This isn’t the first time I had surgery. The first time was when I was about 10 years old. It was oral surgery. I was scared that time. It was my first time having an I.V. and first time being knocked out with anesthesia. Man was I in a lot of pain when I came out of that one. But I was 10. I didn’t have a very high pain tolerance. And I didn’t even want the surgery except for the fact that my two front teeth were growing next to my nose and would never grow in without the surgery. So in I went. I have a pretty decent smile as a result.
This time though, I figured it would all be okay. My wife had the surgery a few years back and she came out fine…other than the fact she just didn’t want to wake up. But her recovery went good. I figured mine would too.
Two days into it and I am sore. Not painful sore like you would think post-surgery. No, I am sore like I just did a million crunches and then was used as a punching bag by Mike Tyson. Okay, maybe not the punching bag part.
Is this normal?
If I sit still I am fine. If I walk and hold my stomach I am okay. If I sit in my comfortable couch that is hard to get out of, I am going to hurt. Yes, it is sore.
I had four incisions (the surgery was laparoscopic) but the only incision that is really sore is the one near my belly button. The other three are, well, not as sore. However, I feel like a baby was pulled out my belly button. And not a small one like the gall bladder… a 10 lb 10 oz baby like I was.
I think some heavenly being is trying to make me grateful for what my mom went through…and to imagine she had twins afterward.
The bruising is about the size of a baseball. Maybe they propped me up as a temporary backstop while they had batting practice in the O.R. I don’t know. I am still trying to figure it out.
So in my arrogance of thinking that I would be fine after surgery, I ate a bunch of club crackers and drank ginger ale in the recovery room. They had to see that I was going to keep food down. Well heck, lets try some real food. After being discharged, I went straight to the snack bar for a grilled cheese sandwich and strawberry milkshake. Yeah, now that is post-op food.
We needed to stop at the pharmacy to pick up my pain meds. I decided that I needed to walk around. Since the pharmacy is inside a grocery store, I decided to do two laps and say hi to all of my daughter’s and wife’s co-workers. My daughter couldn’t believe I was even there. Hey, I already had some percoset in me, I thought I was invincible.
We went home and I sat on the couch, well, laid on the couch. The wife and kids all went to a reception for a movie that they starred in…I mean were extras in…in preparation for the big screening. About 30 minutes before the screening started I decided I was feeling great again. Guess what I did?
I walked a mile to the movie theater to watch the screening. And when I got there the reception wasn’t over yet so I downed a couple of sandwiches, some grapes, and a glass of water. Then I watched the movie.
This is normal post-op behavior right? Doesn’t everyone feel that good?
After the movie was over I went to the church to have a meeting with my bishop. It lasted 1 1/2 hours. It might have lasted longer, but I finally hit the crash point. It was time for more pain meds.
The next day I wasn’t as active. In fact, I wasn’t very mobile at all. I was so sore I didn’t want to move. I did get up and walk a mile, but that is about it.
I realized that sometimes you can go at life a little too hard, a little too careless, a little too naive, or in my case, a little to arrogant and stupid.
But I probably wouldn’t change a thing if I had that night to do over.
Surgery was a good thing for me. It prevented me from having more gall bladder attacks. But it also taught me that I am not Superman. I don’t have unlimited strength. I am not Wolverine. I can’t heal myself within minutes of the injury. I am not Batman. I don’t have all of those cool gadgets and machines. But I do have the raspy voice because I had a tube down my throat to help me breath during the surgery.
No, I am more like the Greatest American Hero. You remember him, right? No? Well, he was the one that tried to do more than he was capable of. The one that could get hurt. The one that thought he had control of his powers. Yeah, I am more like him.
Except, I don’t have any powers. My “flight” is done at the expense of narcotics…legally prescribed of course. And I don’t have a red leotard to wear.
I am an ordinary person. And if I don’t have to experience surgery again, I will be just fine with it. However, if I do, I will make sure it isn’t scheduled on such a busy day. (I know, my fault on that one too.)
Just another view from a Palmtree.