Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Day 7 Post-Op

Alrighty then...  Where to start?

Surgery day was a long one!  After an initial call to arrive at the hospital at 11:15, they called later and asked if 8:45 would work.  Heck yeah!  The earlier the better.  It meant leaving the house super early because of traffic headed downtown, but that's not at all a complaint!  I got changed into the hospital gown (the paper pre-op one -- it does have cute little paw prints on it, though), my Pastor and a church friend who had come to the last "attempt" arrived and we sat.  And sat.  And sat.  I think they finally took me back to the pre-op area around 1 pm.  Certainly none of us expected that.  I was there for a bit as the struggled to find a vein.  Again, they found one good enough to put me under and poked, prodded, stuck and tortured my poor body before even beginning the surgery.  One interesting note: I had anesthesiologists on either side of me looking for veins.
One of them finally went and got a vein finder (image courtesy of http://www.qtechnologiesgroup.co.uk/local-community-fundraise-for-new-vein-finder-accuvein/) although I have no idea of the brand.  I was too busy watching this thing and sort of fascinated by it.  I've always had difficult veins.  Pretty cool, right?

Perhaps I should pick one of these up (for upteen dollars) and carry it with me!  Yes, so while the vein finder was keeping my attention to my right, the woman on the left found a vein good enough to get me under.  I'll tell you, when I woke up I found all sorts of bandages from failed attempts.  Hey, at least I was asleep, right?

The one thing  One of the things I wasn't expecting was having a jugular central line.  The doc wanted to be on the safe side and said it's the easiest way to get meds to elevate blood pressure, should that happen again.  Sadly, they kept it in the entire time and it was a bit annoying, but I survived.

Remembering that I am.... well.... me, things didn't go 100% as planned and the surgeon found adhesions from my gall bladder removal which he had to address.  Once that was out of the way, he proceeded forward.

Something else I wasn't expecting was the level of pain and the amount of nausea.  Sure I knew there would be a ton, especially the first day, but when, by day 3, I was still having a hard time getting down the mandatory 4 oz of water hourly, I was taken aback.  Heck, once I had 5 oz and was sure I was going to lose it.  Yep, that's how small my stomach is - well, at least when it's all swollen and irritated from surgery.  While the surgery went (mostly) according to plan, I was given the option to stay at the hospital until Friday, while most leave on Thursday.  I was up and lapping the unit and was keeping up with my fluids so was ok'd to leave on Thursday.  I decided that I'll heal better with more sleep - because honestly, does anyone actually sleep in the hospital?  They gave me a special pillow to push against my belly when I cough or laugh or do anything else that puts strain on my core muscles and it has helped a lot.  So I know I'm super out-of-shape, but I had NO idea how often I use my core muscles.  Just getting in and out of a chair or (forgive me) on and off the toilet was downright excruciating the 2nd day (after they removed the catheter).

Sleep.  It's not as easy as one would think.  I'm not allowed to twist, nor am I to bend from the waist or lift more than 15 lbs.  It's absolutely better than being jabbed and poked all night long.  However, even sleeping in my usual position has me twisting a bit, which I never realized.  I have taken pillows and propped my middle section up a bit so I'm more aligned.  Bert, unfortunately, likes to lay there; it's his nighttime spot.  I've had to "encourage" him to move more than once since Thursday.

I'm keeping a book with everything that comes in (and goes out) of my body, as well as pain levels and I am supposed to take my temperature twice daily.  That all goes in my book.  I'm also keeping a general mood record in there for my personal record-keeping.  With my follow-up on Thursday, I don't want my horrible memory to kick in and wind up saying "I don't know" to a bunch of really important questions.

I'm still doing the liquid diet and am to get 4-6 oz hourly of liquid.  I started off with ginger tea when I first got home (iced it like crazy) and am now doing Crystal Light, and even doing some broth and consumee.  Some nights what Keith makes for himself smells delicious, but always simultaneously makes me nauseas.  That Thursday (although it may have been Wednesday -- it's so easy to lose time in the hospital) the nurse told me she was all-but prohibited from giving me anti-nausea meds.  This will be my "new normal" for a bit and I have to get used to it.  So, I've toughened up and done what I can.  Thankfully, all has stayed down.

I think I've mentioned before that I fear my depression meds will decrease my metabolism, hence slow my weight loss.  The surgery will absolutely affect my meds and how they are absorbed.  I don't know if that means I will have to decrease (hopefully) or increase dosages.  I also had normal blood pressure in the hospital and since I was being monitored 24/7 and not getting any BP meds, the doc sent me home not taking it.  My PCP was ok with that.  My sugars were also normal given that I was on a constant "sugar saline" drip.

I have essentially stopped pain meds, although did take a dose of liquid (i.e., kids) Tylenol for a headache.  There's no need to take narcotics for that.  I'll speak with the LRNP at my post-op appointment this week about what vitamins and supplements I should take.  I actually like the calcium - it's a nice sweet treat twice a day.

Poly was in daycare today (and all week).  Since I'm not allowed to bend over at the waist, I can't put her leash on and since she won't come when she's called (and will bark like a maniac), she needs to be leashed.  Casey has been bummed today, but he's good for me.  I just wish I could sit in the sofa with him so I could snuggle.  I think a good snuggle would do me good.

This evening, hubby had to rush home from work to pick up Poly from work so he could help me get Bert in the carrier so we could take him to the vet.  Just to add to the stress going on right now, Bert has to stay at the vet overnight (Tori isn't happy and will start howling/yelling at us when she realizes he isn't there at bedtime).  He hasn't been using the litter box to urinate; rather, he thinks the sofa in the spare bedroom is a better place.  Thankfully we have vinyl car seat covers for the dogs, so we put them down so there is no damage to the sofa.  He actually only ruined a pillow.  There were sheets covering some clothes I had there and the clothes on top were still in their bags - they never fit... that is not YET!

So, I know I rambled quite a bit and this is rather garbled.  Please forgive me.  I've been working on this on and off all day in the midst of a bunch of other things.  Any repetition is unintentional, as is any disjointedness.

I hopped on the scale yesterday - hubby was home and I can't bend at the waist, so I can't even get to it.  I've lost.... <drum roll please>...... 2.2 pounds.  Honestly I'm not upset about this.  I'm still swollen inside and my body is holding on to the liquids I'm consuming.  If it doesn't pick up in a month, that'll be a different story!

I think that's enough storytelling and drama for today.  Hopefully I'll soon be snoring away....


  1. You are doing great and I love reading your updates. Keep up the good work and don't start thinking about the scale yet. It's awesome that you're already losing, but your swelling and healing may make you yoyo a little and I would hate for that to mess with your head. Good luck!

    1. Thanks so much, Janet! I love reading about how you're doing, too, although I know life gets in the way sometimes.