It’s Gonna Get Stinky Here

So, I’ve done pretty well walking 4-5 times a day. I’ve found that with my intermittent naps, I can only fall back to sleep again after getting up and walking to tire myself out. My next goal is to not push the button for additional pain meds above and beyond the base amount I continuously get through my epidural.

Why the title, you ask? So, I asked the nurse today if I am allowed to take a shower. The disappointing answer was no, not with my epidural still in. So, we’ll see how much my deodorant and body splash will cover.

They increased my tube feedings yesterday, and I’m able to tolerate it. Hopefully they’ll be able to increase it later tonight or tomorrow.

They also like taking my blood around here everyday. That gets a bit old, but apparently my potassium levels were too high yesterday, so they fixed it. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling better too.

Also, last night, Grandma C and I scoped out the kid park downstairs. The kids seemed pretty stoked to check that. So that’ll be fun.

So, in good spirits today. Did walks at midnight and 5. Going to keep up with it!

Day Two

So last night had one more “freak out” episode. I was trying to sit up in bed for someone, I believe to check the epidural in my back. Turned into a 15 min pain debacle, so they shot me up with some good narcotics to get me back in control. I really feel like that was the last one.

I was able to see the kids this afternoon. Put on some make-up, called my hair done and hung out for a while. Trying my best not to scare my kids because I think my current tube& IV count is 5. H was somewhat aware beforehand, but I think it must be a bit of a shock. My hubbie’s family had prepared S too. She was super sweet and cuddly! So glad she didn’t try to jump on me or anything.

A little humor for the day….
Why is a gastrectomy like a c-sections?
1. You get epidurals
2. There’s a baby to take care of afterwards, except this time it’s me
3. Hydrocodone
5. Formula – the stuff going into my feeding tube is definitely formula!
6. The slow, required hallway walks to rebuild your strength

Was feeling way worse than I am now. I think my strength is building now. It helps I’m getting some nutrition.

Now I’m exhausted and off to sleep.

And Now it is Done

As of last night, I no longer have a stomach. Still kind of crazy sounding. But apparently my great runner-generated health kept me in awesome shape during the surgery.i am truly blessed.

My epidural for pain management seems to be working well. I got my yucky nose tube out this afternoon.

Ironically the two most painful things right now are:
1. My throat, and
2. My right shoulder.

I was told that at the end of surgery, my doc does an endoscopy to ensure everything looks good. But the kicker is that you already have an intubation tube in, so they must shove both in. And can I say ouch!

I was trying to adjust my position in bed last night and all of a sudden got extraordinary pain on my top right shoulder muscle! It was hurting so bad that then I had trouble breathing which further hurt my gut. Then you get scared because your oxygen levels plummets and you’re chattering from the pain. Doc thinks I pulled a muscle. Guess you could call that our first night scare. Glad that’s over.

All in all, I think I’m on some pretty good drugs and able to keep my pain under control. Was able to do one small lap early this morning and walked a double at lunchtime.

They have this thing they call an “Incentive Spirometer.” I’ve used them before after my c-sections, and you’re just trying to keep up your lung capacity. I’ve been trying to keep up with them, but at first it just didn’t work. Turns out, you’re supposed to suck air in, not blow air out. Go me! That thing makes a lot more sense now.

At the end of the day, I can feel the power of prayer wash over me. There have been so many people praying for me and can’t explain how I feel it, but I just do. Hopefully I can remain calm and positive and show my appreciation to the nurses here.

My liquid Diet Day

So the docs told me I could have toast for breakfast before 9 AM and then am on a clear liquid diet all day. After midnight, it’s no food or drink.

I’m now wondering what the irony would be if I lost my entire pre-surgery weight gain in one day. We’ll see what I weigh in the morning. It might be more “funny bad” than “funny haha”.

The Last Meals Saga

So today began my stomach’s last lunch, dinner and tomorrow will be its last breakfast. No, surgery isn’t tomorrow. It’s Friday. Tomorrow is a fancy, classy day the doctors call “Magnesium citrate bowel preparation”. Sounds fun, huh? No need to drool in envy, I know I’m special.

I do have to say it has the strangest rules that maybe someone in the medical community can one day explain to me. I get that the main goal is to clear everything out. You can drink as much water as you want, but you MUST drink 1-1.5 liters of “caloried liquids”. In the acceptable list is many beverages that will generally put me on an absolute sugar high that I fear coming down from. Gatorade, carbonated drinks, pulpless juices like apple juice and cranberry juice, chicken broth, coffee with sugar and no milk-based drinks. They call all of the listed items “clear liquids”, but when my kids drink cranberry juice and spill it on the couch, I don’t consider it very clear. Suffice it to say, I will follow their rules, but that certainly does not mean that I agree with their definition.

Now, most importantly…. What were my last meals? Lunch was red curry chicken on a bed of rice…yum! I got to enjoy that with some friends from work. And dinner was our family favorite, El Jarrito. I enjoyed my usual chicken enchilada and margarita, while the kids played in the playground and later devoured their cheese quesadillas. All in all, a wonderful day for a foodie. Tomorrow will prove to be lackluster for food, but the plan is to scrap the afternoon of work and instead get a pedicure. At least while I hobble around the hospital, my toes will look good.

And lucky for me, one of our air conditioning units went out last night. So the afternoon will also entail a very exciting visit from the A/C repair guy. To give some imagery around our evening with no cooling upstairs…it’s 85 degrees up there and the kids are sleeping on a blowup mattress in the living room. Not sure whether it was the 100 degree heat outside or the events of this week that made Murphy kill the A/C.

Now I just hope I can sleep all night. It’s almost like the kids sense I will be away for a while because they’ve magically appeared in the middle of the night this week. Not sure if I can’t sleep with them in bed or if my subconscious is nervous about the surgery. We’ll see how tonight goes.


Reality comes around twice

I amaze myself at my ability to ignore things. My extra two weeks of consuming lots of extra calories is almost over. I amazingly put it to the back of my mind until I thought about it a little today. Last weekend of overindulging in food for a while! Before my surgery, I think I will have eaten an entire 1/2 gallon of Blue Bell Cookies n Cream and that’s pretty rockin! I just chisel away at it one bowl a night. 😉

Even with all my eating, I struggle to gain weight. I’ve been eating what I consider a lot and don’t gain much. I think I’m up 5-6 lbs in total. Pretty much get no sympathy from anyone when I mention that…more like dirty looks and rolling eyes. We’ll see what happens at my final weigh-in since I have to be on an all liquid diet Thursday before my surgery. I’m betting I’ll lose on that day pretty badly. The good thing is in my early post-surgery recovery phase, you get to go home with the feeding tube in. It’ll be comforting to know if eating food orally doesn’t go so well at the start, I’ve got a fail safe to keep my weight up. They don’t remove it until you stop using it for 2 weeks.

I am constantly reminded that for as hard as this recovery might seem, it’s all for the better. Long term, I have life without fear of stomach cancer. I will sit at my children’s high school and college graduations and see them get married. I will be part of my kids’ adult lives, maybe have grand kids…all opportunities my own dad didn’t have. And I’m young and healthy (minus sinus infections, apparently!) so I will recover well. My husband and I will get to grow old together.

Now I just hope I’ve gotten everything ready at work and at home. And I hope my kids don’t cry when I tell them I can’t pick them up for a long while. We’ll see how they do.

That ends my random thoughts from today. One last one…kinda glad I’m having the surgery when it’s about to hit 100 degrees here. At least I know if I’m inside I’m not missing some perfect weather day. 🙂