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Thursday, December 14, 2017

try not to bend

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I am so hungry. I run into all the horrible things people write on the webs about recovering after gallbladder removal and it's just easier not to eat much. I slipped up last night and had my first 'big' meal (I'm 4 weeks out from surgery), ate 5 homemade chicken tenders and spent the night with a bit of a racy heart, like I was in distress. No pain, no nausea or anything else, but that was uncomfortable enough to slow way down on the food again today.

Oatmeal is a life saver. I eat half a serving because diabetic and carb counting (not on meds), and that pretty much controls whatever bile problems might erupt, guess it just kind of absorbs it like a sponge. I also metered out a rice hotdish for a few days with just 4 ingredients- sticky rice, canned chicken, shredded cheese, and broccoli cooked soft enough to crumble up. Stir it all together and add a little onion powder, get it all hot in the oven, and that is a great way to get a little bit of protein and veg and the rice slows everything down and kind of acts like a sponge like the oatmeal. The key to it all, though, is small portions, hold the work detail way down while my body gets used to a missing organ.


The rest of my body is screaming bored. Now that the overwhelming referred pain and constant localized clamping down on inflammation and staving off possible infection is out of the way, my body is no longer having to work so hard keeping an ill organ under control, so the rest of my cells are getting better shares of incoming basics, like fresh nutrients, fluids, oxygen, rest, etc. No more sacrificing for that crazy inflamed gallbladder, right. Except now, healing makes that area a protein hog and I'm feeling a bit STARVING FOR MEAT, lol. Thank goodness I seem to be handling a little bit of milk and cheese ok. I don't think I'll have any more chicken tenders for awhile...

So I guess this is a big deal. At first everyone was all like yeah, you'll be good in a couple of weeks. A month later I'm still running into stuff in med forums about 6-8 weeks and don't lift ANYTHING over half of what they told me I could lift after 2 weeks. I'm finding stuff like this on everyone from professional athletes to super spoonies at death's door. Rule of thumb is give it a couple of MONTHS and even up to a year (or two) to get back to some kind of normal. O_O


I don't see a lot of people writing out exactly what this feels like unless they're freaking out, so I'll point out that the laprascopic punctures combined with the air puffing up the abdomen combined with the digestive system going into shock for a couple of weeks combined with the body overall readjusting to what is basically stab wounds, organ theft, and possible complications that include little bits of fevers here and there, to me mostly feels like I did too many situps the day before and now I feel like I need to be a little more careful doing things. And if I'm not as careful as I should be, I feel it pretty quick, and trying to power through makes it worse. Like, I mopped my kitchen floor last weekend, and I felt that for 2 days kind of thing, so I laid down a lot in between chores during the week.

I've been able to get out to Walmart for some light shopping, and I'm keeping up ok with laundry and dishes, but I'm very tired most of the time. It's funny because being spoonie, even though I'm actually feeling fantastic having that inflamed gallbladder out of the way after 9 months of croaking off with it, I hit that fatigue wall super fast because recovering from such invasive surgery isn't the piece of cake it sounds like. I mean, it's way better than being sliced open, for sure, and getting to come home right away was definitely preferable, but getting a routine back has been a bit of a challenge. I haven't helped much at all with anything holidays, and I understandably pretty much stopped cooking.


Bending is the worst. Too much bending, like tying shoes or picking stuff up off the floor, is like instant bloat reaction and the rest of the day is very uncomfortable, especially to drive or sit and watch TV. Standing up feels the best, walking kind of helps if I'm not too tired, and laying down doesn't feel as good as you'd think it should. If you have any kind of abdominal surgery, get one of those long reachy clamp on a stick things that help you pick up stuff like a sock off the floor. Bending seems to really aggravate, maybe because it puts more pressure on where it's still a little swollen in there.

If you have pets or kids, they will destroy you just bumping around, even weeks later, so keep your automatic guard up and put a hand or arm up before you get bonked anywhere on your stomach. And seriously, don't lift much. Buy your milk in half gallons, stuff like that. Don't be stupid and lift a frozen turkey or a watermelon. I really don't know how people with small children survive surgeries. And if you live alone and have to walk a dog at all, you probably need to just plan on offering someone some cash or a gift card to help you with your pet for the first couple weeks.


This hasn't exactly been a piece of cake, BUT I am apparently very healthy and healing very fast, compared to the nightmares I'm finding online and hearing about from other people I know. I have been working very hard on regaining my health since 2008, the most improvement coming since 2011, with one of the top goals being to get healthy enough to survive surgeries without complications and hospital stays. I changed my diet, committed to physical therapy, started exercising, got help with my sleep disorder, touch base with mental health regularly, managed to clean off handfuls of meds over several years, and am now passing the test with flying colors. I am exactly where I want to be with my health in time for the real deal. If this surgery was done 9 years ago, I'd have wound up admitted and probably even in ICU and then convalescing for months, so it totally paid off to map out a plan and then commit to the step by step process, even though it took a long time and most of it was pretty hard.

I will be 60 in 4 years. By the time my mom was 65 she was in a nursing home. I will not go gentle into that good night. I will not bow to my fate and call it natural aging after a lifetime of sugar and intermittent bouts of heavy smoking and drinking. I refuse to own the mess I made of myself and accept it as 'life'. I want back everything I wasted and robbed from myself, and it's my job to make sure I don't become the burden I would loathe myself for being.


I am so hungry. But it's a good hungry. It's a very healthy feeling compared to the months of swan diving into any distraction I could trying to ignore the problem. I'd rather be a little hungry than in a  hospital.

Surgeries aren't fun any time of the year, but I can say first hand they suck during holidays. If you are having surgery or in recovery this month, bless your hearts. 💗 I hope it all goes well with you.

this also comes in purple
By the way, if you are looking for holiday gifts for older or challenged people, check out home medical supplies in your local pharmacies and retail stores online and point blank ask them if they need any of that, or would they like a gift card. An easy reacher is an awesome thing to have around the house, just saying. 🎄

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