It is interesting how things come back around to haunt you once again. Note the date – and this is when I had hernia surgery back in the day. Five months later I moved into my sons’ house to begin an 11 month renovation and restoration to prepare to sell the home for his family. The following was a letter which I sent to my Physician while I was going though my recovery. He laughed his rear-end off and asked if he could frame the letter and hang it in his office.
During that 11 months – I brought myself to the best health I had ever been in in my life. It is now eight-plus years later and once again – I am feeling rather poopy. ~ Jeff
God, I wish I could poop!
Surgery was scheduled at 8:00 a.m., January 16, 2014. As far as I know that is when the deed was done. The last thing I remember after being wheeled into the OR and moving myself to the operating table, was having a mask fitted over my nose and mouth and told to breath deeply. I remember maybe three breaths and woke up in the recovery room some time later looking feeling as though I had been involved in a bad bar brawl the night before. Come to think of it, my gut still looks as though this had happened.
It is after 2:00 a.m. as I write this and I can’t sleep. I guess that this is part of the recovery process as well…
Thursday: Considering that I had not eaten since 5:30 p.m. the night before and had nothing to drink for twelve hours prior to the scheduled surgery, I showed up for check in – not in the best frame of mind, but the entire staff at the Arrowhead Hospital began loading me up on dope as quickly as they could, and “hey maaaaan” – I was cooking pretty good. Of course that was after I was told to strip down and put on that stupid hospital/surgical robe, which hasn’t been redesigned in about two centuries. Hey – you are going to be operating on my front side. What’s the purpose of an undersized piece of raggedy cloth serve, that allows the breeze to flow up your back-side? I was freezing, and thank heaven to the gal who got me started, as she found two artist’s canvases, that passed for blankets, that had just come out of a drier. OK, OK – so from that point everything seemed to go alright – what little I remember of it. So it was time to send me home. The phenomenal staff got me dressed and loaded me into my wife’s car as quickly as they could. I was still drugged – but most importantly – I was hungry.
I had my wife hit the drive through at Jacque en lay Box and pick up two breakfast Jacks. I figured that they would be light and soft and I could eat those without anything harsh happening to me. I gagged on them, they were so dry. I could not even finish eating one. Save the other until later – which would up being the next day. I just drank some water. The fasting had begun.
When I arrived home, I had a couple of phone calls to make – one to Granny and the other to return a call to my friend Leonard, who had phoned to check up on me. Shortly thereafter, I decided to lay down and get some sleep. I wasn’t out long before my son phoned me to see how I was doing. That was the end for me. I spent far too much time on the phone with other folks, all the while pacing – slowly, but pacing. I have heard that tempered exercise is good for the healing process.
I do not remember what else I attempted to eat that night, but it wasn’t much; maybe a bowl of Jewish Penicillin. Lots of water and I began the prescribed meds, as the hospital induced stuff was wearing off. Time for bed, and I was to learn how difficult this was going to be – and then the coughing began. They weren’t heavy spells – just an occasional single hard cough, from deep within me. The first one jerked me pretty hard. Over the next day or so, I began to detect a pattern of when these would probably happen and would prepare myself for them.
Friday: I continued to take the meds every four to six hours as required, and also the little orange colored pearls, which were supposed to counteract the constipation caused by the other stuff. They still haven’t as of this writing. Oh for an Oreo and a glass of milk. Friday was a bit more painful than Thursday and I slept a lot, somehow managing to awaken each time I was scheduled for more meds. I was urinating quite often – well dribbling was more like it – and sometimes every seven to ten minutes. This would continue for several days.
Dribbling Observations: Water made me dribble, OJ should have made me poop – but didn’t. I appeared to have a slight urinary tract infection, so drank some cranberry juice, which helped clean me out a bit; by Saturday I felt that I had been good enough and was willing to try about anything, so made a fresh pot of coffee and within minutes managed a much stronger flow than I had since the surgery, but then without the coffee – back to dribble to moderate. By Monday night I was so pissed off (no pun intended) and in pain, that I drank something I almost never drink – ginger-ale. What the heck is in that stuff? The resulting flow was not only strong – but it smelled like a barnyard.
Saturday: I had a fairly painful and uncomfortable day, but still slept a lot, still paced a bit – just to move the body and get some exercise. Got to see all of my granddaughters – which made my day worthwhile. It was nice outside, so I spent time just breathing the warm air, then sleep…
Two specific observations regarding sleeping after this type of operation. Normally, I sleep on my side or stomach. Obviously, the stomach was out, but both Friday night and Sunday night, I attempted to sleep in a slightly different position than the other nights I (which were somewhat catatonic on my back – slightly elevated). Both Saturday and Monday, were very painful days – Monday was the worst. At first, I thought that it may have been due to a sharp cough which I had experienced on each of those days, but as I lay in bed tonight thinking back over this process, I realized that those were the two nights I attempted a modified sleeping position – and each night – they caused undue pain and suffering throughout the next day.
Sidebar: While preparing for the OR, there were two bandage/braces put on my legs, apparently to prevent blood clots. I would not know what a blood clot would look like or feel like if I had one, BUT my right leg has been somewhat frozen ever since the operation – I don’t mean cold – but numb, with little feeling in it. I have my wife massage it several times a day, and now that I am becoming more mobile, I do it as well. It helps for the moment, but there is no real improvement.
There could be one other option, and that leads me back to the sub-title of this letter…
Since checking out of the hospital on Thursday, I can pretty much sit here and tell you what my food intake has consisted of. I have had 3 bananas, 6 pieces of toast, a full bowl of chicken and rice (yes, from Jaque‘s again), although that full bowl was eaten in two sittings; six to eight spoonfuls of noodles, 3 pieces of pizza (not even good stuff), two bowls full of cottage cheese and fruits, a small bowl of oatmeal, 4 pieces of bacon (stole that off of my wife’s plate) and a half bowl of raisin bran (and that on Sunday night).
Well, it’s now 2:53, and I have been at this for forty-five minutes now. Sunday night, when I had the half-bowl of raisin bran (I couldn’t even the eat the entire bowl – let alone the cereal), I finally had some bowel relief – but ONLY in the form of a massive release of gas. Sheesh – I could have filled my propane tank for future use. Well, it’s now Tuesday morning, and still no relief. Is some of this pressure causing the numb legs? I don’t know, but I am so hungry right now, that I am going to the kitchen and going for another bowl of raisin bran. Nothing else seems to provide any relief.
So let’s hope that everything comes out alright in the morning (or preferably in about 15 minutes), and unless you have some suggestions, that will further assist me in this recovery – I see you all next week. My prescription of OxyCodon will be gone by Wednesday (tomorrow). This should be interesting.
Finally, on Monday I took a light shower. In order to do so, I removed the velcro-support bandage, and after showering, replaced the three adhesive bandages on the affected areas. Two of the three units had quite a bit of blood on them, but I could not tell if was somewhat fresh, or residue from the surgery or the coughing attacks I had experienced over the previous few days. but they appear clean today – but the pain in that area is quite profound. It feels as if something is folding inside of there. I have great difficulty sitting. How much of this may be the result of the lack of defecation, I do not know.
Any advice one could offer, would be gladly accepted.
Say hi to Adrian and Danielle for me – and hey – have a great day.
God I STILL wish I could poop!
PS: It’s now 8:04 a.m. as I complete the editing of this run-on commentary and I’m feeling rather poopy – but still plugged up like a bottle of champagne.
As the old joke McQueen told me years ago, “Abscess make the farts go ‘Honda’”, or as William Shakespeare REALLY said, “Farting is such sweet sorrow!“