Sorry, I left you hanging much longer than intended!
Initially I thought I’d simply worked myself into a tizzy over having the staples and drain taken out. In particular I imagined the drain removal like evisceration, complete with slorpy sound effects. My Mom has had a drain before and assured me its removal wasn’t painful, just an odd sensation. As it turned out, she was right and I could barely feel a thing when the surgeon removed my staples. (My Mom estimated that my drain tubing was about a foot-and-a-half long. Ewwwww!!!) After the appointment, I felt some relief but it wasn’t long before I realized the anxiety hadn’t really gone anywhere.
As several of you suggested, it turns out the anesthesia and pain medicine really threw me for a loop, especially given that I’m prone to anxiety. As usual, it was the worst, most overwhelming feeling in the world and when I’m in that morass of darkness, it feels like nothing’s ever been OK or will be again. It punched me in the face, shoved me on the ground, and kicked me while I was down, just to make sure I got the message.
My Mom wasn’t able to stay in Indy any longer and I didn’t want to be alone so I followed her back to MO, where’s she’s a prof and department chair at a university. Turns out that even when you’re 34, sometimes you just need your Mama.
I wanted to bring Abby with me because I wasn’t sure how long I’d be gone and I love her to bits but the drive was almost 9 hours. Abby’s a frisky 13-years-old but has never been in the car that long and doesn’t have a stellar track record as a relaxed traveler. When I moved to Indy, Abby’s vet gave her a little something to help her stay calm in the car so I called her current vet, who happily prescribed a teensy amount of Xanax for her. There were a few tense moments but overall she was patient and sweet. I was so proud of her! She hung out in the back seat and poked her head between the front seats most of the time, occasionally watching out the window and even trying to nap a few times. She would snooze for a few minutes but mostly stayed awake for the whole drive.
Once I made it to MO, I spent some much-needed time taking care of myself. I took baths, read, started eating regular meals, and even went to water aerobics classes. My Mom and I had lots of good quality time together and after nearly two weeks, I was feeling much better and less anxious.
Abbs and I came home last week so this is my first full week back at work. I’m happy to be back but vastly preferred my life of leisure, minus the gut surgery of course. If I ever have surgery again, I’m going to try to be cognizant of how quickly all the meds can mess with me. I was really caught off guard but am so grateful for all the support from my friends and family.
P.S. You should know that you’ll likely be receiving a gallstone craft for Christmas so put in a request now for what you’d like. Think carefully – one friend first asked for earrings but eventually settled on a dream catcher. 😉
Sweet Abby snoozing in the back seat on the way home from MO