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Saturday, March 22, 2014

All Backed Up

I've had another lengthy absence from the blog. This time is was brought on by some backed up bowels. :)

Aaahhh what is this thing?!
A week ago Tuesday I was at work. I ate lunch and shortly after started experiencing some very intense abdominal cramps. I thought maybe I ate something bad. After all... I do work at a hospital and eat hospital food for lunch. :) That evening the pain was still so intense I couldn't eat dinner. I was awakened around 2am and lost everything I'd eaten for what felt like a week! I fell back asleep and woke in the morning with just as much pain. It felt very similar to the pain I experienced in 2005 when I had a bowel obstruction that required surgery. I waited hoping it would subside. It didn't and so off to the ER I went. After a 5 hour wait I got a room in the ER. They started an IV and fluids after 1 failed attempt and blown vein (unusual because I have great veins). I had to swallow an NG tube (it actually went very smoothly). They sent blood work, took an X-Ray and sent me for a CT. Then I waited to hear from the docs.

A surgeon came in maybe 45 min later. By this time it was 2am. I work with him on an almost daily basis. It was nice to see a familiar face. He told me the CT looked bad. I definitely had a bowel obstruction and it looked like part of my bowel was not receiving blood flow (it could be dead and would need to be cut out). I needed emergent surgery. If the bowel was in fact "dead" it could lead to a spread of infection throughout my body and cause major problems. I signed all the paperwork, sent a text to my parents and poor wifey and off I went to pre-op holding. My case actually got bumped by an emergency. I was actually nice. I was able to spend some time praying for the surgeons, anyone that would be working on me, for God's will, and praying just in general. I was also able to get in a 1-2 hour nap. By then they were giving me pain meds so I was much more comfortable. My pre-op nurse was a lady I worked with for years on night shift and hadn't seen in a long time. It was nice to catch up with her. She's a sweetheart and took great care of me! I doubt she'll ever read this, but if she does, thank you Denise!
Post NG tube being pulled

I got out of surgery and everything went great. The obstruction was caused from scar tissue (adhesions) from my surgery in 2005. It had grown and wrapped it's way around my bowels, eventually pinching them closed. They didn't have to remove any bowel and were able to clear most of the obstruction easily. I had to keep the NG tube for several more days. They gave me Golytely and Mucomyst through the NG, and suppositories to make my bowels start working and to clear out the remainder of the hard stool. After having exactly 5 bowel movements, they finally agreed to remove the NG tube and start me on clears. My first meal was chicken broth, blue jello and apple juice! Later that day they let me have real food... a turkey sandwich and bag of Baked Lays with some Sierra Mist! I went home the following day! I went in on Wednesday afternoon and left Tuesday afternoon. Just shy of a week. In that short amount of time I dropped 15 pounds. It's amazing the amount of energy, weight and strength 6 days following a pretty major surgery can take out of you.

I left with some pretty awesome battle wounds! They tore my arms up, lol! I have great veins and have never had any problems with blood draws or IV's. I've had hundreds of sticks and IV's started all with no problems. This time I had 5 IV's, 4 of which blew. I had several sticks, and each time was left with a giant hematoma and bruise. My eyes and cheeks are sunk in from the weight loss, and I look beat up! My incision is massive (It starts about 4 finger widths below where my sternum ends and stops an inch or two above my male parts)! Overall this surgery went much better than the one I had in 2005 where I was hospitalized for almost 3 weeks. All except the massive scar, but I do believe it will look better than the other one when it heals.

Now starts the recovery process. Gaining strength day by day. The incision is still very tight so it's hard to stand up straight and keep good posture. This makes it hard on my back from hunching over so much. Little tasks get me breathing heavy and take a lot out of me. I can't be on my feet more than 30 minutes and I'm completely whooped and have to sit for another 30 or more to recoup. The hardest part of recovery is not being able to pick up my boys. It's torture. No lifting anything over 10 pounds for 6 weeks. That and the coughing is killer with such a huge incision. No amount of splinting makes it any easier. It's flat out tough. Every day get s a little bit better though. I'm able to be on my feet moving around more each day. Some days are more painful than others. On those days, my posture usually suffers.

It's great to be home! It's great to be around my wife and boys!

It has been a whirlwind of a week. I went from feeling on top of the world going to bed Monday night after a great workout, to having a major surgery and barely being able to get around. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't bummed about all of this. It's going to be a long road to get back to where I was. I was on week 5 of CFit. I was gaining weight, getting A LOT stronger and feeling AMAZING!!! I felt the best I had in a long time and looked the best I had in a while. My shirts were fitting tight, and I was gaining a little bit of confidence, lol! It's hard to look in the mirror and see my now bony shoulders, sunk in eyes and cheeks and hunched over stance. It's not gonna be easy, but I'm determined. It's hard not to be when you have a gorgeous wife and two amazing sons to live for!!! I'm gonna end here before I cry on my keyboard. :)

Jeremiah 29:11
Romans 8:28


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