I had my umbilical hernia sewn up on Tuesday. Notice I didn’t say “fixed”. That remains to be seen. As of right now my abdomen is a disgusting, swollen, bruised, miasma of pain. Yes, I’m being dramatic, but dammit, it hurts. You use your abs for freakin’ everything. EVERYTHING. Even blinking. (Just trust me on that.)
Allow me to take you through the events of the past three days.
We arrived at the surgery center, waited forever, finally checked in, I got dressed in a gown that hooks up to a vacuum system of some sort that blows hot air onto you – DIVINE! (Please someone get me the home version of this) – the nurse tried to find my vein, failed, tried again, almost blew it a second time but got it in, we met with the doctor, Jesse tried to get the doctor to say I could still vacuum and mop after surgery, the doctor made a sex joke that was super funny. Wait, let me share it:
Dr: “You cannot do anything strenuous for three weeks. No exercise, no sweeping, no lifting anything…”
Jesse: “But she can still vacuum, right?”
Dr: “You better be careful or I’ll give her a few more restrictions you aren’t going to like!”
Me: (About 3 seconds later because I didn’t get it right away) “Hahahahaha!”
Anyway, Jesse left and the anesthesiologist came in and they wheeled me to the OR, and then the anesthesiologist gushed (slammed? jammed? whooshed? What’s a good word to describe plunging several ccs into an IV line faster than the speed of light?) meds into my IV and I said “OUCH” and she said, “Oh, you must have had a small clot – that’s why that hurt.” And then I said (in my head because I’m not stupid) “Or it hurt because you just slammed down on that plunger like it owed you money.” Then we chatted about something for a minute but the Bill Cosby juice was already taking effect so I don’t remember what was said, and then…
…I was really warm. Seriously, I want to live in the warm air vacuum gown for the rest of my life. It’s purple and called Bair Paws or Bear Pause, definitely not Bear Paws. My recovery nurse was named Kaiser and he kept talking to me trying to get me to come around. I awoke from anesthesia like a lady you guys. No puking or thrashing around for this one thankyouverymuch. I didn’t feel anything at first, but as I came around I started to realize my abdomen hurt like a MOTHERFUCKER. Ok, maybe not that much. More like a motherfucker. Kaiser gave me some painkillers, gently delivered through my IV in a slow, steady plunge, (Little miss anesthesiologist could learn a thing or two from Kaiser!) and then all was right with the world. I napped. I languished in my cozy Bair Paws cocoon. I half listened to the nurse call Jesse to come pick me up, and I made note of the time and thought how he must be at school picking up kids and how that meant I had at least another glorious half hour to snuggle in my Bair Paws gown. Life was good.
Eventually Jesse and the kids arrived. By this time I was awake enough to tease Kaiser about having a fanny pack, and he promptly gave it right back by making fun of my ugly, Croc-like shoes. We were basically besties. The kids were definitely freaked out by seeing me so gorked and hearing my scratchy voice. They had to leave the room while I dressed and while waiting, Brecken asked Jesse, “Why is Mommy’s voice like that? Is she going to die?” My poor, sweet, sensitive boy would watch me over the next few days with his eyes as wide as saucers and ask me every day, “Is your bellybutton better yet?” and I would answer him, “It gets a little better every day!” and the worry lines on his face would ease just a bit.
When we got home I wasted no time traumatizing the baby. I was still very drugged and loopy and Jesse held her toward me as if he were expecting me to take her. Her arms and legs were thrashing and my reflexes went on autopilot, blocking my abdomen and pushing Jesse (and consequently the baby) away. She looked as if I had spit in her face. She was so confused. She cried in horror at the rejection and Jesse whisked her away. He tried to feed her but she was fussy. Eventually she just started crying, “Maaaamaaa! Maaamaaa!” so he brought her back to me. I snuggled her into my side and gave her the breast. She clung to me like a baby monkey, nuzzled me all over and nursed like her life depended on it. Afterward she was happy as a clam and totally relaxed the rest of the night.
They had warned me about nausea and sent me home with a giant barf bag, but my ironclad stomach is the thing of legends. Imagine my surprise at finding my mouth filling with throw-up spit. I had been wandering around out of bed and had taken a hydrocodone (AFTER nursing) and I guess my stomach had had enough. I rushed to the toilet and thought to myself, sweet Jesus we need to dust the bathroom more frequently, as I waited in dread for the vomiting to commence. I was terrified at the thought of how painful clenching my stomach would be. Thankfully, my record remains unsullied. I didn’t throw up. After a few minutes of toilet gazing I went to bed and had weird, fuzzy dreams. I can see why people become addicted to hydrocodone, but frankly, it’s not worth the nausea. I have nineteen of the suckers left if anyone wants them for street value. Haha – just kidding. No I’m not. Yes I am. *Shakes head* I’m totally kidding. *Winks*
I switched over to expired Tylenol the next day. I was able to walk around, but not much else. The baby is aggressive when she breastfeeds, so I pretty much get my ass kicked three times a day, and my back spasms in the worst way. The baby is totally confused as to why I wont pick her up and instead keep dropping to the floor to play with her. She’s also sick of seeing Jesse’s face. She loves him to pieces but she just wants me to freakin’ hold her already. Holding her in my lap isn’t cutting it.
It is very frustrating not having use of my abs. I can’t blow my nose, fart, cough, laugh, or even yell at the kids. I tried to yell at them (They were angels Tuesday night when they thought I was dying, but by Wednesday they realized they were stuck with me, and proceeded to take advantage of my wounded state by behaving like wild animals) and the result left me winded and in pain. I decided to take the high road and find inner peace, AKA I ignored the little miscreants and let Jesse handle them.
Today (Thursday) was a bit better. I was much more mobile and even got to shower!!! Still, every move I make is felt in my abs.
I only had one dose of expired Tylenol today. I am hoping tomorrow sees even more mobility and improvement. I’m such a bad-ass that Jesse assumes I can handle more than I can actually handle, so I better gently remind him of my limitations before I stupidly take on too much too soon.
I’m taking a picture of my gross bellybutton everyday because why not? I probably wont post them even though I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t want to see them – I would TOTALLY want to see them if it was anyone else’s bellybutton. Admit it, you want to see the pics. Ok, maybe when I’m all healed I’ll put together a time lapse something or other and you can all watch it heal. Won’t that be fun?! As of right now my belly is swollen and the top of my bellybutton juts out like someone put a Lego under my skin.
Hmmm. Maybe the doctor put a Lego under my skin. I’ll ask about that at my follow up.