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Monday, November 7, 2011

Last Day In & Coming Home

Wed. was to be my last day scheduled in the hospital and they were ready to get me out of there, unless anything went majorly wrong.  They started off the day by changing my pain meds from morphine injections in the thigh to liquid Tylenol 3 with codeine.  This was not an equivalent exchange so I had to start dealing with the pain more.  Everyone started talking to me about possibly going home that day.  A resident, "David", who'd done most of the talking with me told me that I could go home if I managed to drink my three meals today.  Because today was also the start of the next eating phase!  Modified Fluids!  Yeah!  Now my diet includes drinking three Diabetic Boosts a day, I per meal, and to the liquids I already am drinking I have been allowed to add any artificially sweetened drink as long as it is not carbonated; (carbonated drinks will be a no-no for life) 1/2 cup real fruit juice a day and sweet, glorious milk, skim milk, but milk, oh how I've missed thee.

I also was given some new meds since I'd been in the hospital.  One being a tiny antacid to melt in my mouth each morning early before breakfast and second the anti-coagulant injections in the abdomen started right after the operation as well.  So this day went well, one thing that had not happened yet was that I had not had a bowel movement nor had I passed gas.  This was what they were waiting for.  When they operate on your abdomen laproscopically like this they fill your intestines full of air to assist with the surgery and, of course, afterwards, you must pass this gas out through the end.  The antacids are to stop you from getting acid reflux and burping, making the other end the only option.  I hadn't had so much as a toot or fluff but listening to my stomach they heard bowel sounds, "which was good".  By the afternoon, I was having gas pains and felt the rumbling and gurgling in my bowels as the gas moved around down there.  This is painful.  But still nothing happened. 

Results from that morning's blood tests came back and I was low on potassium so they had sent up two little packets for me to drink of pure potassium.  Vile, vile, wicked, horrible stuff!  Yuck!  I was officially told I could go home around 2pm and dh came and got me about 4pm.  We went down to the lobby where we got a scrip filled for the antacid, Tylenol3/codeine and 7 needles which I'd been taught to inject myself with.  My health care covered the Tylenol, so I had another bill for over $200 for meds.  Now the rumbling in my stomach was acute and while waiting for the meds I went to the bathroom where I first passed the gas.  I don't mean to be gross but there were two sonic booms that released a lot of pressure, I'll tell you!

Now I've been home recuperating since Wed. night.  I'm very sore, in pain at times, especially at night.  It is hard to sleep without moving as it really hurts when I roll onto my side. I had one very bad afternoon on Thurs. where I spent about 40mins. on the toilet and came out absolutely exhausted.  I started off walking like Tim Conway in those old man sketches on the Carol Burnett show but am now walking upright albeit still slowly and carefully.  I'm moving around the house now, going up and down stairs and getting more mobile each day, though the pain of sleepless nights is keeping me slow.

I get full very easy.  In fact I'm always full.  At this point my main focus is to make sure I keep myself hydrated.  I have a chart to fill out and must make sure I drink 2L of fluids a day.  I am managing to get by but it is taking all my effort as half a cup of apple juice while taking me regular morning pills plus vitamin (cut in half now because my stomach opening is too small for a whole vitamin to fit through) leaves me stuffed.  So breakfast takes me from 8-11 and lunch from 12-3/4 and so on.  I am always eating or drinking! 

So where does this leave me know?  I'm on the modified fluids diet for two weeks total, leaving just over a week to go, and I have a follow up in one week after discharge, meaning this Wed.  As you may have noticed I have not had a weigh-in yet since before my surgery.  I didn't want to weight myself while I was till full of the gas as I knew the number would probably go up a bit first so I decided to just wait for my first post-op dr. visit where I will get my first official weigh-in. 

See ya then!