Friday, June 19, 2009

The Long Week

I was scheduled for surgery at 7:30am.  I was one of the first patients to arrive but the last to go in for my operation.  There was a miscommunication with the anesthesiologist who didn't show up so we had to wait.  It was a good thing because one of my best buddies was running late and this allowed him to see me as my "brother."
I had to get an IV in my left leg (the bad one) in order to administer the medicine that knocks you out because the veins in my arms were not suitable.  They are extremely messed up from the radiation and the hundreds of IV's that have already been stuck in me.
When I woke up, Courtney was standing over me asking me how I was doing.  I was so tired, but happy to see his face.  Then two by two my family and friends came in to see me before they had to leave.  The surgery took almost eight hours.  I kept trying to pull up my gown to show everyone my incisions but they were covered with bandages.  I could hear Kacey and my mother-in-law Denise laugh at me because they knew I was proud of my scars!
Eventually I was taken to my room . . . I couldn't believe it, I was back in 13 long.  This is the floor that I recovered in the last two surgeries and I was stoked to be back with the 42inch plasma televisions.  That is all I was hoping for (next to being able to pee on my own when I woke up.)  I slept for the rest of the evening.
Early in the morning the doctors and interns made their rounds.  They came to see how I was doing and let me know the procedure was successful.  Dr. Stoller was very happy because the kidney fired up right away.  This is a good thing he said.  He then informed me that Thursday they would take out the catheter and see how it goes.  He advised me to get out of bed and start walking.  I looked at him and said "Maybe tomorrow."  He looked at me with his eyebrows scrunched together as I explained walking with my walker would require more of my abdominals and I am in too much pain.  He then said fine but you need to get up and walk tomorrow.  I promised I would and then they all left to continue their rounds.  The rest of the day was spent watching T.V. and sleeping.  I was in a lot of pain when I tried to move and my stomach was starting to swell.  That night I prayed the pain would get better and that I would get out of the hospital soon.
I got up with Courtney's help but when I tried to walk with the walker the IV in my left wrist was sticking me.  I couldn't put pressure on that hand making it difficult to take a step.  Finally we called in the nurse and had her remove the IV.  It was so much better and I was able to walk a short lap around the hospital floor.  About four hours later I walked a full lap and that evening I walked another full lap.  It was incredibly painful and hard to walk but I knew it had to be done.
At some point my catheter got a kink in it and my stomach started to become distended.  It was becoming increasingly painful.  The PCA came in and started to move the bag around until it allowed my bladder to drain.  I thought my stomach was going to split open where they super glued my incisions.
The doctors removed my catheter and an hour later I began to pee on my own.  It was great . . . no more drain in my back and no more catheter.  I felt so free!  I decided I wanted to shower, so Courtney helped me clean up.  It felt good to finally have water run down my back.
I walked two laps in the morning and in the afternoon.  I was hunched over like an old person and I was shuffling my feet but I had to walk.  The gas pains were getting worse.  My stomach was getting bigger and bigger and I wasn't getting any relief.  I knew it was a matter of time but it was so painful.  It felt like the gas was pushing on my incisions trying to escape that way instead of the proper way!
Still no passing of gas so more walking.  Two laps in the morning and two laps in the afternoon.  Why wasn't it leaving my body?  I could feel it moving all around inside me but it just wasn't escaping.  I walked two more laps in the evening and tried to sit for awhile but still nothing.  Finally I broke down and took the suppository.  It was horrible.  Things should not go in only out in that area.  It actually helped.  I was able to pass a little gas but that was it.  I couldn't leave the hospital until I could keep solid food down and have a bowl movement.  Great, when was that going to happen?
I continued to walk and explore different parts of the hospital.  As I walked with Courtney I told him I didn't think all of this was making me stronger.  I felt like I was already strong and that is how I was surviving.  Instead, all of this was making me more ornery, stubborn and feisty!  He laughed and so did I!
We watched all sorts of movies on cable getting up to walk during commercials.  Still no further progress but I was on solid foods!  Yeah!  Pastor Dan stopped by to say Hi and bring Courtney food from McDonalds.  He got me some fires.  How delicious when you have been living on chicken broth and cranberry juice for five days.
I finally drank prune juice which was horrible.  I do not know how people drink that.  I was barely able to get three quarters down. Yikes!
Finally that night I started passing gas and had a bowl movement. "Yes, I get to go home tomorrow!"
In the morning the doctors came in to say they were going to keep me another day.  I opened up my eyes and said, "I pooed three times last night, I want to go home."  The doctors laughed and said OK we will get your discharge papers.
My stomach was still bloated and it felt like someone punched me in my gut but I wanted to go home.  When we left I walked out with my cane.  They tried to offer me a wheelchair but I wanted to walk out on my own.  I held Courtney's arm and off we went.  It was a long and slow walk to the parking garage but I did it.  As we left our bill was $160.  Thank goodness for my handicap parking pass because we parked for free.  Yippee! 
Now I am home trying to recover quickly.  I am so thankful everything turned out well.  I've been praying that it would.  God has continued to bless me.  The hospital bills are starting to roll in again since it is a new year.  Things are becoming increasingly tight once more but I know everything will work out.  We will begin selling a bunch of bikes, I am picking up more clients and doing more guest speaking.  Now that my final surgery is over I can prepare to launch my coaching site.  God is always there watching over me!
Powered By God,


Anonymous said...

Hey Jamie,
I just read the articles about your story over at I wish you all the best and hope you'll improve soon and fast.
Levente from Hungary

Anonymous said...

Kanae and I are so happy that your surgery went great. We know that you are on the road to recovery, and you will attack it like you have everything else in your life. You continue to inspire us with you courage and faith. Keep up the good fight. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Much love,

Russ & Kanae

Anonymous said...

Hi Jamie,

I'm a brazilian fan (yeah,there's XTerra here too !!)just writing to let you know that people all over the world is wishing and praying for your recovery." Keep walking ".

Warm regards,


Red Rock Chica @ Red Rock World said...

Hi Jamie...
We're all missing hearing from you but hope that you're doing well and able to get outside for some fresh air and views/sounds of the outdoors!
Laura K.

Andy said...

Glad to hear you returned home! Keep up the good work =)