Hello all! Hope you’re feeling great and ready to start a beautiful week. What can you do to make this week positive? For me, personally, I will continue to do Yoga! This is a new and great thing in my life and I can’t wait to see the results. I hope you all find something to help you stay smiling! Maybe this beautiful sunset will help with that!

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To continue where I left off, I’d like to share my experience of the first week going home after my surgery. What information is now new? Who was there to help me?  And how I managed this life changing and surprising operation?

After waking up and managing eating, changing supplies, walking, and drinking fluids I was sent home with medication to keep me in the least amount of pain possible. The car ride home, I would say, was the hardest. Every bump and sudden stop felt like no other pain I had every come across in my 19 years. I felt scared, worried, overwhelmed, and unprepared. You know what kept me going more than anything else? My motivation to get better. Before my surgery I was going to class in pain, misery, and sadness. I would come home from class to lay in my dorm bed alone. I wasn’t living. But now, when school starts I would feel stronger and better and could hang out with friends in between classes and on weekends. I would have a fresh start in my life and this bag gave me that.

I came home to stay with my mom for a little over a month until it was time to go back to school. I was given instructions on how to bathe, eat, take pills, but not the most important instructions a new patient needs; how to change my bag. I had to do the whole “trial by error” thing and sample different supplies until I could figure what worked best for me. I did have my Nana help me some and give me advice on what products she liked because she too had a bag. Four days later I was back in the hospital to manage my pain (August 1st 2013).

I returned to Cedars with my Mom by my side and was yet again was admitted to the hospital for another 5 days. I had abdominal pain, I couldn’t eat at all while I was home, and I had decreased output. I was discouraged once again being back in the hospital but what did help was the kind nurses that remembered me and came in to say hello. As well and my mom watching movies with me and helping to keep my mind off things.

They took care of me and the pain team came in and gave me some other medications to try and it helped tremendously. That led to me wanting to eat more and eventually I was good to go home.

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This was a set back but I didn’t let it keep me down or discourage me. I would keep pushing forward and stay positive. A month later, I started to become active in my sorority, started speaking up more in classes, and going out to events. I even went to my first party in college. I was finally the me that I was always supposed to be. I was happy that I got a second chance to live the life I always deserved.

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  • – Kristen Furey, Patient Champion

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