54. When you're own words come back to haunt you ...or, tales of a kidney surgery
I woke up from surgery screaming. Not the blood curdling scream you hear in horror movies, but more of the yelp you expel when you stub your toe.
But this was a lot worse than an ill-placed step into something sharp.
Usually I just try to concentrate and breathe through it, but there were a bunch of sharp stabbing sensations all through my core, which was blown up like a balloon so they could do what they needed to do.
I could see my husband standing next to me and the incredibly kind nurse came in, injected something magical starting with a “D” into my IV and all felt lovely and peaceful.
I had just come up from my radical nephrectomy (in plain speak, my kidney surgery), and I was alert, in slight discomfort, and wondering how it had gone. What seemed like moments later one of the doctor came in to tell me that they had managed to reconstruct my kidney and had done so with no “leaks”. With exception of the 2.7 cm tumor they had removed, I had a functioning kidney.
As per my last surgeries, I would be staying overnight, and laughably the metric for my release would be based on my being able to walk to and use the restroom on my own. It’s strange how “success” in surgeries is all dependent upon bowel movements and urinary tract function. If you can walk, poop, and pee by yourself, chances are you will have a fast release. The afternoon into the evening was television watching and semi restless sleep, which was somewhat dependent up the amount of pain that existed. On account of the “Da Vinci “ surgical robot I had 6 small incisions throughout my trunk and an abdominal cavity full of CO2, making me feel like I was doing an impression of Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, without the pretty purple.
I will say I now have new appreciation for individuals who suffer from IBS and other gastro-intestinal issues. Gas is no-joke and trapped behind a wall of new incisions only makes it’s inconvenience worse. The best way to get rid of it is to have it absorbed into the system by getting more Oxygen into the system, aka : Get Moving. So as soon as my catheter was removed, I took a spin around the recovery floor. it was slow to be certain, but as BLUE CROSS has called the night before while I was in recovery, it seemed that the sooner I was able to get out the better over all when having to deal with any insurance snafu. (When I went in for my double mastectomy, they had kindly informed me that I would be there overnight , but any time after wouldn’t be covered by my insurance…Yeah I got GREAT coverage, but still, this is the situation of Health Care in the US).
Post my early morning walk at about 7 am, the surgical team came to see how I was doing. As it turned out, the tumor was small but incredibly complicated (Are we really surprised at this point?), they had managed to reconstruct the kidney with 80% function and apparently I rated an A+ for urine creation so I was free to go.
Once all the paperwork was finished, about 2 hours later, I was finally wheeled down to the car. I thought about walking but it was a long way, and with every move I could feel my incisions squawking. I always tell my fitness peeps “you use your core for EVERYTHING”.
These words were back to haunt me with every step.
But no matter how much they burn, each of those steps gets me a little closer to the light at the end of this tunnel where i will eventually get to hear two magical words: