Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Home at Last

Warning:   If you are weak of stomach, you may want to pass on this post.  If you are offended by honest confessions of weakness and doubt, pass again.   However, if you are up to a good laugh at someone else's expense (mine), read on.

It's been a loong week.   Last week at this time I was eating my presurgery bland diet.    Tuesday, I began the liquid diet with the gagging, cleansing cocktail that was in the largest jug I've ever seen.   It was rough going.  I had a great visit with my Dad.   Our children, excepting the oldest son and married daughter (of course), all got to my sister's to settle in for the week.  My husband had just hunted down a dryer since another appliance died since our cancer journey began and was getting everything in order for our week.   The next morning, Wednesday, we had to be at the hospital between 5 and 5:30 and I got into the elevator at 5:29.   Everything went pretty quick after that.   They "cleaned me out" more!   I got gowns on, talked to the ileostomy folks who marked me for my stoma, talked to doctor and anesthesiologist.   Don't remember a thing after they asked if I was ready.   Honestly, don't remember much about Wednesday at all except thinking I was in so much pain that I needed a bedpan fast!!   I was arguing with the nurse that I really needed one, although I had a catheter and an ileostomy.    My eldest daughter was translating for me because I was talking crazy under anesthesia drugs and I guess I was too insistent.  I woke up stuck to a bedpan!   Wednesday was a blur of sleep and pain.   Thursday I was more coherent and couldn't figure out why I had i.v.'s when I had a port and was trying hard not to think about my ileostomy.    Meanwhile, my sister was managing all the kiddos including home schooling them.   My mother was helping out between me and the kiddos.   (She'll need a vacation soon).   My daughter, although balancing nursing school, husband, and two kiddos, came everyday to the hospital.   My eldest son held down the home front while working his part-time job and visiting afterwards.   (In fact their last visit together which also included my son-in-law, my son's girlfriend, and a family friend, I discovered laughter is not good medicine if it takes you hours for your stomach to quit hurting so you can sleep.  Although, it was still good for my heart.)  However, nobody will need a vacation more than my husband.   He has been truly a dream through the "for worst" part of our vows.   Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is a blur of dealing with crazy amounts of pain (especially after they took the magic morphine button away from me), dealing with nausea, eating a liquid diet although I had no appetite, and ignoring the ostomy.   In fact, I decided until I had to learn to go home, I was not dealing with it at all.  But by Sunday the nurse decided I had to learn how to empty my bag.   I was not happy!  My thinking was this is what they get paid for and I have to deal with it the rest of the 6 months, let me stay in denial.  I didn't prepare myself before surgery for the bag like I would everything else in life because I really hoped they would change their mind or I wouldn't need it.   I decided my nurse was lazy (and this one was although the rest were great) and quit even calling her when I needed help which led to a big disaster.   Rusty had to help me when nurse's didn't because 'stuff' had to be measured to keep up with the output.   I'm not sure why I didn't call him right away this time to the restroom, which is good for him because the end slipped out of my hand and liquid poop went everywhere.   I was so emotional about this whole deal that I looked up at Rusty (he was at the door) and instead of breaking down crying like I felt like doing, I smiled weakly and said, "sh*t happens?"    Now my children reading this will be in shock, because this is definitely not in our family's vocabulary and it's not anything I struggle with so please don't send me notes of how terrible profanity is and that Christian's shouldn't ever use it.     Because I agree and teach this even to my family, but it was a weak moment that needed serious humor.   It delivered because it's so out of character for me and my hubby just laughed.    And we needed to laugh.   

Before I could go home, I have to pass ostomy training.  My nurse was very sweet.   She let me know that in ileostomy world my stoma was beautiful.  I let her know in the real world it was disgusting!   She told me all kinds of details and even the what if things that could go wrong.   No lie...I started getting a fever, my 110/60 bp went up to 151/95.   I advised her I don't do bad smells.  She advised me it's no worse than baby poop because it's coming out the small intestine.  I let her know that I'm the mom that struggled changing poopy diapers and I have 8 children.   She said it really isn't too terrible once I accept the mental.   I let her know that I'm not sure how anybody eats on the toilet.   (When you eat anything with an ostomy, you get to hear disgusting output noises while you are eating!)   At this point, I told my mom to please feel free to leave because I doubt I could even do this for her (did I mention I think they removed my filter along with 18" of my colon).   I somehow passed training but she did sign me up for two weeks of home health care.  (When did I get so old?)

Well, this is a long post but that's the story.  

Apologies to everybody to whom my missing filter may have caused hurt feelings:
*the folks drawing blood that I told them to go away they got no more chances because I have a port they could access. 
*to my husband who advised me my diamond fell out of my ring at some point while I was in surgery.   When he let me know that everybody felt it must have been loose to have fallen out and I responded if that makes you feel better and helps you sleep at night, okay.   (i yi yi)
*to my mom, I will really help you out if you have an ostomy one day (with help from the Lord!). 
*to my eldest son, whom I found out I gave a serious guilt trip to when I was on morphine.
*to anyone else I may  have missed.....apologies.   I was on drugs if that gives me a pass.

Prayers:   to sleep at night more than one-two hours at a time due to discomfort and pain, nausea to go away, fevers to stay away, to mentally adjust to life with an ostomy.

1 comment:

Jolene said...

While I know part this was written tongue in cheek I can see that with all honesty you need our prayers much more than our laughter right now....although laughter is beautiful you need stronger medicine. The Lord uphold you and carry you through this trial.

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