One week ago today I had major surgery. I am sixty five years old and it wasn’t my heart. No sir it was the other kind. The kind that takes out the organs you no longer need. The big H (hysterectomy) along with some bowel repair.
I never knew that the human body could elicit such pain, and then send it’s signals to the brain like that. OMG. The first three days I thought I was going to die. And then I admit there were times I didn’t want to make it because I was afraid of what was still in store for me.
I had the surgery, organs removed, rectum repaired, catheter instilled because I couldn’t pee on my own, and then was sent home the very next day.
Now, I have had pain in my life. I labored out three children, had wrist surgery with plates and screws implanted, and went through the horrors of breast cancer treatment. But believe it or not, none of them were as painful as the first days after this last surgery.
Maybe it is just my age. I don’t know, but when the gas pains shot through the my colon I sounded like AC/DC screaming out a bad tune. As soon as I felt the first rumble of gas I went into a panic. Do you know how fast a fart travels. Well according to “the fart facts” http://www.thefartfacts.com A fart travels 3.05 meters per second or 10 feet per second. I know that sounds mighty fast to you but I felt them all the way through, and it wasn’t fun.
I’d never had a catheter before, at least not one I took home. Do you know how hard it was to drag that thing around while trying to move through the day. I had a leg bag which attaches to the leg with a small bag that I had to empty about every two hours.
My thinking when I asked for the leg bag before being discharge was to help get me up and moving. Dam me, dam me! Oh, I got up. Dripped pee on my feet several times emptying the dam bag. Now I know how the old guys feel. Dropped the container that I emptied my pee into on the floor soaking my feet and the carpet. F–k!!! Unscrewed the cap on the end of the bag and it fell on the floor. And, peed the bed because said cap came off while I was sleeping. When I woke up with a scream from feeling my bed getting wet my poor dog jumped off the bed thinking she had did it. It took me an hour to clean up the bed, move into the other room, and coax Tessie back into bed.
Now, there’s more to the story but just let me say that the first week seemed to go on forever. Never have I been so focused on peeing or pooing in my life. Our bodies waste management system works just fine if all is well and left alone to do it’s thing. But, mess with it, and you are looking at trouble.
I have great respect for anyone who has had to suffer through any kind of surgery or treatment. Sadly, sometimes we have to do what we have to do knowing it is going to be a rough trip. I did have marvelous helpers for the chores but, the healing comes at it’s own time. And that is for us to endure on our own.
Just imagine what it would have been like in the old days when they cut you from stem to stern. Medicine has come a long way. We have laparoscopic surgery, laser surgery, and robotic surgery to make working on the inside easier. Recovery time as well is shortened often with less infections.
We in this country are blessed with what we have available to us when our health goes hey wire. People come from all over the world to have their surgeries here because we have such high standards of care, and such great health care providers. We are lucky.
If you’ve read my earlier blog you will have noticed I was in Russia for a short visit as part of a student program. The community health class was granted permission to tour a urology clinic at an old university. The nurse that led the tour was very proud of her position as well as what she had to show us.
These nurses are paid a salary by the government. There is no over time. No shift differential. You stay to get the job done, and you stay as many hours as it takes. And, you work with what you have available. We throw away more supplies then any of them could hope to see or use in their lifetime.
I say this to remind myself and others to be humble. Appreciate your blessings. Appreciate what we have at our fingertips to care for ourselves and others. If we were somewhere else we might not be so lucky.
I have included a few pictures from my trip not to humiliate anyone, but to demonstrate what others have to work with to get the job done. I hate arrogance. Don’t be arrogant. Be happy that we live in a country that has SO much.
Oh, and by the way after only one week of recovery all waste management systems are a go, and I am feeling much better. Have a great and happy day. And, count your blessings today.