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Probably the most painful two weeks of my life...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by tplyons, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    About six months ago I was diagnosed with an esophogeal disorder called achalasia in which the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus is constricting and often will not let food pass. My family and I were ecstatic to find that my problem was actualy diagnosable (they thought I was bolemic because I was always throwing up what wouldn't go down, I was a slow eater when I did and was always tired)

    So, the good news. We found a group of doctors, got three different diagnoses, all which pointed to the same thing, achalasia, and decided that out of the three courses of treatment - botox injection (needs to be redone every year or two), stretching the sphincter with a balloon (needs to be redone every year as well) or surgery, which is mostly permanent. Because of my young age, we opted for the latter, to hopefully have no recurring problems for a good 40 years.

    So the surgery was last Thursday. They went in laproscopically, meaning five small incisions, a camera, robotic arms, and a torso full of carbon dioxide. I came through quickly without much pain, just numbness from my IV in my hand and a sore abdomen.

    I was out of the hospital in three days, one day ahead of schedule, and rode home feeling EVERY bump in the road, but was very happy to finally sleep in my own bed, cuddle with my girlfriend and watch bad movies on my computer while my parents kept the chicken broth and apple juice coming. I was put on this clear liquid diet for four days, and then jumped to soft foods as agreed on Monday. I was told anything that would melt in your mouth, or tender meats and pasta. Loving Italian food, I ate mashed potatoes for two days, then finally made myself some pasta... bad news, I'm backed up. Either I was swollen, or my surgery was a failure. Called the doctor and I'm back on a liquid diet until today. Finally had some solid foods.

    But the constant change of diet was more than annoying, it played with my mind, and nevertheless, my insides. My bowels were very irregular...one way one day, polar opposite the next (but I did get to catch up on a lot of reading on the John) but long story short, its been two weeks, I've left the house all of twice, once for a short walk, and the other was to spend the evening at my girlfriends for a change of pace.

    Sure, I have some abdominal pain, but the worst is in my left shoulder, feels like a pinched nerve, but it turns out to be because of the procedure. CO2 cannot be absorbed in large amounts by the human body, so it stays for weeks, irritating. Means no guitar strap for a while.

    But here's the killer... can't lift more than five pounds... nearly impossible! A gallon of milk is about six, an electric bass is about ten, so my acoustic bass is even pushing the limits. I'll try to sneak over the limits, but shhh...

    Between being bloated, and cramped, I can barely play my basses! I can't eat most foods right now, and I'm easily exhausted... just had to sit down after walking up a flight of stairs. It's been a week and a half, and I was bedridden through my February break, no work, meaning no income. Saw no friends but my beautiful girlfriend, and frankly, I just want to get the hell out of my house, pick up a bass and play.

    As of Wednesday night, it's URB for three hours a night. I've got a roadie, and I'll be plugged in because I'm a bit weak right now. Need to see if I'm allowed to drink some kind of energy thing to keep me going throughout the rehersals.

    There ya go, the past ten days in a nutshell. Not asking for your pity, just want to get this off my chest.

    Thanks for listening.
  2. Damn...sorry to hear about your misfortunes,hope you get well soon man and back to your 4-8 stringers :)
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Hi tplyons, I can "so" totally relate to your experience.

    I had just had a pancreatic cyst pulled, and a little repair work done to one of my kidneys.

    I'm just now starting to eat solid food again.

    But I hear you about the "weight lifting" thing, I couldn't even pick up a bass for several weeks. That really sucks, doesn't it?

    I'm a URB guy too, I just got mine not days before the doctors started in on me. It's probably one of the few things that's been keeping me sane lately (that, and the dialogs with y'all up here on TB).

    I hope you feel better dude, and I hope your procedures went well.

    Those doctors can work miracles these days, they certainly did in my case. Just thiis weekend, I've been doing a little "weight lifting" myself (literally, in the way of a little exercise, all I can do right now is ten or fifteen pounds or so, with either arm, but at least I'm back to where I can lift an electric bass again - not the "Big Alembic" yet, but maybe one of the small ash bodies). :)

    Recently a tennis ball has been one my best friends too. That lets me maintain finger strength, at least. Gotta work hard to keep those callouses up though. :D

    Good luck, and good recovery. :)
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Get all healed up now ya hear!

    I bet ice cream is good right about now.
  5. yeah, get well soon!
  6. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Well, it sucks now, but I'd rather have the pain and agony now, than a little bit every time I ate.
    Get well soon dude :)