Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Posts tagged ‘recovering from surgery’

Living with Chronic Pain Conditions

Words cannot explain the feeling of pain throughout the body…day and night. No positions help relieve.

Hard to express the feelings of dealing with this every day…minute…hour…month…year. It is all consuming!

I praise God for strength that is given to make it through the day. I focus on my family…wonderful Hubby, son and step son!

It is so unreal! Why so much pain and suffering? Yet you Our Lord went through so much more!

I praise God for each day and enjoy every moment with everyone!

Pain Pump Surgery

It is the fifth day after my pain pump surgery.  I am, I hope, just coherent and focused enough to relay my story thus far…

Preparation for the surgery was normal protocol…not food to eat or drink after Midnight the day before…my surgery was this past Wednesday.  I had discussed the idea of taking one of my pain meds the morning of…however, I ultimately opted out of it…knowing that there would be such a great concoction of drugs bombarding my system.

My pain specialist had said that I would be released to come home the same day as surgery…however, the nurse I spoke with at the surgical center told me to be prepared to spend the night in the hospital for observation. So, armed with my overnight back (which includes a comfy robe) we loaded up and headed to the surgical center about an hour north of us.

I did have a bit of a scare two days before my surgery…the scheduler called to change the time…pushed it out from 6 AM to 7:30 AM.  To me, this was a good thing…it meant a bit more sleep/rest….plus I would be able to wake our son for his next to last day of school.

The staff at the surgical center was fantastic! Genuine, professional and caring…I was so impressed! I was taken back to prep within minutes of checking in…so thankful for the heated blanket to be draped over the surgical gown. The IV was placed…I met everyone on the team…reviewed my issues with anesthesia — nausea and extremely slow to wake up. My surgeon, who is also my pain specialist, discussed placement of the pump…which we quickly determined would be placed on the right side of my abdomen. It would be the perfect offset to my colostomy on my left side.

I was given antibiotics through the IV before and during the procedure. They also called in a prescription of a 10 day antibiotic to take immediately following. There was great care taken to prevent any type of infection.

My pain specialist and the pain pump rep spoke to us about the procedure…the medication to be used…and the story behind the medication that I would be using. (Will post that on its own…)  Long story short, I would not have to stay overnight at the hospital since he had chosen Prialt…an overnight stay is only required when using morphine and/or other opioid combination in the pump.

The entire process went quickly and smoothly.  Within three hours, I was awake and alert…speaking with the nurse and my husband.  The nurse adjusted the binder (very soft and comfy) so that it would not be too snug on my stoma and my husband helped me to change into my clothes…time for the long ride home…and rest…

Gearing Up!

I am SO amazed…..SO excited…SO thankful!!!! We are settling in to a new year. My body which was once my worst adversary is now a friend! WOW!!!!

Working full-time, helping with the Den Meetings and my new task, assisting with WBF (Wednesday night Church class for our young)…….my body is handling it! I just have to have one day a week to relax…..

As a family, we are out shooting…out at the range today! (YEAH!) Preparing for the upcoming black-tailed deer season! For those that don’t hunt…..this is how we feed our family. I do not buy beef products at the store. We eat what we hunt and take ourselves. (I am one of those that gets sick from beef….body doesn’t process/digest well….wild game is it.)

I prefer this. I like knowing exactly where our food is coming from. As a family, we work together in the processing of our meat. Our son appreciates what we eat. He knows we have worked hard to obtain this. He appreciates where our food comes from.

I don’t mean to preach! I know that there truly are people who just think our food comes from the supermarket. I mean no disrespect…yet it blows me away…that we have come so far that we have forgotten……or better yet….choose to not educate our young about the true cycle.

Our son sees that we appreciate the life around us….God has blessed us! He watches as we pursue our prey……he knows that I will only take old bucks! (My mind is on how much food I can bring home to the family.) Our son knows this….he has seen us celebrate the life of of the buck or elk that we have taken…..he has seen how we give respect to this animal that is now providing us with life. He gets it!

I am so ready to participate in another cycle! This wonderful cycle that is our life! I was unable to hunt last year….so my husband and son worked hard to put meat on the table….now I am so excited! I get to assist! We will be able to work together! We will be working on filling the freezer for next year!

Thank You Docs!!

I am just beyond words…still! I can only say that I have so much appreciation, respect and thankfulness to my doctors who have worked so hard with me!

This last week was like a dream come true! I was able to work……then attend a teacher meeting (I will be an assistant teacher on Wednesday night’s for our son’s church class)………the next day I attended the den leader/parent meeting for scouts…..immediately followed by meeting to help with the computerized set up of the pinewood derby for a scout fundraiser………Friday night found us all trying to trouble shoot and make sure all was ready for the scout fundraise……Saturday found us working the fundraiser from 9 AM to 2 PM…..a short break (enough time to shower and eat)…then off to Saturday Mass where we had volunteered to work the bake sale!

I was able to sleep in until 7 AM this morning…..then after fixing breakfast…..we headed out to shoot for a couple of hours! Once home…I had to bake bread and bake cookies for the week ahead! Even managed a trip to the grocery store!

Before dinner I was able to throw the football with my hubby and son!

I am at a loss for words! For those that have struggled with illness…..especially a long term type illness…..I am just unable to describe the feelings I am experiencing!

Yes…..I am participating! I am giving back with all I can! I am so thankful for life…..for my wonderful husband….for my son! For the opportunity to help those around us!


We are outdoor enthusiasts….we love to fish and to hunt…..I really enjoy both! We also enjoy taking time to just go out and shoot our guns. With my health issues and surgeries, I have been on the sidelines….my husband and son have been able to enjoy shooting….shooting clay pigeons and rabbits….along with just target practice.

I have been anxiously awaiting the day that I could join them. And…today was the day! It was my first chance to shoot clay rabbits and pigeons……it was AWESOME!!!! I was able to hit quite a few clay rabbits…..and even got a few of the clay pigeons! This was my first experience with the clay thrower my hubby and son have been using.

It was fantastic! Just cannot begin to describe how invigorated…..how energized I was after spending that time today. WOW! I am really looking forward to hunting season this year! I will be able to get out….to walk and navigate without the constant pain.

Lifting of a Veil

This week has been incredible. My mind is clear and sharp….I am tracking and remembering more and more. It is like a veil has been lifted! I did not realize how much of my brain had been dedicated to just ignore the constant pain!

I am feeling free….energized! Yes I still have many months to go before I will be completely full strength…..but I am on the path!

Today my son and I went to my parents to catch up with family and do some shopping for school. I drove!!! It was about 4 hours round trip. I drove!!!! (Intentional repeat!)

Regaining independence…..enjoying time with family….I am just blown away.

I am tired….a good tired…..a little sore. Now to rest and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Moving Forward — 11 Weeks Post Op

This is now my second week of working full-time and keeping up with my family! I was able to attend (and help out!) at our son’s Cub Scout Pancake Breakfast fundraiser….this is the first one I have ever been able to attend! (This is now his 4th year!!!!)

That said…yes…I was tired and my tummy was sore. Saturday afternoon was low-key…..on Sunday I again had to lay low.

Now it is Tuesday! I have worked full busy days…and had a enough energy to enjoy some time with family after work. I know that I am definitely moving forward! It is so nice to get home from work and think…”boy…I could work with my exercise ball”!

My co-worker asked me today how I was doing….asked me if I was tired of not feeling 100 percent. All I could do was smile and say “I am feeling so good! The few twinges or tiredness of my tummy does not even register”!!

It’s Okay


Found this when backing up some files….I had been playing around with a chalkboard on my iPad. I think it definitely says it all!

Give yourself permission to feel….to let your kids know that you hurt. It helps them understand that life can be hard some times…..it gives us the opportunity to share with them that even though we hurt right now….that we are working towards health….towards getting better.

It gives our children the opportunity to see that we think enough of them to let our guard down a bit….it let’s us share our feelings with our kids. It gives us time to bond….for them to see that emotions are important to all of us…and that it is okay to have emotion.

We teach our children by example….as much as by word. And…our kids are watching and seeing more than we can imagine.

It’s Okay

It is okay to let the dishes go for a day…..it is okay to leave the laundry in the dryer….it is okay to have unfolded clothes on the couch.

All these things will be taken care of…..each thing can be accomplished….all housework will get done. Some things I might be able to do in the morning. Other items my husband and son will pitch in and get taken care of…..

My point….don’t feel that you have to get everything done! Do some dishes in the morning when you feel strong…..or fold the clothes in the morning. Putter! That has become a mantra here during this recovery period. Now that I am well enough to help with housework…..I tackle small projects…..load the washer….let my son put in the soap and start it. Then one of us will get it to the dryer. If it sits for a short while…that is okay!

Notice? Give yourself permission to go about these activities in parts and pieces. The whole project can be too much on some days….others….it might not seem so daunting. The trick with recovery is not knowing how the body will be each day.

I know this is a hard concept! I am one of those that can’t stand to have anything undone…..all things put away….all things neat and tidy. Reality though….dictates that there sometimes a little bit undone is the best for me!

Give yourself permission to let go….to not feel that all must be perfect. Let those around you help to get the chores done. Everyone benefits…..

Relax and heal. Do what you can…..adjust as you need to…..hang in there!

The Recovery Road

I am now (well officially tomorrow) 8 weeks post op. As I have mentioned before, my doctors were absolutely right! This go around is definitely much harder. I am easing back into work….last week were 6 hour days…this week I am attempting 7 hour days.

I have found that morning to early afternoon is best for me…..my energy and stamina are at their best. If I have to adjust and work later….like a 9ish to 5 stint (like I had to do today)….my body is just taxed to its limit. It is hard to describe…..it is like a switch is hit at about 3….I can feel my body slowing…..by 3:30 it is showing signs of being tired……by 4 there are those twinges……by 4:30 it is next to impossible to focus….eyes are definitely blurred…..by 5 I am totally worn out.

I get in the rig to drive home….just hoping that I can keep my eyes open! Thankful that I only have to drive about 3 miles. My mind is racing….I still have dinner to make….thankfully I pulled some halibut out of the freezer! Should be able to gather enough energy to put the fish in the oven to broil…..and boil a pot of water to cook noodles!

I take a few minutes to check in with my husband…..my son is waiting to greet me and help carry my purse and coat into the house. My hubby suggests I take a short walk around the outside of the house….to just have an easy stretch and breath some fresh air. It does feel good to move….to walk casually around the house. It does give me enough energy to fix dinner.

That is all I have the energy for today! I am so tired….I know it will be a rough night for sleep. Getting overly tired like this…makes it rough. The body is just too worn out! Thankfully, I can go into the office earlier tomorrow….and I will have the flexibility to leave early (just put in a 4 hour day) if I must.

Recovery is tough! It is a very rough road. The body will just “shut down”…..and you are not always ready for it! This is the toughest part of getting better! Readjusting expectations….being patient…..not giving into frustration! Quietly reminding yourself….that you have come a long way. Your body has gone through so much…..and has shown such resiliency! Absolutely amazing!

Now….with a smile due to the most recent antics of my son……I will lose myself for the evening….lose myself in his laughter while relaxing in my easy chair…….soon enough to take that long walk to the bedroom to collapse on the bed for an anticipated, restless night of sleep.

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