The Post-Op PBP

I’m currently on Day 5 of my healing process, after undergoing incision biopsy on my knee last Monday. This entry is mostly just for me to remember things so it’s okay if you don’t read on. 🙂

Admission Day
My doctor instructed me to have myself admitted the day before the operation. We arrived UST Hospital so early. It took us about 6 hours to procure a private room. Played the different Candy Crush Sagas with Mama to pass the time, then walked to church at 5PM. It was my first time to enter that church. It looked a lot like our chapel in DLSU, but bigger and with a more modern altar design.

The priest’s homily that Sunday was about inner peace. He mentioned that if your heart and mind are one with God, you won’t find the need to question the things that are happening to you. You will just trust, surrender, and be content. And thus, you will have peace.

I had honestly been anxious on the days leading to the operation. But when I heard that, I remembered how I promised God before that I would surrender everything to Him. Being the control freak that I am, it hasn’t been particularly easy and I often find myself going back and forth on that promise. I was grateful for the reminder. God is such a good God. He never fails to remind me that He is always with me.

Day 1 (Operation Day)
My biopsy was scheduled for 10AM, but I was called in around 12NN already. Seems they took a while with the first patient. It was okay, though. It gave us more time to pray.

Inside the operating room, I was sedated before the spinal anesthesia was administered. I woke up halfway through the operation, I think. I could hear them hammering on my bone HAHAHAHAHA. I was like, “Could you please drug me again?” I’m not sure if they drugged me again. All I know was that I went back to sleep and woke up just as they were sealing the site of operation. My doctor managed to say a quick hi to me when I went looking for him. And then I fell asleep again and found myself in the recovery room an hour or two after. I couldn’t feel the lower portion of my body. I could move it, though. I could feel the bed twitch whenever I urged my leg to move with my mind.

It was fine and dandy at first, but I felt that my bladder was already full and I couldn’t pee. I couldn’t pee until the anesthesia wore off — the muscles down there were temporarily disabled — and I found this more frustrating than the dull pain on my knee. I have always had a habit of holding in pee especially at work, when I had to attend to my passengers first and I knew going to the lavatory could wait. (Thus, UTI during my last annual medical check-up.) I never appreciated how important peeing was until I couldn’t anymore. I seriously cried. I only got to go after two hours, the moment the anesthesia wore off. Imagine the pain I had to endure for two hours. It was excruciating. 🙁

The ray of happiness I had that day came in the form of my fiancĂ©’s family + Cocoy visiting me. I cried when they came in and gave me kisses. Tita was like, “Oh, don’t cry, everything will be alright.” And I was all, “No, I’m crying ’cause I’m so touched you’re all here.” It was a great reminder that a lot of people cared and were praying for me. In fact, that visit ended with them praying over me and it was the most therapeutic thing ever.

Day 2 (Releasing Day)
My doctor’s team came in to check on me the next day and taught me how to clean my wound. They gave me the awesome sanitizing spray thang my dad brought home once after his own surgery with the same doctor at the same hospital. Kevin’s brother, Jeg, who happens to be a nurse, said I would enjoy using it. And I am. It doesn’t sting when I spray it and it smells good. Haha. #simplejoys

It was great to finally be out of the hospital. I hate hospitals. I only like them when it’s necessary. Like, whenever I’m admitted, I program my mind to like it for the time being, just so I don’t get anxiety attacks.

It was raining cats and dogs when we left the hospital. It took us 3 hours to get home due to the rain and the traffic along Coastal Road. We passed by the legit shawarma place at BF Resort — the one we’ve been searching for for ages. Guys, it is SO. LEGIT. There’s something lacking with the veggies, though, but it still tasted good. Especially with the LEGIT GARLIC SAUCE OMG.

Day 3
This was when I started to feel everything. I was prescribed a pain killer that I had to take only once a day. Must be made of some powerful stuff. It did not stop the pain of the inflammation, though.

I walked to different parts of the house with the help of our trusty computer chairs. For once, Mama allowed me to drag those things around the house without fear of scratching the tiles. HAHA.

I almost lost my balance as I was walking to the bathroom that afternoon. I had clung on to the dining chair and it fell backward for a bit. I had to stop a few seconds to regain my composure. You did not fall, Abby. You did not fall. I managed to walk to the computer chair from the bathroom and went back to wheeling myself to the kitchen, where I stopped and cried for a minute over that near-death experience. I wasn’t used to being immobile. So I threw that pity party. But then I realized that I could have fell, but my angels stopped me from doing so. There are worse things in life than being temporarily pilay, I thought. And Mama was right; there was a process I had to go through. I shouldn’t rush the process.

Kevin visited me that night. He brought bananas and some chicken from KFC. Even though I felt I was going to be a useless host ’cause I was basically immobile, I was glad he visited me. We had a lot of laughs. I can’t wait to be married to him. 🙂

Day 4
I woke up with virtually 90% of the pain gone. I could step with my foot flat on the floor already but I didn’t want to risk it, so I still employed the help of them computer chairs.

My two aunts came by to check up on me and we had a few laughs. Liabear was at our house too, so my daily dose of cuteness was satisfied.

Day 5
Woke up earlier than my alarm clock. I felt heavy. Checked the time — 8AM. I think God really woke me up to pray for our fellow SE member who was about to undergo a 10-hour surgery for his cancer. If you’re reading this, please pray for him as well. Thank you!

My knee’s definitely better now. I still haven’t removed the compression bandage since my left leg is still a bit swollen. But it’s better now. I’ve been walking around today without the computer chairs. Praise God! 🙂

Still waiting for the results of the biopsy, which will come out probably mid-next week. I am still hopeful and praying that the tumor is BENIGN. I hope you could pray that with me as well.

Amidst all these, I am grateful for the following:

FAMILY – I am grateful for my parents who have been with me this whole time. Whenever I or any of my siblings don’t feel well, they don’t feel well either. Our suffering is their suffering as well and it is in these times that I am thankful that God has given me the most caring parents ever.

I am especially thankful to my mom who was with me in those 3 days at the hospital. I couldn’t get up after the operation, so she helped me whenever I needed to use the bed pan. She fed me the best she could when my stomach couldn’t handle solid food and I kept throwing up after taking in just a spoonful of mashed potato. She helps me take a bath each day, given that I can’t wet my left leg until the wound completely heals and the stitches dissolve.

I felt bad for snapping at her last night while we were cleaning my wound. I had just gotten off the phone with Kevin about our wedding reception venue and I wasn’t in the best of moods. I said sorry to her after asking her to help me take a bath. She could’ve said that she wouldn’t help me, given that she was hurt, but she did anyway.

K, I’m crying. Anyway. I am grateful not only to my immediate family but to my future family as well, who are already treating me as one of their own. Thank you! I love you all!

(COMMUNITY) FRIENDS – It is really in times like these when you find out who your real friends are. It’s funny ’cause the second time around, I still haven’t gotten the support I needed from this one friend of mine. Now I really know. But I forgive that friend. And I will still be a good, if not GREAT friend to that friend.

Trailed off. K. So yeah. I am so grateful to God for the gift of friends. Community friends, especially. It is really such a joy to have people praying for you, just because when two or three are gathered in His name, the prayers become more effective.

Thank you to my friends who have been regularly checking up on me and sending me inspiring messages. My heart is overflowing with your love.

I cried when I found out they had prayed for me during Intercessory teaching last Wednesday. During Day 2, I cried when Tita Lulu, our community leader, called to check up on me and reminded me that God is with me and I should just surrender my heart to Him. It was a simple gesture, but one I was very much thankful for. I’ve said this before — a sick person doesn’t just die because of his/her illness. Most of the time, it’s because of loneliness. That’s when they give up. Loneliness was my #1 enemy 6 years back. I’m just glad I had the proper support system to snap me out of it.

MY COMPANY – I haven’t paid a cent during this whole thing (and I won’t because I know and claim that the tumor is BENIGN!) because of our company’s comprehensive health benefits. I am so grateful for this, as well as for the doctor and the team who worked on me.

I actually had apprehensions about the doctor doing my biopsy at first, since he wasn’t the one initially referred to me by my oncologist. All I had going was the fact that my company employed the best doctors ever; most of whom held high positions in whatever Philippine medical society they were part of.

I felt a bit guilty about doubting my doctor’s capabilities, TBH. When I saw my wound the day his team came by post-op, I found that it was just one straight line, about 1.5 inches long. Minimal and cleanly-done. I expected it to look Frankenstein-like, since the compressed bandage covered such a huge area of my leg.

When I got home, my dad showed me my doctor’s calling card. Found out he has so much achievements under his belt including Minimally Invasive Surgery – Quadriceps and Sparing Total Knee Replacement. That explains the tiny, slightly-OC wound. I kept telling him during our early consultations, “Doc, how big will the wound be? My legs doe. My job doe.” And he was all, “Haha. Just put make-up on it.” And I was all, how exactly do you put make-up over a Frankenstein wound!!! K. Thanks, Doc, for the nice wound. I’m sorry I doubted you.

GOD – Last, but definitely not least.

I found myself in tears when my mom left to buy food. It just dawned on me how extremely grateful I was to God for never leaving my side. 6 years ago, I felt so alone in my fight. I didn’t know Him as much as I do now and I guess that made all the difference. I was so overcome by emotion during that alone time in the hospital. I felt that He was giving me a tight hug at that very moment and I thanked Him for giving me a chance to know Him better. If not for that, I probably still would have thought that what was happening to me was because He was punishing me, instead of Him making me stronger and preparing me for something great.

Praise You, Lord God Almighty!

I hope you could continue praying for favorable biopsy results with me. I also hope you’re doing and feeling well wherever you may be at this very moment. God bless you!


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