The tough thing about surgery and pain meds is that the whole process really does horrid things to your body. I’m not a doctor, but how I’ve come to think of it is that when they do major surgery, they have to shut your whole system down to be able to work freely. So, recovering from surgery means restarting all of your systems. Its one reason they are so concerned with your bodily wastes — its an easy way to see that many systems are functioning again.
So here I am, 1st thing in the morning, and I haven’t eaten in . . . lets see . . . about 36 hours. I am (to put it daintily) effing STARVING. But I know my body won’t tolerate much, so I order yogurt and whole wheat toast, dry. Well, I had forgotten that hospital food may not be horrid anymore, but it ain’t what I eat at home. So I have strawberry yoplait and whole wheat, but not whole grain toast. Ick.
Oh, and my body hates it, too. Really hates it. Had three small bites of yogurt and a bite of toast then spent 5 minutes holding a bag (conveniently taped to my serving tray) at ready. I did not need it, but that was unpleasant. So, the engine is not ready to restart, but the hunger is making me ill. It’s like my stomach is eating itself. (Ok, change the direction of *that* thought, that’s a little too horror movie for right now.)
J and Mom arrive, full of good cheer and I have to tell them to tone it down. I’m not especially emotionally sensitive, but their energy is *beating* at me, like a Metallica concert right next to the main speakers. They get my meaning and relax and tone down to a more bearable level. We talk about this and that, the well-wishes expressed by so many is unexpected.
My surgeon comes in and gives me the thumbs up for being a good patient. She also recommends that I stay away from sweet things (like the yogurt) and try salty things. After she leaves, we decide to try plain chicken broth and saltines. And yes! I can actually imbibe this . . . well. . . not food . . . but sustenance, yes.
Saltines, btw, are a magickal food for me. They were forbidden as a child, so getting any meant it was a special occasion. They are a ‘when sick only’ treat. Also, having my mother feed me soup was weird, disheartening, and frustrating. I’m sad to say that it goes down as one of those moments when she felt it was important and I let it happen. Not great. It was easier for me to just pick up the soup container and drink it. (Which I did later, after she was gone.)
I feel so much better for the 2 ounces of salty broth (probably from a bullion cube no less) and a couple of saltines. Its a little shameful. And it took me hours to dink the whole cup. I’d drink a bit, then doze, chat a bit, then doze . . . rinse, repeat. Time dilates oddly, slower at times, then longer. Can time truly be a constant?
Amusingly, I’m supposed to do three laps around the floor today. Not all at once, but at some point. This is in theory a good idea. It’ll get the circulation going, help me feel more alert, etc. But I’m so weak from meds I literally can’t get out of bed. I do not leave my bed, except to pee, at all today.
J and Mom went home for a bit in the late morning . I talked about the meds situation with the nurse and we decided to try halving the dosage and giving it to me twice as often (basically 2mg of dilaudid every 2 hrs instead of 4 mg every 4 hours). So far, its working better. I’m more uncomfortable, but not in actual pain. Its sort of like having a small 10-lb bowling ball attached to my left chest — its so heavy, my muscles are being stretched to hold it up.
I dozed in and out of consciousness. As a note: my vitals are all looking very good: pulse in the low 60s, BP around 120/80, temp around 98*. I’m a healthy gal!
J. came back in the early afternoon just him. He spent several hours with me and I could tell he was whitelighting me like crazy. While he was with me, oh heaven!, I slept. REALLY slept, for a few hours. That was a true gift, and I feel it was J’s presence that did it. I felt protected and bathed in good vibes.
J and Mom came back in the evening. Mom smuggled in her evening drink, it made me laugh to see her sitting with a water bottle in one hand and a bowl of pretzels, chatting away as if we were home. They are much more used to my dozing now. While they were here I had a real dinner — grilled salmon and broccoli. Damn, it felt good to do that. No nausea at all. I ate slowly and enjoyed the flavor (not that the local restaurants have to worry about competition!). J now calls me his brown bear d’amour. 🙂
So, today I accomplished? A real meal, and I worked with my people to find a pain mgmt plan, and we succeeded. Small things take on large importance right now. Its a topsy-turvy world.