21 January 2009

One week, a gallbladder, and 1.4 pounds later

Yes, I'm alive and well - surviving my surgery and the aftermath.

I went to same day surgery at 1 PM late Tuesday; starvin' marvin because I had an attack on Monday night and everything I ate for dinner came up. Of course, the OR got backed up, so while I was scheduled for surgery at 3:30 PM, I didn't go up to the holding area until 4 PM and was actually wheeled into surgery about 5:15 PM (that's the last thing I remember).

My surgeon came down and talked to Mark and my mom once she was done -- apparently my gallbladder was quite inflamed and full of stones. It was a good thing we got it out. When she came to say hello pre-surgery I told her I had an attack the night before and she told me she was really worried that I wouldn't make it to the surgery date. I'm a trooper!

I was in recovery by about 7:30 PM and taken to a room by 8 PM - just in time to watch the premiere of American Idol. I was up and about and discharged by 10:30 PM and home by 11 PM. Of course the ride home wasn't without a bit of drama... less than 2 miles from home, I screamed for mom to pull over and I projectile vomited along the side of the road. After that, I felt better.

I slept most of Wednesday (the day after) but was pretty much able to get around without too much assistance. As the week progressed, I was able to get around more and took a couple rides in the car to "blow the stink off" as my Mom likes to say. I didn't feel too much discomfort from the gas escaping, most of the discomfort was from the incisions, particularly the one directly above my navel.

Mom drove me to my Weight Watchers meeting on Sunday - I was determined to go, even if it tired me out for the rest of the day. I was a bit concerned that I wasn't going to lose anything since I was still a bit bloated that morning, but was pleasantly pleased that I was down another 1.4 pounds this week. (Considering that I didn't eat much of anything from noon Monday until dinnertime Wednesday, I hoped that I would lose.) So now I'm this much closer to my goal weight - yippee!

On Monday, I went in for my post-op checkup. My surgeon removed the steri-strips that hadn't fallen off and cleaned up the incisions. The one above my navel she applied another set of steri-strips and said by the time they fall off, it should be feeling better.
She told me that's the one most people complain about.Two days later and it's still tender, but it looks to be the largest of all the incisions.

I've been given the green light to drive, I can return to work next Monday (Jan 26th) and the gym on Feb 1st. I still can't do heavy lifting (although I am permitted to pick up my 18 lb dogs) and have to lay off the housekeeping (vacuuming) for another week. Mark asked what I was going to do for the next couple days while I'm home alone -- in all honestly, probably not much. I'm going to relax and try to get my energy back. I still tired easily. My surgeon recommended me taking the full 10 days post-surgery to recover -- I think I'll be glad for that once I go back to work.

Having my Mom here was quite a blessing -- she made dinner several nights and was there to shuttle me around as needed. I don't know what I would have done without her. She left yesterday and I'm feeling a bit lonely this morning.

Three more days of sick leave then I'm back to reality. While it's cold out and I want nothing more than to grab the dogs, a book and a pile of blankets and crawl back into bed, I think I should at least try to do something productive while I'm feeling a surge of energy. Then again, I don't want to overexert myself either.

The pile of library books to be read is getting smaller while the pile to be returned is growing larger. I think I'll try to finish another today and return a stack later this afternoon.

P.S. For the record, I forgot to ask the surgeon how much the gallbladder and gallstones weighed (nor did I get to keep the stones).

20 January 2009

It Is Finished

LK - Finished
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

While I was recuperating from my surgery, I finished off my Lizzie Kate piece -- here's the final piece in all it's glory.

For those interested - the particulars are as follows:

Designer: Lizzie Kate
Fabric: 28 ct Lambswool linen
Threads: Weeks Dye Works and Sampler Threads (as called for)

In all, it took me about four weeks to stitch this piece from start to finish. There are more than a few errors on it, but I'll live with them.

I am debating what to do with it -- frame it (which'll cost a small fortune), make it into a bellpull (not totally enamored of that idea) or find some fabric and make it into a wall hanging. For now it's rolled up and will be added to the pile of other finished unframed projects.

08 January 2009

New Year, New Adventures

For the past several months, I've been having some unpleasant moments - nausea, vomiting, etc. - which I'd dismissed as a bug of some sort. On Black Friday (after I was successful at scoring some bargains at the mall), I had the worst experience ever -- nausea, vomiting, pain in my abdomen that had me doubled over. I spent a good 6 hours huddled around the toilet, yakking and moaning. I initially wrote it off as food poisoning - but when these attacks increased in frequency and intensity, it was obvious that something else was going on.

On December 17th, I finally went to my primary physician who promptly did bloodwork and based on those results sent me for an abdominal ultrasound. On January 3rd, I discovered that I had gallstones -- and was sent to consult with a surgeon. That consultation was yesterday and I'm scheduled for gallbladder surgery (okay - for my geeky friends, a cholecystectomy) on January 13th.

I fell in love with the surgeon -- great tableside manner and she was wearing some pretty awesome jewelry. They were gorgeous blue stones in both her necklace and earrings -- I wanted to pet them. She went through all my symptoms and looked over my charts and decided she wanted to operate quickly. At one point she asked if I wanted it out that evening -- I wasn't quite ready for that.

Due to my bloodwork results I had to go for an MRI (actually an MRC -- magnetic resonance cholangiogram, which is done in the MRI tube) yesterday to ensure there were no stones in my bile duct. That was rather fun... I was a bit claustrophobic when they first slid me into the tube, but if I tilted my head back a wee bit, I could see outside the tube and I was okay. After that I just closed my eyes and practiced some relaxation breathing techniques. (All that yoga is finally paying off!) Even the technician commented on how perfect the 'normal breathing' portion of the procedure went. He said I was the best he's ever had; most patients try to do deep breathing and I was a relaxed, but fast, breather. (Go me!)

I'm waiting for the surgeon's office to call me once they have the results. Today I'm scheduled to go to the hospital for my pre-op testing -- of course, I have to fast for this. Two days in a row, I'm not going to be able to eat until sometime in the afternoon. Ugh. It goes to figure that I'm starvin' Marvin on those days when I cannot eat.

I'm scheduled for a laparoscopic procedure -- but there's always the slight chance that it will become an open procedure. If the laparoscopic procedure goes perfectly, I'll be home the next day and will only be off work 7-10 days.

My Mom's flying out on Sunday to be with me -- Mark will take the day of surgery off, but Mom will be here to help out around the house and with the dogs. I don't care that I'm 40+ years old now, but when one's sick, it's always nice to have some Mommy TLC. Obviously, my trip back to Ohio on the 16th wil have to be rescheduled. I'm kind of disappointed about that as I was looking forward to seeing some friends, but given the circumstances...

I managed to go to the library earlier this week and pick up several books -- if I'm going to laid up for a few days, at least I've got something to read. In the meantime, I'm hoping to get through the next five days without incident. Not to mention I'm looking forward to FOOD after this testing is completed today. The Fiber One bars are calling my name! (I think I'll toss one in my bag for a quick fix when I'm given the green light to eat.)

03 January 2009

WIP: Living With Charm (Lizzie Kate)

WIP: Week 2
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

After 2 weeks, I've about finished 8 of 12 motifs on this piece - I'm moving right along.

Football has helped quite a bit -- it's nice to sit and stitch while listening to the game in the background. Now if only the right teams had won...

01 January 2009

Happy New Year!

img 008
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

We survived the NYE celebrations at the Shillelagh's -- as I told one band member, 'If this is just a warm-up to Savannah, I'm scared!' A fun night, with friends and band mates, and a cheap night to boot!

More pics are in my Flickr album.