Jul 15, 2017
I skipped writing about Day 2, because I was out for most of the day and night. Day 2 was brutal after all it was Surgery Day! I was nervous, but Dr. Wilhemy assured me all would go well and so far it has! :)
Ernesto came to pick my sister and me from the hotel at 6:30 A.M. As soon as we arrived at the hospital, my Patient Coordinator, Rosales, showed us to my private room. I immediately noticed a nice clean scent. We got a mini tour of the bathroom; they provided us with clean towels, enough toilet paper, bath soap, and shampoo. They even asked if we needed toothbrush and toothpaste, but we opted out from getting those, since we had brought our own.
My sister helped organize our belongings in the closet and helped me put on my hospital robe. I wanted to keep my underwear for surgery, but was told to be completely naked under the robe. I also took all my earrings, watch, and other jewelry off. As soon as I was ready, Esmeralda, the nurse that would accompany me into surgery, came and put in my IV. This was around 7:20 A.M.
At exactly 7:45 A.M., the surgical team came to my room with another hospital bed and asked me to lay in it. I was immediately escorted to the operating room. My sister was allowed to walk with me, until we reached the main doors (it is more like a hallway with several operating rooms, side by side). Now, I was on my own, which was a bit nerve wrecking. They brought me into the surgical room. There, I moved onto the operating table, where Esmeralda began wrapping my calves with a surgical dressing. This, they explained, was to ensure I didn't get any blood clots.
As she was wrapping them, Dr. Andres Gutierrez, the anesthesiologist, must have given me the sedative for the surgery, because all I remember is waking up in the recovery room.
My sister mentioned that around 8:30 A.M. she asked Yolanda, the Hospital Coordinator, to call the operating room to find out how the surgery went and they were just stitching up my incisions (a total of 4 small cuts). At around 9:00 A.M. Dr. Wilhelmy stopped by the room to inform my sister that all had gone well and that I was in recovery and would be brought back to the room in two hours. The first time my sister saw me after surgery was, according to her, around 11:20 A.M.
At every hour/hour and half, for the rest of Day 2, my sister would make me use the incentive spirometer. I would have to suck in the air no more than 10 times, making sure that I got to lift the first two out of the three balls. Every time I sucked the air in, my drain would just hurt. In addition to doing the breathing exercises, which did remove quite a bit of phlegm from my lungs (which is what you want!), she made me walk up and down the hall twice.
The reason, I was explained that they make you walk is to help pass gas. As part of laparoscopic surgery, the abdomen is usually insufflated with carbon dioxide gas. This elevates the abdominal wall above the internal organs to create a working and viewing space. The reason they use carbon dioxide is because it is non-flammable. Since laparoscopic surgery uses electrosurgical devices, this is the safest of the gases to use.
When I was not using the incentive spirometer or walking, I was laying on my side, sleeping. I asked to go off the morphine. As a matter of fact, by the evening (before 7:00 P.M.), I was no longer using it. I didn't enjoy the way it made me feel. It may be the best painkiller, but it made me feel quite dizzy and groggy.
Day 2 is brutal. It is a very, very long day. It is worsened by the fact that you cannot drink or eat all day. Remember, I stopped drinking liquids at 10:00 P.M. on Day 1. So, this is the hard part. Your mouth is dry, your lips are a bit chapped, and all you think about is Day 3 (the day when you'll get to drink liquids, again). You're hooked to an IV and that is how you get your fluids. The nurses did allow me to put water in my mouth and then spit it right out, which helped a bit.
The fluids from the IV will make you want to go to the bathroom. I'm so thankful my sister came with me, because she helped me in and out of bed, taking off and putting my underwear back on, and positioning me properly on the toilet seat. Every time you go to the bathroom, you have to let the nurse know. They make you pee into this bedpan that is hooked to your toilet seat. Each time, the nurse must check your urine's color and smell before dumping and flushing it out. Reason for this is to ensure your kidneys are functioning properly after surgery.
I did have quite a bit of heartburn on Day 2, for which they gave me medication via my IV. In fact, I was woken up by it several times, at night. The medication helped a little and I was told that once my drainage is removed, it should improve.
Overall, Day 2 was a very discouraging and bleak day. I was in discomfort and pain for most of the day, but my sister kept reminding me that, "This too shall pass."
So, my advice, is to just stay strong! :)