No laughing matter

8 Jun

I’ve been home from the hospital for nine days now and am happy to report that recovery is going well. In addition to sleeping at least ten hours each night, I nap anywhere from 2-4 hours everyday.  Probably the hardest part of recovery is the inability to utilize my abdominal muscles.  It’s not that I’m purposely trying to craft some chizzled abs for summer, however one doesn’t realize just how often you rely on your stomach muscles to get through the day.  Sitting down and standing up has become a tedious effort.  Sneezing is the most painful thing in the world. And laughing is anything but fun; in fact, it’s rather excruciating.

To help the wound in my stomach heal as quickly and efficiently as possible I have a home health care nurse that comes to the house everyday to pack and redress the opening in my stomach.  Basically, an open wound heals quicker when it is ‘touching’ something, so 7-9 inches of shoestring gauze, pre-soaked in iodine solution, is inserted into the 2 cm deep hole.  This is referred to as ‘wet to dry’ packing because the gauze is wet when inserted, then dries while inside the wound and is removed the next day. To be honest, I haven’t noticed a huge transformation in how the surgical point looks now compared to the day of surgery, but the nurses assure me it is healing nicely with no sign of infection.

Speaking of transformations, my husband has turned into a new person over the past few weeks, becoming a gourmet chef and household caretaker right before my eyes.  True story: a month ago Nick called me because he had gotten lost on the way to the grocery store that is all of 3 miles from our house that we’ve now lived in for 4.5 years.  I’ll be honest, I pretty gave up any remaining hopes of him becoming a skilled homemaker at that point.  However he has since turned over a new leaf and become a handicap patient’s dream, preparing freshly cooked meals and cleaning the house from top to bottom!  Now only if he would stop trying to prove how funny he is by making me laugh…


4 Responses to “No laughing matter”

  1. Jill June 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Ok, this is nothing in comparison but memories of dry sockets after my wisdom teeth were pulled are flooding my mind! I can feel that gauze being pulled out of each hole…. again, nothing like what you’re going through. And I can only WISH I never see a grocery store again but I’m burnt out on the lady in the bakery who gets hugs from Hank in exchange for cookies. piggly wiggly never did that!

    love to all – so glad you are on the mend.
    I hope I haven’t made you laugh.

  2. Rita Hartert June 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Nice that you to give credit to Nick….he has been with you 100% on this journey, and like the ‘energy bunny’ or whatever his name is, Nick doesn’t stop. He is every much a trooper as you are. Also pleased that you’re healing so well and fast, and nice that home health lady/nurse comes by, as she is the one who has seen your progress, and can make comparisons with others. Bless all of you! Our love, and thanks for the posting.

  3. Erica June 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Em, you are not alone in missing the use of your abdominal muscles. Although, like Jill, this doesn’t come close to compare with what you have been through, living with a protruding stomach for the last several months makes some of those same things dificult for me. This little boy will finally make his apearance on June 24 when he is delivered by c-section, so I also get to look forward to an abdominal wound. Again, not like yours, but a wound none the less that will give me similar pains. Hopefully by then your efforts with standing, sitting, sneezing, laughing, etc. will be much easier. I will be happy to have you pass the pain that comes with them on to me at that point!

  4. Ariana Davidson June 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    I’m glad you’re feeling well enough to update. Be well.

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