Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sunday Feb 12 ... and a pause for a horror story

So, it's kind of interesting how life will sometimes ask you to pause and you choose to not to pause.

"Hey",  says life, "you should look over here."

You say nothing, ignoring it.

Then life goes on until it pokes you and makes you look.

Well, today life poked me, right in the hernia. What. A. Poke. Indeed.

So I woke up and felt around my hernia which I kept rested for the week and felt something wrong. It was longer but it was also a little pebble that had not been there before. I had a shower and then lay down on my bed to try and see if I could push it back in. Sounds gross, but that was what the doctor told me to do. I pushed it back in.

So, at that moment, my wife asks if we can go out to breakfast. To me hat sounds awesome, so out of the bed I go and put on socks. It was then that something went "Squish" and I felt something little painful in my stomach. Five minutes later in the van, I'm in pain. I can feel pain in my stomach.

I order food at the restaurant and go to the bathroom to try and stop sweating. I look at myself, and I realise I'm turning a green-grey and my stomach won't stop hurting. I feel inside my shirt and the pebble is back, with some back up. That's just wrong. I need to lie down. I go back to the van and put the driver's side seat back and lay down for the time it takes the rest of them to eat a meal.

I was really hurting by the time they came out. My wife drove the kids home and the eldest would be in charge until my wife came back. I also had a neighbour come over and help with the youngest. I got to the hospital about 20 minutes later and was in a lot of pain. There was a golf ball sticking out of my stomach and it hurt to the touch. This was going to be a lot of pain, regardless of what was decided.

I got to the emergency and they took blood pressure and did blood work. I did give a urine sample too. At least I think I did. It's at this point that memory becomes fuzzy. I did puke my guts out in the bathroom for the waiting room. It's amazing how doing that gets medical people to move you up the line very quickly. I was lying down on a bed with an IV in my arm shortly thereafter. They started with just fluid, but then took a peek at my stomach and added morphine pretty darn quickly. I started to text my employer, letting them know what was happening. I also emailed my rugby coach, just to let him know I wasn't going to be at the noon training session today.

It was my very first experience with morphine. Can't say I liked it very much at all. Yes, it did make the pain in my stomach manageable, but just weirded me out. Sheep people walking around the room and stuff. Geiger-like dark teeth snapping at me. I felt very uneasy. After a couple of attempts to push the golf ball and then the baseball sized bulge back in, the surgeon was called and arrived. She took one peek and said that it needed surgery. I agreed right away.

Within two hours, I was being pushed upstairs to a suite and everyone was being nice to me. I remember the nurses arguing about who was going to call the surgeon to come, I remember being asked the same few questions about smoking and overall health a few times. I also remember having one then a second mask being put on my face. The first one was oxygen, they said. The second one they also said was oxygen, but that is the last thing I remember before waking up a few hours later in another room.

It was getting dark in the room and I had a nurse in there while I was waking up. She told me where I was and that I was ok. My stomach felt in pain, but not the sharp pokey kind of pain, just a rather large dull pain. It hurt but was down from a 9 to a 5 on the pain scale. I fell back asleep after texting my wife that I was ok. My boss also said that things were ok, too. My rugby coach told me to get better.

The nurse said that she was sorry but that she would be waking me up every hour to take my vital signs. I really didn't care, as I knew as soon as she did that I'd be back asleep. I woke up again while it was still dark out, must have been like 4 am. I got some water in me. The nurse asked me if I felt as if I could get up and walk. To my happy surprise, I stood up and things were not as painful as I thought they would be. I asked for pain meds and got them without any fuss.

Getting back down was another story, mind you. But being up was ok. I went back to sleep and was woken up by my wife on her way to work, after having dropped off the kids. She left me a bag with stuff in it. I'd look later.

I kissed her and went back to sleep.

I woke up and the sun was way up in the sky. Phone said it was 8 am. So, a day to lie around in bed, trying to get healthy. Well, I also had a lot of stuff to send to the person doing my job for the next two weeks and couldn't as I was on my phone and not on my laptop. I figured the world would survive.

I texted people, I charged my phone, I watched a bunch of rugby highlights on Youtube. I even got to watch the second half of Germany beating Romania. What a pair of comeback wins. All the time, I was feeling less and less pain. I stood, went to the bathroom, walked around my room and generally tried to not mess things up for myself. I ate, I slept, I sent emails to work and to people who needed to know. I watched rugby. That was my day.

At about 4 pm my wife and two of my kids came to see me. What a wonderful sight they were. We chatted and they went to get the youngest one something to eat. In the meantime, the surgeon came by to see how I was doing and she talked about what she did. Seems it was only fat that was coming out of the 4 cm hole. As she was there, it slipped back in, but she did put some mesh in. Seems the layers goes like this: Bowel, fat, 8 cm section of mesh, fat then skin. She described that as "perfect" as the fat will let the bowel not stick to the skin, and other adhesions are less likely. I sure hope she wasn't lying, because my Spidey sense was going off, but I have to take her word for it. I was slightly not there when she was putting my stomach back together, but I was there if you get my meaning. If she was pretty happy with her work, I was pretty happy with her work. After all, I was standing up kind of pain-free as I was talking to her. My last pain meds were at 4 am, and this was 4 pm.

In any case, they released me. I got to go home with my family. I was pretty worried that I was being released a little early, but I also wanted to get out of the hospital as quickly as I could. Just too many things could go wrong there. I wanted my own bed, too. Final blood pressure check was 116/65.

So I'm home and I get my laptop and I send things and email people. I'm standing as I do this as it's just easier. I try my best to help the people at work fill the hole that I usually take. I get them to help with HR and I'm good. Funny how people back off when they hear about the surgery.

I'm off with pay for two weeks. I think that should be fine. I'm going to take this time to heal and to think about what's next. I was already in contact with a few professional people about helping me with the rehabilitation of the wound. They, of course, were happy to hear that I was safe and ready to go. They also told me to be ready after two weeks from surgery at least. Heal first, they said, then rehab.

I got to hang out with my kids and my wife, and that is the best thing ever.

So, yeah. When I first heard that I would eventually need surgery, I kinda just knew that something stupid would rush things along. I wasn't going to be scoring a game-winning try or saving a kid from physical harm ... you know something heroic. As it was, putting on the socks has done nothing for my attitude of going barefoot as often as possible in all seasons.

At least it's done, and I can go forward. I have to hit my weight goals and keep the weight off this time. If that golf ball sized pain in my stomach did anything, it provided me with a lifetime of motivation to pass by the beer and potato chips on the way to 200 lbs.

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