Sunday, June 16, 2013

Surgery and Recovery

As some of you know, I had a lump on the side of my head that was becoming bothersome. After about a week, I went and got it checked out. Initially, my doctor thought it was a bug bite gone wrong... but after another week it was still driving me nuts. After an xray, CT scan, and an ultrasound, they determined that it was a cyst and should be removed.

My primary care doctor referred me to general surgery for a consult. At my consult, the surgeon was a jerk. He basically told me that my bump wasn't causing any of my pain, headaches, or other symptoms; and that the surgery was completely cosmetic. I had scheduled it for June 19th in hopes that my husband would be home before then. After talking with him a little more, we decided that it was pretty unlikely that he'd be home in time (what do you know, he won't be back then) so I moved it up to the 12th. Instead of waiting until he got home to have surgery, I decided to knock it out. I didn't want to risk my recovery time cutting into block leave since we're both very anxious to go home for a few weeks. I was extremely nervous since I'd never had surgery before, and was not looking forward to facing that without my husband.

Surgery day came... One of my closest friends watched Baby A for me, and another came to the hospital with me. We were hoping that she'd be able to come into the room with me since it was an in-clinic procedure. Again, my surgeon was a jerk and wouldn't even let her in the room for the anesthetic. So I sat there and cried. And cried. And cried. The nurses kept checking on me asking if I was okay, so I'd cry some more. They finally started and holy crap did the anesthetic hurt. That was far worse than I had expected. After that, I could only feel weird tugging and pushing sensations. When he actually removed the mass, I freaked out a little. It felt like he was pulling on my brain. I don't know if he was hoping it would just pop out of there, or what he was doing, but it was extremely uncomfortable. I won't go as far as to say painful, because it was "numb," but it was definitely not pleasant. They had a problem controlling my bleeding so they cauterized it. That stunk really bad. It smelled like burnt flesh. After that he stitched me up. They had to wash my whole head because there was so much blood in my hair. When I walked out to the waiting room, I was shaking pretty bad. I don't know if it was nerves or adrenaline... but it was uncontrollable. I was still rather shaken up when we got home, so I took some of my old anxiety medication and went to bed. Thank Jesus for my awesome friends who watched Baby A (and cleaned my kitchen!) while I was knocked out.

The next day, I was sore. I really wanted to wash my hair and relax. Eventually, I couldn't stand the "no shower" order any longer and just did my best to not get soap in the incision. That was an epic fail, but it didn't hurt too bad. Baby A wasn't all that accommodating with the relaxation wishes, but it wasn't too bad. I was still pretty out of it, and definitely sore, but was confident that recovery would go smoothly.

Day two post-surgery was awful. I felt like a zombie. I could barely hold a conversation. I was exhausted. I didn't feel like myself at all. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. After calling the doctor and getting some reassurance that these feelings were not complications of the surgery, my nerves were eased a little. I went to bed early that night and got some quality sleep.

Waking up the next morning, I was feeling quite a bit better. I wasn't dizzy and could actually follow a conversation for more than twenty seconds. We ended up spending the whole day at the beach and getting rather burned. It was a great relaxing day. Playing in the ocean has a wonderful calming effect.

That brings us to today. I'm still hurting. I'm actually kind of shocked. There's still a bump there, but I'm hoping that it's just swelling and from the stitches. Every time it gets bumped, I wince. I wasn't really expecting this surgery to be a magical cure-all, but I was hoping that it would make the sensitivity and headaches go away. So I'm a little disappointed with how the process is coming. I haven't lost hope yet, but we'll see where I'm at in a week from now.

My stitches come out on Wednesday. I'm anxious to see how that feels. I'm wondering if it will make the pain less or more. I'm excited to shower without pulling on them. I'll keep updating throughout the week. I'm hoping that in a few days, I will wake up and feel great.

God Bless ♥ V