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Monday, April 18, 2016

Update #1

Home.  It seemed so distantly away while I was in the Hotel California (hospital).  All those tubes and wires that encompassed my body that seemed like they'd never let go were finally removed and I was wheeled out to our car.

I had no problem climbing the steps into the Journey and settle into my favorite spot on the couch.  Since I was on some serious painkillers, I found movement pretty easy.  That became a two edged sword, since I have an eighteen inch incision down my middle stomach, those muscles are the ones used to move your body around.  On painkillers, it was a little too easy to overdue things so I've learned to be very careful and plan my moves.  Using my legs and arms I can do a lot, but things like siting up in bed require a helping hand from Marti. 

Using the colostomy has been a real learning experience.  One you don't want to make a mistake with if at all possible, and yep, we've already made a few.  As I'm getting used to it, each "event" handling the bag is getting a little bit easier and a little (little) bit less annoying.

I've had a considerable struggle with some emotional issues, a bit of up and down moments and anxiety.  When I was in the hospital, just out of the ICU I was all tucked in for the night.  Marti had gone home for the day and I was ready for sleep.  All of a sudden I became very hot and had an anxiety attack that ended up with me being seen to by three nurses and a doctor to calm me down and get back to bed.  Without going into details, it was the scariest time I've ever experienced in my life, I was absolutely terrified and totally out of my head with panic. 

I was given some heavy medication that ended the episode and put me back in bed, none of which I remember doing.  Since then, I've had some anxiety about it happening again, foolish I know, but just preys on my mind a bit.  The surgeon told me that these feelings are often a side effect of anesthesia and I certainly believe she was right on target.

I can eat normally, we take short walks around the campground to keep moving.  I have much to be thankful for, each day I feel a little bit stronger and less pain.  I keep looking forward to returning to a normal lifestyle in a few months where I'll be able to do most everything even with my little bag friend, which I've named "Krakatoa".  If you don't get it, Google is your friend.   :c)

Sometime this late summer, I'll be entering the hospital for surgery to remove Krakatoa and reattach all my plumbing  to get me back to normal.  That prize is keeping me going, I've much to do this summer, a trip to our son's commissioning ceremony June 1, some time with our Missouri granddaughters, a trip to the Winnebago factory service center for work on the Journey and a 10 day motorcycle trip in July with my two brothers.  The doctor has given me the green light to do all this with the surgery at the end of the summer.

I have much to be thankful for with Marti, my kids and my friends at the top of the list.  My blog friends have also been great with comments and emails that have been so encouraging.  I thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers.  I know it's helped me so much!

24 comments:

  1. Well this post is a two edge sword too. I am so glad to hear you are home from the hospital and doing well it sounds like. But the anxiety attack sounds very scary. I can totally understand how a recurrence of that would be worrisome. Take it very easy. You gave lots of things to look forward to.

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    1. Have lots of things - see you are not the only with fat fingers.

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  2. I've been down that same road 2 years ago. Nearly died. But thanks to a good doctor, I also recovered. Yes, the Krakatoa was no fun and over time I did better with it but I was certainly glad for the surgery to get rid of it, so you can really enjoy looking forward to the same. Your body has been through a lot so it will take a while to heal itself so take awfully good care of yourself. Best wishes for a good recovery.

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  3. wow somehow missed your previous post... yikes, quite a scary moment. Why is it us guys are so hard headed when it comes to seeing doctors?

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  4. Do they know what caused the problem? In hindwight, were there any warning signs that you should have taken as more serious?

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    1. I had absolutely no idea or warning about this. We've connected the dots and guessed this is a hereditary condition, my brother had a section of his bowel removed a few years back that had diverticulitis in a laparoscopic procedure before there was any perforation. My grandfather died from the same thing I had some 40 years ago, but he was 92. DNA seems to be the guilty party.

      My surgeon recommends adding as much fiber to your diet as you can, to include nuts, seeds and berries that you can handle. Thankfully I love all that stuff. :c)

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    2. Interesting, thanks. Sometimes, it just is what it is...

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  5. Definitely good to hear that you are on the road to recovery but I have a few questions. Most times after invasive surgeries they say it takes two years for the area to fully heal. How will your incision hold up to the road vibration of the bike? Are you going to wear a support belt similar to supporting a Herniated abdomen? Even driving the Journey for long trips could be tiring, is Marti going to help with that?
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Fortunately my motorcycle is pretty smooth, but I'll certainly be working up to it and if I need a brace, I will wear one. I've been given one already to use when I walk so I can see its value.

      Driving the Journey shouldn't be too taxing and we're allowing plenty of time to get from point A to B. Marti is able to drive if I need it, but we have no problem pulling over to rest if need be.

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  6. Glad that all went well and you are back home. Heal quickly and then carry on.

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  7. Good news. Home always is a good place to recuperate. Now comes the hard part - patience and learning to take it slow while the body heals. Marti you may have to sit on him.

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  8. Good news. Home always is a good place to recuperate. Now comes the hard part - patience and learning to take it slow while the body heals. Marti you may have to sit on him.

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  9. Glad to hear you are on the road to recovery ... albeit slowly. One of the reasons I don't like pain meds is for the simple reason that they lull you into overdoing ... so take it easier than you think you need to as long as you're on the meds.

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  10. Don't read blogs for a while and then I read this?.. Feel better soon Paul!!!!

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  11. Glad you are home, but hope you take things SLOW & EASY...at least for a while. You have gone through so much and need to let your body heal. We do realize your sense of humor wasn't hurt... "Krakatoa" ;o)) LOL Behave yourself, get well and listen to MARTY!!!

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  12. So glad to hear you are home and on the mend. I had to laugh (just a little, I promise) when you mentioned the handling of Krakatoa, as it made me think of your previous black tank 'spills' :) Will you be able to stay at Volunteer Village for awhile?

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    1. Yes, we will be staying at the Village. As I recover, I'll be able to do more and more as I get better, after a few weeks off, I hope to be able to do some light work, increasing the duties over time, although pin hunting is out of the picture for a long while. In August I get to have the repair surgery and we'll repeat the whole process again. The rangers have been great about this.

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  13. Being home has to help but that anxiety attack had to be scary.

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  14. What a terrible experience for sure. I'm glad the bad part is behind you and only continued healing ahead. If you play it right, you might end up being spoiled rotten by your wife, kids and friends. Take care and we'll keep those prayers coming.

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  15. Keeping all of those positive things in mind will help a lot!

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  16. Paul, a couple of thoughts just occured to me - please forgive the deck force humor:

    Are you still able to play the violin?

    You do know you can buy a bowel on Wheel of Fortune.

    Don't push it my friend, concentrate on getting well so you can once again pick up the grandkids. (And sorry if you laughed and it hurt)

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    1. On a different note, I always wanted a motorhome with two bathrooms, now I have one. Well, actually a bath and a half, cause half the plumbing still works normally. I know, TMI! :cD

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  17. Hope you are feeling better soon.

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  18. Thanks for being so forthright. This has to be one of the worst things that has ever happened to you. Glad you're recuperating, but please take it SLOW!

    Krakatoa sounds like a draining experience. {{ wink, wink }}

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