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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Surgery #2 of 2014

March 2014 surgery incision
For those of you that don't know, I had my second pretty major surgery of the year. In March, I had a bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue from two prior surgeries (1984 & 2005). It required emergent surgery. I had a short 5 day stay post-op and a 6 week recovery. It was much more painful than I remember from 2005. I had to dress a 2 inch portion of my incision that had been left open for draining purposes. Overall, it was a lot harder than I remember and a whole lot more painful (did I mention it was very painful). The surgery in 2005 was the exact same scenario, bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue, only it wasn't emergent. I don't have any pics from that surgery.

Fast forward to a couple months ago and I noticed a bulge in the center of my stomach near my belly button. I knew instantly it was a hernia. I could just tell. On the plus side, it didn't hurt. I had no feeling left in that area of my stomach from all the surgeries. After a couple weeks, it kept growing, sticking out more and more. I called and had an appointment to have it looked at. Fast forward 6 weeks, a CT scan and two more doctor visits and I had a surgery scheduled to fix it. I had my appointment with the hernia doc on a Wednesday afternoon. The only opening they had was for that Friday (two days from then). I'd have to wait another month or so before having it fixed if I waited. I scurried to make all the arrangements with work, etc. and went in Friday, August 1st to have it fixed.

I'm just over 2 weeks out from surgery. This time has been much, much better! So much less painful than in March. So far the toughest part has been not being able to hold my two precious boys. It's a 6 week recovery again and I can't lift anything over 10 pounds. They didn't leave any part of the incision open this time, thankfully. However, I do have a drain in place. It honestly hasn't been that big of a deal. I expected it to be much worse. I have to empty it once a day and that's about it. The past few days it has been causing me a lot of pain. I think mostly because my body is trying to heal itself, but can't because there's a suture and large tube in the way. It's very red and irritated. It keeps forming scabs that get torn off (which is causing most of the pain) from the dressings and from moving around. The skin around the drain is extremely tender. My incision on the other hand is doing great! It looks awesome so far! The surgeon did an excellent job of putting me back together. He used a biologic mesh to hold my guts in and reinforce the area. The scar will look phenomenal compared to the two I had prior. It looks like someone drew a line down my stomach with an ink pen. It's put together so well and I think it'll leave a very nice, neat looking scar. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it's much better than the one in March I promise.

Thankfully, my lungs have remained healthy through all of this. I give all the credit to God! I've stayed faithful to my treatments and kept myself busy, up and moving around to help keep my lungs healthy. I haven't had PFT's post-op yet, but I know they'll be much better than the last go around. My FEV1 dropped to 47% after the surgery in March, which was pretty scary. Even though I knew it was because I was still in a lot of pain and couldn't give a maximal effort, seeing that 47% was scary. I know I'm doing much better than 47% this time and for that I'm extremely grateful.

I get the drain and all 29 staples and 7 sutures out this coming Wednesday! I couldn't be more excited! I'm anxious to get on with my recovery. I feel like I never fully recovered from the surgery in March. I got the hernia so soon, I never got to get back into running and working out. I'm extremely motivated! I've been down and out for almost 7 months when it's all said and done. I'm ready to get back at it! I should be back to tip top fighting shape after this surgery and am looking forward to getting myself back into the best shape of my life!

I'll keep you all posted on how things continue to progress! Thanks for reading!!

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know about any of this. I'm praying you heal quickly and believing God for total healing as always. I love you...Aunt Debbie