For those of you who haven't seen my barrage of Facebook posts and Tweets, I'm finally home after a grueling last few days! Here's how it went down (I'll leave out the gory details):
I had surgery on Friday morning (the 14th). I checked in at 6 am, but I don't think my actual surgery started until about 10 am. I was scheduled to be in for 4 1/2 hours, but everything went so smoothly they were done in 2 1/2! That was such a huge praise, because even though I still had to deal with a lot of issues afterwards, I would've had to deal with even more issues the longer I was under anesthesia.
I started eating solid foods that evening (which was CRAZY), and even though a couple of my organs (my bladder, in particular) had some trouble waking up, I did really well for the most part while I was still at Mayo. They released me on the 16th because I was doing so well, but unfortunately things started going downhill from there.
We're not really sure what did it - it may have been the "trauma" from an hour and a half drive home, it may have been that I was released too early, it may have been that I ate solid foods too early... we're not really sure. When I got home I almost immediately started feeling nauseated, but I hoped it would go away. Unfortunately we weren't given any nausea medication, so there wasn't a whole lot we could do to stop it. Late Sunday night my nausea became so extreme that I started vomiting and had to be rushed to the ER. Let me tell you... For someone who has never had an experience in the ER like that before... It was scary. They pumped me full of meds and did X-Rays and CT-Scans right away.
They found out that what was left of my colon hadn't really woken up yet, so when I was eating food it wasn't going anywhere (thus it came back up). They were very strict about not letting me have anything to eat or drink on Monday, but on Tuesday morning they bumped me to clear liquids, then full liquids, and then on Wednesday morning they let me have solid food. Since I was able to keep everything down, they finally released me Wednesday afternoon! Since then, I've been doing really well.
Right now I'm actually not on any pain medications - my doctor at our local hospital told me that narcotics slow the system down which means I could end up having another episode like I had on Sunday night. As soon as he said that I decided it would be nothing but Tylenol for me! I haven't needed anything at all yet though, which is a huge praise. The main thing that gets to me now is the anxiety and the exhaustion.
All that being said, here are some things I could use some prayer for:
1. Anxiety - Ever since the surgery (and especially after Sunday night), I've had a lot of trouble sleeping due to anxiety. When I was at the hospital they gave me medications to help me sleep, but now that I'm home I really want to take as few meds as possible. I only slept about 2 hours last night and even though I know sleep will come eventually, I've never had to deal with anxiety like this before and it's really frustrating. Even when I feel calm my heart feels like it's racing, and I'm really wanting that to go away so I can relax and be able to sleep.
2. Strength - Getting home yesterday and showering for the first time in 6 days was extremely exhausting for me. Today I just feel dead on my feet. I'm in a good mood, but my muscles are so tired and don't really want to move. I know that this is all part of the process, but it's definitely frustrating especially when I'm dealing with not sleeping and my muscles not wanting to move.
3. Patience - Part of the reason I'm not taking medications is because I know I will get better faster the less time I lean on those things in order to feel better. I know there are many things I cannot do for a long time (ex: I'm not allowed to lift more than 5-10 pounds for at least 6 weeks), but I want to feel more able to do normal things like... walk. Haha :) So far I really do feel pretty good, but I still get very tired very quickly (I know I'm only 6 days out from surgery and I'm doing really well, but it's still frustrating).
4. Moving - Now that my surgery is out of the way, it's time for Eric and I to really focus on moving. I know I really won't be able to help with the actual process very much, but please pray for volunteers (or please volunteer if you can) to help us pack and clean when we need to do those things. Please also pray that Eric is hired out in CO soon so we don't have to worry about that anymore. I know he will be hired somewhere, but the waiting period is definitely stressful.
Thank you all SO much for your prayers, encouragement, and incredible support on this journey! We so appreciate it, and I feel so overwhelmed by all the flowers, cards, texts, messages, etc. that I've received. Eric and I are so blessed to know you all!
PS - We received the pathology report from my surgery yesterday and there was NO sign of cancer in my colon, which is a huge praise!
Please also let me know if you have any questions or want further explanations on anything - even though I'm not on meds I'm so tired that I'm sure I've left some things out. Thanks, friends! <3