So back at work… yaaaaaa – nah I can really pretend here. It’s “ok” and it pays the bills… but nothings really changed… I’m still getting slagged off in the next room (the only difference is now that I realise the people doing it are on par with cavemen who’s only really contribution is “fire bad, tree pretty”) and the FTJ drama is in full swing.
A couple of days ago – I was walking between the two warehouses when I felt a “pop” inside me… Now, my insides have never been “normal” but I would go out on a limb and say that’s bad for someone who isn’t quite 2 months post-op. After the pop – there was pain – which I happily ignored by popping some delicious pain pills and going about my business…
That was Friday… the whole weekend I was in an amount of pain – but on the scale of having surgery it was kind of a joke… but a little voice in the back of my head kept saying “you’ve herniated… kiss goodbye to your holiday and say hello to another hospital stay”… A voice which I chased away with, you guessed it, more pain pills.
My ignoring skills were in full swing until Monday morning at about 9am… again walking between the two warehouses at FTJ I felt three more very aggressive “pops” inside and sunk to the ground in pain. While I was in full view of at least two people here – I was dutifully ignored and basically crawled back inside where I called Stocker to collect me and potentially take me to the hospital – at this point I was sure that what I was feeling was a hernia.
I’m in a very precarious position at FTJ – I just had 5 weeks of for major surgery. I very kindly took 2 of those weeks as actual annual leave (which is quietly against workplace law for my employers to do considering I had a letter from the hospital saying they were basically cutting my intestines out and that it wasn’t in any way a “holiday”) but hey – I’m a good person. Too good. Having more time off won’t be viewed well and I could already hear tongues wagging saying again “I’m too sick to hold down a job”. Yeahhh when I’m thinking about having myself admitted to hospital though – fuck them, and fuck FTJ. Through tears of pain and distress (cause I was thinking about a holiday I might have to cancel – not because of work) I rang GM and left a voice mail… not being able to make it up the stairs I messaged the Accountant who quickly ran down to get the scoop. Yes, I was crying. Yes, I was obviously distressed… and yes he was supportive to my face… I don’t know what was said about me after that episode… and I’m going to take the high road and say some conscience kicked in and they respected my privacy.
As soon he left the room I started panic dialling every travel insurer I knew to try and get insurance before my issues were recored… turns out if you’ve had surgery within the last 12 months… only one insurer in Australia will cover you – Australia Post. At the time I didn’t know that, everyone I rang pretty much laughed and said “no”… my panic level increased.
Level headed Stocker arrived and suggested that I ring my clinical nurse … something my brain couldn’t conceive at the time – but a very very good idea. I did, she kinda laughed at my panic (which is pretty normal for her now) and told me to start at the beginning and go to a GP… she knew very well that admission for me meant at least 3 days in hospital.
Off we went where I was quickly relieved to find out that I had not herniated… but I was still in buckets of pain so there was something else going on… Off we went for an ultrasound where we waited and waited and watched people who arrived after us be seen before us… I started to think I had BO or something? Finally I went in and the brilliant operator revealed that I had abdominal surgery… which I thanked him for – I would never have known unless he told me. And also that along side one of my incisions I had managed to rip cleanly through all 4 layers of abdominal musculature. Something, he said, was difficult for a guy junkie to do let alone someone having a causal walk.
Although I need to wait for my next GI appointment to sort out the details (and it’s not like the details are important, all I really needed to hear was “not” and “herniated”) they think all the muscles in my abdomen were weakened by the camera from the laparoscopic surgery… and I just… broke ‘em… just like that. I went back to work straight away to try and allay fears that I am indeed too sick to hold down a job – but I tell you it’s amazingly painful – particularly having to sit upright in an office for 9 hours at a time.
They tell you that two weeks post op you are out of the danger zone – at 8 weeks post op you can start lifting up to 5kg again and at 10-12 weeks post op your abdominal cavity is as strong as it’s ever going to get again… what they don’t tell you is all the things on the periphery like busted muscles and a long string of other surprises I’ve had to deal with.
Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t take it back… even just a few months without active Crohns as been, er, I cant even describe it… I suppose that’s another thing they don’t tell you… you get addicted to not having it crawling around inside… I’m now sure what I’m going to do or how I’m going to handle it’s return…