Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Surgery Follow-up

Well, I'm finally back among the living. I can't say I'm here 100% yet, though. Still taking a lot of pain meds. The recuperation has been slower than I expected - but, for a number of reasons. Most people who get this surgery are in the hospital just overnight. I was in for four days. I requested the third day from my doctor so I could have one extra day on my own without the kids depending on me (they, btw, have been really great through this whole thing).

The fourth day was unexpected. While they were doing the surgery, they noticed that I had a "pretty significant" hiatal hernia. So they fixed that while they were in there. I ended up really having two surgeries at once and I think the double whammy led to a slower recuperation time. While I was in the hospital, I was also running a fever of about 102 and my lungs collapsed a little. That's why I had to stay the third night.

I finally got home Monday afternoon. I felt a little better every day, but didn't feel like I was taking huge steps. By Saturday, I was still in a lot of pain and feeling weak, so I checked myself into the ER. Fortunately, everything was fine. It appears that I tried to get off the pain meds a little too early and then got a little dehydrated. I am now being a lot better at keeping up with the meds and starting to feel a lot better. I'm hoping to be back to myself (or better!) in the next week or so.

The kids have been great. They really understand that I'm still in pain and that I don't have a lot of energy and have been really helpful. E has helped me bathe e and both have helped me with the laundry. I'm so lucky to have such great kids.

e turned four yesterday! I can't believe it. She's been SO excited for her birthday and has been asking me for the last month when she was going to turn four. Every day, she has been showing me how big she's getting. So cute. She wanted a two-wheeled Razor scooter, so now she and E have matching scooters - one pink, one blue. I also bought a couple presents for E to give to her. He was really excited about that, too. They really love each other a lot.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Challenges For The Next Week

Okay, so the surgery is scheduled for next week from today. Wouldn't you know that a million things come up at the last minute? I'm buying a new property today and have someone working on getting it into shape for rental. Let's hope I don't have to actually show it while I'm under the weather...I'm sure I can get a friend to go over there for me. I've also decided to get my basement finished. Of course, I have them starting on Monday. Chances are they will be knocking down walls and doing all kinds of sawing/drilling while I'm home. Well, at least they'll be in the basement. With good drugs, I'll be able to sleep through a train wreck. Add to that the million things going on at work and trying to hide this from everyone and things get a little challenging!

I rented a recliner to put in my bedroom so the kids don't try to sleep with me. I've never rented anything from RentACenter, but you would think that I was asking for the moon! They practically wanted my right arm and promises to hand over my first born in the application process. FOUR references! I wonder if they even called them. My credit is nearly perfect, so this seemed a little over the top to me! I actually just felt like a real low-life going through the process. It had a huge yuck factor!

Oh, and did I mention the problem with my foot? This has been going on WAY too long but will probably be one of the most challenging parts about my recuperation. In the summer of 2008, I slipped and fell by a pool while vacationing with the kids in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Of course, this was the first time I had decided to travel with them on my own. I broke a toe, sprained my ankle and tore my acl. It turned out to be the trip from hell since I could no longer push a stroller, carry my luggage or anything. Anyway, I won't go into a lot of details about that trip, but my foot hasn't been the same since. Following all the therapy, etc I had to do to get the toe, ankle and knee better, I got tendonitis/bursitis on my heel. Three cortisone injections, pt, and several rounds of oral steroids later, things are not getting a whole lot better, but offering temporary improvement. THEN I got the stress fracture on my foot -- yes, very close to where the broken toe was. So, into the cast I go. Three months later, the foot is better, the tendonitis/bursitis are also better. Another month later, the tendonitis/bursitis are back with a vengeance.

If you've ever landed on a pea or something really small on your heel, then you know how my foot feels all the time. My podiatrist made orthotics for me and that hasn't helped either. By the end of the day I can no longer walk on the foot or put any weight on it at all. So, she put me BACK in the walking cast. UGH. The hope is that it will get a little better, or at least tolerable until I'm feeling better from the surgery. Thank goodness I'll be getting some good pain meds with the surgery, but this may be the next part of my body to go under the knife...soon.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thanks and The Last Supper...

Thanks, everyone, for reminding me that not everyone likes their job. One of my students, today, shared an article that said that approximately 55% of people are satisfied with their jobs and the number appears to be decreasing. If someone asked me if I was satisfied with my job, I guess I would have to respond "yes" mainly because it allows me to do the personal things I want -- spend time with the kids, have a flexible schedule, and travel. So, yes, I'm satisfied with it because it is a means to an end and I know there are a lot of worse places to be. I'll stick with it. You're right, job security is a REALLY nice thing.

e's birthday is coming up and I've got some planning to do! We're going to have it at the local roller skating rink, but I still haven't bought the invitations and ordered the cake. Definitely have to get going on that!

It turns out that my surgery will be sooner than I thought. I went to the doctor last week for another of the million check-ups that I have to do for this surgery and I was ready to beg for a first week of March date. Typically, it is eight weeks after meeting with the surgeon and I was asking for five weeks so I could do it just before spring break and have some time to recuperate without taking too much time off. Well, he came in and said "how about February 12th?" Feb 12th!? Yikes! That's two weeks away! Okay, I'll make it work. In a lot of ways, earlier is better, so I have more time to recuperate and get used to the new me before traveling this summer.

So, I start my liquid diet tomorrow (they said I should do it for two weeks, but also said it was okay if I only did it for about eight days) and will have my stomach detached in a week and a half. I'm sure, in 20 years, bariatric surgery will sound like an absolutely barbaric method. But, it mitigates so many health issues and has been successful for so many. I am on the very low end of being accepted for the surgery. While I feel pretty fat, I am not morbidly obese like I see so many are. I wanted to have the surgery because I have a family history of heart disease. My mom had her first heart attack when she was not much older than me and she died when she was 68 after many years of problems. That scares the sh*t out of me. I totally see myself turning into her. I really want to lead a healthier life and provide a positive example for my children. AND, I want to be around for them for a LONG, long time...hopefully, without them seeing me very sick. So, I decided now was the time.

I'm not telling very many people. I told my assistant here, because I'm going to call in sick that next week and I want her to cover for me. I'm not telling my Dean or most of my family. I told some friends, and my brother. He's been really supportive of many of the things I've done -- including having children on my own.

Now the challenge is getting someone to watch the kids for the three days that I'm in the hospital. I asked my brother if he and his girlfriend could come down for the weekend, but I'm not optimistic. He's been off on a sailing race for the past two months and gets back to the U.S. on Thursday. He had to cut his race short because his sciatic was bothering him so much. So, he needs to see the doctor as soon as possible. Also, since he hasn't been home for the past two months, I'm not sure he'll want to jump in the car so quickly for four hours to spend a few days here. We'll see. I'm sure either of my sisters would come down, but I don't want to tell them. I just don't think they would be so supportive of my decision. I may have to hire someone to watch the kids....hopefully, the same woman who watched them last week overnight is available again. So many details to work out!

In the meantime, I'll have my "last supper" tonight...sushi with the kids. Yum.