Typical recovery is 4-6 weeks. I'm doing a lot better, still sore and achy though. Tomorrow I'm going to work a bit on a wedding gown. I need to do a little catch-up before my client comes over for a fitting on Thursday. Thankfully I work 3-4 weeks into big, time-sentitive projects for things like this, a cushion of time. So between having the flu and then surgery, I'm only a tiny bit behind, not far enough that I can't get caught up in the next few days. Thankfully she's understanding about pushing her fitting back. Her wedding's still a far way off, so she's cool with waiting an additional week.
You know that feeling you get when you're getting sick, like impending doom like your body knows you're getting sick, even if your head doesn't fully realize it? That's how every single day was for me. Since having my gall bladder out, I haven't had that feeling. I wonder if my depression and fear of the world, like something bad was always about to happen, wasn't somehow related to my gall stones making me constantly sick. Several times this year alone I've had a lot of pain, the same type of pain I had that led to me going to the ER, only not quite as severe. Close at times, but not quite there.
The staples have come out, and I'm having a hard time. I didn't have to see it when the staples were in. Cody took care of it all for me, did the dressings and cleaned it. I never once looked at it. I have since then, and am just really not taking it so well. I already feel like a disfigured freak. Now I have a new scar that looks like a 6"-gash in my side. It was estimated at 5", but it looks like 6" to me. Plus the 1"-long incision where the lap was attempted, and the 1/2"-spot where the Jackson-Pratt drain was. The main incision feels glued to my lower rib. The skin near my lower left rib can move around. On my right side, it doesn't move. It's stuck there. The skin above it is poofy, and the incision sinks in. It's visible through clothing right now, and it's easy to see that I'm no longer symmetrical. I hope it evens out. Right now my self-esteem is taking a battering. I just can't see these scars at battle-scars or anything. I see them as ugly, and, by extension, I see myself as ugly. The one spot on my body I was actually starting to like was the spot just under my ribs, and now that spot on me is ruined.
Even though the weather is getting warm, I'm wearing heavy clothing to try hiding this disfigurement. I don't want anyone to be able to see it. I can't stand up straight yet without feeling like the skin is pulling, so I also feel like my ability to move right is crippled. If it weren't for having such an ugly scar and not being able to stand up, I'd be feeling pretty good right about now. Hell, I could put up with not being able to stand straight because I know that I'll get back to doing so within few weeks, just a bit of gradual stretching. It's the scar. I don't know if that'll flatten out and the skin regain an ability to move or not.
I'm very glad that we're in California for this. All states are required to have a family medical leave program where employees can take a minimum amount of time off from work to care for sick family (there are few exceptions, like very tiny businesses and such, that couldn't realistically go for 6 weeks, or 12 weeks, or whatever it is, without replacing the employee). But California started this first, and went a step further. It's paid time, paid for through taxes eligible employees pay. It's 65% of the highest pay from the previous year, tax-free at the state level. So Cody's able to be home with me without much of an income loss. Between what taxes are usually taken out and what he'll get, the difference is pretty small, maybe 10%. Usually employees don't get the money right on their next payday, but things really happened perfectly for it. On a Friday we got our money back from the state (remember that wrongful garnishment? we got that money back, and it was more than a month's pay), and then the next day our car was fixed, and the next morning I was in the hospital. So we got a financial cushion just in time to not have to worry. With what he hasn't had to spend on gas getting to and from work, we haven't had to touch any of our savings though, so we still have all that money banked, and it's looking possible that it won't need to be touched. It's so nice not having to worry about money for once, to feel secure.
The other night I didn't feel so secure. I woke up because I thought I heard something, looked at the wall by the door in our bedroom, saw a tall shadow, thought Cody was up, laid my head back down and looked to the left, saw Cody in bed, and started screaming. If someone was at the foot of the bed, and Cody was in bed.... It ended up being a trick of the light or something, but it was terrifying thinking someone was in our room. I was thrashing about panicking, frightening Cody while I was at it, trying to figure out how to get Charlotte and Cody and myself out the window before the person-who-wasn't-there could hurt us. In retrospect, I should have realized that the dogs wouldn't have been quiet. They've become so protective since Charlotte's been born. If there's anyone on the other side of the door, they'll growl and bark, fur standing. If there's someone on the other side of the fence they can't investigate, they growl and bark, fur standing. While they're pansy-dogs when they know there's no danger, they growl and bark at strangers, letting them know not to come near us. If someone was outside the window or the door to our room, they'd have alerted us. No one could get in without us being woken up first. And we are in a town with so little crime that people still talk with disbelief about a small string of vandalism early last summer, some teens slashing some tires. Heh, I come from a place where hearing about a murder in town didn't faze me, and yet this small, peaceful beach town scares me. I think it's because I don't know where the crime congregates. Up north, I knew the parts of town to stay out of, where crime happened. But here, it's all fair game as far as I know.
I'm about to head to bed now. I'm tired, Charlotte's sleeping, and Cody's playing a video game. But since I'm yawning, bedtime now.