Not quite wonder woman

Surgery #2: The weird, the personal, and the ugly.

There are so many things the to remember when big life events happen. Go ahead and put surgery into that category. If you think the bills that roll in from each vendor at a wedding are going to be the biggest project of your life, or the mounds of paper work with little arrows that say ‘initial here’ ‘sign here’ ‘date here’  when you go to close on your first house will be the pinnacle of paperwork, think again because truth is surgery paperwork is daunting as any you will ever experience.

So here’s a little list of things you will want on hand, go ahead and put them in a file folder or a manilla envelope.

Income. Your income. Your weekly or monthly check stubs. Your w-2s joint or not.

Your monthly bills. All of them. From the minutia of your auto deducted netflix to the mortgage that you previously thought was the most paper work you had ever seen.

Your current insurance card.

Your legal identification card- passport, driver’s licenses etc.

The servitude papers for your firstborn. (That was a joke.)

The sick leave policy and paperwork from you job.

A list of all your medicines, vitamins, and supplements.

Consent and legal forms.

Living will and health care proxies.

Durable power of attorney.

This is not a comprehensive list but it will get you started.

 

So I promised personal weird and ugly but I seriously like to throw in some real life practical advice first. I don’t know why, that kinda goes against the mantra, ‘If it bleeds it leads…’ 

So my original 20-30 years old stomach just looked pretty much like any old other run of the mill tummy that had pushed out three kids. In fact besides a few few pounds up and down it wasn’t until the 40’s that things became a mess. I have been asked on more than one occasion or more than 17 occasions when I was due. Can I just ask that we stop that. Pregnant women usually want to share there their joy. Let them. You do not have to instigate the conversation.

Clothes were not fitting me properly. I was having to jump up 2-4 (or maybe 6-8) sizes to accommodate my belly and the the shoulders and armholes and boob room were way too big. My tummy was lopsided, girdles helped but not always and sometimes the comfort level wasn’t worth the effort.

So if I saw me on the street and didn’t know about the hernia, and was gonna throw some big ol marinating judgement shade, I would seriously think that poor girl (me) needed, liposuction, gastric bypass and months of eating therapy and maybe a trip to the Biggest Top Loser. Happily I am not a super shade throwing judgemental bitch for the the most part, especially if i I don’t know you. But you get the idea, I might’ve just felt a little sorry for me.

So you’ve seen some before surgery, full blown hernia photos, now I have a few from the first 7 days or so, I’ll try to explain what is going on and what gross fluid filled tubes are for. Some people have had their share of the operating experience but if you are new to health problems then sometimes you get lost in the shuffle.

 

These drainage tubes disappeared under my skin near my pubic bone. They seem to be held in place by some sort of clear tape that I was asked if I was allergic to. I guess I wasn’t because nothing happened. I call them thing one and thing two. I have to empty each of them into a measuring cup several times a day.

 

 

I just lay these things in the sink while I empty them and such. I have found that a nice stretchy pair of yoga pants with pockets are helpful for having a place to put theses bulbs while where are attached to your body.

 

Now a little more information about thing one and thing two is that thing one one was putting out about twice as much fluid as thing two. So when I went the my first follow up appointment (Wednesday February 22 to Thursday March 2, 8 days later) the nice people took away thing 2. The removal must hurt some people because it seemed to be a big worry but I didn’t feel a thing.

One thing I was NOT looking forward were stitches or staples or a line slicing open my body from sternum to pubic bone for the the third time.

The surgery plot read that both surgeons would go in laparoscopically and work around the old scar tissue and so forth. I never even thought this was a remote possibility but they they may have to start with the less evasive plans ans go from there.

But we don’t always get what we want. This photo over there looks all nice and straight but here’s one that doesn’t.

Also today was the absolute worst I have felt since surgery morning. I Googled it and 48 hours seems to be bad, 3 days post op and 7 days. My worst day so far has been 8 days, so I guess it depends on the person.

Plastic surgeons are concerned with the aesthetics of the results of the operations. Insurance is not. So there is a fine line in what your plastic surgeon (should you be so fortunate to get one) can worry about when it comes to looks and what he needs to do to make you a healthy functioning human. This photo is one of the few day immediately after surgery. I’m not sure how much that lower skins will continue to hang (most say with weight lose and proper exercise to give it a good under structure, that it has a good chance of looking pretty good.The hernia bulge is all but gone which is exciting.

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2 thoughts on “Surgery #2: The weird, the personal, and the ugly.

  1. Dawn @ The Momma Knows

    Oh how awful! I had staples when I had my hysterectomy and they were the worst source of pain. Once the staples were gone, I was able to just take Tylenol but with them, I was on a pain pump and then some pretty heavy narcs. Do you still have the second JP drain? I work on a medical unit in a hospital so I deal with these all the time. No fun. I hope you’ll heal quickly and start feeling better soon!!

    1. April Post author

      Thanks! I still have staples and drain at ‘day 16’. Hopefully those will be gone Tuesday. Actually feel some energy and such finally returning. I actually had a bad staple experience from a colostomy reversal- but these have been a delight in comparison!

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