Well, Wednesday May 11th was my surgery! It was nerve wracking and a little scary because well, surgery is major. Even if it is something routine, it's surgery people! I can honestly say that of all the surgeries I have had, this has been the worst actually. The day of my surgery, we got to the hospital at 12:30, got signed in, called back into the pre-op area and waited. I hate waiting. It always makes things worse. I don't think I actually got taken back into the OR until around 2ish. When I got out of the OR, I stayed in recovery for awhile. They were apparently waiting for rooms to become available. I was actually really out of it and in a lot of pain so I didn't care about a lot other than wanting to pain to go away. I got into my room around 6 or 6:30p.m. I was glad to see my husband, but was still in pain. The pain killers did a lot for the pain from the surgery, but not a lot for the gas pain in my shoulder joints. It was much worse than anything I have had in the past. I had to get heparin shots about every 12 hours. They were not fun. Especially since I got them in the arms rather than in the belly. The nurses were very nice and were great! I had to get up that night around 10p.m. and walk. Let me tell you, that hurt a lot. It was very slow going as well!
The next day I was still in and out of it thanks to the morphine! :) They told me that I had to take a swallow test before they would let me eat or drink anything. The swallow test is rather simple. You stand in front of n x-ray board and swallow a substance that lights up on the x-rays. They take a bunch of pictures to make sure that nothing has slipped or moved since the surgery. Then you have to wait to see if you passed. Luckily I did and I got to have a Popsicle (sugar free of course), SF Jello, water!, ice chips, and other things that I didn't eat actually. I had to get up and walk to floor much more. It was difficult because I was still very sore and trying to push an IV pole when you can barely hold your arms up is an experience in itself! I got to go home around 4 or 4:30 which was great! My step mother in law came up to the hospital and waited with me until they released me and then took me home. So thankful for her!
Since being home, I have been extremely sore. It seemed to be getting worse and I was a little worried Thursday night because I spiked a little bit of a temperature. It only ever got to 99.8 and I think it was because I was trying to move too much. Since then I have had a normal temp and been progressively getting around better and better. I have 5 incisions and they are all pretty sore. I have yet to wear jeans because two of the incisions are very close to my belly button and I know jeans would just hurt too much right now. So, I have been very grungy the past few days in my sweats and shirts. I went to an all day concert yesterday and walked most of the day actually. I felt MUCH better after doing that. It helped me get the soreness out of the muscles. When we got home last night I looked at myself and it really looks like someone beat me up! I have bruises everywhere. I guess it is because of the heparin shots. I tend to bruise easily, but never this easily!
I think the worst part of this whole thing has been the diet and getting used to a completely new way of thinking. I was on the clear liquid diet from Sunday to Sunday. It was SO very hard. I don't know that I could have done it for much longer. I like Jello and Popsicles and all, but not all day every day! Right now I am on the Full liquid diet. That will last a week as well. It is kind of misleading because I can have applesauce, yogurt, thin mashed potatoes and blended soups as well as all of the liquids I could have before. I really need to start working on taking smaller bites of things now and chewing well. I know that this is going to be one of my biggest struggles. One of the suggestions in the book is that you actually set a timer for two or three minutes between bites. I also need to chew my food to a toothpaste consistency before I swallow it. That way it won't get stuck and I will have less of a chance of having issues of swallowing other foods.
Once I get back to eating a more normal meal, which is at about 4 weeks out, I will need to start measuring out my food. I will need to measure out a 1/2 cup of food for my meal. They say that you are always supposed to go for the proteins first to fill you up rather than the carbs. This is also going to be hard because you get used to eating a certain way and it is going to take a lot to get into a new way of thinking about food. A dear friend, and liver mom, said to me on FB the other day "I guess you really have to change your relationship with food" and she's very right. I have to start thinking about what is going to be best for me, not what sounds good or is quick. I can't eat when I am bored or just because anymore. I have to change everything. I know that in the end it is going to be a good thing, but I am sure it is going to be a struggle to get there. I am very glad that I have been able to have this opportunity. I know that a lot of people don't understand what this is all about and that's alright, but I'd rather they ask than just brush it off.