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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Tustin, CA

    How about my surgery - long and a bit graphic!

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    Okay so feeling well enough to do some posting. This is the summary of my surgical experience. Sorry for the length. I'm sharing my experience for others who maybe facing the same consequences.

    The surgery was last Thursday. On Tuesday before I started to fast. Only clear liquids until midnight Wednesday and then nothing. I showed up late for the pre-op. Wednesday I had to take 3 doses of phos-fer soda and even though I thought I was clean, Thursday morning there was some more left to go. Ugh. Felt awful. Very hungry and empty. Anyway, get to pre-op. All the nurses scolded me for my lateness.

    I meet the very dreamy anesthesiologist. I tell him about my troubles with going under. He assured me there would be no nausea. He had the staff installed a epidural pump in my back and added a "scopes" (sp?) patch. Next thing I know I'm in recovery. No way to say that process is pleasant 'cause it's not. I did not have nausea however. A plus. Because there were no rooms available, I had to stay in recovery 4 extra hours. That sucked!!! Finally made it up to my room and was pleasantly surprised it was a private room.

    Once in my room I started feeling uncomfortable. I had alot of gas in my stomach and intestines. I had on pressure cuffs on both legs, an IV in my left hand, a nasal gastric tube, oxygen tube and still the epi pump. Tubes coming out of everywhere. Dispite the nurses' caution I tried to sit up in order to relieve the gas. Big mistake. I get dry heaves and oh boy, discovered, the incision site was very painful. I passed out. I also had a bad bout with the nasal gastric tube. The nurse tried to reposition it, I gagged and started to pull it out. She stopped me and put it back good. That was not good.

    The first 2 days were bad. I got no sleep unless I was drugged. I also discovered that until my body started working again (i.e. I had to "pass gas") I could have no food or water. Food OK but no water!!!! I finally talked the doctor into removing the NG tube on the second day withthe promise I would not drink any water. I kept my promise but it was very hard. I also stopped all drugs after the second day as they delayed my system working.

    On the 3rd day I discovered the couch. The hospital bed was so uncomfortable I could not sleep. On top of that it constantly moved driving me crazy. The couch, thank goodness was stationary. The nurses all thought me crazy but understood. I actually got some sleep the 3rd day.

    I set up "house" near the couch. Really for the first 3 days it was not a pleasant stay. There is no privacy in a hospital. As soon as I would doze off someone would come in to take blood or my blood pressure. Doctors came in at all hours as did the nurses and cleaning staff. You get resolved to it after a while. What can you do otherwise.

    I had started walking the second day although I was very sore. They took out the catheter on the second day and told me to go use the restroom. This was the highlight of my day. I started walking around the halls (thank goodness for studly cyclist legs) on the third day mostly to relieve gas and boredom. Sunday morning at 3:30 after using the restroom I passed gas. Such little things have such great meaning!!!!! I praised God and thanked him profusely. I knew I could now drink water and took my very first sip. Ah so sweet!!!!

    I got my first meal Sunday afternoon - clear liquids ( I'm starting to hate clean liquids!!!). I did OK and doctor then ordered "full liquids" for Monday. I was in Heaven. Breakfast was Cream of Wheat and a Boost and lunch was Cream of Mushroom soup and Vanilla Ice Cream. Doctor came in that afternoon and was surprised how well I was doing (had a bowel movement that morning) and ordered me a regular meal. I got a nice apricot glazed chicken breast and rice pilaf. I couldn't eat much but each bite was delicious. He let me go home Monday night after 7.

    Anyway I'm home. I have so little energy it's amazing. If I take a shower I basically have to sit down awhile and rest. Yesterday I went out to Costco (with my sister who has been here for me and has been my guardian angel) and was dead the rest of the day. Today we are meeting a friend for dinner and that's my big outing.

    My experience I guess could have been worse. The staff at Mission Hospital is TOP NOTCH, just awesome. So caring and understanding. My sister was just there for me even when awful crabby (and I was). Good friends came by - I looked horrible but they didn't care. I love my surgeon. He's just so cool. I also cut my hair - a last minute decision and was so glad to have gotten rid of all that long hair especially since I couldn't bathe for 3 days. That long hair would have been in the way. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with this short hair.

    Anyway - I know I have a long recovery and need to follow the doctors instructions. It's so hard not to be riding especially since the weather here in So Cal has been beautiful. But I just don't have the energy anyway. Hopefully it will come back. One plus right now - weight lost of 12 lbs!!!! I'm sure it will come back when I start eating. Oh well.
    Last edited by bcipam; 10-05-2006 at 08:57 PM.
    BCIpam - Nature Girl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    On my bike
    So glad you're doing well! You went to Costco???? I'm blown away.

    If you were a guy, you would have no problem farting. It's built into the "Y" chromosome. That must have been absolutely miserable - no water!! I know what you mean about no privacy. A hospital is no place to be if you want to get rest.

    Keep us updated & try to take it easy!
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Wow- what an experience! Thanks for sharing everything- the good (was there any besides the dreamy anesethesiologist?), the bad (sounds like lots) and the ugly (clear fluids- ick!).
    I hope you recover quickly, and can get back on your bike before too long. Take very good care of yourself, and keep us posted on how you're feeling!!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Oh, pam, you made me laugh with your gaseous challenges. I think anyone who has had severe gas issues can relate -- not to your level -- but certainly can appreciate the (comic) relief. I am so glad to that you're up and about.

    George Hamilton and Jane Curtain did a SNL skit where they played a very hoity-toity couple passing gas. They kept describing the results in symphonic terms (such as basso profundo) or as one (or two) cheek squeakers. To this day, it's kind of an inside joke for Bubba and me. Just do it with style and grace.
    Last edited by SadieKate; 10-05-2006 at 08:03 PM.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    well i'm glad you got through it ok and your back home.

    when i got out of surgery from my apendix i couldn't drink or eat anything for almost a week. i thought i was going to die. finially the nurses felt so bad for me they gave me little green sticks with little green sponges on it to dip in water and swab my mouth out with. so i know how bad it feels.

    just glad your home and recovering. don't try to do to much. just think of all the posting you can do on TE while your recovering!
    "Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it." William C. Durant

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Glad you are back!
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Israel (Middle East)
    Rest and recover
    It is a real challenge all this tiredness and being still I know first hand; but you can get used to it and even enjoy it for some little things that you don't even notice when you are 100%; like you enjoyed tiny amounts of "real food" after being on medically-induced fast.
    Let people help you and remember we are all with you too.
    Thinking of you

    All you need is love...la-dee-da-dee-da...all you need is love!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I'm so glad you discovered that couch. I know what you mean about no sleep unless drugged. It's rough being a patient. I'm glad you're home--take it very easy, and know that your body's overcoming all sorts of challenges. Listen to your fatigue level. You will gradually get stronger and stronger. Take care, L.
    Run like a dachshund! Ride like a superhero! Swim like a three-legged cat!
    TE Bianchi Girls Rock

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Concord, CA USA
    Outings less than a week after surgery? You're doing so well! Take it easy, you'll be back on your bike in no time!

    Several years ago, after abdominal surgery and a 5 day hospital stay very similar to yours, I did a hilly metric century at 10 weeks post-op. I know 10 weeks sounds like a lot now, but for many weeks to come you'll know exactly how many weeks and days post-op you are without even counting, and the weeks will pass quickly. You'll be good as new - no, even better - very soon.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    so glad you're doing ok. hang in there. the bike rides will eventually be back on the agenda i'm sure. you made me laugh when you said the couch was stationery i'm sure it wasnt funny at the time, but it did sound funny in a relieved sort of way
    To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived This is to have succeeded - Emerson

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    WA, Australia
    Wow Pam out and about already. Glad to hear you are on the mend. Get plenty of rest and you will be out on the bike before you know it.
    The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
    Amelia Earhart

    2005 Trek 5000 road/Avocet 02 40W
    2006 Colnago C50 road/SSM Atola
    2005 SC Juliana SL mtb/WTB Laser V

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery..

    wow...up and out already!! that's great for you!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Sunny California
    Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery. TRY to take it easy a little! Give it some time and be sure you listen to your body!
    Bork Bork, Hork Hork!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Good to hear from you, Pam. Rest and recover and take things slowly.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Great to hear from you! I felt for you after recently watching my Dad have a colon surgery and my husband land in the hospital for 6 days with suspected Crohn's. I had to laugh about the gas because my husband was so relieved to finally have a bowel movement. The things you can admit to being happy about when you are recovering!

    Take it easy and just think how you can climb on the top posters list at TE.

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"

    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan



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