Thursday, December 11, 2008

Surgery Complete . . .

After Surgery

Before Surgery

It is Thursday, I know.


I thought I would be up for writing by last Friday, a couple days following what I thought would be a 7 1/2 hour surgery, but ended up to being over 8.


I first have to give some props before I move on.  


My Doctor, Dr. Lior Heller at the Baylor Medical Center in Houston Texas is one fine surgeon and a fine person.  I hope no one ever puts himself or herself in my position to need this type of aggressive procedure, but if you do . . . He is your man.  He also does many other procedures, but I can only attest to how I feel and (even though it is very early and I can't tell a lot right now) how I look.


Now to the nitty gritty . . .


Going into this I knew there would be some pain.   I was mentally prepping myself for it, but wow was I off.  Those who know me whether my Army friends, Rugby Buds, Fraternity Brothers, and triathlons friends - They know I can take some pain.  It is kind of my calling card.


The recovery after this surgery is horrible, worse than any physical pain I have very felt in my life and the fact that it has been around now for seven days and sort of getting better sucks even worse.  


Now that I have the whole pain thing out of the way I wanted to do a play by play of the last week.


Wednesday Morning:

Amanda and I woke around 4:00a to report to registration at 6:00a.  We stayed in the Marriott, which is connected to the medical center. 


When I am nervous I shut up.  I was not talking at all.  After five and a half years of marriage Amanda can read me like a book and we can communicate non-verbally with amazing precision.


The Hospital computers were messed up.  My biggest fear!  I have the fear that there is a glitch in the system and they send me to the wrong surgeon and he/she cuts off my leg when I was there for hand surgery . . . This morning there was a glitch and they had me as already checked in . . . I began my silent meditation and praying.


I was sent to another floor to wait for prepping while they “fixed” the glitch.


Are you KIDDING me! 


As I got nekkid and put on the gorgeous hat you all see here I was close to a mental collapse.  Then, the nice lady walked into the room coming from her office on another floor to assure me that everything has been taken care of.  I think I spoke for the first time (besides answering medical questions) that morning when I told her how much relief she had brought me.


After about an hour and all the IV insertion, tests, etc it was time for the surgery sleep.  I remember hugging Manders and that would be all I remember until I was talking to a nice guy named Jason in PACU (recovery).  I shot to a little humor – “So, can I go for a jog now?” he laughed.  I immediately thought – dumb azz, like he’s never heard that before.


Something was going on, I didn’t know what, but something.  Amanda confirmed this later when she told me that at first they told her I was out of surgery and that she would be able to see me in about 20 minutes. 


2 hours later . . . I got to see her beautiful face.


Turns out I think they were concerned about my low HR.  I would keep telling them I have a very low resting Heart Rate.


I fell asleep.  My surgery began at 7:45a at this time it is almost 8p.


When I woke I was in my hospital room.  Kind of a cool place if you have to be in an atmosphere like this.  What was great . . . The nurses.


From JP, Ms Micael, Randi, Fidel, and others – I was very well taken care of.  I tried not to be a pain in the butt and thanked them continually.


First thing I learn is, I have this little machine.  It goes to my IV.  This machine had a button I push.  When I push this button – I get morphine.


I pushed that button many a time over the next three days.


My Mom Deau and Dad Jerry were in the room day two bright and early.  I don’t know how I would have gotten through this without them and my Momma Henrietta.


Mom Deau and Dad Jerry had the Thursday-Sunday shift until Momma Henrietta could get to town Sunday night, where she then had duties until she left Wednesday.


Dad was unbelievable.  He stayed with me and ran all over taking care of me.  Mom did the same.  BUT MORE than that they helped relieve Amanda so she could go back to the hotel and rest, shower, be alone – She IS preggo ya know.


I have put a lot on Amanda with this surgery.  She has been a trooper.


I have 4 drains.  These are tubes that come from around the impacted area.  They pull out the fluid as a result of the surgery.  YUCK, nasty!


They are such a pain in the butt.  On day three in the hospital they gave Amanda and I a course on how to drain them and log the fluid . . . WHHHAAAATT????


These things don’t come out before I leave?


Dr. Heller would visit twice a day and he had another partner who would visit once a day and Dr. Lee, an intern visited twice during those three days.


My sister Janet just happened to be in town for a class.  She lives in Denver now.  She and her husband Dwight made a stop in the hospital and it was such a bad time.


My morphine tube had emptied.  We notified the nurse, but they couldn’t get one and 45 minutes later my body began to convulse.  I finally received a new tube and about 30 minutes later I was back in LA LA land.


I really didn’t see my incision until the day of my check out.  It goes along my hip line ALL THE WAY AROUND my body.  It was/is quite ugly.  But, there is no belly.  I mean NOTHING. 


Dad Jerry helped me put on my clothes.  My limo/wheelchair arrived and I was whisked out of the hospital right to the bedroom in our hotel room.  Now that’s service!


This was Saturday.


Now that morphine was not readily available I was taking vicadin (s/p) every 4 hours.  Oh man, this is where the pain really began to suck.  I didn’t even enjoy one of the best football games I’d seen all year in the SEC Championship game with Florida and Alabama.


I haven’t been able to eat really.  I also haven’t been able to poop.  Once in seven days so far.  I know TMI.


Everyday has gotten a little better than the day before.  I still have all four drains, which I hope come out today. 


Momma Henrietta came in Sunday night and helped so much.  She doesn’t think that she did, but just being here sitting in the room was so comforting and it also allowed Amanda to get out of the room and run around a bit. 


I hope to go home Tuesday morning.  I will know more after my Dr appointment this afternoon.


I am cutting this short because I am getting tired and I am in a little pain.  Sorry to end this so quickly.




Tater said...

Wow! What an ordeal. Sounds like you have been though quite a bit but are on your way out the other side. Hope you and Amanda get to come home soon and get some rest. Thanks for the update. Still sending good thoughts y'alls way.


Timbeaux said...


You are definitely a friend to pain.

Do everything they say and get healed. You have a lot of racing to do next year.

And take care of Amanda!

Anonymous said...

BOGGS!!!! hang in there buddy ... I'm sure this short term pain will be worth your long term gain :)


Anonymous said...

i'm not sure, but having those tubes in ya while riding a bike may make it easier to use the bathroom. Maybe you leave them in....i don't know

rocketboy said...

i will put you in more pain when you are done....though you have upped the ante and can hang with me now:)
keep on keepin on bro!

Damie said...

Chris! I am thinking of you and hoping for a speedy recovery. You have been so brave- and just awesome.