANTED to EAT and DRINK.
I can't (stuff me with food and drink) and I gotta say it is so good to be saved from myself. But it does leave me wondering....is this part of how I got fat in the first place. I know it is, part of it. I can look back at food journals and see I dove off the wagon in times of great stress, usually self directed hatred at my own short comings.........and then the cycle started up.
What to do with this new self discovery? How do I fill the space gluttony used to take in my life? More so, do I fill that space?
Maybe the space where gluttony used to live.............is kinda like when I clean out my closet. I clean out what I don't want any more so I have room for all the new, cool, groovy, awesome stuff I want now.
Or maybe I just leave it as a reminder that it leads somewhere I just don't want to go..........like those ugly, ugly jackets with the linebacker shoulder pads from the 80s!
I'm sitting here, working in my home office, dressed in jeans and a soft, thin, brushed red sweater. Why is that such a big deal? Well, because the jeans are size 16 and the sweater is from American Eagle, size XL. These are normal sized clothes and they aren't binding or pinching or look gross. I look normal.
I'm still 200+ pounds and have more to lose than I have thus far, but this is just so awesome. This is the first time in 15+ years I've worn normal clothes and felt so comfortable.
I love my sleeve. I love my surgeon...........and I love my hubby most of all, because thru thin, emaciatedly thin, thick, thicker and thickest this man has loved me for me. When I was so uncomfortable in my own skin, when I was a younger me, angry with myself for what I felt I had done to myself..........this man loved me. And I sit here now, happy as can be, sipping tea, wearing jeans with a soft red sweater...............enjoying the little things...........and the littler me.
Today I am one week and one day post op. God almighty, it seems like 2 months!!! I've had a lot happen in the past 8 days........and a lot of emotions to work thru.
But I've gotta say, I LOVE MY SLEEVE!!!!!!........and I'm not talking about that cute little sweater sleeve I wear over my sleeveless shirts so my arms don't frighten small children. I Love my VERTICAL GASTRIC SLEEVE.
I am in Utopia. This must be what it is like, cause wow, this is awesome.
I've been hungry for the past 25 years of my life..........yes, I said HUNGRY. I'd stop eating after a while during a meal, but rest assured I was hungry. I was always hungry.
I hate being hungry.
And I'd deny myself food trying to build will power (whatever the hell that is).
My dad had even suggested I pray to enjoy the feeling of being hungry..........(he loves me)......so it wouldn't be so awful.
Ok, 25 years of being hungry and attempting to build will power...............and I was no closer to reclaiming myself. (I don't know where I lost me.....could have been in the airport. Who knows?)
Now, I know, portion control has something to do with it...........but starving and feeling denied doesn't.
I know when I am hungry now. I get something to eat (I'm still on the liquid/semi-solids) and after 3-4 ounces I'm full...........and satisfied!!!!
To be satisfied!!! Oh how wonderful!!!! I didn't know that was what was missing. It is so un-real.......a few bites, and like magic......I'm full and satisfied!!!!
I laughed with my husband last night over this. I was telling him, I'm gonna be one of those thin chicks in an amazingly sexy dress with damn fine high heels at a cocktail party with 3 bites of appetizer on her plate and 1 martini that will last the whole night long!!! ..........I'm gonna be a stereotype!!!!!
And I will be satisfied.............(and he's excited that I have become the world's cheapest date!!!!!!!)
I don't remember the last time I felt so excited and FREE. It honestly feels like the shackles have been taken off my feet and I might just about be ready to fly.
Makes me think of the words to Martina McBride's song (yes, I know it was about domestic abuse, but somehow I get the feeling I may have domestically abused myself somewhere along the past 25 years)
And with a broken wing, she still sings
She keeps an eye on the sky.........oh yes I do!!!
With a broken wing she carries her dreams.........of marvelous dresses and amazing high heels
Man, you oughta see her fly!!!
Today is 3 days prior to surgery. I feel confident......and apprehensive. I'd be a fool to not be apprehensive. Seriously, I am venturing into uncharted waters. I am making a permanent change to my body. About time!!!
Today is Father's Day, so I called my Dad. He's scared......and for good reason. This is an extreme measure. I am paying cash, out of pocket...no insurance coverage for me. Dad asks, "Isn't there any other way? How many ways have you tried?" My reply, " Dad, if there was another way, don't you think after 20 years I'd have done it? Seriously, I am paying over $10,000 out of my pocket to have someone cut my stomach out." If there had been another way, I'd have damn sure done it.
And then, I'm scared. What if I do this and fail......oh dear God. That would be the ultimate failure. I mean really. To pay $$$$$$$ and still be fat. OMG!!! I think I am more apprehensive about failing post surgery than I am the misery and discomfort. I know the misery, discomfort and learning to be the new me will pass. But failure, that doesn't pass. That **** hangs around to haunt you.....and taunt you. I should know. I've been failing at weight management all of my life.
But the question is, am I ready for this?
And the answer is .......oh yeah!!!
Probably the first time in my life I've actually been ready for the change......well, maybe not, but typically changes come to me whether I'm ready or not. I know this will be challenging. I won't say hard. I've been fat for 20 years. That was hard. And I wonder if I will ever understand why I stayed fat, even though it was hard. Maybe......maybe not. Does it matter?
So, enough with the fear/apprehension/doubt. Let's talk about my vision for this. It is honestly like giving birth. You've got to prep, talk yourself up, or in the heat of it all, you just wimp out. I'm ready. There is a prize at the end of this road.......the prize will be me!!! A me who can shop in normal sizes, walk without exhaustion, do yoga and reach my toes, or not.....but my belly won't be in the way!!! My feet will get a break.......and hopefully give me a break so I can wear heels again. God I miss high heels. Not even the 6 inch things......just the 4 inch ones. I miss f#ck m# shoes. You know the ones that are good for about 20 feet of walking/strutting/dancing? Yeah, I miss those things. I'm so sick of fat chick shoes.
So, am I having surgery so I can wear stripper heels?............maybe.
No really, I am doing this cause I've spent the past 25 years raising 4 awesome kids and it is about time I make a HUGE change and concentrate on what I need. The kids are mostly grown, and doing their own thing. I've moved from manager to consultant in their lives........which is sooooo AWESOME. They are fantastic people and are excited for me to do this. They don't have a memory of me when I was normal sized. They are kinda excited to meet that me. I am too!
Not to mention, the hubby of 27 years, is excited. He is such a wonderful guy. He has loved me, despite what size me was. Ain't that grand? The man loves me.......no matter the packaging. And he's excited.......and scared. But not afraid of failure, he just wants me to be ok. So do I........but a successful OK!!!!
So, here we go.........I give birth to me June 20, 2012.
Just had another thought. When a mother gives birth to an infant, we start with the birth weight and measure their health, in part, by watching their weight increase. So, when this mother gives birth to herself........we will measure my health by watching my weight decrease.
I hope as they are rolling me down the hall to the surgery suite, I am singing "Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to me....."
or maybe Brahm's lullaby?
Ok, I was sleeved Wednesday June 20th.
IF I could have found Marty and Doc on June the 21st, I would have figured out how to power the 1.21 jigawatts the flux capacitor needed and would have time traveled back 48 hours and RAN LIKE HELL (as much as a fat chick can) in my UGLY shoes AWAY from the hospital.
As it was, I didn't find them and here I am................so very glad I couldn't.
Back to Wednesday.....
My surgery was scheduled for 12, so I was my usual self until the surgeon's office called saying I'd neglected to make my final payment arrangements........so we rushed out the door to pay the surgeon and on to the hospital. Hey, surgeons don't work for free. They got mouths to feed and I asked him to do this to me. I just forgot about final payments, that's all. It's all good.
So, I get to the hospital, anticipating a 2 hour wait when I get the call from the OR nurse......as we are parking, saying they are ahead of schedule today and let's do this.
I'm high on emotion.....I STRUT my 255 pound self into pre-op (dressed in jeans and leopard print top with marvelous brown/gold flip flops), complete with little twirlie at the end and say "I'm here, let's get this thing on!"........
5 hours later.......
I have a NEW, EXCITED, EXUBERANT nurse ( I am a RN 25 years in practice) in my face telling me I have to get up and walk - (and she's calling me dear and sweetie. Those who know me realize I am dear to only those who love me and I am never ever described as sweet). I'm trying to figure out where I am and this very excited, young, so-happy-to-be-here chickie won't get outta my face!!!! Then, the radiology transport person arrives telling me I've got to get up, into a wheelchair, go to radiology to have an contrast upper GI to be sure the sleeve isn't leaking. I finally figured out I was in a room.....a very small room with no sofa. I say "No" and youngster tells me "You HAVE to!!" I was saying no to this impossibly small room with no sofa.......not her fault......she couldn't read my drug deluded mind. So, Miss Energetic is in my face telling me to get up, the radiology transport looks confused and I say..........to Miss Thing......"You have got to STOP TALKING to me and get outta my way. HE'S here (indicating the hubby)" Once she got the point to shut up.........I was up.......in the chair.......to radiology.......swallowed 1 swallow of the contrast, got a good picture.........the ALL IS CLEAR.......and back to my room.
The night shift nurse was awesome!! A grown up nurse. Thank GOD. I did get up.......all thru the night walking because this isn't my first rodeo. I've had a C-section and a total vaginal hysterectomy. The key to overcoming any surgery is walking.....soon and often. If you have to have pain medication to do it, fine ask for it and as soon as the pain is at a point you can stand and shuffle your feet.........get to shuffling........and shuffle I did - 4 times on night shift........humming to myself "every day I'm shufflin, shufflin"
Later on in the shift, I asked if CUTIE PIE was back in the AM because I was requesting another nurse. The old wise one just chuckled and said......."I'd already figured that out and it is handled. You wont' have to work with her." I was so grateful!!!!
So, the only other thing that stunk was.......I was unable to urinate post surgery. It happens sometimes. The body and mind wake up from the anesthesia and the bladder is still sleeping.......thankfully, I don't wet the bed in my sleep.......but this was to the extreme. So, my urethra became a 4 lane highway with all the frequent catheterizations to drain my sleepy, lazy bladder. Finally, about 48 hours post procedure, the bladder woke up and I got to come home!!!!
What if my bladder had stayed on vacation? Well, the doctors's plan was I'd just learn to self-cath and head on home until it woke up. One doctor, a urologist friend of mine, laughingly said....."it's like putting a tampoon in, the first hole south of the pole." Well the last time I put a tampoon in, my guts had not just been re-configured!!!!
I haven't had a hard time with nausea.....and I've figured out that painful, cramping twisting motion in my gut means I'm hungry and should eat. I've developed a love for chicken broth and apple sauce. I had yogurt this morning. I've also figured out, gotta eat very slow. 2 teaspoons, pain, means stop and come back in about 5 minutes. I'm mixing UnJury Protein in my Crystal Light to get the protein needs met and sipping, sipping......all the time.
Today, 5 days out........I am happy I didn't go "Back In Time"......think I've spent enough time there as it is.
Today is 3 months post sleeve. I was in the surgeon's office yesterday to check in .......40 pounds down from pre-op weight. I quit weighing at home. It was too damned stressful and just not good for me. I knew my weight was at the lowest it has been in the past 13 years because my clothes look really pitiful on me. In fact, I'd gone shopping to the local outlet mall over the weekend to buy some pants because I'd seen some photographs taken recently and refused to put those pants back on.......they were too baggy!!
And I knew my weight was down because when I look in the mirror, I'm beginning to resemble something that got left out in the sun too long!! Time to go to the gym!
Which leads me to this funny story......
So, after the surgeon check in, I head off to my local Curves to sign up. I like Curves. It is good for a beginner. I'm a beginner.......again......I'm an experienced beginner.
The lady checking me in does her questionnaire....."Have you lost or gained weight recently?"
I smile, "Yes, I've lost 40 pounds in the past 3 months."
Her eyes get big, "Really, how?"
"I had a gastric sleeve procedure"......she looks confused....I clarify "I had weight loss surgery."
Ding Ding Ding......she gets it!
So along with the measurements, weight, etc........then she asks, "What do you want to gain from this?"
I answer "I don't want to look like a record that's been left in the sun too long?"......She laughs, but I didn't give the answer she was looking for, so she tries again, "Ok, what else are you hoping to accomplish?"........I answer "Well, my 2 month old grandson weighs 15 pounds and I need more muscle to bounce that kid to sleep.".......another chuckle, but not the answer she was looking for..........she tries AGAIN "What do you want for yourself from the exercise program?".........my answer "Well, you see, I need to create a muscular core so when the plastic surgeon goes to reconstruct my abdomen, he'll have something to work with."
I'm laughing my fat butt off, and she's chuckling, but I'm still failing the Curves admission test...........finally she just asks the question "Do you want to lose more weight?"
Then I do bust a gut laughing..........
"Of course I do, ma'am........that's why I had the surgery 3 months ago. I'm gonna keep losing weight, regardless of whether I work out here or not. I want to work out so that I look GOOD and FIRM as the weight comes off.........not sick and saggy."
Yes, today is 1 month out of surgery. And what have I learned? And how much have I lost?
What I've learned is.............I don't know how much I've lost and just don't care to watch the scale. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was FUN to watch that scale like a hawk for the first couple of weeks. The pounds literally melted away over night.
And then..........I hit the stall.......and got scared.
Met with my surgeon 3 weeks post op and was immediately questioning him. He reviewed what I was eating and told me to EAT.......yes, EAT. His words were "quit worrying about calories and just eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full." Of course, he followed with the guidance to eat sensibly, if I consumed milk shakes all day I certainly would stop losing weight and start gaining............ok
So I've learned 1) don't be stupid, eat girl! 2) be active, the more I move the more I want to, and 3) give up the old habit.
See, the old habit of counting every single bite that went into my mouth and watching the scale like a hawk got me in this situation in the first place. It was a vicious cycle.....eat strictly - not the results I anticipated, back to trash intake - increase in weight, feel like I don't deserve good things so punish myself by either starving or binging on garbage, slap myself back into reality and back on the diet band wagon........and so on and so forth.
So I am measuring my success in this journey (at this point) by how my digestive track is functioning (if I eat enough food, I poop w/o problems), how my clothes are fitting, how my face and hair are looking, and how I'm feeling. I'm down a full size in jeans......and the smaller ones fit just right, not to tight, but not saggy bottom either. My bras fit differently. My daughter noticed I have a waist. My hair is not falling out (I must admit, I remain a dedicated consumer of the Unjury protein shakes daily), my skin on my face looks better than it has in years (less puffy) and I am beginning to rediscover my old energy. I like moving. I don't hurt after I walk or do a little weight resistance work.....and I don't hate exercise any more.
Not sure when I'll step on a scale again.........and not really stressing about it is an unbelievable release from a life long burden!
I don't know how many people remember that song, from the late 60s early 70s era. I was about 5-6 years old when I remember belting those very words out at the top of my young lungs while riding shot-gun in my parents' green Plymouth with mom as we went for our weekly grocery shopping, gas the car up, pick up another case of Coke (in the refundable bottle) trip. Today, those words have a new meaning for me.
When I first met with my surgeon to set up this journey, he told me he did suggest 2 weeks off post surgery for recovery. I assured him I wouldn't need the two weeks as I do most of my work from the comfort of my home office. I am out and about making home visits a couple of days each week, but for the most part, it is on my time table. Sounds reasonable, right? So my plan was surgery on Wednesday, home on Thursday, recover/regroup Friday-Saturday-Sunday and back to work on Monday.
Well, we already know the home on Thursday part went down the drain........or rather, failed to go down the drain .
I'm adjustable, home on Friday.
Back to work on Monday.......except.....
Sunday, I noticed my right upper, arm (the area where many people have biceps - my 17 year old athlete demonstrates this to me frequently), was sore, tender to the touch, warm even, and maybe swollen. I do what every good nurse does and .......pretend it is not there.
Sunday night, when I would turn in the bed, my right arm would wake me with pain, not the belly incisions. So being the astute nurse that I am, I simply turn over without moving the bicep. No pain, problem solved!!
Monday morning, when I open my eyes my arm is SWOLLEN, RED and WARM and the mother HURTS LIKE HELL!!!...........plan B? don't ignore it and call the doctor.
I speak with the surgeon, who is leaving later Monday on vacation and he refers me to my primary care doctor for workup. Fine, no problem. I make an appointment, work till time to go, see her and her first question is "WHY HAVEN'T YOU GONE TO THE ER?" My answer......"have you seen who hangs out in the ER?"
So, after a stat ultrasound of the right arm, we have confirmed evidence of a clot in the vein, most likely related to the iv from the hospital. After a conference call between my PCP, surgeon, radiologist and self we set up a plan of care which involves me going home, doing NOTHING with the right arm, elevating it above my head, warm compresses, NSAIDS for blood thinning effects and anti-inflammatory benefits......."absolutely no work because you can't elevate your arm and sit at your computer"..and "CALL ME BACK IF IT GETS WORSE, BUT FOR SURE BY THURSDAY!" admonishment of my PCP - if she'd have wiggled her right index finger at me, I'd swear she was channeling my mother!
OK, I'm a big, tough RN and I wear my big girl panties with pride.....but, I must admit. After all this, and it was 102 degrees (not kidding) in Houston yesterday afternoon while I was out, this right arm throbbing with mere movement of my fingers and thumb......I had a 2 year old tantrum, fell into my husband's chest 5 minutes after he arrived home from a very stressful day of his own, cried like I had been beat and........stained his good blue shirt with my awesome, although not water proof, plumb mascara. Being the saint he is, he makes me some soup, administers my Lortab, and tucks me into bed beside him with my right arm elevated over my ears.
So, this morning........Tuesday, day 6 post op.......I'm outta bed, determined to be as compliant as I can with the arm elevation, heat, meds, etc., but still a little irritated as my plan to return to work was a no go........can't go back to work till Monday of next week......if everything goes well.
I'm sitting in the recliner, watching movies just like my PCP told me to do, when I feel this warm, gas pass urge in the lower regions. OK, I've not had a bowel movement since surgery, but I've been passing gas like the Hindenberg, so I wasn't worried...........this is more than gas. I quickly (remember, quickly is a relative word...we ain't talking FloJo quick here) get to the bathroom and basically.......my butt throws up every where. No pain, no warning........just vomit, out the butt. You get the picture.
And so did I.
God is in charge and will take care of absolutely everything in perfect timing. Had I had my way, I would have been in someone's home when the butt vomiting incident occurred. (If I was lucky, I would have been seated in my car- either way......gross) But let me tell you.........it would be hard to overcome that impression of a professional in your home who just stood (or sat) in front of you and "pooped her pantsies".
I exited my bathroom after the event to see my husband standing there (he'd come home on his lunch break to check on me. I told you, the man is a saint.) All I could say was "Thank You God For Blood Clots!!!"
The moral of the tale?
When a surgeon suggests it is appropriate to take 2 weeks off post surgery, take him up on it. You may recover and can physically get back to the game.........but you don't know what the effect of the change is gonna be.
Billy, don't be a hero, don't be a fool with your life (reputation).........take the time off from work.
And so, that is my tale for today. I've been at the key board now for a good 20 minutes, so time to go back, elevate, heat and ..............watch another movie!