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Post Op Follow Up

Matt Z


Thanks for all the pre-op support all, I'm still feeling kinda icky, but I'm home and I wanted to provide a proper update.


Friday the 18th of 2011 at 6:30 am I was admitted into the Rhode Island Hospital Outpatient Surgery Center. The staff was nice for how early it was. I checked in and around 7:00 am I was taken back to the prep room. I geared down and johnny'd up, complete with the fantastic johnny socks compression socks and a fabulous blue hair net. I voided, and I will tell you this, if I had known that this was going to be my last easy void in the next few days, I would have taken the time to enjoy it a bit more. I was then paraded past other weary surgical travelers enduring what I was soon to as well, the slew of questions from the prep nurses, anesthesiologist, head anesthesiologist, attending nurses, supporting nurses, and finally my surgeon. Everyone was fantastic. My doctor signed off on my belly and at 8:10 I was wheeled into the OR. The OR was super bright, bustling with prep work, beeps and boops, motors pumping away at this and that, the whole time the surgery staff was light hearted and up beat, The slide me from my gurney onto the operating table, propped up my arms with arm boards, pluged in me and put the gas mask on. Within a few moments my ears started ringing, my vison got distorted and everthing stopped. I had a bit of a dream, about my dogs I think, but I don't fully recall.


With me out, the surgeon and her team started preping me and the equipment for use, I found out later that the laprascope was mis-behaving and not outputting video, so I waited in some undisclosed state of prep for 30 mins while they got it fixed or replaced.


I opened my eyes around 11 am, coughing, which I guess is a good thing. I was woozy and had a hard time focusing on what was going on around me, the place was simalar to the pre-op room, but was clearly not. Other post-op patients beeped, buzzed, whooshed and groaned around me. Again the staff here was very pleasent. I was checked and rechecked, told to sleep, but once I'm up, I'm up, and with all the noise and lights, going back to sleep again wasn't going to happen, even if I was as tried as I have ever been. I overheard several comments about me not having a bed to go to. I've got sleep apnea, so I was being admitted for overnight observation. I saw in the recovery room for several hours, I was visited by my lovely wife, my parents and my oldest son, who notedly did not want to be there, but that was ok, I understand why. I was in moderate amounts of pain, more discomfort than pain, slight burning pressure under my left clavicle, but nothing major. My incisions were tender, but I wasn't putting any strain on the abdominal muscles so the pain meds I was given control of did the trick at keeping everything to a decent ache.


5 pm came around I my doctor came back in to check in on me. I was upgraded from swabs to wet my mouth to ice chips and small sips of water, this was fantastic news! After 6 hours of narcotic added dry mouth, some cold water and ice was heavenly. I was sat up, walked around and allowed to void again, but this time with great amounts of trouble. The muscle groups just wouldn't work with me, it was all about the relax and let go, which is a LOT harder than it sounds.


6pm I had my room. A step down ICR shared room. But I had a bed now, not the 2 inch thick gurney pad that had be causing me tailbone pain for 6+ hours. I walked around a bit, attempted to void again, and watched some tv with the wife. All while enjoying this fantastic new discovery, ice water! I was cleared for an amazing 60ml per hour, so 2 of those little meds cups per hour, this was fine with me. We watched TV for a bit, talking with doctors and nurses that came in and out checking in on me. Tried to stay up to watch Fringe, but by then I just couldn't hang it. So I made my way to the bed. After some tweeking, a few extra pillows, a fan (it was VERY hot for some reason) I put my cpap on, grabbed my pain button, slid down my blindfold and drifted off. Most important thing to bring with you to a hospital if you are going to be there overnight, a good pair of blindfolds! Saved my night!


The night was oft interupted by the snoring of the woman that was my roomate, by nurses checking temps, iv amounts, my vitals, etc etc, understandable interuptions. These folks were taking care of me, so I was being extra nice back. Nothing can make their already stressful jobs worse than a pissy patient!


4am I was up again, the void at this point was much less stressful, and much more welcome. I stopped using my pain pump at this point. I guess that while I was sleeping, I pretty much just kept pressing the button, oops. At least it was set to lock out, so I got the max amount of meds. I fell back a sleep for a while.


6am rounding time for the doctors, I was visited, told that I was stable enough to go home once the orders were drafted, which take a while I guess. I amlessly watched tv for a few hours. At around 8 am a tray was brought in with apple juice, a bottle of water and a cup of broth, lol I'm on 60ml of fluids an hour and they bring a liters worth of liquid. The apple juice was FANTASTIC!

The wife showed up at around 9:30 am, she helped clean up and pack things together to make it easier on everyone.

I was then slowly removed from iv's and monitors, provided with my liquid pain meds, and started getting word of a potential release. I hurt, moreso now because of the lack of constant pain meds, but nothing super horrible. Just very uncomfortable to move certain ways, like sitting up, spinning around, leaning over, picking stuff up at arms length, putting my head over my head etc etc etc. All slow and deliberate movements from here on out I guess.


Shortly before Noon I was signed out, wheeled down and driven home. Ouch, bumps SUCK. I putted around a bit outside, working out some of this interesting pain which can only be described as a combination between gas pain and hunger, without the growling. It comes and goes. Gas-X doesn't seem to be doing much of anything, but I've been trying just in case. I slept a bit, had a bit of a fever spike 100.5 (still below what they said to come/call in with) fever is down into 99.0 right now, took some liquid tylenol to help with some slight pains and the fever. Still on clears until tomorrow, so once the Jello is done setting up, I'm going to break into some of that, the Isopure Zero Carb RTD's have been yummy, just enough flavor, and it's clear and full of protein!


So that is all for now bandsters/bandits and those starting out where I did. I'm offically banded with the realize band. The worst pain is behind me, now to just tough it out through the next few days of pain and discomfort.


Thanks for reading!

Stay Strong!


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Awesome Matt, make sure you get plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. I had a lot of gas in the beginning, I lived on Gas-x surprised I did't OD on it I was always popping those little strips in my mouth. I also had a lot of nausea, my doc gave me some meds for that and I think I used it the first 2 weeks off and on. Honestly, I never thought I would ever be able to get all the protein in, I wish I had know about the ISopure drinks back in the beginning, I did not find them until much later in my journey. They are yummy and packed with protein. I struggled with the milk based drinks but drank them anyway. Give yourself time to get your strength back, I oddly thought I would go back to work after 4 days and I did but it was tough, I was still on liquids and did not have much energy. So good luck to you on your journey, blogging helps and also reading the blogs helped me a lot. Were all here for you, fellow bandster. Diane

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