Despite dreading the impending removal of my 2nd drain, I left last week's appointment pretty darn excited. I was given official permission to take a shower. If you've never been forbidden to bathe, or been a contestant on Survivor, you might not appreciate the magnitude of such a restriction. And for someone obsessed with freshly shaved legs, it was kind of a nightmare.
So a real shower. That's a big deal.
Here's something you need to know about my family and my tummy tuck. Zac, Aubrey and Kearstin want absolutely nothing to do with the recovery process. From the pictures and stories, I'm sure you can't imagine why. Caymen has been pretty oblivious to any of the major details. She doesn't ask questions and she's never around during any of my detailed follow up care. It's just a matter of fact that 'mommy had surgery on her tummy' and 'daddy takes care of mommy.' As for Ron, he's a little too involved sometimes, and is entirely too fascinated with some of my post-surgical side effects.
For instance, there are areas of my tummy I've lost feeling from where they cut nerves. I might regain that feeling, or I might not. This is something that screws with my head. When I scratch my stomach and I can't feel anything at all, I could very easily qualify for a rubber room. So when Ron's applying Neosporin to my belly button stitches, that make me nauseous right now anyway, and he starts poking my belly real fast and saying, "Can you feel it? Can you feel it? Can you feel it?" while he makes obnoxious sound effects...well, that's grounds for divorce threats in my opinion.
But back to bathing. I wanted to take my shower Wednesday night, but Caymen started vomiting. (Because we didn't have enough gross bodily fluids going on around here.) So on Thursday, I couldn't wait any longer. Ron wasn't home at the time, which had it's pros and cons. Kearstin refused involvement on all counts. After much persuasion, Aubrey agreed to help me rewrap myself into my Velcro girdle, but refused any involvement in the actual bathroom. That left only one option. "Hey Caymen...wanna help mommy?" Sure!
All she had to do was sit on the stool in the bathroom while I took a shower with instructions to run and get Aubrey if I "need anything." Code for: Tip over, fall out of the bathtub, and/or get overtaken with Heebie Jeebies at the sight of my own stomach, pass out and drown. You can't think too far out of the box around here.
As I undressed in the bathroom, I knew I better prepare her for what she was about to see when I removed the wretched Velcro girdle..."A rubber tube is hanging from a gaping wound in mommy's hip...totally normal and nothing to fear, cry or vomit about."
A necessary reminder to myself as well.
Here we go...*Rip*...For several seconds she sat there staring silently and then said, "Well. Things just got interesting and disgusting all at the same time." Out of the mouths of babes. And little did we know just how quickly things were about to escalate.
My ten minute shower was absolutely glorious. I quietly congratulated myself on being hygienically self-sufficient again while Caymen sat happily humming on her stool beside the sink. I turned off the water, stepped out of the tub and that's when, without warning, my drainage tube ejected itself from my body and fell to the floor at Caymen's feet.
In dead silence, we both looked down at it. We looked at each other. We looked down again. She finally said, "I think you're gonna need to tell somebody about that."
I looked at the exit site and saw a bloody hole full of stitches...and then
(Cut me some slack. Drama runs rampant here.)
The doctor was sent an emergency page and immediately called me back. He had some great news and some really not great news. The great news was that the tube did not break off inside me and that was the whole deal laying on the bathroom floor. In hindsight, I remember thinking that my tucksticle was hanging a little lower than normal length throughout the day, but I never gave it much thought. Anyhoo, there was no way for him to safely insert a new one and that meant I would not have to live through another drainage tube removal, but he wanted to see me Monday morning. Because, the not so great news was that my body now had potential to collect fluid inside me, with no way to escape, thus requiring him to use a spinal needle to manually remove it.
His voice took on that low, slow motion sound effect when he said, "S-p-in-al n-e-e-d-l-e." and I answered in a slow mo, "Nooooooooooo..." right before my head thunked against the bathroom wall.
Enter 'Bed rest until Monday' because that was the best way to prevent my body from producing fluid. Within the first hour of bed rest, I was convinced I could feel fluid building up in my lungs and by Saturday morning, I could hear gurgling because as it turns out, Ron isn't the only hypochondriac in our family.
I don't mean to sound ungrateful here. God has been super-generous in providing writing material throughout this process, not to mention my life in general. But as I lay in bed for 3 days contemplating what might happen with a needle on Monday morning, I prayed something I've never prayed before;
"Please Lord, don't make me write that."
Monday morning arrived, I lay on the exam table and in order to check for excess fluid, the doctor smacked my stomach, twice. Not that I could feel it, but at least he didn't make sound effects. No fluid! As an added bonus, they were able to remove my belly button stitches while I was there and I've been upgraded from 'Bed Rest' to 'Take it easy, seriously.' Whatever that means.
As we drove away I said, "I'm so happy right now."
Ron replied, "Me too...those are some flat ass abs."