I'm in my third day of recovery following my surgery Wednesday. Things are progressing quite nicely.
Yesterday was probably the toughest day so far, though I think the day after usually is the worst. Things were quite sore, and it was difficult to move around. Not only that, but it was difficult to catch a deep breath, or even breathe at all. It's not until you've had you abdomen ripped open that you realise how important some of those muscles are to things like breathing and just supporting yourself.
Other than the soreness, things were good. The surgeons stopped by in the morning and said the catheter could come out and that I should get out and start walking about. I had to have a nurse help me out of bed the first time. Obviously it was quite painful, but my blood pressure was quite low, so I was feeling a bit woosy. She was very kind and helpful. She got me to my chair and helped me get washed. I started feeling much better once I was sitting upright, and I managed to move about on my own during the day. The surgeons also said I could be on free fluids which meant I could drink whatever I wanted.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a very good night's sleep last night. A new lady was brought into the bay last night and she snores incredibly loudly. She only seems to snore at night, or when she doesn't have an oxygen mask on. So, I managed about five or six hours of sleep. It doesn't help I wake up in a fair amount of pain at 05:30. I had requested some Tramadol for pain a bit earlier, but it is pretty useless for me. Paracetamol has actually been more effective, especially in IV form (though that early morning dose is the only one I get intravenously, the rest of the time I take it in a dissolveable tablet form.) One of the people on the surgical team prescribed another pain killer, so hopefully that will work well.
Surprisingly, I've been on oral drugs since I came out of surgery. It's true that most are in some liquid form or other, so they're easier to absorb in my current state. One is Metronidazole which is administered via an oral syringe and makes me feel like a little kid when I take it. It has a very interesting taste. Hopefully I won't be on it very long.
Today has gone pretty well so far. The surgeon stopped by and said I could work with the dietitian to reintroduce food. So when the dietitian stopped by, I had a chat with her to come up with a plan. For today, we are sticking to liquidy/soft stuff including jelly [jello], Build Up soups, Fortisip and Fortijuce. If I can keep these calories down without pain, then I can try normal food tomorrow. Additionally, I'll be getting my last bag of PN either tonight or tomorrow. Everyone agrees, that is, the dietitians I've talked to, the doctors and the surgeons, that the best way to gain weight is to eat normally.
So far everyone, including the surgeons, doctors, dietitians and myself are quite pleased with my recovery. They changed the dressing on my wound this morning, and it looks like I might have lost my belly button. The surgeon said they tidied up my previous scars, and I think this one will be much nicer. Though I have to say I'm not looking forward to having all the staples removed!
Hopefully if all goes well, I can leave the hospital Monday or Tuesday. Hell, I could be doing a lot worse like the snoring lady who had less-invasive intestinal surgery but I've unfortunately seen be sick twice. I guess she doesn't know how to take it easy! A