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after you wake up from surgery

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21 hours ago, BigSue said:

My surgery was 2.5 years ago, so it's sort of a distant memory at this point... I don't mean to scare anyone -- I actually hope it will be reassuring to know that (at least for me) waking up from surgery was the worst part.

I remember being in the bed in the waiting area before surgery with an IV, and then nothing until I woke up. A lot of people remember being in the operating room, having to move themselves from the bed to the table, but I don't remember any of that. I woke up in a lot of pain and for some reason, I had it in my head that something went wrong and they didn't complete the bypass. When I was able to speak, I asked, "What happened?" I guess the nurses thought I was disoriented and explained that I was in the hospital and I just had gastric bypass surgery. I felt intense regret, wondering why I did this to myself.

I could barely move, but I remember looking around and seeing the monitor showing my vitals. I had a blood pressure cuff on my arm that periodically ran, and it was a lot higher than normal, but nobody seemed concerned. I didn't really feel the incisions, but I had a lot of pain that I assumed was gas pain, based on what I had read before surgery, and I knew that I was supposed to walk to help with the gas pain. I kept asking to get up and walk, and the nurses told me I had to wait until they took me to my recovery room.

I stayed in the hospital for one long, rough night. I was trying to walk as much as possible, up and down the halls. I made the mistake of walking at dinner time, and the non-bariatric patients had actual food, and the smell nauseated me. I got a meal tray with a Protein Shake, Water, apple juice, coffee, and fruit cocktail (it was supposed to be sugar-free Jello, but apparently they were out and decided that fruit cocktail was the next best thing, LOL... The bariatric nurse was very upset that they had given me something that I shouldn't eat, but of course I knew better and did not eat it). Between walking, I tried to sip as much as possible, and it was very difficult. Fortunately, I had IV fluids, so plenty of hydration (and I had to pee very frequently).

After the first few hours, I had very little pain and did not need to take any pain medication. I did have discomfort in my stomach, like cramping/spasms, so they gave me anti-spasm and anti-nausea medication. I had leg compression machines on my legs while I slept. The nurses came in to check on me periodically. My surgeon came in once. Once the anesthesia wore off and I was fully awake, I was eager to get out of the hospital and go home, and I felt like I had to wait forever. In hindsight, I'm glad they kept me for longer than I wanted because while I was there, I was getting hydrated with IV fluids, which was good because it was so hard to drink fluids those first few days.

Once I got home, the first few days were not pleasant, but I had very little pain and recovered quickly. So if you feel completely miserable when you wake up, just know that you will get through it and things will likely improve very quickly.

Thank you

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