Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lessons Learned and Thank You's

Tomorrow I have my follow-up post-op with the surgeon about how I'm healing after gallbladder surgery. My belly button incision site still hasn't healed up, I've also managed to get a heat rash around my belly button at the same time.....but I think that the healing process has gone quite well. I was able to roll over without pain on Thursday, my stamina has increased, and I think that I will be able to return to running within the next week or so. I thought that this would also be as good as a time as any to go over some of the things that I have learned since being sick.

1. I am fairly confident in saying that my gallbladder hasn't been working properly for at least a year before the surgery. Eating without pain can never be underestimated....and if that means I need to take digestive pills with every meal for a while (or even for the rest of my life) it is totally worth it in order to be able to have a meal and feel fulfilled.

2. I miss pants. As the incision sites are on my waistline I haven't been able to wear pants for a couple of weeks now. Normally I am fine with skirts...but I also normally wear shorts underneath. As I can't deal with shorts at the moment, I have had to deal with sweaty thighs, and the worry of a sudden wind gust showing the world my undies. I wore a skirt the other day that sat on my waist...the combination of the sensitivity of the site and the hotness of the day created the current rash issue.

3. I've always known that I had an excellent support system, but seeing it in action is awe inspiring. Knowing that people care is one thing....having them prove it to you in a time of need is quite another. I have some oddly worded thank you's that I need to give.
To the GV fairies: Coming home from the hospital to see the flowers you sent reduced me to tears, thank you.
Linda: You have done so much for me over the years and I don't know if I will ever be able to truly tell you how much it has meant to me.
Ewa: Thank you for showing me that laughter is truly the best healer.
Agustina: Thank you for gelatto and dealing with my narcotic forgetfulness.
Jimmy: Thank you for keeping me company, getting me candy in my time of need, and holding my hand in the car during the aggressive driving session.
Dad: Thank you for braving hospital waiting rooms and the boredom that they provide in ample amounts.
Libby: Thank you for nagging me into making a doctor's appointment in the first place.
Karen and Kelly: Thank you for flowers and chocolate and for being EXTREMELY understanding for when I became horribly nauseous at lunch.
Alana: Thank you for making sure that even when bed ridden that someone was taking care of me, and for making me lay down at work when I needed to but wouldn't admit it.
And most importantly, thank you Mom for helping potty train me a second time, for yelling at the nurses when they needed it, for taking care of my every need for two and a half weeks, and for giggling with me in the multiple hospital rooms we visited.

4. Being this sick and out of commission for so long has been incredibly hard. Having to allow someone to take care of me, having to admit that I needed help, was so very deeply humbling. If the universe is trying to tell me anything, it is trying to tell me that I need to have patience with myself. Which is a difficult lesson for someone who is their own worst critic. I haven't had patience in giving myself the time and means to heal. Even though I have made strides in taking time for myself, I've also been shown that I haven't given myself enough time....there is so much more to do.

5. I am not really sure that I have a point five....but ending a list on 4. doesn't feel right for some reason. I guess I can say that I might have gotten over the need to hide the "embarassing" items in the shopping cart. We should all be proud that we are being proactive enough to take care of our own health....even if it means learning to buy yeast infection treatments, enemas, anti-gas pills, and laxative suppositories without shame.

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