Friday, May 27, 2005

Pre-surgery workout

Well, the days are counting down to Indianapolis. Frankly, I'm tired of waiting - I was ready for this surgery weeks ago. I have my packing list done, lab results faxed in, CT scans sent, work things all tied up - I am ready to go! We'll head to St. Louis for the weekend to relax and have a little fun, then it's off to Indy first thing Monday. My folks are flying up from Atlanta and we'll try to rendezvous with them.

Meanwhile, I did some pre-surgery exercise yesterday: lunch at Booches! Booches, for the non-residents of Columbia, is a venerable old burger joint (since 1882) that happens to be right across the street from my office downtown. They basically specialize in three things: burgers, beer, and billiards. My friend and I took advantage of two of those offerings yesterday; I'll leave it to you to guess which ones. The burgers are served on squares of wax paper and aren't huge, but they are heavenly. USA Today named their burgers among the top 10 in the US a few years ago. Sarah would tend to disagree with this assessment (she doesn't know what's good for her). Lunch was followed by cheesecake with a friend from the Chorale.

We had dinner with some friends last night as part of my "farewell tour" (and again there was cheesecake!) after which we seemed to break off into two "discussion groups". In my discussion group (well, group may be stretching it - it was just Emilie and me) we talked about medical procedures. Emilie had her second child by C-section, and it was quite the ordeal. She likened it to having had a Mack truck crash into her insides. It's probably very similar to what I will have to go through, with an incision from my sternum to my pelvis, my stomach muscles cut through, my intestines pulled out and later replaced. Fun, fun, fun!

I had some spare time yesterday that I unwisely chose to spend looking for information about experiences with the RPLND procedure. That was a poor choice on my part. Now I have started to obsess with some of the possible outcomes from this surgery, and that's not a good thing. Still, I emailed a guy from the TC support list to ask about his experience at IU and while this won't be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination, it was nice to have a complete honest assessment of what the aftermath will be like. The main thing I need to remember is to take it slowly - no rush. This particular individual was off work for 7 weeks after the surgery, but that was with a post-surgery infection.

I'm going to be introduced to a lot of things I really would prefer not to have to learn (catheters, morphine pumps, sliced abdominal muscles), but then again, that's been the story through this whole process, hasn't it? As we say sometimes in the church management world, "If you're not growing, you're dying."

Well, that's it for me until next week. We'll have the laptop with us and will try to put out an update as soon as possible after surgery. I'll keep a notebook by my side to collect my thoughts. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and white light.



Anonymous said...

The RT says Turn, Cough, Deep Breathe. It hurts, but post-op pneumonia hurts worse! Drugs are your friend - any drugs they offer - to get you up and moving. Holding a pillow across your belly helps, too. Praying for a good outcome and good pain meds for you and peace & sanity for Sarah.

Anonymous said...

Vinny - the catheter is your friend - I named mine 'Cathy' when I had surgery in '98. There's nothing better than sitting in the recliner with a fantastic book drinking coffee in the morning and NOT having to get up to go to the bathroom!!