It's very difficult typing one handed, so this may not be the best post.
Wednesday, the 23rd, I woke up super nervous. I took a shower while the rest of my family ate super delicious, yummy bacon and eggs. I was hungry, but had to fast for the surgery, and I was too nervous to eat anyway. Pants, our babysitter, arrived with his monster of a dog around 9:15. Jovi loved his dog and followed him around the whole time. It was hilarious to see our puppy following a huge mastiff around. I sat down before we left, and per instructions, scrubbed my arm and hand with soap for 15 minutes. We left the house around 10 and ran to Bakers really quick to pick up a pacifier for Charlie. The plan being Chris trying to pacify him as long as possible before giving him a bottle. We arrived at the hospital right around 11 and checked in. Shortly after we were taken back to the pre-op room and I nursed Charlie one last time. They gave me this ridiculous Bear Paws gown that actually hooks up to a heating system during surgery. It was very bulky and uncomfortable. They started my IV with antibiotics and the anesthesiologist came back in to talk to me. Same lady as before. Very nice. She could see how nervous I was and gave me a mild sedative to calm down. She also assured me that being awake unknowingly is very rare - that was honestly one of my biggest fears.
A short while later I felt extremely itchy and jittery - like I needed to run around. They came to check on me and told me my whole body was red. I was having a negative reaction to the antibiotics called "red man syndrome". Its not quite an allergic reaction - its just a sensitivity. They told me next time I'd need the antibiotics much slower, and then they gave me some benadryl. I'm not ure what was causing it but my entire body became restless. I started trying to curly my body into a very tight ball and then I'd release and stretch out as far as I could. This went on for a little while. Then my surgeon arrived, a few minutes late, at 1:15 and told them to take me to the OR. They wheeled me to the OR, the nurse anesthetist asked me a question and the next thing I remember is being shaken and a nurse telling me to wake up. I was in recovery, a huge room filled with patients in the first stage of recovery. My arm was on fire and I remember I started crying. The lady next to me had had abdominal surgery and was crying too. She asked me if I had abdominal surgery too and I was in so much pain I could only shake my head. The nurse maxed me out on fentanyl and dilaudid but neither did anything. My body had built up such a tolerance to pain meds. She told me if she had taken that much she would have stopped breathing. Around 4:30 they brought me to my private recovery room with Chris and Charlie. Chris said Charlie only had one bottle and he had fought him for an hour to take it! Best news!
My stay was very painful. We stayed overnight and they wanted us to stay another night but we didn't have a babysitter the second night. Next time we will plan two nights. I was originally given 1 mg of morphine every 30 minutes but then they put me on a pump that gave me 3.0 mg/8 min. They finally upped me to 3.5/8 min.
Recovery is going okay, both mentally and physically. I have my good days and my bad ones.
I have been uploading all of my photos to this public album.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Today is the first time I've let my nerves get the best of me. I'm extremely nervous over the surgery. I look at Charlie and it pains me that I'll be separated from him for hours tomorrow. I will be asleep and unaware of time passing, but Charlie will not. He's not going to understand why mommy isn't there for him. My other kids aren't going to understand why they can't really be around me for the next week as I lay in bed concentrating on not moving my arm at all. And gosh forbid something goes wrong - none of my children are old enough to really have memories of me. And then I'm nervous about relearning how to do everything as I adjust to a life without a wrist. And as petty as it sounds, seeing a very large scar on the back of my arm for the rest of my life - signaling to the world that something has happened to me and inciting questioning stares or a request for an explanation. I broke down a little while ago holding Charlie and apologizing to him for tomorrow. Hopefully he does well with Chris and Chris does well with him. Hopefully he doesn't have issues with the bottle/pacifier and I hope beyond hope he doesn't prefer them to nursing. I hope I get through surgery without any mishaps, and recovery goes smoothly. I hope my children understand why mommy is in bed unable to cuddle them or play with them. Tonight is the last night of my life ever being able to bend my wrist again - its something I once took for granted and now am facing a lifetime of never doing it again.
Monday, June 21, 2010
The quality is quite low because they are cell phone pictures, but this is the way my wrist looks now. In two days time it will never look this way again. It will no longer be bent to the side, as it won't be able to bend at all, and there will be a massive scar down the back of my arm. Ignore the laundry pile, Chris is a bit behind in the folding and it's one of the few chores I can no longer do.
In less than 48 hours my left wrist will be permanently fused, leaving me with a forearm and fingers, but also with no more pain. I'm having conflicting thoughts about this. I'm excited to no longer be in pain, but nervous to lose the last bit of function in my wrist. My wrist has gotten even worse over the past few weeks. Instead of just being bent back, a few weeks ago I popped a bone in my forearm and now my wrist is cocked to the left as well. Tonight I will take pictures and post them, mainly I would like pictures of the way my wrist looks now because after surgery I will have a sizeable scar running down the back of my arm. Never again will my wrist look the way it does now, and I am going to miss that. I will not be able to post the first week of recovery as I won't be allowed to use my fingers at all. The plan is to stay in bed with Charlie and my LMN movies I have on the DVR - if Chris will be kind enough to put the DVR in the bedroom. If we can find the battery charger we'll upload pictures of everything next week after the first week of recovery.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I'm not sure why, but I think we too often deal with people who bring nothing positive to our lives because we feel some obligation to do so. I'm not sure why we feel that obligation. Perhaps it makes me a bitter person but I'm done with negativity. If you bring negativity to my life I will no longer have you in my life - regardless of why you are in my life in the first place. My life is too stressful as it is, I don't need additional stress. And I certainly don't need people I hardly know adding more stress or telling me how to get further in life :) I'm not the one living at my in-laws house unable to support myself. Low blow? Sure. Am I being negative myself right now? Yup. And this is why I'm cutting negative people out of my life. They don't make me a better person, they make my negative characteristics come out. I have enough loving and caring people in my life that I don't need the others around. So this will be the last post about negative people. From now on my outlook is cheery and the people I allow to share my memories with will partake in that cherriness or they will not partake at all.
Friday, June 18, 2010
It seems as though when one thing in your life is thrown out of balance everything else seems to follow. I've been meaning to compose my thoughts here, but I'm having a hard time thinking clearly with everything going on. I apologize if this post comes off as harried.
Surgery is set and approaching quickly. As the 23rd nears I'm becoming more and more nervous. This isn't a minor surgery, it's completely life altering. Every day that passes now is the last day of the week that I'll have the ability to bend my left wrist. With that said, surgery couldn't come soon enough. I've had to increase my pain killers by quite a few just to get through the day without being a total mess from pain.
I've been battling with the hospital I'm having my surgery at over my rights to breastfeed following surgery. They told me that I couldn't nurse for 24 hours following surgery. I know this is false, and old school thinking. New studies show that as soon as mom is awake and alert enough to nurse she can. I explained this to the Robin, the scheduler at my surgeons office and she told me I needed to be "realistic" and that "nursing isn't that important". She also told me that in 20 years of working she's never come "this close" to losing it on a patient before. Finally she contacted a liaison at the hospital I'm having the surgery at for me to discuss this with. Unfortunately, Sue is quite similar to Robin and I continued to get an ear full. I told Sue that I'd be more than happy to have my IBCLC, Debbie, contact her. She said that was fine, I'm assuming in an attempt to get me off the phone, and hung up. Debbie called her and Sue refused to speak with her because of HIPPA! So I called Sue back and this sparked a few more phone calls between us hashing this out. At one point she told me they'd cancel my surgery if I tried to nurse Charlie. I told her I wanted documented evidence that this was harmful to my son, and if it was for liability I would sign a waiver. I said I had no issues coming up there in person with the studies in hand, my IBCLC, and a representative from the LLL. Sue promised to get back to me. A week and half later I still hadn't heard from her and she wasn't returning my phone calls so Debbie finally got her on the phone and asked Sue to set up a meeting between us and the anesthesiologist. At first Sue said I wouldn't be able to speak to the anesthesiologist until the day of my surgery, but at Debbies urging she agreed to set up an appt. This morning I had my meeting with them. I pre-registered for the surgery, they showed me around, and then they brought in the anesthesiologist that is going to be there for my surgery. She was awesome, and assured me that I would be able to nurse as soon as I wanted to. There was no issues at all. I felt bad that Debbie accompanied me to the appt, but am very happy with the outcome. This was my first real adventure in Lactivism and certainly gave me a taste of what I'll do some day as an IBCLC.
So as all this approaches we also find out that David has a pretty severe hernia and is going in for surgery himself on the 9th. Charlie is still having breathing issues. And as a family we are dealing with some personal issues concerning one of our children that is taking an extreme emotional toll on us. I'm hoping that the Karmic universe gives us a break here soon.