Surgery: It’s A Thing, Man.

But you should see what the other guy looks like.

It has been noted in the past that significant life events seem to happen in groups. Boy howdy, does that seem to be getting proved out around these parts. Here in our household both of the lovely ladies I cohabitate with, Loralia and Vixen (pictured above), have now had surgery in the past two weeks, and for both of them, the surgery has looked like No Fun At All. Leaving me to speculate on the upcoming surgical procedure that awaits me in 25 days.

I am not sure where I got this impression that surgery was going to be no big deal. It has certainly not been my experience in the past. My VNS installation and later repair were certainly not life-shattering surgeries, but my knee surgery in 2014 most certainly was – I was in pain for months afterward, and to this day have to wear a knee brace when expecting to walk anything more than a short distance. Surgery is invasive. It hurts. And it takes a long time to recover from.

Watching my ladies suffer through the recovery from their surgeries has made me hyper-aware of the fact that this train is coming for me too. Once upon a time, I had been concerned only with the difficulty of the liquid diet before the surgery and the greatly reduced diet post surgery, not thinking too much about the procedure itself. Nowadays, I find that I am thinking more and more about the surgical process, and wondering what it is going to do to me and mean for me.

Just like Lor, I am going to have 5 holes punched into my abdomen to insert instruments, along with a sixth just below the breast line to work on a hiatal hernia. 80% of my stomach is going to be chopped off, then pulled out of my body via a slit only about an inch wide. (How is THAT for weird?) The hole that remains is then going to be stapled shut, creating a tube-sock looking stomach remnant about the same size of a small banana. My belly will inflate like a gigantic beach ball (again) due to all the gasses being pumped into my system. The surgical team will then super-glue the holes on my abdomen shut (not a joke – I have seen the stuff on Lor’s post-surgical wounds) and call it a day.

Just like Vixen, I do not respond well to anesthesia. It takes me longer than normal to recover from the effects, and it occasionally causes me to have seizures in recovery or shortly after surgery. Recovery is painful and takes a few weeks. And I am not a great patient, which will surely test everyone’s patience with me.

These are the things that go through my mind as I have been caring for first Lor and now Vixen after their surgeries. I am doing my best to be just as kind and considerate as I can be – trying to develop myself a positive balance on the post-surgical care karma card. I am not exactly afraid of the surgery (though I am still quite afraid of the hospital where I will be staying for 3 days.), but I am no longer thinking of it as a short and easy phase that will be passed through without any trouble.

I just keep reminding myself that this, too, will pass. 2 months from today I will be looking at this whole thing in the rear-view mirror, right? Let’s hope that I get through it as well as the ladies in my life have.

Trying Hard To Imitate My Stoic Ladies,

– Hawkwind

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