As the year comes to a close and I look back I realize its been quite a year. Unfortunately I spent over a third of it at home recovering from surgeries. Hopefully the upcoming year will keep me out of hospitals for a while.
I realize its been some weeks since my first post surgical post. A lot of that had to do early in the recovery with me not really wanting to sit up right at a computer for the added pressure it put on my abdomen. My excuse for lack of contributions the last couple of weeks was simply laziness.
I appear to be on the mend and ready to return to work next Monday. Just like all my other surgeries I ran into a problem with the my incision opening up again. I was particularly concerned about infection as I haven't been able to get through a surgery without one ... until now. I did have a scare a week ago as I had a rather intense pain at the top of my incision, which felt like a sharp shooting pain that was rather warm to the touch accompanied by nausea. The pain was rather constant for about 4 days before slowly subsiding. Naturally I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong and scheduled an appointment with my surgeon immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday. Unfortunately or fortunately by the time I got in to see him the pain had let up. I likened the scenario much to a car that is making a weird sound but then seems to be running fine once you get it into the mechanic. That same pain still comes and goes. My surgeon reminded me of the extent of the surgery and the layers of mesh covering my entire abdomen as well as the fact the sutures sewn into my muscles are slow dissolving and can take 6-8 months to dissolve. That of course explains the general soreness that still persists.
I did express concern in my first post surgical post and to my surgeon on my follow up about the fact that my output, which seemingly normalized after surgery had increased in frequency while becoming more liquid. I also expressed concern over the abdominal swelling, which I still experience after eating, nearly 2 months after surgery. I was told I needed to allow my body time to heal and that some swelling is still normal. Still my overall condition has improved and its not nearly as unbearable as it was before and I am able to eat more often, though I try to keep meals small. I had gotten as light as 145 pounds after surgery and up to 155 as of yesterday with room to grow I suppose as I am after all 6 feet tall and still a bit on the lighter side. My next follow up with my surgeon at DUKE is in February so I guess we will see how I'm doing then. Right now I believe that the output and swelling issues I'm still experiencing may be due to adhesions. I read my surgical report and was surprised to learn that 45 minutes of the surgery was spent removing adhesions and its my best guess that after surgery number four the form rather quickly.
I still have my mother in law helping out by dropping off and picking up my son from daycare as heavy lifting is still forbidden. The plan is to have her here until the end of January at which point I hope to be back on my own.
One last little note. It doesn't seem like I'm able to escape doctors and knives even while recovering from one surgery. This time last year it was a knife through the thumb that severed a tendon. Now I have a lipoma or cyst on my back with has grown and become quite painful. I visited urgent care yesterday morning in the hope of having it removed while still out of work but was given a round of antibiotics in the hope it would clear it up first. Friday I meet with a local surgeon to discuss removal of the mast and hope there is nothing more I have to worry about. Fun Stuff!
I'm looking forward to getting back to work and into the swing of things next week. I'll hold out hope as well that things will get better in 2013.