Well, hello! As you may realize, it has been MORE than a little while since I last posted anything. I do realize though that when you haven’t heard anything from me, you’re probably thinking the worst; so let me just put you at ease and say that I am fine 🙂 I am as healthy as I should be! It’s just that the past few weeks have still managed to be hectic and then when I tried to log back on to post something, the blog wouldn’t let me. But we finally have it fixed, I am writing again, and I cannot wait to get you up to speed! Let me begin where we last left off and then we can go from there.
So… surgery! I assume some of you have been given updates through other methods of communication but for those of you that havent, surgery and recovery went very well! I went in to the procedure feeling really at peace and ready to just get it over with so I could move on. And that’s exactly what we did. As we had anticipated, the surgery could not be done laparoscopically so they cut me right up the middle as well as using some other sites for reference points. They were right, there was a lot of scar tissue from colon removal so that made ovary removal a little more complicated than your average case. Still, the ovary removal itself went really well!
The surgery had another component to it though that turned out to be a major blessing! Before surgery, as we were talking to the doctor about my history, we mentioned the drains that have been inside my rectal stump since about June last year. He seemed surprised that they were still there so we got my colon surgeon in on the ovary removal as well. He went in and took out the drains and sewed the rectal stump together once and for all, and praise God, it has stayed! The cool part though was that while they were getting to the rectal stump, they found the source of why I’d been having a few minor pains in my left side. It seems that my small bowel had begun to adhere to those drains and if we hadn’t gone in there, they may have even perforated. I won’t go into what all perforated bowels mean but that would have been terrbile! So thank you, Lord, for making known a future problem that we didn’t even know was a possibility.
Last thing I told you, I was headed home to recover and thats exactly what I did. Bryan and I got back to Lexington late Friday night and then got to spend the day Saturday with friends. It was so great to get to visit, especially with those I haven’t seen in forever, and I was feeling pretty good all day. I was still sore and wasn’t eating a ton but compared to post colon removal, this was a piece of cake. About 5:00 that evening, I had a small snack and made sure it was within my dietary restrictions. I had been passing all of my food without a problem so far but then, a few hours after I ate, I realized I hadn’t passed any of it yet.
At that point, I also started to feel a little nauseous and chilled like I had a fever. I took my temperature and it was 102… after surgery, if your temp gets to 100.2 or above then you have to go in to the ER. So… I talked to a doc up at Mayo and we decided to see if I could sleep it off and if I wasnt better by morning then I’d go in. I went to sleep and woke up in the middle of the night with tremendous pains in my stomach, so much so that I couldn’t breath. I tried to throw up and eventually did and then Bryan and I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. So off to Louisville we went.
I won’t go into all the details of the next day but I ended up staying in the ER most of the day, went to my parents to shower and clean up, then back to the hospital to spend the night being monitored until we could get a flight out… to Mayo. That’s right, I was home for 24 hours before it was back to the doctor.
My mental state at this point was all right. I wasn’t too upset because somewhere inside me always prepares for the worst since it seems to happen a lot. I don’t want to think that way but a small part of me still always runs through “what will I do if it does happen?” And because of what I was feeling in my body, I wasn’t sure but I knew there was a chance that the worst was happening. In one of the scans they did they saw some possible infection and that could lead to an abscess like what happened after colon removal. So our thought was, “Get me back up to Mayo where they can handle it all the right way and right away.” So Monday morning, we flew out to Mayo.
When I got there I was admitted to the hospital immediately but couldn’t see a doctor till rounds Tuesday morning. Mind you, I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since my snack Saturday that started all this so I was definitely getting crabbier by the second. Then when the doctors came in and said, “Why are you here?”, that certainly didn’t help my mood either. Eventually we found out that basically what happened was that a small portion of my bowel stopped working for a while. And though we knew that that is very common after abdominal surgery, we still had to be sure. As you probably know, bowels are very temperamental (affected by stress, sleep, food…) but if you disturb or touch them at all during surgery, there’s a good chance they’ll just stop working or even work backwards and forwards. Not pleasant, I can tell you! Still, it wasn’t a huge deal and I should’ve been glad when they said nothing was wrong. Instead, I was just so upset that nothing had gone smoothly, that I had to fly back to Mayo for nothing, and now I’m sore from flying and being in this bed… and then we found out we couldn’t fly home till the end of the week because the South is getting iced on?! Of course, right when I need to get home, Alabama and Louisiana and Georgia decide they need ice. Why would I expect that it would go well?
Sound rotten? It was! The devil attacked me so hard and I listened until I got so down about everything when there was nothing wrong in the first place. Surgery actually did go perfectly, we only thought and prepared for the worst. (Side note: Sometimes that will get you into as much trouble as anything. You may call it simply preparing but either way, your mind is not acting in a way that is based on faith and trust in God. And if your mind is already there in the worst case scenario, soon to follow are your emotions, then your words, and then your actions… that is why God tells us to trust Him. NOT trust Him and have a back up plan, too!) Anyway, once one thing messed up I was so prepared for the worst happening that I forgot how good it actually went. I forgot that I was SO blessed to even have the ability to fly back to Mayo at all to get peace of mind. I was blessed to have had Bryan and my parents to be able to go with me. And I was even blessed when the ice storm hit because I got to spend a few extra days with my husband and my parents who did their best to make sure I was having as much fun as possible. THAT was the reality of the situation but all I could see was what had gone wrong. And I know all that I have been through people can say, “Well you’ve just been through so much. No one would blame you for thinking like that.” And they’re right, I have been through a lot; but the difficulty of your circumstances doesn’t change God’s expectations for you to trust Him with your whole heart. If anything, the harder the hit, the more you should trust God. And when I didn’t, the devil seized that opportunity real quick.
For quite some time that was all I could see. Once we got home again I just didn’t feel like myself. I didn’t want to talk to God, I didn’t want to pray, I didn’t want to read, or cook, or do anything that I usually find comfort in. I had been doing so well before surgery and then to have to put life on hold again just hit me all at once. Plus, your emotions get a bit out of whack after ovary removal on top of the emotions that go with the surgery itself. Let me tell ya, I found a new sympathy for females who deal with emotions running wild. I have never been an emotional person and I have often scoffed at those who let their emotions dictate their mind but man, when they are out of whack everything seems out of whack. And that’s no excuse, God is still bigger than your emotions, but they certainly don’t make things any easier when they are going against what God is telling you.
So where am I today? I am fully recovered! My six weeks passed just 2 weeks ago and I am now able to do whatever I want with no restrictions. I have also been able to rein in my emotions with the help of God and the many encouraging words from Bryan and others, and I truly feel like myself again. I am writing! That’s right, for a while I didn’t even want to talk to you all… Sorry, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it! Even though I know all you all do is pray for me, I just needed a break from being so in touch with health related things. But as the weeks have gone by, I realized how much I missed it and how much I missed hearing from you so, praise God, I am back, feeling great, and loving writing again. I promise the next update won’t be a month away! And no, that is not an April Fool’s! 🙂