Sunday, December 15, 2013
The surgery went as well as can be expected. I developed pneumonia, an infection that led to a second operation and finally got out of the hospital 2 weeks later. Apparently I had broken ribs which led to the pneumonia - my guess was during positioning during surgery they were broken. I left the hospital with 3 huge, gaping wounds on my abdomen and a wound vac on them. The next two months were spent trying to eat a ton of protein, every other day visits from home care nurses for dressing changes and lots of rest.
I got the wound vac off about two weeks ago. I'm down to wet to dry dressings now on the wound line and tiny remaining hole from the last open wound. The original holes were about 3" in diameter and a little over an inch deep. When I first saw them at home I freaked out and thought I'd take months to heal and I was scared witless that I'd blow open.
I went back to work about a month ago and have been working from home since 98% of my job is computer based. That was a blessing. I did get the flu about 3 weeks ago - right around Thanksgiving. I wore my abdominal binder extra tight with all the coughing I was doing. Now I'm just coughing when I lay down.
The hernia repair encompassed my entire abdomen from the rib cage to my pelvis to my pubic bone. It's funny, but the attachments of the mesh at the edges (by the ribs, pelvis etc...) are settling in and hurt. I have some scar tissue along the second surgery line which was horizontal rather than vertical - I have a "T" looking scar - hurts a lot as the remaining drainage is absorbed into my body. There were tunnels from the last two holes that ran here and there, but they've closed up now.
I lost 20 pounds since the surgery, hoping to keep it off. I was able to walk Dixie this week for the first time. I'm slowly building up my endurance each day (meaning a few more houses down the street) and getting stronger. I walked and did the stairs to my basement the past month or so, but walking Dixie can be a challenge so I waited on that. I've got my fitbit back on and will be challenging myself daily to add more steps. I'm still on the eat more protein mandate from my surgeon to continue to heal which is a hard thing to do. By the third week I was home, I couldn't look at an egg or protein powder without wanting to puke.
Glad to be back and in one piece. The surgery was super long, and took a lot more out of me than I expected. I guess getting older exacts a price on you at times. It makes me even more aware of how important it is to be in good shape and active. So, back and with a flat tummy (I got a tummy tuck in the deal too, no more baby flop down there) and feeling pretty good.