Monday, July 16, 2012

This Post Won't Be Pretty

Today my father is having his prostate removed. He is, at this moment, in surgery. He has been in surgery for almost six hours now, at a hospital fifteen minutes from me. I am sitting at home.

I am sitting at home because I woke up at 3AM with horrible stomach pain. I have some reflux problems (and a hiatal hernia; just one of those wonderful many health issues I deal with) and went to sleep last night with those horrible sulfur belches. If you've not ever had the joy, it's... not something I'd wish on my worst enemy. It's like the rottenest of rotten eggs bellowing out of your gut, forcing you to both taste and smell the awfulness. For HOURS. Thankfully it doesn't happen often. So when I woke up at 3AM to a swollen, immensely painful stomach, I assumed it was gas pain. I'd been trying to choke those burps down after all; hoping the gas would make its way towards the other end instead. Presumably it had built up over night.

I sat up. I massaged my stomach. It was hard, distended and painful. Most of the gas felt trapped around my stomach, meaning I'd probably have to burp it out to relieve the pain... farting was of course preferable so I could avoid the awful taste, but at that point I was so uncomfortable I'd take what I could get. I maneuvered myself around on the bed for a few minutes, trying to work my way into the yoga pose that might best move the gas up and out,

I use 'fart pose' and I am not ashamed!
It wasn't working. I rolled onto my stomach and stuck my butt up in the air, hoping to encourage the gas to move up and out. And then... it happened.

No, I didn't fart. I wouldn't waste an entire blog post on a mere fart. I felt the gas rolling up my throat and prepared myself to belch the pressure away. Except when the gas reached my mouth, I suddenly found myself with a mouth full of last night's dinner. I mean FULL. I freaked and started trying to scramble out of the bed when I felt more coming up my throat. I did the only thing I could, which was lean over the end of the bed and heave my guts out. I blew chunks all over the carpet. Load after load. In between heaves I was frantically clawing at my husband's foot. Normally this much disturbance would have awakened him but it was my luck that he was passed out cold. Puke. Claw. Puke. I managed to voice a desperate plea. "Help!" Claw foot. Puke. "OJ! Help!" Puke. "Me!" He finally woke up and moved his ass out of the way so I could dash to the bathroom and blow MORE chunks in the toilet.

Chunks is my dog.
I've been miserable ever since. I can't shake the stomach pain. I can't keep anything down. I haven't even TRIED anything but some mint tea with a little honey and baking soda. Things are coming out of both ends now. You never really realize how much liquid and waste there is rolling around in your body until you start spewing it all over for hours.

It's a horrible feeling. I have no nausea, and no warning about when the puke is coming. I'm walking around carrying a bucket. It's like my stomach is slowly filling up, like a hose is leaking somewhere inside me. (Yes, it's as painful as it sounds.) Like one of those giant buckets at water parks that fills up and tips over every ten minutes or so. The discomfort grows and my stomach becomes more and more distended until suddenly, BLEH!

Like this, only with puke.
Needless to say, this is why I'm sitting at home instead of at the hospital with my mom and brother, waiting to hear news about my dad. Physically, being sick like this is bad enough. Emotionally in this situation, it's even worse. I wanted to be there with my family. I wanted to see my dad as soon as we were able. Logically I know that bringing in a bug and potentially infecting my dad after surgery or my mom and brother, who live with him and will be taking care of him, is a terrible idea, and I'm doing the smart and correct thing by staying home. Emotionally, I just wanted to be there.

Please say a prayer, think good thoughts, send healing vibes, whatever your preference, to my dad. They told us the surgery was at least four hours long. Sitting here at six hours and counting, I'm more than a little anxious.

Edited to add: Dad is out of surgery, awake (albeit very groggy and drugged), and the surgery went well. They ran into a few snags with some hernia scars but they got the entire prostate and preliminary reports seem to indicate the cancer hadn't spread. He'll be in the hospital until Wednesday.

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