|Essential Recovery Items|
For the curious amongst you, I had a ventral hernia repaired. What I had is also referred to by some as an incisional hernia, as it was at the sight of an old incision. The doc discovered during my last surgery (partial colectomy) that I had a hernia directly above my navel, possibly caused when two previous surgeries (hernia in the left groin and a cholecystectomy - gallbladder removal) had to gain access to my nether regions via my navel, or close by.
The doc tried to fix that up with sutures only as he couldn't be meshing about down there with a big chunk of colon removed, infection don't you know? Well, that didn't work. So by mid-July I was rather tired of having this softball sized protrusion in my belly. (Which is large enough by itself.) Went to my doc who referred me to the surgeon.
After a short meeting, it was agreed by all those present that repair of that thing should be done. Forthwith.
So it came to pass that in the early morning of the 19th of July I would report to dry dock to undergo repairs. Which were effected, the surgery took a couple of hours, felt like a couple of minutes to me.
I only had one roommate during my stay (as opposed to three last time). He was very quiet the nurse told me as he couldn't speak. When I first had the opportunity to see him, I could see that he was profoundly disabled. Unable to move or to speak. The nurses had to come in and reposition him every two hours. Apparently he was in the hospital not for his disability but for some other ailment.
The nurses seemed fiercely protective of the old gentleman, I gathered that this wasn't in first stay in this particular hospital. A daughter and granddaughter came to visit him on Friday, they seemed like very nice people. On Saturday his wife came to visit and to make arrangements for his discharge. She was a really nice person. Portuguese, as many folk in this region are, she told me that he had been in his current state for 17 years.
Seventeen years, unable to move, unable to speak. But he could communicate as his wife told me. I remarked about how nice it was that the two girls had come the day before and stayed for quite some time. They chatted with him as if he had no disability. She told me that he communicated quite well with his eyes. And his smile.
He had been a good husband, father, and grandfather for many years. She said that they owed him this. He had taken care of them, now it was their turn to care for him. Which, as near as I could tell, they were doing a great job of, so I told her so. Wonderful people who understand tradition and caring for their elders when they can no longer care for themselves.
There was a bit of excitement Friday around midnight. Apparently the older gentleman in the next room down the hallway had had enough of being poked and prodded. He was telling the medical staff to "leave me alone!" He couldn't remember how he'd gotten to the hospital and was convinced that they had kidnapped him.
A "Code Grey" was called (which is hospital-speak for "we need security"). Eventually four hospital security types showed up and were negotiating with the poor old guy, who wasn't feeling well and was quite obviously confused.
The lead security officer eventually got the fellow to calm down and return to his room. His family showed up not long after. He was still heavily sedated when I was discharged. Another sad story which I will never know the outcome of. A sobering experience but the hospital handled it very well I thought.
So I'm back home, in a lot of pain, though it be manageable, and it lessens with each day. I've gone from dilaudid, to oxycodone, with acetaminophen in the on deck circle for when I run out of "ox." The pain meds have given me odd dreams, so I'm looking forward to being done with them. Of course, being done with the pain is the ultimate goal here. Which seems to be in sight, though still hull down on the horizon.
The doctor has commanded me to stay home for two weeks so I have the joy of dealing with the insurance company to look forward to. Perhaps I'll send them a picture of what appears to be a six inch incision above my belly button (but is actually two 3-inch incisions) and see what they think.
Anyhoo, on a lighter note, I awoke at dawn this morning, the pain awakened me, and was convinced that the doctors had run part of the internal torpedo connection harness through my incisions. Like I said, I've been updating torpedo test software as of late and I am totally in to my job. I guess that goes deeper than I realized!
|The feline staff is always on hand to make sure I am well cared for. I mean really, how can one feel pain while petting a cat? Doctor Sasha says it's good therapy. It is, for both of us.|
I now have an 11 x 14 centimeter mesh encasing the region above my navel. I'm guessing that while that won't make me impervious to small arms fire, it will keep the hernias at bay.
Posting may be sparse, it took me a few hours to knock this one out. Read the folks on the sidebar, if I'm not here. I expect to put up something when I can, even if it's just a few lines to say, "Yes, I still draw breath."