A few people have asked what it was for.
I had to have my gallbladder removed - I'd been suffering terrible pain, and an ultrasound showed I had at least one stone approximately 13mm in diameter (think half an inch, folks in the States).
Turns out that was an under-estimate - they gave me a specimen jar with two stones that size as a "souvenir" after the surgery. But then my surgeon told me the next day that was only "some" of the stones they found - no wonder I'd been in pain!
But at the same time as the cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), I also underwent gastric banding surgery.
I'm a diabetic and overweight, and I'd been discussing this surgery with my endocrinologist, because the diabetes association here is reporting that it can really help diabetics to gain control of their weight and, more importantly, significantly improve or even reverse their diabetes.
Discovering that the surgeon who was going to remove my gallbladder was also able to do the banding, and that he in fact recommended doing them together, and the sooner the better, was one of those strange serendipities that I always think is the universe sticking big signposts in front of you to let you know you're making the right choice.
There were a number of these serendipities - being able to attend an information seminar the night after my appointment with the surgeon (they're usually only held every four months), getting appointments with the dietitian and psychologist who are part of the multi-disciplinary team who manage these procedures within the two weeks prior to the surgery, being able to be booked in for the next available spot, being able to take time off from work easily.
It all came together very easily, from a logistics point of view. I did have a slightly tougher time getting used to the idea psychologically - this is a major life change, and I jumped into it with both feet without a lot of time to think about it and what the impact would be. The health impacts are key deciders, but I have had a quiet few weeks being rather internally focused while I've dealt with all of this.
I'm happy to say that I'm getting there in terms of my mental adjustment, as time goes on.
Physically, the operations went well. I'm not a big fan of general anaesthesia, or of pain - the last time I was in hospital, it was for a D&C and I could not believe the pain that caused.
Happily, I literally remember being wheeled into the OR, seeing my surgeon, who gave me a big smile and a reassuring pat, and then having the oxygen mask come down over my face. And then some jumbled stuff as I was waking up in Recovery afterwards.
After the surgery, I was a bit hazy for a few hours, but I came good quick enough to complain about being on oxygen (it tastes awful) and was out of bed and walking around the minute they took that nasty stuff away. I was pushing an IV stand around, but hey, I was out of bed and determined not to get back in it til I was ready to actually sleep.
The pain has been steadily decreasing. I love that - I've dealt with chronic pain, which just never gets better, so waking up every morning and thinking, "hey, I feel better than I did yesterday" is brilliant!
I do have eight separate incisions - seven of those are small ones (half inch) and there's one that is about three inches. Because of this, I'm on what I like to call "double secret heavy lifting probation" - which is like Mick Foley's "double secret chairshot probation" (and we both stole it from Animal House, so there!) - essentially, I'm not allowed any heavy lifting for the next six weeks, while my abdominal wall heals from all those punctures.
I was thinking, optimistically, that I'd be well enough to go back into the office next week, but I don't think that's going to be the case. However, my boss is a terrific woman, and I'd already suggested that it might be that I wanted to work from home for a bit, while I recovered.
There's a world of difference between feeling good while doing little or nothing at home, and feeling well enough to manage a 35 minute commute by train, the walk to the office and then doing the whole thing in reverse 8 hours later.
Still, I figure I can work from home next week and kind of build up to the kind of activity levels I'll need to be going into the office, and things will be fine the week after that.
So that's it in a (very large) nutshell.
One thing I do have to mention - the girls from my office sent me a lovely bouquet of flowers yesterday, which was a lovely surprise. Now, they all know what a wrestling fan I am, and it is the source of much amusement in the office from time to time. So I was delighted when the card read:
Dear June, we hope you are recovering well. We've all been thinking of you! We wanted to send you a wrestling stripper . . . but (the boss) wouldn't let us use her credit card for that. Much love (the team)
Just think, if they'd been able to send me Jeff, who would kindly take it all off for me while shaking his fine booty, I would have been able to report whether or not he does have magical powers of healing, as was being discussed on whispernthwind the other day!!
Oh well, I guess I'll just have to spend my spare time looking at pics of him, and 'Taker, and Kane (who is looking absolutely fucking slurpable lately - I think he's been working out more!) . . . still, it won't be as scientific as having Jeff stripping in my living room!