In the Beginning Part 2


     So I coped with it the best that  I could.  I had one incision going from above my belly button to my pubic bone, and another that went from hip to hip.  Then there was the colostomy site…aka, the stoma.  I had home health care coming every day and a husband that would change my colostomy bag when I couldn’t deal with it.  I  got on the computer and got on some message boards and “met” other people dealing with a colostomy and it was then that I knew I could handle it, and yes even laugh about it. 

     The surgeon explained to me what happened and said I could have my reversal done in January.  I said let me avoid further out of pocket costs and a new deductible and do it in December.  It meant being in the hospital over Christmas, but as long as I was getting rid of the bag, who cares?  The surgeon agreed and my surgery was scheduled.  Wouldn’t ya know, three days before my surgery is scheduled I come down with shingles in my optic nerve and the anesthesiologist says now it has to wait until January.  The ER does admit me to the floor for pain control with a PCA.  The nurses were wonderful and took very good care of me.  I go home after a couple days and wait out my time for the reversal surgery.

     My husband comes with me for this one, no way is he going to work after what happened the last time.  I go in and what was supposed to take three hours took over 9 due to all the adhesions that had formed.  My doc comes by to tell me he had to remove a tumor from on top my bladder and when the labs come in we’ll know what it is.  I was pretty nauseous from the anesthesia and he ordered some phenergan for me.  I was in ICU for my first few days. I don’t recall if I was getting morphine or demerol for pain, but what I do recall is a nurse coming in to tell me that she doesn’t like giving my pain meds with phenergan as it “relaxed” me too much.  I’m sorry, I just had nine grueling hours of abdominal surgery…God forbid I should relax, would you prefer I just get up and start retiling the floor?  As it was, waiting every four hours for a pain shot was pretty difficult the first couple of days.  It never occurred to me to ask for more or to tell my doc that I was white knuckling the last hour.  After 12 days I went home.

     Yes, it was January and yes it was cold outside but I was constantly burning up and was pretty moody at home.  Went to my post op check within a week and found some stuff out, for example that tumor, that turned out to be my last ovary.  What do you know?  Hot flashes and moodiness explained, and my husband would not let me leave without a shot of estrogen and a prescription.

     I did okay for the first couple of weeks, everything seemed to be healing well until the morning I woke up to go to the bathroom, feeling very sore, I looked down and saw that my entire abdomen was covered in bright red and there was a huge abscess along the incision line, so off to the ER I went.  I was diagnosed with cellulitis and promptly admitted.  I was put on levequin and pain meds.  I do remember one nurse getting a vial of morphine for my PCA and when she opened up the box, the vial was empty.   How weird.  This was a cycle that would repeat itself more than 10 times in the ensuing weeks and months.   The cellulitis was repeating itself, not the empty morphine vial.

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