The Ugly Truth

May 2nd, 2011

The Aftermath of Surgery

Pain Reports

I won’t lie. The surgery was a breeze. The recovery….well i’m still recovering from the realization that the recovery is one hell of an ordeal.

Universal Pain Scale

Pain Scale (1 to 10 – 1 being a stubbed toe, 10 being having your head cut off)

Date Day Scale
Thursday, April 28, 2011 Day 1 5
Friday, April 29, 2011 Day 2 6
Saturday, April 30, 2011 Day 3 8 – There was about a 15 minute window when it was a 9 – my head wasn’t being cut off but it felt like my arm was!
Sunday, May 1, 2011 Day 4 5
Monday, May 2, 2011 Day 5 4
Surgical Report

After you get back to your room they immediately hook you up to IV drip for antibiotics, electrolytes, and pain meds. They statred me out on Morphine drip. You get a little button that you can push every time you feel like you are starting to feel pain. Well everytime would have been every minute but they limit you to every five minutes. The little monitor keeps track of how many requests you make and how many times you were denied. There were times where there were lots of “denials”. I’m not sure how many denials I got because I couldn’t remember when I last pushed the button, because lord knows, my mental capacity was reduced due to all of the meds I was on. But to make a long story short, morphine is light weight for my system. By day two I convinced Dr. Gunn that morphine was about as useful as Ibuprofen. He was more than willing to switch me to Demerol which seemed to do the trick. By day three even Demerol wasn’t getting the job done, so he added valium to the mix. Valium made the difference.

There was always a constant level 4 of pain, but there was on occasion for 15 minutes at a time or so, where the pain was so acute and chronic there is no other way to describe it besides imagining a metal prod you might use to brand a cow being shoved into your armpit and breast and have it stuck there and twisted back and forth. It was a constant burning pain. It was explained that it was from nerve exposure that occured during the Lymphadenectomy. My anatomy was such that Dr. Gunn had to really dig deep to locate and remove all of the lymph nodes. Why were they removing the lymph nodes you ask? Well they did find cancer in one of the sentinel nodes, which means they had to remove them all for further testing to find out just how far the cancer has gone. I still don’t have the results from that test yet.

I will say I asked to keep my catheter in an extra day because frankly it was pretty nice not to have to be bothered with getting all of my tubes and lines and cords unplugged and organized everytime I needed to go to the potty. I didn’t even have to think about it. It just came out whenever it darn well pleased. Once they took it out, I was cursing myself because going to the ladies room required serious work. The first time I had to go after they removed it, I underestimated how long it would take me to actually get the 5 feet from my bed to the bathroom that I ruined a perfectly sexy pair of underpants! I learned to give myself an extra 10 minutes or so after that.

Sleeping Report

Sleep? What’s that? There was very little sleep to be had for the first three days – probably about 8 hours total for first two days combined. They gave me Restoral on the third night and I slept for 5 hours straight and then another 3 hours. I did have a couple of good nights watching re-runs of hoarders (I was happy to watch a different train wreck than the one currently residing on my chest) and I was blessed enough to be able to watch the Royal Wedding. Well that was an exercise in absolute torture because, as I have explained to many of you, it hurts to laugh, and the hats, my god, the hats. Here in the US, there is a tournament each year for the ugliest dog. The Brits need to invent a tournament for the ugliest hats….it would be a ratings jackpot!

Ugliest Dog Contest

Ugliest Hat Contest

I am glad to be home amongst family and friends, and out of reach of all those people paid to torture you so often that you beg to check out of the hospital which is exactly what I did.

Now for the hard work of recovering and not running off my family and friends in the process.

  1. StacyDeanStephens says:

    I’m between a 6-7 knowing you’re not in the office to take all my annoying calls.