I was going to title this post, "Say hello to my little friends..." Haha, get it?! You have to say it in Al Pacino's voice from Scarface. I thought that was pretty funny considering I now have two new "friends", if you will. ;) But in all seriousness, I am doing just fine and wanted to get a quick update out to everyone to let you know that. Here is a pic from a few hours after surgery just to prove it to you....
The surgery went very well, without any complications and both Dr. B and Dr. M were very pleased. Surgery lasted almost 4 1/2 hours and then I spent another 2 hours in recovery while I came out from the anesthesia. After seeing the fam for a few minutes, I was transferred over to my room in another area of the hospital. I was still a little out of it so I felt a little confused when I heard Mike and my mom get all excited upon meeting someone in the hall heading down to my room. I remember asking the person pushing my stretcher who the woman was that they were talking to, but she didn't know. Well, a few seconds later when they all walked in the room, I realized what the excitement was about. It turned out that my nurse for the rest of the day was a friend of ours! Our friend, Hayley is married to one of Mike's good friends from college. I knew Hayley was a nurse at Beaumont but I didn't realize she worked in the unit where I would be, and I definitely never expected her to be my nurse. I was so happy to see her and to know that my nurse would be taking extra special care of me. There is a running joke between some of my friends - they say that Mike and I seem to know everyone and are running into someone we know everywhere we go - so I know you guys will find this story especially funny.
Well, of course Hayley took exceptional care of me and she is now elevated to an entire new level of friendship after doing things like emptying my Foley catheter bag. ;) Thank you so much, Hayley! It felt so wonderful to come out of surgery and see a familiar face taking care of me and I am so glad it was you. My other nurses and aides were great too, and I felt like I received wonderful care at Beaumont.
After sleeping for another few hours after surgery, I finally woke up and became lucid enough to see how I looked and gave myself a chance to see how I really felt. I definitely felt sore and had some pain but it wasn't as bad as I expected. I remained in bed the rest of the day and night, with my arms supported on pillows and as long as I didn't move, I felt nearly pain free. Mike, Mom, Doug, Jeff and my father in-law, Mike were all there to spend time with us and keep me company.
I didn't get much sleep Friday night in the hospital due to nurses coming in to give me pain meds, change my drains, take the catheter out, get me up to the bathroom, etc. Mike slept like a baby in the chair next to me. :) After Dr. B and Dr. M stopped by to see me in the morning, they said things looked good and I was all set to head home. We left the hospital around 10:30 on Saturday morning.
Since then, I have spent all day and night in our recliner in the family room downstairs. Aside from getting up to go into the bathroom, I have been laying down with my arms propped up, one drain coming out of my left armpit, two drains on the right, and tubes connected to a pain pump coming out from the middle of my chest. Mike and my mom have had to help me get in and out of the chair, and all of the repositioning that goes along with it which includes a pillow behind my head, one under each arm, a bolster under my knees, the two drains and pumped positioned in a specific way and then sheets and blankets on top of all of that. They have both been wonderful and I don't know what I would do without them. I truly don't know how anyone could do this without amazing help like I have from my mom and Mike.
I can't move my arms or trunk very much without discomfort but as long as I am just laying in my chair, I am doing just fine. It's crazy how little things like brushing my teeth have become difficult. But, my biggest challenge is going to be respecting the healing process and resting like I am supposed to. I am already getting antsy and a little stir-crazy in the house but I know my body just needs lots of time to rest and recover -I was quickly reminded of that after taking a shower tonight (with a TON of help!) and then feeling like I had just ran a marathon - totally wiped out! Back to the recliner I went.
All in all, I am feeling really good considering everything my poor body has been through lately - I truly anticipated feeling worse - and things look better than I thought too! I can't thank you enough for all of the thoughts and prayers for a safe and successful surgery - our prayers were answered and I am counting on the same for all of the prayers for a speedy recovery.
Thank you so much for all of the emails, texts, calls, meals, flowers, cards and deliveries. I truly feel so loved and cared for and that makes getting through these tough times so much easier. A special thank you to my amazing husband and momma - the best caregivers in the world - who seem to always know what I need before I even say it. Please keep them in your prayers as I know this isn't easy for them to see me going through this.
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