Thursday, April 30, 2009

Taking A Hit For the Home Team

It hurts to get up.

It hurts to sit.

It hurts to lie down.

And don't get me starting on walking.

Late Blooming Mom is recovering from hernia surgery, and planning to make the kids feel guilty about it some day.

It's their fault, it really is, no kidding.
See, I'm not a large person. Even when pregnant, I was not a large person. But I was large by my standards. My normally 112-lb frame was carrying an extra 39 pounds or so of twin boy and twin girl. They were pretty much concentrated in the front, so I looked pretty normal from behind, but pregnant with a beachball when seen from the front. My skin and the muscles underneath had to stretch to accommodate twins, and stretch they did.

Sometime after giving birth, I was at a routine exam when my doctor took a look at me supine and said, "You've got a ventral hernia." Then he showed me just where my muscles had, in effect, split, and not to get too graphic, showed me there was a hole through which some of my insides (intestines, that is) were poking through the muscles. Apparently such hernias, post-pregnancy, are far from uncommon, especially in moms who've given birth to multiples, as I'd soon learn when writing about it on the message board of my local twins club (WLAPOM).

Over the next four years of bending, diapering, burping, and putting babies, then kids, into car seats (and taking them out), that hernia got bigger and bigger. Like the Grand Canyon, which started as a trickle of a stream and became a river and then a canyon, the hernia was widening the gap in my insides. The trips to the playground, lifting Thing 1 and Thing 2 onto and off of swings, and up to the monkey bars, didn't help. According to my doctor, even coughing made it worse.

My lil' pooch became poochier and poochier, and before it turned into what looked to be a third child on the way, I decided, on medical advice, to get it taken care of. The only way to get rid of a hernia is surgery, and much as I hate surgery (really, who doesn't?), I decided to pick a "convenient" time for the family (hah!) and get it done.

The surgery went like clockwork.

The recovery felt like hell. Or at least it did for the first three days and nights, when I needed help to shower, get in and out of bed, and could barely take a step let alone stand up straight without excruciating shooting pains.

There was a little break in the clouds the other day when a friend came for a brief visit, with her adorable nearly two-year-old. I felt like a person, able to socialize and converse, if only for an hour or so.

Yesterday, I even managed a very short walk, a block or so from the house.

Today, I got out to the doctor (though had to be driven) and had lunch at a restaurant. I had to nap most of the afternoon afterward, but hey, it's progress, I'll take it.

One week post-surgery, Late Blooming Dad is an exhausted wreck who has played SuperDad/SuperMom/Super Cat Owner AND Working Dad and NurseHusband, not to mention short-order cook, and sole transportation service provider for us all. Yesterday he ate one bowl of rice krispies at ten o'clock at night, and that was it. He had forgotten to eat or been unable to find a moment to do so the entire day.

Thing 2 has been a sweetheart, kissing my bandage and having her stuffed Cheetah (her favorite stuffed animal of late) kiss it too. Thing 1 doesn't quite know his own strength, and after a week in which I had to thrust out an arm as blocking protection every time he came close, he has finally gotten the hang of kissing me without trying to climb into my lap. The cat, who is elderly and frail, has finally gotten his fair share of "me" time, though seemed positively peeved when I tried to dislodge him from atop my legs when I awoke from my afternoon nap.

Meanwhile, I down pain meds (thankfully I'm mostly off the hard stuff, which knocks me flat, gives me trippy dreams, and confuses my entire digestive tract), move gingerly around the house, and in general am fairly useless to all ... though I finally managed to feed the kitty in the middle of the night, and read to the kids at breakfast and bedtime.

My doctor says I'll feel like myself in a month. I can't wait.

Will I really hold all this pain against my kids, and blame them for it? Probably not. But that won't stop me from letting them know, when they're attitude-striking tweens, rebellious teenagers or whiny college students, that mom took a hit in the gut for them when they were little, so they owe me big time. Of course they won't get it until they, themselves, have families and have to make sacrifices for their kids. But then I'll be chuckling. Payback time. I just hope it doesn't come n the form of surgery. I wouldn't wish the ouches on anybody.


William V. Madison said...

Hope you're feeling better by now! (And I gotta say, I feel good after chuckling over your brilliant use of understatement: "Not a large person.")

sarah Auerswald said...

OMG! Holly! I hope you are recovering better now, another week out. Do you need me to bring over some food? Just let me know!!

OOOUUUUCCCCHHHH! Your description makes me feel like doubling over. Very good writing, but very bad pain!!

Seriously let me know if you need anything.