Monday, February 25, 2013


When the alarm went off at 5AM last Wednesday, I pulled the covers over my head, hoping that I could stave reality off for just a few more minutes.

But eventually, of course, I had to get up and shower and get dressed.  I wasn't allowed to eat anything, which was fine because I had no appetite anyway, but I was desperately thirsty and couldn't drink either.

G and I arrived at the surgical hospital around 6:15.  I signed in and we sat in the corner, holding hands, until the pre-op nurse came to get me.  After changing into a truly flattering hospital gown, I sat down and the nurse checked my vitals and put in the IV while I scrunched up my eyes and bit my lip.  Then she went and got G for me, and she closed the curtain to give us some privacy.

I won't get specific about what I said to him, because it's private, but I told him the things I would want to be the last words he'd hear from me if things went wrong.  Not that I was anticipating that, of course, but it was important to say them anyway.

Obviously (and thankfully) I remember nothing about the surgery itself.  I just remember being wheeled into the OR and the anethesiologist saying he was going to start and hey presto, the next thing I knew I was in post-op.  The nurse brought me ginger ale and a package of crackers, and steak and Cristal would not have been more welcome to me at that point.  They brought G back and I have never, ever been so happy to see anybody in my entire life.

I found out that the surgeon had been able to do the procedure laparoscopically, which was a colossal relief because there was some concern that he'd have to do the open procedure (read: at least 3 days in the hospital).  And they didn't have to do a post-op endoscopy either, because there were no stones in the...something.  (Give me a break, I was high!)  The icing on the good news cake was that I could go home right away.

The rest of Wednesday and all of Thursday were...not good.  I was completely exhausted, my right shoulder was killing me (displaced pain; very common), and I cried when I saw my stomach for the first time.  I have three incisions:  one in the middle of my abdomen, one off to the side, and a big one under my navel, all ringed by huge bruises.  At least Dr. S didn't punch through my tattoo, which I was worried about.

But throughout all of this, G was the biggest rock star:  helping me in and out of bed, bringing me Gatorade and crackers and pudding, helping me shower, and most of all, keeping my spirits up.  I genuinely don't know what I would have done without him.

Time went by in a languorous crawl.  We watched about eight thousand episodes of Family Feud because I swear that shit is on GSN 24/7.  We watched movies and played Dead Space 3 when I had the energy to hold the controller.  Eventually I was able to eat "real" food, and last night I was even able to nosh on my favorite Oscars snack (cinnamon bears, which G remembered and procured for me) while we watched the telecast.  I became much more independent, although G was always nearby just in case, and today I came home.

My stomach still looks like a crime scene, but at least I can sit up without much pain.  When I laugh, I have to do it with my mouth wide open because otherwise it hurts too much, and it produces a sound eerily like the ape creatures from the first Silent Hill game.  And I haven't pooped since the day before the surgery, so I'm dreading the hell out of THAT eventuality.  (Peeps who have had your gallbladders out:  I will eventually poop normally again, right?  Please say yes.)  But I made it and I feel better every day.

Thanks for your well wishes; they meant so much to me. 

And now to the couch.