There’s only so much I can post on Facebook about my well-being, so I’ve decided to track my recovery to STRONGER THAN EVER before I drive people crazy.
Ideally this won’t be all health related, but it’s been very helpful for me to get it all down on paper and really remember how blessed and lucky I am.
Join me on the journey, I promise I’ll keep my sense of humor.
Last October, I had my gallbladder out.
A simple, laparoscopic procedure. Three little holes. 45 minutes in surgery. 1.5 hours in the recovery room and another 1.5 hours in the step-down room. Then home you go.
Except when something goes wrong. Sometimes they do crazy things like accidentally clip the common bile duct, have to open you all the way up and then repair the bile duct with a stent and part of my stomach. It’s a risk with surgery, and something you consent to when you sign the consent forms.
I woke up in the recovery room 4 hours later, heavily medicated with my poor younger sister crying and upset since she didn’t know what was going on.
Long story short, after an infection, 13 days in the hospital and a large stomach incision and I was home.
I recovered fairly well, albeit way more slowly than I would have liked. I started on the treadmill walking 2.2 mph. I rode the stationary bike and my heart rate skyrocketed. I was sweating buckets and I was seriously uncomfortable but I was moving.
Fast Forward: A Wicked Season
Sure, my times were less than I was hoping for, but I was killing it. I did the training. I trained on my camping trip. I worked out multiple times a day. I took days off (with permission) and I was doing really well. Was still having trouble keeping things down and having trouble with heart burn, but whatever, I can deal with it.
I completed a triathlon, a road race, and a duathlon, as well as went on an EPIC vacation. I was having a blast.
I thought it was the heat. I had major heart burn in San Francisco, but I was sure it was because I didn’t eat. Then when we were in Los Angeles, I was really sick. Throwing up, fever, major heartburn. That certainly wasn’t going to get me down though, I can handle being a little sick. Thankfully my sister was a god send, and didn’t make me feel bad for not moving as fast as I normally could. Then in San Diego, I had some Mexican Food that gave me terrible heart burn. Or I mean, I thought it was the Mexican. Really, I was just sick. I spent the entire drive to Phoenix, AZ throwing up. I’m talking in plastic bags and on the side of the road. But it’s ok. We made it. And we finished our vacation and it was incredible. Every day was better than the last and a little bit of vomit isn’t going to hurt me.
Three Days After Coming Home:
BAM: Heartburn so bad I can barely stand up. Mama drags me by the ear to the local Emergency department. Turns out, I’m a little yellowish, and have elevated liver enzymes. Awesome. So after spending 4 days there, I was discharged on a low fat diet. Everything looked good, so there was no reason to be concerned about this happening again.
Until it did…
October 13th I called in sick to work, and took myself to the local emergency department. Well, I mean if we’re getting specific an UBER did. I had a feeling what the outcome would be, but it was way beyond my wildest imagination.
I saw the doctor who said my liver enzymes were like multiple times what they should be. So of course, we’re going to be admitted. Maybe for a couple of days. But it turned bad really fast. They gave me some pain medication and within 15 minutes it stopped working, and I was super sick to my stomach. The nurse helped me out as much as she could, and we went for an ultrasound.
By the time I got back, she put me on oxygen. It was pretty freaky but still I didn’t think anything of it. I was pretty confused and groggy though. Had a bed (on the same floor as last time) by the morning, and had an MRI before lunch. Thankfully they gave me a medication so that the MRI wasn’t so bad this time. I don’t remember much after this. I was by this point in a room – I guess I wasn’t doing so hot – and was waiting to get a drain placed.
That was terrible. Thankfully I still had some of the sedation medication in my system because I don’t remember much. Apparently the bile duct was so constricted they couldn’t get anything through it to place the drain. I kept begging them to stop but they wouldn’t. I was also in and out of consciousness.
I don’t remember much else. I got back upstairs to the floor and within 5 minutes my blood pressure had plummeted. I woke up the next morning in the Intensive Care Unit. It’s a pretty scary place but I was thankful to have been taken care of SO well. The rest of Saturday is a blur, but by Sunday I was out of the woods. They kept me there one more day to make sure, and kicked me (thankfully) to the floor.
Doing research a little later, I had septic shock. The death rate for that is something crazy like over 50%. It really puts things into perspective, and gives me a little more of
This was a long and lonely week. I started to feel human again by Wednesday and that’s when I lost it. The doctor said I wouldn’t be working out for awhile. Pretty sure I cried the whole morning. Finally the charge nurse came in and explained things a little more clearly and I was up and walking and moving and determined to feel better. Was probably ready to go home on Friday, but they kept me the weekend, to see if there was another option for me.
Ideally they wanted to do an ERCP. Basically go in through my throat and place a stent in the bile duct to keep it open. Due to the previous surgery, the doctor opted against it as it would likely be unsuccessful. This was from the best doctor in the area, so I accept this for now.
They are placing a new drain on Thursday November 3rd. Basically what the hope is, is that the bile duct will heal over this and everything will be ok. If it’s scar tissue that’s causing it, it won’t work and then I have to have open surgery. We won’t know for 6 weeks.
So, fingers crossed. I’m a little anxious, and the people whom I associate myself with are providing great support. They’re very powerful people and having them join me in my intentions will be helpful.
I’ve got way to many things to do, and I’ve missed WAY to many races to have this go any other way.