I’ve been talking about how certain things concern me, or how one thing related to another may be an issue, but I haven’t been looking at the big picture.
I tend to break things up when it comes to myself, because SO MUCH has been going on, lately, that it’s easier that way.
As G.C. said to me on the phone earlier this evening (approximately), “Well, it’s just like, ‘we’ll be buying our milk by the quart, since I can’t lift a gallon,’ you know?” And yeah, that’s true. Logically, it’s true. It’s pragmatic, and it’s a solution to the problem that’s specifically mentioned…
…but there is so much more to this than that, and the full weight of it hit me after I talked to my friend (charge nurse in a telemetry ward – talk about f’ed up cases, she’s seen them all), and asked her to verify what the surgeon told me.
She concurred on every point except the “it’ll take as long as it takes” part – she sort of implicitly agreed with me that that was kind of dumb to not give at least a lower limit…and the surgery CAN’T take 12 hours, unless there’s somehow some sort of malignant tumor that’s being held prisoner by the scar tissue, and they have to call in an oncologist or some shit. I mean, what are the chances? Not very high. So I’m guessing 6 hours with this new information. The length of the hospital stay, however…dude, I got nothin’ on that one. I was told two days by one person, and up to a week by another. It all depends on how bad something is that they can’t even freakin’ see.
I keep having people tell me it’ll be okay, but I can depend on this friend to be honest. She has no reason NOT to be, and that’s part of the reason why I love her so much. She’s ridiculously smart, is tactful, and very kind – but she’s honest. She doesn’t sugar-coat things to make me feel better – she tells me what I need to hear, rather than what she thinks I want to hear. I needed confirmation of all of the things I’d been told and have read (I don’t read “scare” articles – I read research papers and studies on reputable sites, because I want practical knowledge, not platitudes and euphemisms).
It’s also through conversation with her that I realized that they’re doing a biopsy while I’m on the table (like, I knew that, but it didn’t sink in, you know?), which will not only lengthen surgery time, but also cost, both of anesthesia and pathology (pathology being the jerks who always submit their claims first…at least my deductible has been met, so I don’t have to worry about surprise bills for $400 out of nowhere, this time), raising total costs by around $500.
We’ve surpassed our goal, yes. And I’m so glad you guys are helping me, financially and emotionally (gifts, messages, phone calls, etc.), and especially the things Erin and Jennifer have been doing (particularly with the unintended photo drama – that was stress-related, and Erin admitted to me that me yelling at her is what changed her mind, because “that’s how you convince a stubborn person to change their mind”)…I mean…it really means a lot to me. I’ve gotten gifts from people I don’t know, JUST BECAUSE, and that truly makes me happy.
I can’t shake the nerves, though. And this morning, at around 7am (I’d slept for like, 2 hours…that’s just what’s happening, these days, with all the stress…I either can’t get to sleep, or I fall asleep and stay that way for 12-15 hours and am absolutely dead to the world), the gravity of what’s going to be done to me, and what I’ll be going through with recovery, hit me like a ton of bricks, woke me up, and I have been sitting here watching Netflix and trying to forget that things exist.
Y’all have to understand…I know there are worse things. Intellectually, as I’ve said many times before, I’m well aware of what’s going to happen, the percentages and chances, and the recovery process. Intellectually, I’m so ready I wish they’d just hurry up and do it, already.
Emotionally…I’m so scared I just want to sleep until the next 4 months have passed, and I’m at the point where I can start resuming semi-normal activities again.
They’re likely going to have to cut from just under my diaphragm to my pubic bone, since there are two surgeons working at essentially the same time (they need room). Straight down the center of my abdomen, splitting the tissue between my abdominal muscles (which takes a ridiculously long time to heal, hence the 3-month minimum recovery time to prevent herniation). I’m going to be technically disabled for those three months, and partially disabled for probably another 3 months as I get back to either the point I am, now, or maybe better – and that’s a good thing to hope for, because this problem is affecting me in ways I didn’t realize until I actually thought about it as a whole, rather than many parts.
Also, it’s very likely I will have to stop Lyme treatment while recovering (sometimes antibiotics hinder the healing process by not allowing your body to do what it’s supposed to do…instead, taking over parts of your immune system or something like that), which is going to set me back 3 months…and considering that some protocols are only 6 months, and mine was originally projected to be 18, means I’m looking at another 6 months tacked onto my treatment time. I’m just thinking of how awful it was starting on antibiotics…and I have to do that again. I mean, wah, I know, blahblahblah, whinge, etc., but this stuff adds up.
I mean, I’m going to get great parking (temporary disability tag FTW?) for when I go to my follow-ups. And hopefully, 6 months from now, I’ll be much better.
The thought of laying on a table with my insides hanging out while they biopsy something that’s been hiding in scar tissue for god knows how long, while they stitch up my bowel at the weakened points where either the nodule or the scar tissue has done damage, stitch up where my uterus used to be connected, all while potentially causing more adhesion points to occur later…it scares the ever-loving crap out of me. There’s a good chance I won’t have to have a colostomy unless something goes HORRIBLY wrong, which is a small comfort, at least.
[ETA: I just had a horrifying thought that the nodule is infection of some sort, or even a pocket of Lyme or something. I have never actually felt like I NEEDED a drink until now.]
The house is a mess (my room, in particular, because I can’t really do anything with it…I get less than halfway through folding and hanging up laundry, and I feel like I’m going to pass out), I’m afraid of getting an infection from said mess (seems silly, but you really never know), I can’t sleep on my back because my boobs weigh too much (I’ve been advised to get a really firm pillow and sleep on my stomach that way after about a week post-op, from someone who had a C-section go horribly wrong, so I trust her on that – and I’ll have a compression garment, so that will help a bit), there are going to be like, wars between my GP and my surgeons regarding painkillers (you can only legally get them from one doctor at a time, but I have to call and notify my GP when the surgeon prescribes me anything, else I be implicated for “doc shopping” or something, which okay, makes sense, but ABDOMINAL SURGERY, and after that my GP’s office won’t be doing any pain management for me), I hate not having an income or something I can do to help ANY of this because I’m already sick and exhausted, and…yeah, just scared.
I just want it to be over. I want it to be December or January. I want to just have the stories to tell people without remembering the actual experience.
Hopefully I’ll panic-exhaust myself into sleep, soon.
I’m sorry, I just had to get that out.