28 September 2013

...and laparotomy recovery marches on.

hooping, lightweight hoops, polypro hoops
Hoops to Heal by: The PolyPros! JK. Keep reading.

I've been having such a hard time keeping up here. Or anywhere. Things are hard now so I'm focusing on resting when I have time and try to keep reassuring myself that this doesn't last forever. It just feels like it.

Time. That's something I don't have a lot of as a mother. We don't have family nearby to help out and we can't afford a mother's assistant to come take care of Tristan while I rest and take small walks. I'm zipping around doing the best I can during the week and then, right as I reach the tipping point, it's the weekend.

Weekends. They are glorious times when Brandon is home. He is our superhero. For me, I get to rest and take it easy. I feel my organs scream one final scream as gravity pulls them back into place...and then it's almost like I can feel the healing re-start. My brain is like, Self, what have you done to all my hard work last weekend??

I don't know, Brain.

People keep telling me I should be better by now (unless they've had one themselves and then I get. GIRL! what are you doing?!). It's so confusing! Even the receptionist at the hospital. Which is nuts because I had less done in '04 at Brigham & Women's and back then it was strict bedrest for three weeks while taking small walks around the house. Then increasing slowly over time. No bending. No lifting. When I went back to work two months later I still had a no lifting rule.

I've been getting panic attacks. People keep telling me I should be better!!!! and then my brain hits the ceiling and I look at my swollen, red angry incision and think ohmygoshivedoneitwrong! I should be fine now! Then I do insane things like order lightweight hula hoops because if I should be back to normal that means I should work on some new tricks. WHAT, Body?! What are you doing??! You bought a post-op HULA HOOP?! Brain keeps telling me to cut it out.

After speaking with a variety of medical friends and researching I'm coming down off the ceiling. I'm approximately where I should be so I need to calm down. It's just so hard as a mother. Tristan tries to be gentle and gives me the sweetest hugs. He can't help it that his skull is as hard as a helm and that it just so happens to be at the level of my gut-cut and that I see stars when he slams into me with love.

"You hurt," he said this week. Then he gave me gentle arm strokes and said, "awhhhhhhh!" and kissed me.

The main incision is five inches long. The other two are a single inch or less. I had both a laparoscopic and laparotomy. They pulled my guts out. They put some back in but not all. That's a lot of gory mayhem.

Chronic pain is scary. Once a couple weeks had passed and I wasn't better Brain thought, Body, what if you healed all mixed up inside and we have traded one pain for another?!

I don't know, guys. But I'd like to think that with the gift of rest painfree days aren't far ahead. It's been years so please be patient. I can't remember what it's like. I'm right on the brink, though. Body, you are not stuck. Step away from the hoops.

Honestly: on Monday I felt pretty great after a weekend in bed but by evening I had started to swell. It went from there. I feel like someone took an electric blender to my abdomen and didn't stop. My skin is pink and sections feel bruised to the touch. Moving feels like searing hot knives slicing up my core and lodging between my shoulder blades. My upper back is screaming.

Otherwise, I feel great. I am bored. Stir-crazy. It's my favorite time of year and I'm missing it. My heart is playing outside with Tristan, taking walks with my husband, and using those gosh darn hoops. I miss wearing my cute pants. Elastic waists were meant for bedtime so no matter how cute the yoga pant it makes me feel like I haven't gotten dressed in months. I have wished for a computer chip that will just upload books to my brain.


But I'm working on it. Here I lay with Stitches the Jellycat. She was sent by friends to the hospital and lives in my bed. During all the chaos Tristan has found great comfort in her which is saying a lot since he isn't fond of stuffed animals. There is something about Stitches, though that is connected to all the change around here and so he holds onto her tightly.

Thank you all for continuing to check in on me, the meals, love, thoughts, encouragement, patience, kindness, and I'm so sorry you still have to hear: I hurt a lot. One day soon I hope I can respond with I'm great, and totally mean it.


For more on what a laparotomy is click here.

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