Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surgery - The SAGA

Sorry for my absence (again). It isn't because I scrapped my diet again. It isn't because I haven't been focused on me and my health. Surgery has just been hell!

I had my surgery on November 23 (Tuesday before Thanksgiving). We celebrated Thanksgiving and my baby daughter's birthday (she turned 5!) on Sunday the 21st. It was a great, busy day. I was in complete control with eating... I didn't even finish one plate! I did have desserts, but not much. I had a leftover plate on Monday, and didn't finish that one either, lol. I just haven't had an appetite since starting the Isagenix products. I had to fast starting on Monday night for surgery.

The surgery went well on Tuesday. The doctor cut me open right on my c-section scar and was able to remove the entire mass, plus some one the other side that didn't show on the scan. I came home Tuesday night around 9 p.m. with minimal pain. Wednesday and Thursday were good - just slept a lot and popped pain pills. On Friday, I felt a lot more pain around my belly, but I figured that if they'd used local anesthesia on my belly the feeling might just be coming back.

By Saturday, I started getting worried. I didn't feel well. The incision site was sore, and my whole body ached. I was running a low-grade fever, and started having chills and sweats. This was the same case on Sunday. I felt like CRAP and just KNEW I'd contracted the flu or something from germs at the hospital (I always get sick when I go to the hospital).

I went in to my doctor on Monday, and even though there wasn't any visable redness around my incision, he told me that I may be getting an infection. With both my c-sections, I got infections, but there was stinky, puss around my scar. He sent me home with antibiotics, and told me not to go back to work until after he saw me on the following Monday (12/6). I admit, not going back to work made me upset. My whole point of doing this surgery before Thanksgiving Break was so I would only have to take 2 days off from work. I reluctantly called in for 2 more days, thinking I would start feeling better with the antibiotics and could go back earlier.

THIS made my friend that was with me (Max) very upset. She pointed out that this was NOT putting my needs first, and that I needed to give my body time to heal 100% before I went back into the classroom. I agreed, but I just "needed" to get back to work. My students depend on me, and I felt like I was neglecting them. My principal had already told me not to worry about my job in jeaopardy, but deep down I still felt like I was.

By Tuesday, I wasn't feeling much better. My friend had been helping me for the past week with the kids, but I knew she needed to get back to work, so she went back to Nashville. I picked my kids up from school, and it took all the energy I had. When I got home, I went to the bathroom and all I had on my mind was crawling back into bed with a Lortab. That never happened.

When I sat on the toilet, I noticed blood on my panties. It was near the waistband, so I knew it wasn't menstral blood. I stood up and looked in the mirror, and blood started POURING out of the corner of my incision. POURING. I grabbed toilet paper, but it just kept soaking right through. By the time I got my oldest daughter in there with paper towels, I was standing in a pool of blood. Not blood, really... It was more an orange color. But it was sticky like blood. It finally stopped, and my brave daughter cleaned up the mess so I wouldn't have to bend down. We shoved an Always pad down there (hey, it's absorbant!) and I went to my room to get dressed. I knew I needed to go to the ER.

I drove myself to the hospital, because it takes all my close friends at least 45 minutes to get to my house. I also didn't want to freak anyone out - including my kids. I figured it was just a little drainage, but I wanted to make sure. I got to the hospital about 20 minutes later and there was no wait. Jess and Max met me there for moral support, and I had a neighbor on standby if the kids needed anything. After testing the drainage to see if it was infection (it was), they sent me for a CT scan and found there was a pocket of fluid under my new scar that was probably more infection. When they were checking me over, they also heard rattling in my left lung. An x-ray confirmed that it was pneumonia! DAMN!

So here I am, calculating in my head how long it would take to recover. The doctor said I needed IV antibiotics to kill both the pneumonia and the infection. When I asked him if I needed to get someone to stay the night with my kids or take them to school in the morning, he looked at me as if I were a lunatic and said, "You are going to be in here for AT LEAST two days."


I laid there and cried like a baby. What was I going to do? But Jess and Max assured me they would take care of the kids, and I should only worry about getting better. But I was still devastated. I would HAVE to take the rest of the week off from work. I felt like I was letting everyone down. Why did I have to get sick? Why couldn't this just be an easy procedure to heal from?

So... I just got home from the hospital today. A little earlier than I expected, but I am so happy to be home. My lung is clear, and my white blood cell count is back to normal. I still have fluid oozzing from a little hole on the end of my cut, but my doc thinks most of the infection is gone. I am still on take-home antibiotics for the next two weeks, and I will go back to the doc on Monday so he can check things out before I go back to work on Tuesday.

I have been so emotional today. I think my time alone in the hospital really forced me to think. God has a way of making a statement sometimes. I HAD to put my health first, even though I wasn't thinking of me. I was thinking of my family and my job and all my other obligations, but I STILL wasn't putting my needs or my health first. Wasn't the whole point of me having the surgery in the first place for me to finally rid myself of chronic pain that I had been dealing with for four years? But even though I didn't want to give myself time to heal, God made sure that I HAD TO. I feel like it was a very humbling experience. I have to put ME first in order to help ANYONE in my life. Why do I have to constantly remind myself of this?

Everything will be ok. I am feeling much better and resting on the couch. I am finally, slowly getting my appetite back (I stopped eating on Sunday because of nausea), and I am determined to only eat good, clean food. As soon as my doctor tells me it's ok, I will pick up where I left off with the Isagenix products (He told me to stop while I was on so much medication post-op). I am finally, seriously on the road to good health. No more pain is amazing. Even with being sick and having this infection, I am still not in the amount of PAIN I have been in over the past six months.

Oh, and guess what? That mass WAS endometriosis. Somehow, some of those pesky endometrial cells had implanted outside of my uterus on my abdominal muscles. My doctor explained that this is way more painful that "regular" endometriosis because muscles bend and flex, and with those cells there it causes excrutiating pain. He was sympathetic, and I felt so vindicated. There was something REALLY wrong with me, no matter what all the other doctors and ultrasounds and predictions said. I wasn't crazy after all!

I will write more tomorrow, hopefully, about all the thinking I've been doing about my future health and weight loss efforts. I have finally jumped over a huge obstacle to my success. My dirty, painful secret is now gone and I have a chance at a new start. And I am so excited!


  1. WOW, Hollie. WOW.
    So glad you're okay.
    And I love your writing: it runs so smoothly!

  2. Craziness! Glad you seem to be on the mend. Take care of yourself; you're no good to your kids or students if you keep yourself from getting well.

  3. Hollie, that's a hell of an experience you just went through wow! Thank goodness you are ok and on your way to healing.
    Take care of yourself and I hope you are feeling well soon!

  4. Hey hun! All I can say is WOW...I didn't know you were going thru all of this. I know you have great people around taking good care of you but if you need anything I'm just a phone call away. Your story has really hit home for me. I was diagnosed with endometriosis about 6 years or so. When you get well I would like to talk to you about some of the symptoms you experienced. Until then know that I love you and will keep you and the family in my thoughts and prayers. I'm glad you're doing better!

  5. Praying for your healing, Hollie

  6. My gosh, Hollie - you have been through the wringer! Glad you seem to be on the upswing of this; please take good care of yourself. Feel better, my friend!

  7. Oh My Gosh! Hollie I am so happy to hear you are through it. You were worrying all of us out here. What a strong trooper you are. Keep up the good work in tune with Gods work.

  8. Well after all this hell, I think Karma owes you some serious good health time. I can't wait to read about it.

  9. OMGosh!!! You have really been put thru the wringer! I am so sorry you had to deal with one problem after another. I hope you heal well and quickly and get back to yourself. P.S. You should take all the time you need to heal. Don't rush yourself back to work!

  10. Take care of yourself. After these couple of weeks, you're going to be doing so much better soon.

  11. oh my goodness. TAKE care Of YOURSELF!!!! If you don't, you won't be able to EVER take care of anyone! What a scary story! REST, girl!

  12. WOW.

    I hope you start feeling better soon and that you've come away with some positive thoughts on what was a very scary experience!!

  13. Wow, that is really intense. I'm glad you are feeling better to.

    This does remind me of the old saying, "The first wealth is health." How true that is, and hopefully you can carry the lessons you've learned with you!


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