A Big Hurt Health Update

Okay, I’m at least partially back.  I had my gall bladder removed on 2/27, and I’m finally ready to have my laptop on my lap again.  Having the weight on my legs isn’t the trouble, neither is carrying it up and down the stairs. The main problem is that weird movements cause pain and so do stretches and twists and turns. So, my concern was picking it up off of my lap to put it aside would tweak things in a way I didn’t want.

I’m getting ahead of myself a bit, though.

I don’t know why I didn’t think about using Big Hurt cards before

I don’t know how many of you have had the procedure, but the first day was especially rough.  If you think of my stomach as a clock, I had four incisions made at 12, 6 (right under the belly button), 8, and 10.  Surgical glue is still holding three of those together.  What they told me after I woke up is that they found a walnut sized gall stone in there (the ultrasound only found a bunch of smaller stones), and so they had to cut more than expected and tear a muscle (12 o’clock) to get it out.

When I woke up, I put myself at 7-8 on the 1-10 pain scale and they didn’t want me to go until I was at a 6.  That took a long time.  It also took a long time to eat the graham cracker they gave me so I could take my pain pill.  What they don’t tell you in advance is that the anesthesia and other stuff they give you during the surgery dries you out completely.  I couldn’t produce my own saliva for hours (even after I got back home).  So, eating a dry cracker was a long process as I needed sips of water before, during and after each bite.

Surgery wound back

My wife is incredible.  She did virtually everything for me those first few days.  Moving around was of course a struggle.  Taking the dog out wasn’t nearly as possible as the doctor made it seem in the pre-op consult.  But, since I work from home and didn’t have to lift anything over 20 pounds (can’t do that for another 2.5 weeks), I still went to work the next day.  Didn’t do much, but I went to work.  The biggest concern I had was when my pain mutated a bit to feel like burning/tearing when I moved in certain ways.  I called the office and they said that it’s actually pretty normal and it’s because the anesthesia had worked it’s way out of my system.

I’ll save you a lot of the details, but even sitting back down on the couch took effort for a few days and burned quite a bit.  Ice packs were my friends. The pain pills didn’t seem to do as much as I thought they were supposed to.  But no matter what else I did, the most painful thing to do was cough.  Luckily, it happened only a couple times, but expanding that stomach so quickly is not a good thing.

There needs to me more nickname inserts

The good news is that the pain has been going down every day. I started walking the dog on my own the Monday after surgery since my wife was back to work and that became the most painful thing to do (next to coughing).  My boy doesn’t like to listen once he gets out there and pulls at every smell, so wrangling in that 50 pound fluff ball is still a challenge.  I can’t have him on my lap yet, because he likes to slam his body on top of your stomach to lay down.  I can’t play tug with him either, so I know he’s getting a little annoyed.  My wife is trying to pick up the slack as much as possible, though.

Only 6 more letters and 2.5 weeks to go

With all that said, I’m progressing well but still have a ways to go. After a week and a half, I can spend most of my days without pain. I have my 2-week post-op visit coming up in a couple days.  Whether or not the surgery actually solved my overall problems is tough to say.  I’m told I can try eating whatever I want now, but I’m still waiting until there’s no pain before I try to expand my diet.  I wasn’t having the typical gall bladder symptoms, and so in my mind that means there’s a chance it was caused by something else.  I can’t risk having an attack that tightens up my stomach in its current condition.  Besides, I’ve waited this long to eat normally again so I can wait a little longer.  And, on the card front,  I can’t really work on much card stuff because of the lifting limitations.  I also hear there’s a card show next week that I can’t go to, because I imagine standing and bending over boxes for hours would not end well. I’m feeling the itch, though. I might have to use some of my Sportlots credit.

4 comments to A Big Hurt Health Update

  • I hope the surgery makes you feel better. That sounds like quite the ordeal! Best wishes on a super speedy recovery – I have to say I’m impressed at how fast you got to where you could even walk your dog.

  • glad to hear the surgery was a success. I know someone who had it in the 1980s, they did it a lot differently back then…be glad they got it to where you are now. That person always has to run to the restroom right after eating anything now that they did not before, so you might want to keep an eye on that situation. Hope you feel fully better soon!

  • Hope you find joy in every moment of progress! Also, posts like this are cool because you can look back on it in 3 years and think, “I’m so glad I’m not doing THAT anymore.”

  • Jon

    Thank you all! Each day is even better, which is great.
    Billy, if you happen to see this, I just had my 2-week post-op with my doctor and based on what he said, there could be something else going on with your friend as well. I was told my liver would take over within 2 months to make me more regular, but if I keep having problems then it’s unrelated to the gall bladder. But, overall I’m very happy it’s happening now instead of then. It’s amazing the advances in technology.

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