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February Post-op

My Journal for February 2003 (Post-op as of February 10th)

Okay, I am home from the hospital and 1 week and 1 day post op.  It's going pretty well.  So here's how everything went:
Surgery Day:I didn't feel any nervousness at all in the hospital, dozed most of the morning waiting for my surgery.  Then when I woke up after surgery, all these people were hovering around me doing this and that, it felt so chaotic.  Then there was this one man who kept telling me to breath deeply, that my breathing was too shallow.  I don't think I was even barely conscious.  That first breath killed!   I don't think I had ever experienced pain like that.  When I got to my room, my family came in and settled down.  I think I held a small conversation but I am not sure if I made sense.  A little bit later a friend of mine came by on her way to the WLS support group that meets that same night in the hospital.  I slept through most of her visit but I understand she had a good visit with my family.  The first time I had to get up to pee, that was one of the worst moments.  I could barely move and needed these tender and sore stomach muscles to get out of bed.  It was so hard.  So many people waking me up at night.  I am so glad my mom was there to help out, help me out of bed, help me with all my machines and IV while I went to the bathroom.  I got out of surgery at 2, was in my room at 4 and got out of bed for my first trip to the bathroom at 7.  Not too shabby.  Later that night, I took my first walk down the hall.   I held my hands to my stomach to keep my guts from falling out.  I had a great nurse that first night, she made things so much better.  Her name was Tanya and she was actually a recent nursing school grad, but her care was supreme!  What I don't understand is, if they only have to draw blood once a day, and you aren't eating anything, why do they have to draw it in the middle of the night? 
The second and third nights weren't quite as bad, although my nurse was different those nights and quite ditzy!  The second night, I kept finding myself jolting awake with my whole body twitching.  Kind of like the experience you would have when you have a dream you are falling.   I worried for a while that maybe my heart was stopping or something.  I was paranoid to sleep for a while and finally called the nurse.  She told me it was the pain meds.  That reassured me and I was able to go back to sleep.  I developed a great method for getting back into bed too, I would grab the bar (I had a trapeze above my bed) above the bed and put my leg on the bed, then I would hoist myself up on the bed, using as few stomach muscles as possible.   It worked.  I was glad on the third night when I had the IV removed.  It had infiltrated, so they took it out.  Also, I was on oxygen the whole time and a pulse ox.  They took the pulse ox off that same night and also discontinued the compression stockings (weird stockings that wrap around your feet and alterately squeeze them, helps prevent blood clots).  After getting freed from all those machines (all but the oxygen), it was much easier to go to the bathroom and get around and I finally felt like I could be a bit independent.  I think the second day I slept most of the day, with only brief periods of wakefulness.  Its funny, was my first stay in the hospital and I brought so much with me.  Was worried about being naked under the hospital gown, afraid I would get bored.  Didn't touch most of what I brought.  As for modesty, I couldn't care less...  let all the nurses, techs, aids, my mom, see my with my butt hanging out.  Didn't care.  And I read all these posts from people who said they were hot and thought, I'm never hot, I'll be fine.   I was roasting.   Had to turn the air on and freezed my poor mom out. 
On the fourth day, I got the okay to take a shower and go home.  Woo hoo.   More on the journey later, I am tired of sitting!

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