I am home with the lovely drain (which I have, with tongue planted firmly in my cheek, dubbed "Mr. Clean"). The drain bag was literally the size of a loaf of bread... so when they started talking about sending me home with it, I informed my intern that we'd be finding a more... discreet set-up. His reaction was classic doctor: "Oh, yeah, that's something we really don't think of very often. I guess that bag's kind of big and not exactly subtle." Silly doctors. ;) Thankfully, they were able to replace the huge bag with a bulb (similar in size and shape to a hand grenade). I still have over two feet of tubing and it's still pretty obvious, but I can actually put it UNDER my clothes and it's much better than the huge bag full of blood hanging off my leg! No one will even wager a guess on how long or short a time I'll have to keep the drain, so I don't really know. I am not a fan of Mr. Clean, although I clearly understand the necessity of keeping him in. The whole system is under constant suction, which I think is contributing to my stomach pain - a drain sucking on traumatized guts - sounds fun, no?
It took me quite a while to "move out" of my room! EVERYONE was very sad to see me (well, mainly to see my decorations) leave. I really mean everyone: the transport people, dining services people, housekeeping, front desk workers, nurses, security guards, techs - everyone knows my name and my awesomely decked out room and IV chocolate syrup bottle, since I'd been here for so long. I already miss all my amazing, incredible, awesome 3 North nurses... simply can't say enough good things about all of them. But really, it was time to go. ;)
Once they finished all the discharge stuff and I was just chilling in my room, I had a small breakdown. I really don't mean for this to sound whiny, but to be very honest, I am having a bit of a hard time with how I'm feeling physically. This surgery and recovery has been the hardest thing I've ever done... and that's saying something. As long as I was sitting there in the hospital, I sort of had this hope that they would find something wrong that would be a quick fix or that stuff would just get better. Going home feeling like I did before I had surgery saddens me, because this surgery so far has yet to make me feel better. Yes, I am (for the first time since 2006) no longer bleeding internally because we took out the sick-beyond-hope J pouch. That's got to be a good thing! But I'm having the same stomach pain and nausea that I had before surgery. Eating is still a chore. My joints and muscles hurt.
Of course, I hope that I will start feeling better and that my body just needs more time to heal. But I don't know that for sure... anyways, it's all about perspective, and I just need to keep mine on Jesus, not on my circumstances! And really, things could be so much worse... I realize how incredibly blessed I am with an amazing family, wonderful friends, people I don't even know who pray for me and follow my story... there are so many people out there going through much harder things with much less support and love. Quite honestly, I am spoiled! I can't even express my thanks to all of you who encourage my family and me along the way...
The first day home has been okay! I was pretty concerned about being able to stay on top of pain at home, but it's been okay-ish. More of a problem is the nausea. I'm really nauseated almost all the time, despite taking anti-nausea stuff. Sleeping makes it feel better and my pain is okay enough that I'm sleeping fine, which is FANTASTIC. Plus, at home, no one wakes me up to check my blood sugar or take my vitals or poke on my belly. ;) So I slept pretty much all day. Then felt renewed and partied all evening, haha. ;)