home yesterday and newly sleeved
Feb 13, 2011
ugh! i can't believe my laptop battery died!! i'll try this one more time.........
i had surgery thursday morning and came home late yesterday (Saturday). so, today has been my first full day home. i would say for me, the surgery was both easier and harder than i expected. first, i've had so many surgeries and so many complications, that i figured this would result in yet another complication. so far, so good (knock on wood- or praise God). but, by the same token having had other laproscopic surgeries, i thought this would be a breeze. it has NOT been.
first of all, anesthesia is anesthesia. it's really hard on me and i don't recover quickly from it. it takes a good week for my brain to feel 'normal' again and even today i still feel a bit 'foggy'. usually i wake up from it shaking, teeth chattering uncontrollably, and also with severe dry heaves. i warned the anesthesiologist before-hand though, so maybe he got out the 'good stuff' and dosed me up with it (the anti-nausea meds), because i woke up 'normally' (with no shaking or heaving). i did have to pee real bad, and waited in recovery for several hours because they didn't have a room ready. so they wouldn't let me get up- i had to use a bed pan. that was humiliating, but could've been worse. at least i didn't wake up peeing all over myself from the violent heaving.
i really had it stuck in my head to 'walk, sip, rest, repeat', so i worked through the pain, which was always from a '4-5' for me, to get up out of the bed. my saving grace is an over-active bladder and my impatience and determination, because at least every hour i was getting myself out of bed and into the bathroom, not waiting for the nurse. by the day they let me come home (day #3), i was walking 10 laps around the ward. but, like i said, my pain level stayed between 4-5. when i finally submitted to the loratab, i think my recovery went by leaps and bounds, because it helped the resting part of the healing.
the walking did NOT help the gas escape any faster. but, i don't think it was just me- my surgeon and his partner do all their bariatric surgeries on thursdays, so we all went through pre-op seminar together and all saw one another in the hospital, having had surgery all on the same day. two of us were VSG, all the others (about 4-5) were RNY, as far as i know. we ALL were having the same issue with the stubborn gas not wanting to find a way out. i really think it was the beds though, because i came home and was able to lay flat and the gas seemed to find an easier route out that way. i still have pain in my right shoulder though, which i know is from the gas, so hope it subsides soon.
i am very swollen. i didn't have a drain, but kinda wish i would have because i have a big balloon-like swelling on my left side, right were my tummy was. i tend to be a 'fluidy' person, as i swell really easy though. my surgical drains from my mastectomy were in a whole 2 weeks and were still draining even then. so it's going to take a while for my abdomen to get a normal shape back and for the pain and pressure from the swelling to subside.
my surgeon said 24 oz. of water and 40g of protein per day. being my first full day home, it's been hard. i've had about 30g of protein (isopure form) and about 16 oz. of water (not counting isopure- just water, popsicle, and jell-o). my brain is revolting- it's telling me i am STARVING. but my tummy is in no way even asking for food. so i'm trying to stay focused on what i need to do - sip, sip, sip, walk, rest, rest, sip. i do feel better today than i did yesterday.
i can't tell much difference between the RNY'ers and the VSG'ers as far as recovery though. some people on the OH forum seem to jump right up like it never happened. that absolutely hasn't been my experience. i feel like i have had to work hard towards healing. i also passed several of my fellow bariatric patients in the halls, and the RNY'ers were doing just as well as us 2 VSG'ers. a couple of the older women were up and walking like 'normal' the day OF surgery. i walked, but i definitely needed assistance. i am ok now with getting up and walking, but slowly- my stomach is achy. i have 6 incisions- 2 closed with staples (about 1.5 inches) and 4 with steri-strips (small). every time i sip my tummy cramps. plain water seems to make it cramp the worst. i don't feel dehydrated, so i think i'm doing ok. post-op seminar and clinical visit is this Tuesday morning.
there was a girl who came into my room the day after me. she had a RNY with another surgeon. she came in from post-op recovery saying her pain was a "2", but by the time i left yesterday she wasn't doing well. she was sweaty, in agonizing pain, and her heart was visibly beating hard and fast. they were going to send her to CT and for a chest xray. she wasn't really getting up and out of the bed at all and wasn't doing her lung exercises. anyway, she didn't look good. please pray for her, if you're the praying type. (also remember to pray for those who have shared here they've had leaks and ongoing issues with that).
thank you guys for being here. if it wasn't for all of you and your willingness to share your journey, i wouldn't know what to expect. i have learned a lot and feel like i have a really good idea on what to expect in the coming weeks too. i wanted to also give back to those who haven't yet had surgery- i think for some people it's a 'cake walk', for others it's a bit more of a challenge, but with determination you can get a leg-up on the recovery pretty quickly