One of the things that contributed to my stress about this surgery was not knowing what was going to happen. (What can I say, I'm a control freak.)
So here is the play-by-play as it pertains to me of my surgery. Your mileage may vary! I'll try to come back and update it. Hopefully it'll be of use to someone—"and knowing is half the battle."
Day before surgery
Liquid-only diet; two bowls of phở broth, some Protein2O, apple juice, and sugar-free lemon jello. Got about 830 calories in.
Had to take a shower with a special CHG (chlorhexidine gluconate) anti-septic body wash. It made my skin a bit "slippery".
Packed my bag with my CPAP hose, a book, a spare shirt, some chanclas for walking, my cell phone charger, and my reading glasses.
Put out the two pills I was supposed to take (no losartan because it interferes with anesthesia).
Day of surgery
Took another shower with CHG as required. Reported to the hospital at 0630 as requested. Was checked in and taken to pre-surgery holding. My fiancé was allowed to go with me as an exception, because I'm hard of hearing and rely on lip-reading which is impossible with so many masks and partitions in the way.
A surgical RN came and told me to wipe my abdomen with CHG wipes, then put on my surgical gown (which was HUGE on me—I understand I'm a bariatric patient but I literally couldn't keep it on my shoulders). Then he put an IV in the back of my hand, took my vitals (I lost 10 lbs in the two weeks between my surgeon's consultation and surgery day), went through all my medications, put an anti-nausea patch behind my ear, and gave me a blood thinner in my IV.
My surgeon came in and asked if I was ready, went over a few things, then went to scrub up.
My anesthesiologist came in and asked if I had had anesthesia before (yes), and if I had any questions. I asked him to give me a TAP block at the end of surgery, which is a localized nerve block, like an epidural for your abdomen. It lasts 12-18 hours.
I was whisked away and the next thing I knew I was in the recovery room, where I was given cognitive tests (what is your name, what hospital are you at, who's the president, etc.) and given ice chips. Once that all proved satisfactory, I was wheeled to my room. I don't remember it, because I fell asleep.
Once in the room they put leg compression stockings on me and gave me water, Crystal Light made way too sweet, chicken broth that tasted like a salt lick, and a thicker vegetable purée soup. I couldn't get the vegetable soup down. I forced the chicken broth, Crystal Light, and water. I felt very, very hungry and it was frustrating not to be able to just eat something.
I took 3 or 4 laps of the surgical unit floor in my fetching anti-slip socks, and kept falling asleep. The pain from the gas was pretty bad and I spent a good 30 minutes just burping, much to the chagrin of the man in the other bed in the room (though he was moaning so he doesn't get to say anything).
Around 1730 the nurse came in, saw that I had drunk what I could and had peed sufficiently (you pee into a graduated container), and that I could walk. She asked my surgeon's permission to discharge me, and I was in the wheelchair going out the door at 1830, exactly 12 hours after I arrived.
When we got home, I pretty much washed my hands and face and went straight to bed. I got up probably every 2 hours or so, would have a couple of sips of protein shake or water, along with Gas-X (simethicone) or, as needed, Tylenol. I did get about 7 hours of sleep, in various chunks. I was able to lie, carefully, on my side, which is how I prefer to sleep. My CPAP did increase the gas pressure inside a bit but it was tolerable.
Day 1 post-op
My first bout of the 'foamies'. I tried to drink a CorePower protein milk way too fast and spent an hour and a half wandering around whimpering. It was actively painful and it felt enough like I needed to vomit that I had a lined bucket at the ready. Eventually, though, it subsided.
Gas pain is still here and very real, but better. We went for a walk which absolutely tired me out—and it was barely 500 meters!
Right now I am using the timer on my cell phone to remind me to drink 1/3 oz. of fluid every 5 minutes, and I feel full but it's manageable. I am alternating full ounces of regular water and protein water. I also made some Jell-O with extra protein powder but the thought of eating it leaves me cold. If I can get these bottles down plus the shake I had earlier, I'll be pretty close to 48 oz. of fluid which is my surgeon's requirement for the first week (bumps up to 64 oz. after that) and 41 g of protein which will have to do for the first day unless I manage to get some of the Jell-O down me.
I have been taking Tylenol, Gas-X, and my ondansetron—the nausea is there but it's in the background, like when you step off a ship onto land at the end of a cruise.
I haven't had enough pain to necessitate anything stronger than Extra Strength Tylenol. My incisions are clean (I took a shower).