Thursday, May 21, 2009


Having never had surgery before, I had no idea what to expect from the recovery process. These are some misconceptions I had:
  • Feeling great when leaving the hospital ensures a quick recovery. Just because you felt great when you left the hospital, doesn't mean you will feel great by the time you drive the 4 minutes to your house.
  • 40 pain pills will keep you pain free. Pain medication does not eliminate pain. I don't even really think it dulls it. It just makes you so out of it that you don't really care that you're in pain.
  • A good night's sleep in the hospital is an indication of many good nights ahead. This is certainly not true. Who knew it would be more comfortable to sleep in a hospital bed after surgery than in my own?
  • When you wake up two days after surgery, feeling pretty good, it's okay to go into work. It's amazing how tiring driving in a car can be. Then, walking 15 steps into my office just about wiped me out.
Overall, though, it really hasn't been that bad. I've realized just how much I use my stomach muscles to do things like sweeping the floor or doing the laundry. Coughing and sneezing just about kill me over and sleep has been a challenge, especially at night, but I feel more rested than I have in months. I have such great friends and family members who have brought me meals and treats and beautiful flowers as well as spending some time keeping me company. My sweet mom spent two days she really didn't have with me, making sure I was ok.

I'm pretty lucky!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My First Surgery

I have only ever been in the hospital twice (ok, three times if you count when I was born). The first time was right before my mission when my kidney's failed. I spent 5 days at the University of Utah medical center. The second time was yesterday.

For two years I have had an occasional intense pain in my abdomen. It would last for a couple of hours and was accompanied by a whole lot of throwing up. I had three tests to see if the pain was my gallbladder, but everything came back negative.

A little over a week ago it started to get pretty bad. The vomiting and the pain would last all night, so I went to the doctor again. This time she told me to see a specialist and scheduled an appointment for the 27th of July. Well, at 4:00 yesterday morning, after a whole night of pain and puking, I drove myself to the emergency room. They gave me something for pain and did another ultra sound which showed that my gallbladder was full of stones. About 3 pm I went in for surgery.

The hospital stay was pretty uneventful except for the 15 minutes right before surgery. The man who came to take me to the OR crashed into the wall at least 22 times on the way down. He kept saying that the bed was broken, but it was most definitely his driving. In the process, he disconnected my IV which had to then be removed and put in my other arm.

Then they discovered no one had done a pregnancy test and no amount of talk on my part that it was an absolute impossibility for me to be pregnant, would convince them. So, once that was taken care of the nurse noticed while we were standing in the hall that I still had my pj's on. She told me they had to come off. "Right here in the hall?", I questioned. She thought twice and decided the bottoms could be removed in a more private place. Then she asked me when the last time was that I emptied my bladder. This was the same nurse who had just escorted me to the bathroom for the urine sample that they needed for the pregnancy test.

I finally got into the operating room, got on the bed, and went right to sleep. I woke up to two nurses holding me down, telling me to calm down because I had just come out of surgery. I'm not sure what I was doing, but I went back to sleep and woke up later in my room.

I did not react well to the anesthesia and ended up having to spend the night. When the anesthesia wore off about 1 am I felt so great. I slept better than I had in weeks and was more than ready to go when they discharged me this morning. I don't have to be back to work until next Wednesday, and other than the getting in and out of bed, I feel great!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I know it's been along time since I've posted. It's not because I have nothing to share. Really, it's been an eventful few weeks full of traveling, homework, fun, family, and work. But tonight I want to share some things I've been thinking about the last couple of days.

This weekend was our stake conference. There were several themes throughout the meetings, but there was really one that especially struck me. We will all go through hard things. It's how life works. We don't get to choose what those hard things will be and they are usually things we would not expect. However, if we are true to our covenants, follow the words of our living prophet, and do all we are asked, we will be armed with whatever tools are necessary to make it through.

The process seems simple when it's listed out like that or when it's prefaced by "all we need to do is...". For me, the necessity of doing all those things has, at times, created some hard things. I've felt overwhelmed by all I should be doing, but am not, and for me, that causes action in the wrong direction.

But, the last couple days, as I've thought about this message, I felt a renewed desire to change things, a lot of things. And rather than be overwhelmed by all there is to change, for whatever reason, my soul is filled with confidence. Maybe I'm finally growing up!