Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Checking In

I think I'm focused enough to post something here.

Fist of all, I want to thank all of you for you so many supportive comments and great advice over the past few weeks as we're passing through this. You can't imagine how much it has meant.

Not that it is likely that they'll ever see it but I can never begin to adequately thank my nurses especially Jodie, Tracy, Robin, Diane, and of course their excellent supervisor Sherry for their professional excellence, caring, and openness to our family.

I'd like too to thank my surgeon. He is excellent. Certainly THIS has not gone well, but overall his postoperative infection/complication rate is about 0.5%, which is excellent. I just got "lucky." He has been excellent in his working to remediate and cure these complications.

BTW, as of my weigh in upon arising with swan this morning, I have now lost 38 pounds in the 4 weeks since beginning the pre-surgical liquid protein diet (301 pounds March 9 down to 263 pounds this morning).

Then there are my two, my loves, who have carried me through this. I am thrilled with how smoothly and predictably t's surgery and recovery have gone. After all the horrific illness we went throuugh with her in 2000, I am genuinely grateful that if this had to happen, it was to me and not her.

swan who spent endless night after night in the hospital sleeping in a terrible recliner chair, to nurse and support me, I can never tell you what all your caring has meant. You supported us both, but most especially me, right to the point of total exhaustion and collapse once you got me home. Thank god you finally got rested again last weekend. I am glad that at least this week when you are off to school you have had a night's sleep at my side, and that at the end of the day you can home to us both here. Thank you for holding my hand while they performed low grade abdominal surgery without anesthesia to open, probe, and express my infection site. It was one of the most gruesome "consensual cutting scenes" I've ever done, and I don't know how I would have passed through the excruciating pain without your gaze and tightly gripped hand.

Thank you to our friends Tangerine and her guy for their visits that lightened my illness when it was in some of its earliest and worst times. They visited us one week day evening and before they left I forgot where I was, and felt like we were at home spending and evening with then sipping Chianti and socializing. It was a fabulous respite.

I have joked that I have improved so wildly that now I am up to feeling just terribly sick. There are the twice daily dressing changes that t and swan share responsibility for. In the last day I have had a low grade temp and feel "infected." I am just sort of generally sick feeling and very tired and weak. I had not had any pain meds for several days, but broke down and took a dose last night. The smaller of my two "holes" started twinging and aching, and I was feeling tired and run down, and just said the hell with it. I am sleeping pretty well, and am managing to go to the bathroom myself. Getting into and out of bed has gotten relatively easy and of course the 38 pounds weight loss help in that regard as well.

Most of my days seem to be spent in pretty continuous eating and drinking from within the boundaries of my limited diet to try to get in as much nutrition and hydration as possible. All signs are that now my new stomach is functioning well.

Thank you again, all of you. There is a way through this, it is just going to take way longer to recover than we ever imagined.

Raheretic

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

11 comments:

sin said...

Welcome Back Tom. We worried for you, and rightly so I think.

I have followed your story for the last month fairly obsessively. As others have commented, I too check several times a day for updates on both your blogs.

I'm so relieved you finally seem to be on the road to recovery. Relieved for T and swan too.

Your obvious encouragement and delight in the comments you received from us has made us all feel like we were part of the process, like we mattered to you, made a difference in helping you to get through these changes in your life.

Thanks for including your cyber friends. And thanks for the update, its nice to imagine you well enough to type the entry. Keep feeling better.

sin

Hermione said...

Tom,

It's great to hear your side of the story at last VBG.

Sounds like you are well on your way to recovery now. Things can only get better now.

Hugs,
Hermione

Impish1 said...

Consider it an awesome sign that you were able to make it here yourself, but realize you are to worn and weary to make it a habit. Still, like finally having a visit with a too ill friend, it reassures. I'm off for a bit, but will check in when I get back - until then, take care, get rest, get better, good thoughts to all.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Welcome back Tom,

Glad you are feeling a little better.

I can't say it any better than has been said by sin...Thank you for including your cyber friends...we really cared and worried about you...if we can make your recovery a little brighter Yaaaaay!

Be well,

Karen

Amber said...

Glad you are feeling better; we were worried, I admit it.

kitten said...

It is wonderful seeing you feeling well enough to post. I'm sorry that you have to go through the infections and the weakness, but positive thoughts that soon you will be infection free and stronger than ever with a new improved life. You are very blessed to have such wonderful ladies in your life.

Hugs,
kitten

Anonymous said...

Good that you feel well enough, to think about all of us following along the journey. Thanks!
And stay well please! Take care all of you...

Anna

M:e said...

How good to hear from you Tom.... and very good to have you back home with your loves. I'm sure our relief pales greatly compared to that of T's and Sue's.

Hopefully, the onward recovery from here will get easier day by day.

love and hugs xxx

Cherryleopard said...

Glad to hear from you and glad things are improving bit by bit. Now, I'm going to pass on one piece of advice... ignore as you wish... I nursed my sister through multiple breast and lymph node cancer surgeries last year. She's a tough gal and often wouldn't take pain meds even when stuff really really really hurt. It took a few of her surgeons and the best of her nurses to convince her that taking a bit of pain meds was important. Taking the pain meds can let your body rest and recuperate.

Of course, only you know your body well enough to know what's best. Reading your words just brought that to mind and I thought it might be good for you to hear just as it was good for my sis to hear.

Take care and so glad to hear the progress. May tomorrow be better than today!

Cynthia

littleone said...

i think Raheretic..... You are a very stubborn man!! coming on line to post !!!

But .. i have to admit i am very glad You did !!! It is good to read Your words/thoughts and know You are finally on the road to a full recovery... You had Sir and i worried there for a bit You know !!

morningstar (owned by Warren)

Anonymous said...

Welcome Back

Glad to hear you are starting to feel a little better.

Take care

Sharon