Thursday, August 27, 2015

Following the rules

My dearly beloved husband had an outpatient operation yesterday to repair the umbilical hernia that he has had for a very long time. It had always bulged out some and it would go back in when he pushed on it. One morning about a month ago, when it bulged out and he pushed on it, it did not go back in right away. That scared him, and so he decided he had better get the thing repaired.

Finally. Hernias like that can be very dangerous if the intestine gets caught in it. so I was very pleased he was moving ahead with this.

He scheduled an appointment with a woman surgeon who turns out to be a really interesting person (she is also an Episcopal minister), and who told him that if that happened again, he should lay on his back, put ice on it, and think happy thoughts.

The surgery went well. After he woke up, we moved to a room on the patient floor. We were told he had three goals to meet before he could leave the hospital: he had to be able to walk, he had to be able to pee, and he had to be able to drink liquids without vomiting.

After he was settled in the room I went to the cafeteria to get something to eat and when I was finding my way back to the room, I happened to meet a woman in the hall (a friend of a friend), whose husband died about 2 months ago. I told her to come back to the room. She talked and talked and talked about her husband and his death. Having had the experience of not being able to get people to engage when we tried to talk about our son’s death, we were happy to listen to her and encourage her to talk some more. Richard has this knack for continuing to ask questions to keep people talking and that's what he did to her. She tried to leave the room several times but he would ask yet another question and so she kept talking. I think it was good for her to do that.

He managed to walk, pee, and not vomit so we were able to leave the hospital. The doctor’s orders for his discharge were very extensive. He is not supposed to do the dishes, the laundry (or even lift heavy clothes), cook, shop for groceries, take the trash out, lift anything heavier than about 6 pounds, or drive, among other things.

The nurse who took care of him told him a cautionary tale about her husband who did not listen or follow the instructions after his umbilical hernia was repaired and he tore it open and is in terrible pain, and he can’t get it fixed because he can’t afford to be off work for another 6 weeks.

I suspect Richard will mostly behave himself, except this afternoon, I caught him at the counter chopping lettuce for his salad.

??? I said

“It doesn’t say anything about chopping lettuce,” he says. “What that about is they don’t want me lifting heavy pans (like your cast iron skillet).” He may be on a slippery slope here, and I may have to remind him of the rules.

In the meantime, I will have to be the housewife again for a while. He is a much better househusband than I am a housewife, and he is a bit obsessive about the right way to do certain things (like stacking the dishes in the drainer), so I expect he will be a little crazed by the time the restrictions are lifted.

This morning we struggled with the wide elastic binder that they put around him at the hospital. He had to take it off and put on again over his t-shirt because it was irritating his bare skin and he couldn’t seem to get it to back on the way it was. and me trying to help him wasn’t working too well. He has been wearing it all day like he is supposed to, but it is not quite right. I found some instructions on the Internet, so we will have to try again tomorrow to get it on the right way.


Linda Kay said...

Glad the surgery went well, and all has been repaired. I'd be like him....hard to hold me down to rules.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Good to hear the repair went well. It was good of you to listen to the lady with the loss, sometimes people just need to talk. I hope your hubby follows the rules:)

Marty Damon said...

That was so kind of you both to help that woman talk about her husband. I'll bet it also helped to take your husband's mind off his own surgery.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I'm glad everything went well- I hope he is a good patient for you, because I know a man who didn't listen and his was awful, and painful.