Normalcy

Saturday morning my boyfriend and I went out to have breakfast together. I had pancakes. It went well. So, now I sort of want to go out to eat all of the time and just have pancakes.

Sunday morning we took all of our dogs on a short hike to see how his would do. Which they did great, we just need to get an earlier start so they don’t overheat. Especially the older little guy.

Both of these events just made me feel normal and good. I feel like all I do is talk about how I feel, how I’ve been feeling, what the next steps are, think about what I can eat, stress about making sure I don’t get heartburn or trigger an attack at work, calculate how long of a hike I can take if I get to schedule one, etc.

It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted. And I just don’t feel like myself.

And I definitely don’t feel sexy or desirable.

I have new scars on my body, one of which isn’t totally healed yet. My body makes gurgling noises non stop. I’m burpy. I wind up having mystery pains at random.

None of that adds up to a sexy Andrea and I’m sad.

I have a lot of lab tests to do next Friday, one of which is the h. pylori one. I’m also being tested for celiac and gardia. Then in November I’ll be tested for overgrowth in the small intestine.

However these results turn out will dictate what he’s looking for and what he’ll do when I get my endoscopy, since that is a definite that should happen. And a colonoscopy.

More of me not feeling very sexy, y’all.

I also wonder how much of our current political/media climate is impacting me. Stress is not good for the GI tract and I’m definitely feeling stress over the state of our world. I’m going to take off all news alerts from my phone, restrict my Facebook time even more, and not engage in any sort of debate to see if any of that helps. It definitely can’t hurt.

When I finally return to normal I hope I never have to be reminded to enjoy it. To not take it for granted. Because it can be taken away at any moment.

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Boring and Bland and Bored

I spent my weekend feeling like shit. Then, yesterday, I had the audacity to simply wake up and there it was….a deep, throbbing pain. I didn’t even have to eat anything.

So, I’m finally doing a true bland food diet. My aunt recommended I do that for 72 hours just to see and then we’ll go from there. So, I am. Cream of wheat. Saltines. Spaghetti noodles boiled in chicken broth. More saltines. Water. Fruity Pebbles, since they are rice based and I haven’t been to the store yet.

I’m tracking my food and my poops, too. HOW FUN! However, this morning’s was fun since it was bright green and I got to Google that. Oh, my life. What even are you?

Also, look at my good girl just sitting and waiting like you should in a waiting room:

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She’s had a few bouts of vomiting, not eating, and her belly making horrible noises. So, I took her to be checked out.

The vet was going over all that it could be, from the simplest to the worst. She doesn’t feel it’s the worst. But the simplest was “acid reflux and anxious belly.” To which I just couldn’t stop shaking my head and smiling in disbelief as she started talking about Pepcid and Prilosec for my dog and she finally asked what’s up. So, I told her that I had a crazy question and proceeded to tell her all about my woes and how on the day of my surgery she had puked and my boyfriend joked it was due to my nerves impacting her. The vet said that was actually highly probable! That if she is really in tune with me, like she is, that my issues could be stressing her out.

So, we’re doing simple bloodwork to rule out anything for real and I have instructions on how much Pepcid to give her if it happens again.

My little familiar. She loves me too much.

So that is the tale of how me and my little dog wound up on the same meds.

 

The Hangover

I almost bragged yesterday about how I’d felt pretty good for a week and that I had a normal breakfast that wasn’t cereal and that I was cautiously optimistic that things were turning around!

But at 5:30 last night I sat down to eat dinner and wound up in so much pain that I was thisclose to taking myself back to the ER to make them ultrasound me right then and there.

So, disappointed has been the theme of today.

Luckily the episode only lasted about two hours but it was two of the worst hours I’ve had in some time. I don’t know if it was the most painful episode overall, but it was definitely the worst one in some time. It hurt so bad. I puked a tiny bit. Mostly I just sat bent in half and had little burps. Finally I forced some 7-Up down so the carbonation could help turn the tiny burps into big burps. Finally! A loud, huge, deep down belch and like magic I felt better.

So, now I have two more weeks until my follow up with the GI and hopefully I can keep it to 1 episode a week. That’s progress! That’s me being optimistic and hopeful. Despite the disappointment.

I just want to know what is wrong with me. I just want to make sure that it isn’t making more issues. I don’t want to wind up with some of GI cancer due to not having things resolved quickly enough.

I just want to know what is wrong with me.

And then I want to fix it.

Mundane Monday

I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I ate pizza on Saturday without issue. WOO!!!

I also went on a hike. It was the first hike in two and a half months and that is ludicrous Lu-dah-cris. It felt like I’d never walked up hills before but it also felt SO GOOD to be walking up hills again. And down hills. And on flat desert ground. So good.

I don’t wanna get all excited and think I’m totally cured so I’m being cautiously optimistic given what I carefully planned and ate over the weekend while knowing it’s been a week since I’ve had a full blown issue. Fingers are firmly crossed.

It feels really nice to feel like I have a handle on things and to feel like I’ve taken back control.

Routines

I had the best weekend. I decluttered my patio and made it all ready to be sweeped and hosed down. Living in the desert makes things dusty. It almost seems pointless to have a nice seating area, except I suspect people that do cleaning activities more often than I do don’t have that attitude or issue. I also took out all of the trash, broke down all of the recycling and took it out, cleared off my dining room table, framed all of the photos that I had printed, did laundry, bought the sprinkler parts that are needed for the repairs, and ran errands. On top of all of that, I had time to sit and chill, spend time with my boyfriend, play with my dogs, update the BluRay software on my desktop so I can watch Prince BluRays, and updated my iPod.

The best part? Even though my attempt at eating Chinese resulted in my stomach feeling as if it was on fire on Saturday, I successfully ate Mexican lunch on Sunday and things were grand!!

I love a good weekend that is equal parts fun and productive and chill. I achieved it and I feel great today.

The new working theory, with me and my Aunt anyway, is that my janky assed gallbladder inflamed all sorts of shit and my GERD is out of control and, possibly, my hiatal hernia is worse. I don’t know if the Nexium is really helping or if I am just sort of naturally coming off of the worst of it but I do feel improvement, even though I’m still unable to simply just eat without random issues. And since milk can, actually, inflame GERD I’m wondering if I need to cut back on my chocolate milk drinking, even though it seems to help. It could just be a temporary help in the moment then, later, works it back up!

One thing I noticed is that my stomach/abdomen makes all sorts of weird noises. So, the other night I’m sitting on the couch with my boyfriend and I can feel it and hear it doing whatever it’s doing in there to make that noise but I can’t really tell if it’s literally making noise or if I am just perceiving it to make noise. Cut to me catching in my peripheral vision my boyfriend casually looking over at me during the height of one noisy bout of stomachness and I just casually turn and meet his eye and then he turns away, no words exchanged. So, now I’m thinking I may just let it go and see how long it will take him to finally say “What the hell is that noise coming from your body!” It amuses me. Like, I wonder if he thinks I’m just low grade farting in the open. My body is a wonderland. #snort

Tomorrow I shall pack my gym bag and hit the gym! I walked up some stairs yesterday and realized it was all ugh for me and now I feel like a slug. So, fuck this noise I’m getting active!

I’m taking my life back. Yet again!

Recovery

I worked all day on Monday and at the end of the day I was exhausted and all of the people that were all “this is routine surgery, you’ll be fine!” beforehand turned into “You had major surgery! Of course you’re tired.” People lie, is the moral to this. They lie to calm you down.

Tuesday morning I was getting ready to leave for work when a major development occurred:

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I WAS SO HAPPY!!!

It happened again this morning. As did my period. Because life is funny that way.

I ate the biggest meal yet yesterday, a turkey burger and some sweet potato fries. So far, so good. I’m still holding out final determination until I’m not gassy or crampy or any of the things.

I’m healing well, I’m moving better, I’m sleeping GREAT thanks to being worn the fuck out by being at work and my body healing itself each day. Incisions are itchy, which is a good sign.

A week after surgery and I’m doing pretty swell. I’d say.

So swell that this morning I put my FitBit on the charger so I can start wearing it again and start getting a bit of my routine back in place.

Life is about to be all sorts of normal. Amen.

I’m Alive!

And back to work as I’d planned and all of it! So, let’s recap surgery and the subsequent days, shall we?

Wednesday I was a big ol’ ball of nerves so I made myself busy. I did laundry, I did dishes, I straightened up the house a bit, I made my bed, and on and on. Just, stayed busy. While I’m doing this, I’m making my little spirit dog a nervous wreck and she starts to puke.

My boyfriend comes and takes to the hospital and he’s working and being there with me and I’m OK until I get into the pre-op room and I get into the gown and the bed and have the IV and then oh, man I’m nervous. This is it. I’m having surgery!

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So I’m trying to get him to calm me down when I realize…he’s just as nervous, if not more so, than I am and that is the moment when it truly and completely hit me how much I am cared for by this man. I should never ever doubt that again.

The surgeon comes in, the anesthesiologist comes in, nurses come in, and then I’m being wheeled away.

I remember going into the operating room and being impressed with how cool it looks with the huge round lights and all of the equipment and wishing I had a way to take a photo. I remember them hooking up the leg compression socks and them starting to work. And then I wake up in the recovery room immediately queasy as all fuck with a nurse right in my face asking me how I feel. She gives me a shot of something and off I go again to sleep.

But once I’m awake again they start making me move around, they give me 7-Up to sip, I’m freezing and my teeth are chattering so they give me heated blankets, and I want is my boyfriend. So they get him. And it’s all a blur. They wheel me down to the street. He picks me up. We go to the pharmacy. People are telling me things and asking me questions and I likely should not be in charge of information at that time. He gets me home, he gets me settled, he makes sure I am ok and then he leaves. He says “something, something, something….don’t be a hero!” I think the somethings were “call me if you need stuff, don’t over do it!”

I get into bed with Netflix and I sleep. My dogs are loose in the rest of the house and they are being so quiet and so good. It’s like they know. I wake up feeling ok and I take care of them and then we all go to bed and I sleep most of the night. I get up a lot to pee, I recall.

Thursday I wake up feeling remarkably good and I log on to work and check and answer emails. But then things become blurry again and I spent most of Thursday on the couch watching Arrow and letting the dogs in and out and in and out and in and out and then eating things here and there.

Thursday night I tried to get into my bed and everything about that sucked and it felt like I was pulling all of my incisions no matter how I moved and nothing was comfortable and it felt like I was ripping things open and I freaked out and I screamed and cried and wailed and all of this was just a minute but felt so long during and so horrible but then, I was on the floor on my feet and it was all fine. So, I slept on the couch.

One thing nobody at all ever warned me about was the gas. They fill you with air and then you are gassy afterwards and then you are also constipated and that gives you more gas and that is the sexy side effect of surgery that nobody ever tells you. So I’m telling you now. I’m taking a stool softener AND putting Miralax in my morning chocolate milk to get this shit moving. (put not intended but there ya go!)

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So, now if YOU have to have surgery you will know this part and it will not catch you by surprise like it did me. The gas pains have, in a lot of ways, been the worst part of the whole thing.

Friday morning they wanted me to come and get my car as it was ready and I was all “I just had surgery and I’m on Percocet and should not be driving!” and the insurance company was all “too bad, so sad” and the collision repair places was all “you fuckers! We’ll save the day!” and brought me my car and took the rental back and nothing bad happened and I love them.

2am Friday was my last Percocet and I feel like a bad ass for only being on ibuprofen now as needed. Boom!

The rest of Friday looked like this:

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I finished catching up with Arrow then started catching up with Flash and all was well. A co-worker brought me 7-Up and Reese’s and life was swell.

Saturday I went to a baseball game! I think that was the best thing for me. Walking, moving, fresh air, something to focus on other than just having just had surgery, other people. my boyfriend, LIFE! It was great.

Sunday I drove my boyfriend to lunch! And I ate 1/2 of a grilled chicken sandwich with swiss cheese and some sweet potato fries. Then we hung out at his place and he showed me silly videos that made me laugh, which hurts.

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I slept in my bed Saturday and Sunday night and I’m feeling pretty good.

So, that is the tale of surgery. Hopefully the gas and constipation will go away super soon so I can see if my issue is resolved! The surgeon said “no wonder she was in so much pain!” upon seeing my gallbladder, so that’s a good sign. He took photos of it, and it doesn’t look super healthy fo’ sho’.  So, keep your fingers crossed for me! For me to poo regularly very soon and that all is resolved. Please and thank you.