My surgeon, every time I see her, keeps telling me how “impressive” I am for maintaining a positive attitude throughout this whole thing and for healing as fast as I have been and for getting out of the hospital much earlier than expected (keeping in mind, the projected date of release was “maybe” by Christmas). And I keep wondering, every time she says it, if she says that to all the ladies who come into her office, considering the fact that she’s primarily a breast reconstruction surgeon, she’s got the pink ribbon on her office sign and everything.
I don’t feel impressive. I mean, I can’t control my rate of healing. I’m only positive about this shit when I’m in her office. Realistically I sleep my days away and I cry a lot because I am so goddamn sick of this bullshit that I can barely stand it. But I have no choice but to “stand it”, so I sleep away my days and just try to keep on keepin’ on. What alternative do I have?
I hate the days Siske comes because it means I have to get up early. She usually comes between 9am-9:30am, every Mon/Wed/Fri. I like Siske, don’t get me wrong, I just hate having to get up for her and I hate that I’m too chickenshit to deal with her by myself so Blake has to work from home those days. He makes sure the vac’s turned off half an hour before she gets here and makes sure there’s a garbage bag beside my bed for all the medical waste. He also makes sure the stainless steel scissors we stole from the hospital (accidentally, I swear!) are boiled and sterile. Stuff that’s hard for me to do because I suck at waking up early and it’s hard to navigate all the places I have to navigate to do all that with the vac. Also, I’m in a lot of pain and the less I have to move around, the better off I am.
So we went to see the surgeon today, whose name is Renee Hanrahan in case you were wondering, and she’s awesome, and there was some good news and some not so good news. And some more good news and some more not so good news.
The CAT scan showed that I have a 12cm long pseudocyst on my pancreas that requires surgery (or maybe more to the point, a “procedure”) to be drained before she can close up my cheese pizza wound/hernia. 12cms is pretty damn big, I had no idea the pancreas was even that big, but this pseudocyst is like a blister and we’re waiting to find out from the OTHER surgeon, down in Toronto at the hospital I was in before, if it’s operable. If it’s not then we have to wait until the body naturally absorbs it which can take a really really long time. Like, we’re talking 6 months to a year. If it IS operable then what he’ll do is stick a scope down my throat and into my belly and at the end of the scope will be an instrument that’ll pierce the cyst. I’m not sure if it’ll just pop it and let my body absorb what’s in it or if they’ll suck the stuff out of it, to be honest, I forgot to ask. She said it looks like there’s more than one pseudocyst on the pancreas but they’re not so much worried about the smaller ones, it’s this big one that’s wreaking havoc on my guts and probably the culprit behind all this puking business.
The CAT scan also showed that my spleen is enlarged and unhappy and she said it was likely due to this pseudocyst pushing on it, but Blake asked about the blood clot that I had in the splenic vein (splenic vein thrombosis) and she said she didn’t know, that once the pseudocyst is out of the way they’ll do another CAT scan and will hopefully get a better look at it.
So that’s where things stand right now, we’re waiting for the Toronto surgeon to make his determination as to whether or not the pseudocyst is operable and hopefully it is because I’ll lose my goddamn mind if I have to wait 6 months to a year for this nightmare to be over.
We asked Dr. Hanrahan to ballpark how soon I would have the surgery to close up the hernia and she was very reluctant to give a date so my mom said “January?” and Dr. Hanrahan said that seemed likely. I almost cried right there. I’m crying now just typing that. That is so far away! I was thinking like, November? I thought we’d go to this appointment, she’d say the CAT scan looked good and my blood work looked good and my pee test looked good and then she’d book me for late November to be closed up.
Well, my blood work looks good. My liver is a little unhappy about something apparently but she didn’t seem worried about it and she said that despite all this barfing, there were no signs of malnutrition. My hemoglobin is low, but it always is. My iron is high, but I take 4 iron pills a day, of course it’s high! She made no mention of my pee test so I’m assuming it was fine.
She wants me to lay off on the domperidone because the issue is this pseudocyst and the fact that my stomach’s all twisted up so the domperidone probably isn’t doing much good (although I think it *does* make a difference so I’m going to continue taking it for my bigger meals, like dinner). I asked her if she’d raise my hydromorph dosage because as nerve endings grow into my cheese pizza wound, it hurts more. Also my guts just plain hurt. Ever since my run in with the world’s worse case of diarrhea, my lower guts just ache. It’s actually a lot like period cramps times about 50. And coming from someone with stage IV endometriosis I think that’s saying a lot.
So really the visit was more bitter than sweet, but at least I’m not dying of malnutrition so it can’t all be bad. I was a little worried about that, to be honest. I see her again in two weeks.
OH YEAH!!! AND GUESS WHAT!!! She said I can take a break from the vac for a while to see how my wound does. I told her I was sick of being tethered to the damn thing and she said, “let’s leave it off for a while and see how you do”. SO FUCK YEAH THAT’S AWESOME. I’m just going to have a regular dressing from now on, which will be silver nitrate (it’s like fabric made out of silver!), then an “abdominal tampon” on top (LOL I love saying that) and then the sticky drape stuff that I’ve explained before as being like shelf paper on top to make it water-proof and hold the ABDOMINAL TAMPON in place.
ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. ABDOMINAL TAMPON. <— this will never get old.
So no more forgetting about the vac and walking away from the kitchen as it falls off the table. No more worrying about getting the vac machine wet when I shower. No more waking up 20 times a night to untangle myself from it. No more carrying the fucking things around. It really sucks to have to carry it in one hand and your dinner in another and then you don’t have a hand free to take your drink too! But whatever, I almost died. Worse things have happened…
But still, I’m very excited about being untethered for a while, even if it only does end up being “for a while”.
Oh, another crappy thing though is that she wants me to wear a “binder” which is just a fancy term for a girdle. My guts are drifting to the left and right so my stomach region actually looks kinda oval-ish/square-ish. My guts are on either side of my stomach so by wearing the
girdle binder it’ll bring them more toward the middle where they should be and not only should this improve my digestion but it’ll make it easier for Dr. Hanrahan to put my guts back where they should be and close me up. When we went to Shopper’s Drug Mart after my appointment they didn’t have one but they were getting a shipment in tomorrow so when it got there, they’d call Blake to pick it up. Can’t wait. I wonder if I’m supposed to wear it while I sleep? I sure hope not. :o/
After my appointment we went to Curry’s where I picked up some odourless mineral spirits and some paper stomps which are basically pencils made with paper and no lead. Just a sharpened stick made of paper. Odourless mineral spirits are normally used to clean oil paint off of brushes, but my friend Ditsy mentioned using “Gamsol” to do this neat shading effect with pencil crayons, which is just a brand name for what I bought today (I got the store brand). What you do is colour the edges of your picture with a good pencil crayon, like Prismacolour, and then you dip the paper stomp into the mineral spirits and colour from the edge inward. Basically the mineral spirits dissolve the wax of the pencil crayon causing concentrated colour around the edges with it fading into the middle. It actually makes the pencil crayons behave a lot like Copic markers, but without the enormous expense of Copic markers.
This lady’s kind of obnoxious at the end of the tutorial, but here’s how to do the technique: episode 1/episode 2
I’ve got to admit, I’m pretty geeked to try it and I meant to try it tonight but I got distracted by this post and now it’s too late because I’m about to take my PM drugs and since Siske’s coming tomorrow, I can’t sleep in.
After Curry’s we went to Starbucks where I got a chocolate coffee and then to EB Games to get Sims 3 Pets but they were sold out so we went to Wal*Mart instead. I’ve installed the game but haven’t played it yet because after my mom left we had to have dinner and then after dinner I had e-mail to deal with, then I started writing this post and before I knew it, it was 10pm (the time it is now) and I was late for taking my drugs. Oh yeah, and I still have the shits so there was some bathroom time in there too.
I really have no doubt that I won’t be impressed by Sims 3 Pets. The only reason I really got it is because I’m completest. The pets expansions for previous incarnations of the Sims were my least favourite of all the expansions (okay, Open For Business for Sims 2 was probably the worst and Ambitions for Sims 3 was pretty bad too) so I’m really doubting I’ll actually play with the pets, I’m more interested in the extra stuff like, are there new aspirations? Lifetime rewards? Jobs? Stuff to grow in your garden (like catnip maybe? that would be cool and maybe even worth owning a cat)? New furnishings etc etc etc? Stuff like that is why I keep buying all these expansions even though the core games themselves may suck.
Truthfully, I’m more excited to play with odourless mineral spirits than Pets. Which I think I’m gonna go do right now because today was a bummer and I would like a little joy before I go to bed.
Oh yeah, and I barfed up my chocolate coffee seconds after getting home. I was feeling really sick all the way home and Blake stopped off at the pharmacy before we came home and I was praying that I wouldn’t have to barf on the sidewalk, which I didn’t, but I don’t think the car was fully stopped in the driveway before I jumped out and ran as fast as I could to get to my barf bowl. (I can’t barf in a toilet like a normal person because it’s too hard for me to get back up. My legs are still too weak to get up easily from the floor, so I barf in a bowl instead and Blake, my beloved, dutifully takes the bowl (after putting my hair up and putting my computer aside as not to get barf on either), flushes the contents, washes the bowl and hands it back to me. That is LOVE.
Okay, gonna go play with mineral spirits now. Goodnight!