Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Recovery - Week Two

My Therapy Dog

My mom and dad got this teeny dog a couple of days ago.  Mom brought her over yesterday morning, and she became my own little therapy dog.  We snuggled and slept together.  Little Trixie/Stella/Fluffbucket/Boatfeet/Heartnose (they're trying to pick out a name for her.  They're looking at the first two names in the series.  The three latter names are my ideas.  I make up the coolest names EVER) couldn't have come at a better time, because I had a HORRIBLE weekend.

Going Through Withdrawals

Why the horrible weekend?  Oh, because I was out of Hydrocodone.  And I really thought I should try to use Extra Strength Tylenol in lieu of it rather than call in a refill on the Hydrocodone.  I just really, really don't want to get addicted to painkillers.  For realsies.  It's one of my biggest fears.  Up there with tornados and heights.  So I thought, "The doc knows what he's doing.  If I'm out of the big guns, that means it's time to bite the bullet and do my best with lesser pills."

I Have PostUterine Depression

So many allusions to firearms in that last sentence. Which is apt.  Because I felt like shooting myself the first day without the hydrocodones.  It was rough.  Not only physically, but also, emotionally.  I was a hot mess.  I cried off and on all day and night.  I haven't cried this much since right before I was diagnosed with clinical depression.  It felt good and bad to cry - good because it was cathartic; bad because it hurt my stomach. :)

My poor home teacher called that evening to ask if there was anything he could do for me/us, and I just started sobbing.  I felt weird asking if he wanted to vacuum my living room, so I asked him the only thing I felt comfortable asking - if he wanted to come over and help Ben give me a blessing.  It was a really great blessing and helped to calm me down. For a couple of hours. :)  Sheesh.  Hot.  Mess.

RLS from Hell

That night, I got a really, really nasty case of Restless Legs Syndrome.  I didn't want to disturb Ben, so I tried to sleep on the couch.  Right when I would finally doze off, I would wake with a start to discover my legs flailing around by themselves.  And so it went, clear until 5 in the morning.  Not kidding about that.  At one point, I was literally staring at the ceiling, tears streaming down my face, begging Heavenly Father to take it away.

He didn't take it away.  Which I didn't take personally.  As I told Ben, sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes the answer is no.  If it's no, there's something I need to learn from that experience.  Ben doesn't agree.  He thinks that Heavenly Father is too busy with bigger problems.  Which I can see.  Civil war?  Refugees?  Or a girl with Restless Legs Syndrome?  Yeah.  Help the refugees.  For reals.  Whatever the reason for the unanswered prayer, I didn't take it personally.  It just made for an extremely miserable night.

I Am a Drug Addict

I muddled through one more day and one more horribly sleepless night - this one caused by just tons of pain - and I had had enough.  I called my doc, and they immediately called in more of the Good Stuff to the pharmacy.  And I've been doing a lot better since.  (And, of course, mentally beating myself up for not being able to function on Extra Strength Tylenol.)

How Did You Guys Do It???

I keep thinking about all of my friends that have had C-sections and wondering how on this earth they had more than one child.  They have basically my same recovery issues, PLUS dealing with a newborn baby, engorgement, postpardem depression...holy cow.  They are superwomen.

TV Anger

I had another rough night maybeeee...a week ago or so?  Yeah.  I think I hadn't eaten enough, or I stood up too fast, or something.  But my sister Nat came to visit, and when I got up to see her, I got seriously, seriously ill.  Nauseated, blacking out, etc.  I recovered after eating some saltines, and I lay on the couch, shivering in my blanket, while Ben sat with me and we watched TV.

He wanted to watch some show about people looking at houses in Alaska to buy.  And I don't know if it was how sick I was feeling or what, but I was watching this show and getting SO DANG MAD.  So this guy and his wife are looking at these houses, and the first house was this piece of crap that was going for $100,000, and it didn't even have plumbing, heat, or electricity!!!  The realtor is like, "Well, you'll have to bring some propane in to keep the heat, and that's $4 per gallon..."  And the guy and his wife weren't even surprised!  This didn't bother them at all!  They're like, "Oh, uh-huh."  And there wasn't a KITCHEN in the HOUSE!  It was this separate lean-to type place OUTSIDE for this lady to cook!!  I'm like, dude, this isn't Tahiti, people!!!  This is ALASKA!  It does get cold there sometimes!!  So I'm like, did the last owner of this house have to put on his snow pants, boots, gloves, etc. and tramp out there in 40-below weather to cook dinner???  It was so weird!  But the wife was only kind of mildly bothered about this, like, "Hm, well, that's not as easy as a kitchen inside..."  And of course, you had to use an outhouse to pee.  What if you have to pee in the middle of the night???  And it's 40 below zero???  But the husband is all, "But look at this dog yard they have for my mushing dogs.  It's so awesome.  Each dog has his own hut, and blah blah blah..."  And I was like, "YOUR MUSHING DOGS???  WHAT ABOUT YOUR WIFE???"  Seriously, I was so dang mad watching this show!!  I wanted to punch the TV!!

They ended up buying a place that had actual indoor plumbing and heating.  The husband was all mad about it not having a good sled dog area.  I was like, "DUUUUUDE!!"

And then there was this one where a guy and his wife were looking for a house along this river.  And again, no indoor plumbing or toilet.  They had a separate "bath house" thing where you have to tromp outside to get to it.  I was shaking in anger at this point.  Oh, and the realtor is like, "This is an active area for bears, so when you come out to use the bathroom, you'll have to bring your bear spray with you each time."  Are you freaking KIDDING me??  I was so mad that, with difficulty, I rolled off the couch and waddled downstairs.  I just couldn't watch that show for one more second.  And I lay in my bedroom, shivering, teeth chattering.

It reminds me of when I came home with Dylan after I had him.  I was just so ANGRY all the time.  Especially at things on TV.  I remember we were watching a movie...I think it was called The Transporter.  And I was just getting so MAD.  I was like, "All this show is, is these anorexic hussies, and this sub-par, balding actor, and a lot of driving.  I can't believe this movie even got made!!  Who even FINANCED this???"

It was a weird time.

I'm Really Sweaty

Man, I am ALWAYS hot and sweaty for the past couple of weeks.  I've honestly stopped wearing a bra.  So, sorry if you come over and see things you don't really want to see.  I just don't see the point in wearing a bra when all I do is sweat all over it.  And I wash my bras by hand, and I really don't have the energy to wash my each bra more often then every two days, you know?  So I just...wear my shirts without.  And figure that people can live with it.

My Bowels are Being Sybil-Like 

If you didn't catch the reference there, um, my bowels have a split personality right now.  And that's really all I want to say about that.  Oh, and that it's really not my favorite thing.

My Own Silver Linings Playbook

So there is one great thing so far in all of this hot mess of a recovery - my bladder.  Ever since I was 12, (I was telling my friend the other day that it's been since I was 15, but I realized that it really started earlier, when I went through puberty) I've had this constant, constant urge to pee.  Whether I have to truly pee or not.  It was alllllways there.  For 23 years.  It was uncomfortable.  I tried Overactive Bladder medications, which didn't do much to help me.  So I figured it was just something I had to live with.

When I had my consultation with my PA, she said that this surgery may not help with the urgency problem.  But that it would definitely help with the stress incontinence. So I went ahead and decided to get this burch bladder pin procedure along with my hysterectomy.

And guess what?  For the first time in 23 years, the constant urgency feeling IS. GONE.  I'm not kidding.

Can you imagine how it feels, after feeling like you have to pee all the time for 23 years, to not have that feeling?  Only to have that feeling when you truly do have to pee?  I'll go for like two hours without peeing and go, "Gosh, should I go pee?  I don't feel like I have to, but.....should I?"  I'm not used to going that long without hitting a bathroom.  It's amazing!!!

The Pain

When I envisioned my pain, I thought it would be centered around my abdomen, where my incision was made.  What surprised me for the first week and a half or so was that there was definitely pain in my abdomen, but that it really spread throughout my whole body.  It's that achey feeling that you get when you have the flu.  Every bone in your body hurts.  Every muscle in your body hurts.  That really surprised me.

The last couple of days (with the hydrocodone), it has changed a little.  The pain feels more like very heavy menstrual cramps or the beginnings of labor.  Occasionally, it will spread to my bumb or my lower back. But it's mainly just in that area.  And for some reason, that's easier for me to cope with. than the whole-body thing.

The Help

Oh my gosh, I have had soooo much help.  My mom comes every morning.  My sister has come four times in the mornings.  They clean, help with kids, get them off to school, etc.  It has meant the world to me.

And then in the afternoons, some sweet ladies from my ward have been coming over to help with kids and cleaning.  I feel so weird, like, "Hey, I'm completely lucid and able to walk around, but I'm not allowed to clean my house, so let me watch you while you scrub my toilet."  I feel a lot of guilt.  But they have been so fantastic.

And the food, oh the food.  People have been bringing a steady stream of food for the past week and a half.  I even had a lady bring a casserole today.  That has been awesome.  (Although I keep telling Ben that I have been really jonesing for a pizza...  And ice cream.  Always ice cream.)

And then my sweet mom takes one of my Warring Children (Sadie and Micah) with her every day.  Micah goes with her one day, then Sadie the next, and so on.  And that has made a world of difference.  I just don't have the strength to play referee between those two. And she knows it.

So yeah, I'm really, really grateful.  And hopefully these psychotic anger-at-TV and bawling-all-night moments will stop happening so frequently...  And eventually....eveeeeeentually, I'll start to feel a little more like myself again.

If you want to come over and see me, do.  I'm here.  Allll day.  Eeeevery day.  And when you come, bring me some canadian bacon and pineapple pizza, mmmkay?


anjie said...

Karlenn!! Good grief, girl! I have one suggestion that might help with the restless legs. Ionic Fizz. Drink before bed. In a week or so, things should be better. Do it everyday. I take it. It helps with legs cramps too. During pregnancy it even helped with heartburn. Don't take it the same time as iron, if you take that. The magnesium in it will help you absorb all the calcium and it will also help your bowels. Hope this helps! Hope you feel some relief and peace soon. (ps, I buy it at a natural food store)

Mindy H. said...

Yikes! I am glad that you have so much help, but oh my goodness! You are going to need weeks to recover from your recovery! Maybe I should add your name to the junior high kidlett prayer list? Currently, all of the 7th and 8th graders are praying for snowdays and a federal law prohibiting algebra tests, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind putting in a good word for you too. I really hope (and pray) you feel better soon!

megan said...

I'm sorry it's so hard!! I am sooo bad with pain, I don't think I could do as amazing as you are doing!! I need to come visit you more. Maybe I should make it a daily ritual:) Love ya!

Jan Wolf said...

About 22 years ago, I went to a symphony with another couple. Midway through, I started having to move my legs. At first it was an annoyance, but I ended up getting up and standing outside in the foyer waiting for the concert to finish. I had to keep flexing my calves, I couldn't just stand there not moving. That was the beginning of my RLS nightmare. All these years later, I still suffer with it. I have laid in bed crying, I have walked the house in the wee hours of the morning, crying out to God to please take this away and let me get some sleep, as I had to be at work early those mornings. I'd fall asleep about 5:15 in the morning and have to get up at 7:30 and work all day. I've tried different medications - the thing that comes closest to helping is Mirapex. But, that's not a miracle drug. I don't understand why God would NOT help me - I was truly desperate, in the night with the discomfort and in the day with the exhaustion. I don't have to work those hours anymore, so it helps to not have to get up as early. Thank you to whom mentioned the fizz water; I'm going to try that. I didn't mean to make this all about me. When reading your post, I just felt so bad for you, with dealing with all you have to deal with, and then having RLS on top of it. I know how it can truly impose on your life in all facets. I hope yours ends soon. Let's try that fizz water. And, write me at 3:00 a.m. We can commiserate together. I love your blogs, I love you! Thanks for all of your lesson helps.

Kar said...

Hey, Jan! Man, this was soooo long ago! And I've been through way worse than this, crazily enough. So here is some food for thought - I was on clonazepam for the RLS, right? For a few years. And then I got cancer and started having some really tough panic attacks. I found out, through a psychiatrist, that I had basically had anxiety all my life - I just never recognized it as such - and he prescribed me Trazodone. It has been the best thing EVER for my RLS. I actually fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed, almost NO RLS. Ever. For the last two years, I have actually gotten a full nights' sleep. For the first time in my LIFE. Food for thought.

Jan Wolf said...

i KNOW you've been through much worse! i really can't imagine what you have gone through, although i had to watch my mom suffer with cancer of the lining of her stomach. i myself had a small bout of colon cancer, but it was found in plenty of time. i pray you are on the mend. i just finished preparing my SS lesson and your helps really do help a lot! Trazedone, huh? I'll ask my doctor about it. Does it leave you groggy the next day? I'm definitely looking into that! It's even beginning to happen in the daytime now, but that isn't too hard to control. But, like you and everyone else, this lady needs her sleep and I'll do whatever it takes. Thanks for the tip and God bless you and your sweet family.

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