Saturday, April 7, 2012

3 days post op!

I'm alive and doing well!

In the hospital, I had a great team. It's a teaching hospital and they do a fantastic job. I had an anesthesiology resident do my IV and it was flawless - probably the best I've ever had. Never felt a thing, going in, while it was in, coming out - no bruising either. Amazing.

My surgeon is very well-respected in the hospital and everyone I encountered had good things to say about him. Of course, I already knew that - why would I choose otherwise! Surgery lasted about 45 minutes from what I understand. I don't remember much of being in the recovery room, other than my mom was allowed in a few minutes at a time to visit and I didn't get a a bed in a room until 9:45 that night. My surgery was at about 2pm I think.

I do vaguely remember being extubated. I also remember panicking a lot when I woke up, and telling the doctor "panic.. pain.." I was given morphine, which helped a lot.

My roommate was a real pain in the ass, moaning like nobody's business. She sounded like a real wimp (this is my bitch coming out), complaining about EVERYTHING (I don't want that drug, it gives me gas, give me this other drug). She needed a NG tube and you would have thought she was 5 years old the way she carried on. I get it, we're in the hospital and we're in pain, but man up, lady! Put on your panties and let's GO.

I didn't have a pain pump (darn it), but every couple of hours when I was rounded on I asked for more drugs. I had fitful sleep, in and out, all night. My bed was nearest the door, and I had to ask the curtains be drawn so the hallway light wouldn't bother me. It really is true - you don't get any rest in a hospital.

Morning came eventually and I was whisked away for my gastrografin study. I had a couple of these when I was banded. They stand you up on a tilt table (this one was already tilted up), take a few x-rays of your belly, then have you take a small sip of the nastiest stuff you've ever tasted, then take more pics. When I was banded these were done to make sure my band hadn't slipped or eroded. Now that I'm sleeved with three rows (!) of staples through my stomach, gastrografin studies are done to ensure that my stomach is leak-free. So far, so good, said the doctor examining my pics. That's what I thought.

I went for a walk around my floor several times. I felt ok to walk. Then I got a visit from food services (after my surgeon saw me and my films). Here's what I got:

I sipped about half the decaf, sugar free iced tea - over about 5 hours. I tasted the chicken consommé and contemplated spitting it out. Of course, I didn't even open the jello. I was delighted to find italian ice on my tray! It took about an hour, but I got through about half of the 4oz italian ice. My mouth had been so parched from not drinking for 2 days. It was heavenly. Slow going, but heavenly.

I was contemplating asking for a second night stay at the 5-star hospital. I was concerned about hydration (no IV at home), pain meds (nothing is as good as what you get here) and all-around panic about taking care of my drain (yeah, I have a drain sticking out of me.. so sexy!). Doc came by and discharged me. Really no reason to stay.

(BTW, my GI doctor stopped by when I was in recovery and again the next morning when I was in my room. He did my endoscopy in prep for my band removal last fall, and he also did my colonoscopy. He's great! I love that he knows my surgeon's schedule and took the time - twice - to check on me. I really am lucky that I have such caring physicians.)

We got home around 6 and I headed for bed. It took over an hour to get home from the hospital and I was exhausted. I gave myself a sponge bath, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and with mom's help, built a pillow fortress in my bed. More like a nest than a fortress, but I digress. I made myself a roll-over-proof place to crash. I took 2 teaspoons of tylenol with codeine (see? not as good as dilaudid or morphine they give you in the hospital) and conked out. I woke up around 3am in pain, so I took a half dose of the tylenol. It helped and I slept until almost 8!

Yesterday I padded around the house, watched a movie (Morning Glory, thanks for askin!), took a dose of tylenol and took a nap. I walked around the living room. Mom made me some tea that took me hours to drink. I had some sugar free hawaiian punch that I could barely get in (really gross, that sugar free stuff. Nasty aftertaste and - TMI warning - that stuff gives me wicked gas. I can't tolerate sorbitol at all, and some other sugar substitutes are giving me grief too). I'm contemplating buying some G2 and cutting it with water. I think that will taste better.

I took a shower yesterday! It was glorious. Not glorious - having a drain. I had to take all the gauze and tape off and had to see the tube coming out of my skin. Gross. And of course, it made me so freaking nervous, klutz that I am, that I would yank on it accidentally. Knock wood - so far, I haven't done that.

Anyway, I'm on a clear liquid diet. Yesterday it was so difficult to drink. Every -tiny!- sip resulted in a massive amount of gurgling and a resultant painful burp from my new teeny tummy. I poked around on the VST website (a sort of social network for sleevies) and found that this is totally normal. It's uncomfortable, though, and it definitely hindered my fluid intake yesterday.

Had a bit of a restless night last night. Woke up this morning and saw that my urine was really dark, so I am bound and determined to get more fluid in today, gurgles be damned!

The fluid in my drain yesterday and the day before was really bloody (even clotty - eww). When I woke up today, it was clear yellow.

Uh-oh. Was that something I was supposed to be on red-alert for, infection-wise? Or was that dark yellow? I couldn't remember, and the panic on my face was clear. I called the doc's office (at 10am on a Saturday) and left a voicemail. Then I emailed the office with this picture and just explained that I need some reassurance. Here's the amazing part - and I'm not exaggerating - less than one minute after the email was sent, my phone rang. It was my surgeon, calling to tell me that it looks fine, good even! I'm still in shock that not all doctors live up to their nasty, standoffish reputations. My surgeon really cares about his patients. Even on the office voicemail, they give the doctor's personal cell phone number to reach him after hours. How awesome is that? I didn't use it because I knew this wasn't an emergency, but the fact that that's out there, well, that's just wonderful.

So now I'm hanging out in my mom's living room, sipping tea. Sip, sip, sip!

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