I have lots to write about and I’m not sure if I will get it all in here, but, I’m giving myself the next 45 minutes to try.
I had my gastric bypass surgery last week and all went well. Well, I was supposed to also have my gallbladder taken out, and that did not happen due to the apparently amazingly huge size of my liver. My surgeon told my wife that I had definitely chosen well to have this surgery as without it, and successful results, I’d be looking at a liver transplant in the next several years. So that part was not so great. But, the surgery went well. I’d never had surgery before, so I was very anxious about the process. But, all I remember about the operating room was complaining that I would fall off the operating table if I moved over any further. Then, I woke up in the recovery room to hear, well, she was really agitated and give her more Zofran (an anti nausea drug). I thought to mysrlf, well, if I was feeling nauseous, I would most definitely have been agitated, since that feeling evokes horrible memories. The nurses in the recovery room were freaking angels. Total strangers to me, but they took better care of me than my mother ever did, without complaints, and without making me feel like I was a pain in the neck. I cried about a pain in my shoulder (apparently that’s where the gas they use to inflate your body migrates to) and they piled it up with hot pads. I also cried about 1 of my 5 incisions hurting, and they covered it with an ice pack. My knees hurt from being out straight for hours, and they piled pillows underneath them. I think I did a whole lot of healing in the 2 hours I spent in that recovery room. I was so vulnerable and my needs were attended to, not belittled, and not questioned. I think that I’ve always,felt myself not totally worthy of that kind of care, yet these nurses attended to my needs, nonjudgmentally. Sounds strange that my soul healed so much from that short time, but it really did.
So, life after surgery has been pretty uneventful. No pain meds after three days. No anti nausea drugs after 4 days. No dehydration. I’m drinking ALL OF THE TIME! The staples were removed from my incisions today, and I ate 4 tablespoons of real food today. I’ve also lost 18 lbs since my preop appointment. Life is good.
MT (my therapist ) and I are constantly working on mindfulness. There has been nothing like recovering from this surgery to make me live in this very present moment. I’ve had very few flashbacks in the last 9 days, and those that I did have, I was able to pay very little attention to. When I was first out of surgery, all I could do was slerp, get out of bed to go to the bathroom, walk the halls for a few minutes, and get back in bed to get ready to repeat that cycle. I even at one point could only pay attention to sipping enough water to make me pee more, so that the nurses would stop threatening to catheterize me. Talk about being in the moment….Since I’ve been home, I’ve spent my time concentrating on getting enough fluids and protein into me, and sleeping, and being with my family. I’m living in the moment. There is not much room for the past. Although, there will be in MT’s office once I go back to therapy tomorrow. But, I’m hoping with this experience under my belt, I’ll be able to leave the past for when I’m ready to deal. Like when I have time or when I’m in MT’s office.