Week 3: The surgery…

Well, that was quite an experience.
On Monday morning, 15 January 2018, I had to check-in at the hospital at 10am, but first I had to pick up my mom because she would stay with me until I would wake up again (bless her!). At 10am, I registered at the pre-surgery lounge and we were requested to wait. My mother and I found a leather couch to chill on right next to the coffee machine, and the coffee was great! Well…according to my mom. I wouldn’t know because I had to have an empty stomach pre-surgery. Eventually, at 12pm, the nurse came, and she brought me to a room where I had to change clothes.

They already put a nice surgery shirt on the bed for me and elegant inflatable support stockings (I had thrombosis in the past so that’s out of precaution). To be honest, I thought that you only see those shirts in movies, you know, the ones that are open at the back and you basically just parade in your underwear? But noooo. In this hospital they had them too….and probably in the rest of the world but hey, how could I know? Lesson learned: Always wear nice underwear if you go to a hospital for surgery (and matching underwear if you go outside, just in case you get hit by a bus and have to go to a hospital. That’s what my mom taught me). Then, around 1.30pm (and still with an empty – by now rumbling – stomach and a dry throat), it was time to say goodbye to my mom.

The nurse drove me, nicely tucked in in my bed, to the recovery room.
Wait what? Yes, the recovery room. Full of sleeping, drowsy, or vomiting people who had just had their surgery. It looked like a factory, except I arrived through the wrong side because I still needed my surgery. It was a very busy Monday and the nurse left me for a while in the middle of that recovery room until a spot came available in the preparation room. Thank God they put a beautiful green-ish hairnet on my head so I wouldn’t feel too left out…
Eventually there was a place in the preparation room, so they drove me over there, neatly parked me and closed the curtains. Then the whole circus started. People came from all sides to ask questions, give injections, insert the drip, ask even more questions, discovered that the drip didn’t work so they tried again but now in my other hand, check the tubes and ask even more questions. And then, just when you think you cannot get more nervous …… you’re taken to the operating theater.

After that everything went very fast. I had to cry a little, was put at ease by the anesthetist who promised me the most beautiful dreams and then the surgeon came to introduce herself.
“Hi, I’m Dr. Tseng” she said.
Hmm … .okaaay, that’s weird. Somehow it didn’t make any sense but of course I wasn’t really all there. Anyway, I replied:
“Hi, I’m Cindy. I really thought you’d be a man, oh…and Chinese”.
Obviously Dr. Tseng was a woman and Caucasian. Bad start if your life is in her hands. Luckily, she didn’t take it the wrong way, because I’m still here and am blogging as we speak.

Then it was time to take a good and refreshing nap with lots of fresh oxygen and beautiful dreams (that’s what the anesthetist had promised me). 1,5 hours later, Dr. Tseng closed me up and they brought me to the recovery room. I had now become one of those sleepy, drowsy, but thankfully not vomiting, people, and around 4.30pm they brought me to the room where my mom was waiting for me. I only had to get through one night at the hospital… and try not to get stressed out by a million gazillion beeps, enough drinking, peeing, showering, checking wounds, sign out and yes! I was allowed to go home.

Photo: Just awake and feeling 10yrs younger from all the oxygen
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Well, that is really the trickiest part. As soon as you come home you have to do everything yourself. Preparing and weighing your own food and also eating it. Kind of scary if they just cut away pieces of your stomach to the size of a walnut. Luckily my gunshot wounds (6 holes in my belly) don’t really hurt, it just feels like they’ve played Mikado in my stomach. Like a huge inside-out bruise. But hey, if that’s all then I’m really lucky.

Right now, I just have to get more energy because I am still a bit sleepy and I need to get used to an eating rhythm. I can already eat a lot of different foods, but it feels like that’s the only thing I do. The whole day consists of drinking-eating-pills-drinking-eating-drinking-eating etc.
Milestone: last Thursday I eat my first baby plate with solid food. It was a kind of stew with 50gr chicken breast, 100gr snow peas, 50gr potato and 50gr tomato and it tasted fantastic! It took me about half an hour to eat it and I could only finish half the plate, but after those days of only liquids… it tasted as if Jamie Oliver personally prepared my food.

Photo: Baby’s first solid food
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Furthermore, as I already mentioned, it is all a matter of getting my strength back because my body now receives only very little nutrition/vitamins/minerals. At this moment it is stealing everything it needs from my muscles instead of eh… well, my butt and stuff. When I go up the stairs I’m exhausted, when I have a shower I’m exhausted, when I walk the Muppets* I’m exhausted.
*Our 2 Chihuahua’s are called Muppet and Elmo. They’re a bit (very) weird so we just call them ‘the Muppets’.

But after all, it hasn’t even been a week since the surgery, so I’ll just give myself a little bit of time to heal and then it is time for my next step. THE CAMINO.

Until next week 😊

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