Recovery Update! YAY! It’s time to be gross…

As if it wasn’t gross enough to be talking about a hole I burned into my stomach, here’s a picture of what I pulled out of my belly button yesterday! 😀

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Yes, friends; that is the final stitch left over from my surgery. Why do I say it’s time to be gross? Well… Here we go.

A really good friend of mine gave me some great advice to get this thing out of me ASAP. And he was right in that having this thing hanging around was an avenue for infection (and that’s the last fucking thing I needed after the rest of the shit I have been through with this). I took his advice but when I tried to yank it out (weeks ago) I noticed a fair amount of skin coming up when I pulled on it.

As someone who does needlework, a good analogy is if there’s a knot in your thread but it’s under the fabric you’re working on. When you tug, you see the fabric come up and you know the knot won’t fit without tearing the fabric.

Except here? Fabric = my skin.

I have been leaving it alone but also watching it like a hawk for the slightest hint of infection. If you see me on Instagram, I am back to running. Sweat would very likely be an open avenue to get something terrible into this last remaining stitch.

I kept it very clean and remained hyper-aware of any itching, burning, even a twinge of anything strange. Every couple days, I would gently tug on it to see the progress (with clean hands and antiseptic close at hand).

Yesterday? I gave a gentle tug and it came right out.

I am a sucker for shitty/good horror movies and live my spare (HAHAHAHA!!! “Spare…”) time on the Chiller channel so I am sitting there with a flashlight, holding my breath expecting my guts to spill out in some Saw-like fantastical manner but alas, all I got was a choice picture of that tiny, green, plastic remnant… A little trophy of what I lived through.

All my guts are still where they belong.

I won’t lie… This is a big deal for me. Having that tiny stitch still in my belly button was a constant reminder of what I’d done and I do feel it was holding me back. To be off topic for a moment, I’m a sucker for My 600lb Life and Skin Tight. The people on Skin Tight say their extra skin is a reminder of how bad they let things get.

That stitch reminded me of how bad I let things get and how stupid I was.

And now it’s GONE!

Now I can finally get into the mindset of feeling normal again!

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Back to the Day Job!

Today is my first day back to the library and I it’s pretty cool to see how many people were glad to see me back. As much of a fantasy it is to stay at home and get paid to do nothing, I’d rather at least make good use of my existence and get back to work.

You would think that it would be surreal for me to be back after so long but after sorting through the piles of work left for me, I fell back into my grove without so much as a misstep.

As a librarian, I don’t have to lift or pull very much so I haven’t noticed any sort of strain around where my incisions were. Even after all these weeks there is still some soreness when I twist a certain way but I am mostly back to normal. I can eat regular food (even some spicy) and while I’m not running yet, I am power walking when I workout. I did ask around in some forums and they gave me some advice about wearing compression garments but I’m not sure I want to make the investment in them if I won’t be needing them in a couple weeks. Are they really worth it in the long run? Maybe? Since I’m uncertain, I haven’t bought them.

I am anxious to get back to running. I don’t to lose all that work I put in.

Another thing  I noticed post op is my appetite has gone down. I don’t think the doctor took out a large portion of my stomach (something I probably should have asked but didn’t think of it) but when I started to ease back into normal food, I made what I normally make and found myself with plenty of leftovers. I am NOT complaining; it is just something I noticed and maybe others noticed it too.

I lost 10 pounds when I was in the hospital and I plan to ride that momentum and lose more if I can. One of the things I had going for me in the first place is before the ulcer, I was healthy. I have perfect blood pressure, good cholesterol levels, I obviously workout (since I’ve been blithering on about it), and I like eating healthy foods (aside for the occasional indulgence). There’s never a good time to wind up with emergency surgery but keeping myself in good health was an absolute factor in my recovery. I was up and walking around much faster and I very rarely needed the pain killers they gave me (which is funny since it was painkillers that caused this in the first place…).

Since I am back at work, I will be resuming my workout schedule; albeit much less strenuous than before. Hopefully it won’t take too long to get back up to the pace I was before all this went down.

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Writing Update and Recovery Update

Obviously, since I’m in recovery, I’ve been “blessed” with ample time to write. I have a short story that’s been giving me WAY more trouble than it should be and editing on Lost Brother to do. Other than trying to keep as active as I can (as the advice on this site said to do), there is no excuse not to do it.

I really am grateful for that recovery link because I was NOT informed to leave the steri-strips on my stitches until they come off on their own. Of course, I haven’t touched them but I did wonder what the heck I was supposed to do about them. Other than keeping the wounds dry and clean, I have not been messing with them.

It’s also good to know that there will still be some residual pain in my left shoulder as the air that’s left behind moves around and eventually goes away. For a second there, I was freaked out there was another hole and I’d have to go back.

I’m a week out from the surgery now and I’m back to some solid food. Ice cream and really soft pasta stayed down without any problems and I’m able to walk decent distances before I feel like my stitches are pulling.

To me, that’s the worst part of this; the helplessness. I’m so used to doing everything myself and being laid up and unable to walk at more than a snail’s pace, is KILLING ME.

And the itching. Gods, do the healing wounds ever itch.

Why am I posting about this? Well, there was a lot of information I had to dig out of forums and medical sites that I didn’t learn directly from the doctor or nurses. Of course recovering from surgeries like this is very individualistic but the things I find out may benefit someone else.

I will try not to be too gross about what I find out.

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Sandy Library Losses…

So, we finally got to the stage where we are all doing inventory to see what was lost and what remains of our collection. I completed the inventory of my graphic novels on Monday and it was pretty depressing. We lost entire series’ of comics and the dvd’s along with them (I shelve the TV series and moves with the comics they’re based on for easy finding). The worst was not being able to replace the out of print ones.

Luckily, things like The Walking Dead series (which we lost a decent chunk of) were really easy to replace since they’re so popular right now. But some Green Lantern, Zatana, and Gunsmith Cats are out of print. 😦 And Kick Ass volume 1? Really, Marvel? With volume 2 , a Hit-Girl prequel AND a second movie in the works, there’s just  no excuse for that. Start printing more of volume one PRONTO!

All in all, considering some libraries were completely wiped out, we were lucky to only lose about 15% of our collection on the first floor. Re-ordering has been a strange, eye-burny trip of reams of paper and way too much time staring at a computer screen. But, by the time we open, we should have most of the materials back on the shelf.

It’ll be good to see people in here again. I’m almost excited to open. 🙂

2013 goals

I had to think a lot about what I wanted from this year. Instead of resolutions, I have goals I would like to meet:

1: To recover from my divorce and be a happier and better person.

2: To write 4 pages every day.

3: Update the blog more often.

4: I’m trying the 100 Books in a Year challenge again.

 

There’s no way I’m gonna let the bad things that have happened to me get me down. I have to remember it’s not my fault, these things happen, and to move on with my head high.

Here’s to a good 2013. It better be good; I think I’m owed. T_T