Seven days after surgery and here I am, doing remarkably well overall, if not quite ready for prime time yet. My eye was checked Monday and pronounced healed (a forty minute appointment that turned into three hours- mostly spent sitting around and waiting, and a keen reminder I’m not nearly as healed as I thought I was; it knocked the stuffing right out of me). After I recovered from that – keeping oneself upright really does take a remarkable amount of energy, and I was exhausted and cranky and sore and hunched over by the time I got home – there’s been a lot of napping, and reading of books, and dipping my toes in the waters of teh interwebs.
It’s an exciting life I lead, I tell you.
Peeled off the Tegaderm and gauze in the shower on Sunday morning, revealing *tiny* little incisions low on either side and a slightly larger central one; all healing beautifully with very minimal bruising. Dermabond (surgical superglue) on the two sides, and possibly on the central one. It’s a bit harder to tell on that one, since it’s in my navel, and is somewhat less beautiful than the other two, with little jaw marks on the flesh about it (presumably from forceps) – and I don’t particularly want to be poking at it – but, again, it will disappear in no time. Scars were certainly not my primary concern, but it is amazing how bloody miniscule the incisions are.
I’ve also watched the video of my surgery – which is gruesome and nasty and somewhat stomach turning, right up to the point where it tips over into Monty Python absurdity and suddenly becomes simply ludicrous. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen until the last of the four clips… even I had to take a number of breaks in the viewing. Somehow you picture a ‘harmonic scalpel’ as being rather more precise and scalpel like, something out of futuristic science fiction with a X-acto type blade moving so swiftly and cleanly as to be a blur of light, cutting and cauterizing on fastidiously accurate lines of division… well, at least I did. And wouldn’t chance be a fine thing?
The reality is rather different. The harmonic scalpel is closer to the bastard child of a miniaturized curling iron and a heat sealing device; the jaws open and either move forward onto flesh or have flesh dragged into them; the jaws close and the flesh in between them melts, thaws, and resolves itself into a dew, though rather less poetically. Smoke rises, things bubble and burn and drip and spray, strings of meat pull and stick to the jaws as it opens and bites again – it’s not for the fainthearted.
However, it appears to have done the trick quite nicely. The initial post-operative swelling is already going down; the only major pain I’ve had has been from the scratched cornea; bruising was minimal and is already receding; post operative bleeding was extremely limited; and all other systems are doing *fine*.
I’m doing quite well getting around the house, up and down stairs and all, light housework (ie, washing dishes) – no stamina to speak of yet (as Monday proved, holding myself upright for four hours is way too long. It took the rest of the day and most of yesterday to recover), and no strength but – for a week after major abdominal surgery, I’m well pleased and then some.
The other bit is – I feel *better*.
Now, obviously, it’s all very fuzzy and squishy data as of yet; I’m hardly healed and my current lifestyle more closely resembles a cat’s* than a normal human’s, my pre-surgical stress (not to be discounted) has been relieved, but it’s as though something that was creating an imbalance on a fundamental level has been removed, and while there’s all the physical stress of that removal, the underlying systems are shifting back to equilibrium.
My theory on this is that between the endometrial buildup and what turned out to be numerous small fibroids (the sense I got was that the uterine tissue was fairly well riddled with them), having my uterus was costing me a pretty high price in terms of systemic estrogen. Now that estrogen is freed up for other, more useful, tasks – such as overall physical and mental balance.
It’s all early days yet, but it’s how it feels to me: I feel like a relatively healthy person who’s just had major abdominal surgery, and is recovering rapidly. This is a good thing.
And I didn’t even have to lose my eyesight to get here!
*Nap, eat, nap, read, nap, eat, shiny thing, litterbox, nap… Zoe is most pleased I’ve returned to the Cat Side.