Daybreak

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Daybreak. More aches, more pains” – Roger Zelazny

So, the good news is that I did get released from the hospital, and am now at home, in bed.

The bad news is that getting out of the hospital became a whole lot more complicated than any of us had anticipated.

Yesterday, at 6:15 AM, Dr. Tyner (my surgeon) came in, took a look at my incisions, had a chat with me about things to do at home, diet restrictions, and the like, then told me I would get released from the hospital right after “breakfast”. (You know, 2 1-ounce protein shakes and a cup of broth.) I would be out by 9 – 10 AM at the latest.

At about 9 AM, Lor began loading bags down to the car. As she left, I noticed that two of her were leaving. Well, I was kinda tired, double-vision can happen,  so I just decided to close my eyes for a minute.

When I opened my eyes again, nothing was in focus in the entire room. I must have looked walleyed, because any time I had both eyes open, everything looked juxtaposed, like the effect from bad 3-D glasses. This was alarming enough that I decided I had better call Lor. Only then did I realize that her phone was sitting on the table next to mine.

By the time she came back, I was in the midst of a full-blown seizure.

Now, looking back, it seems very clear that I maybe could’ve, I don’t know, used the nurse call button right next to me? I can honestly say it never occurred to me. As it turned out, the seizure was the least of my problems. Immediately following the seizure, I suddenly had the dry heaves, broke out into a cold sweat, and just for funsies the room would spin around any time I opened my eyes.

And this, my friends, was my very first instance of  “dumping syndrome” – too much material winding up in your reduced stomach pouch, causing all of the above symptoms. After about an hour of this, my nurse finally had to come in and shoot me full of Ativan, to prevent a further recurrence of seizure activity. The Ativan did what it always does,  and it was lights out on Planet Hawkwind.

Somewhere around 2 pm Lor woke me up to inform me that if I wanted to get out of the hospital at all yesterday, I was going to have to get my mental faculties together enough to answer some questions to the discharge nurse. Ativan does lovely things to short-term memory before and after its application, so I don’t remember the exit interview. I must’ve gotten through the question and answer session, because next thing I remember I was in a wheelchair, headed down the elevator to our waiting car. My light sensitivity was still so bad that I kept my eyes closed the whole way home, then slept most of the afternoon and evening.

So, a summary of the surgical experience? The last day in the hospital was a nightmare. I am sore as heck, especially any time I cough or have a hiccup. One of my meds tastes so bad that I am having trouble eating anything else for hours before and after I take it due to the nausea it creates. And any time I am out of bed I am still shuffling around as if my feet were taped to the floor.

And I wouldn’t trade it.

I once told my primary physician that I was going through the surgery because I was finally more afraid of my weight than I was of my seizures. Yes, the seizures are disappointing. But, just with the weight loss I have accomplished so far I have the option of pursuing healthier activities to try to get a handle on them. I am no longer tied to a couch or a computer chair, doing nothing but eating while waiting for the next attack to arrive. The more weight I lose, the better my seizure control becomes.  Sounds like a 2-for-1 special to me.

Now I just have avoid driving Lor crazy for the next two weeks while rehabbing my punctured core muscles.

Not Trusting Anyone Who Says They Were Back At Work The Day After This Surgery,

– Hawkwind

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