Friday, July 19, 2013

Surgery and post op day 1 (and morning 2)

I am cheating. Much of this is a copy of the email I sent to some of my family last night. Sort of drugged and figured this would be easier than writing up a separate entry.

First off, I am feeling surprising well considering everything that went on.

 About 3 hours after surgery

My evening nurse came in and told me about the doctors’ notes from post-op check this afternoon. (Thursday 18th) They used phrases like "Patient is doing amazingly well for first day after surgery." and "Patient is surprisingly alert and in a good mood."  :)  She said she rarely ever sees that, especially the day after surgery. Doctor Mac told me that I was by far his most upbeat and positive patient and was shocked at how good I looked considering everything that happened.

Child #4 made me a gold star pin for being such a "good patient."
Love my kids. :)

So, everything that started at 2:30 and lasted until 6:15 or so.  Hysterectomy itself went fine.  8 inch horizontal incision low on bikini line, then added a vertical muscular incision up to the belly button. (they did not cut the skin here, just stretched it.) This was so colorectal doc could do his thing. 

There were lots of adhesions to the bowels and my appendix had endometrial growths.  Colorectal surgeon was brought in to remove appendix and manually check all of my intestines for endo implants. No implants, just adhesions. No bowel resection!  However, he did tell me that the decision to keep my cervix was a good one. My cervix and rectum are glued together. If they took the cervix, there would have been rectal reconstruction and I would have needed a colostomy bag for several months. He said there is a chance that I may need this surgery in the future, but I also might avoid it. I am glad they left it.

A third specialist was brought in because the uterus, bladder and bowel were all glued together. In trying to get them apart, my ureter was cut. Urologist was brought in, found the cut, put in stent and sutured the cut.  I will  have the stent 2-4 weeks. Will go in two weeks, be knocked out, have it removed and he will add a contrast dye to see how it is healing. Then another stent will most likely be put in for another two weeks. (If I'm lucky, it won't) I also have in a small abdominal pump that sucks out any fluid from the area, just in case the sutures from the ureter were to leak. (This would obviously be a VERY bad thing if not caught!)  One of the reasons I'm on heavy duty antibiotics. This pump should be taken out Friday afternoon or Saturday before I leave.

Waking up from anesthesia, my pain was about a 3. (I was very loopy)  It was very easy to wake up. No breathing or anxiety issues. No feeling of being buried alive.  Stayed between a 2-3 pain level until about 11:30 Thursday morning.  It worked up to a 4. Nurse gave me Benadryl.(This was also used because I am crazy itchy all over!)  This took the edge off until 3:00 when I could start with percocet.  I never had to use the morphine pump. Very excited about that. And it wasn’t that I was trying to be strong and stay away from it. I just did not need it.  The meds that they put in my spine were great. It was not a catheter, like I had thought it would be. It was a small slow release pellet.

Shampoo cap Thursday afternoon. I could not stand myself and needed to
feel clean. Damn sexy, I'd say.

Thursday evening my pain moved up to between a 4-5.  Took another dose of percocet.

So far no nausea. No intestinal cramping. I have a catheter and that will come out around 6am tomorrow. Did not do walking on Thursday. But did get up and sit in chair for two hours.  Walking starts Friday.

Haven't really been sleeping. Napping a bit. But no solid sleep.  Hoping to get there tonight (Thursday). Haven't been terribly hungry, either. Ate a half bowl of soup and a few bites of veggie stir fry.  That was all I was interested in.

Anyway, I am very pleased with how this first day has gone.  Hoping the rest of my recovery is as smooth.

I will be released on Saturday, barring complications.

Will be glad to get these stupid compression tights off! They are thigh highs and they are far from sexy!!  Itch like crazy!

Also cannot wait to get catheter and abdominal pump out so I can take nice warm shower!!!

AND, I have to say that the staff here at Comm North is amazing. So helpful and friendly. Could not ask for better.

AND I consider it a win when a nurse makes the effort to come say goodbye on her way home just so she could tell me that she really enjoyed meeting me and my family. And loved that the kids were cracking jokes about my body parts/organs.  Lots and lots of puns. And I did end up needing to use the abdominal pillow from laughing too hard.

Now, with any luck, I will get SOME real sleep.


Irritated. Just when I tried to send my entry around 10:30pm, I lost internet connection. It is on my side, not the hospital. So, I will need to wait until Jim gets here later in the morning. Most likely, he will just look at the laptop and it will work. He has some sort of nerd, superpower when it comes to these things.  I greatly appreciate it, but it does get annoying at times.

3:30am now.  I probably got about an hour and a half of real sleep with the rest light napping.  Pretty pleased about that. 

On another note and as odd as it sounds, a positive one, I have finally been able to pass gas. Started a bit before midnight.  It is a bit painful having the air bubbles move through my system, but not surprising since all that stuff was rearranged while doc was checking intestines out. I think the kids will be disappointed. They were hoping it would happen while they were all here so they could cheer for me.  Have I mentioned that my family is a bit weird?  

7:00am Friday:
Woke up a bit after 6:00am feeling a solid 5 on the pain scale.  But, I did get 2 hours straight of real sleep. Really happy about that.

Catheter is OUT! Also feeling very happy about that. Looking forward to being able to go to the bathroom like a “big girl!”

Doctors should come back through to check on me again today. They will look over the stomach pump and and my incision. If all looks well, I will get to shower. I NEED to shower!!  (I will have to figure out the exact term for this  pump thing. It is a little plastic bulb looking thing with a tube coming out of my abdominal incision. ) 

Dr. Mac just came in. Said that the urologist will be the one to decide when the pump comes out.  Nurse said it was called a JP. Not sure what that stands for yet.  Anyway,  he said everything is looking good so far.

New nurse this morning.  She had noticed that I’d not been taking my Phenergan shot.  I told her that I hadn’t been nauseous. Well, it turns out that an off label use for this is to help prevent adhesions after surgery (esp. if taking steroids)  I told her to shoot me up!  So I will have 3 more doses of this before I leave tomorrow. 

 So, between the Benadryl, the Phenergan and the Percocet, I should be off in lala land shortly.  Probably drooling on myself by the time the husband gets here.


  1. Are there any good restaurants in La La Land? Relieved to hear you're doing so well...hugs to all!

  2. Read through this. It sounds like it all went pretty well. My recollection of surgeries I've had are that the first few hours of waking up are awful, nausea-filled, disorienting. Sounds like you were somehow spared all that. Very good. morphine pump = awesome. I had one of those for both of my C-sections. Loved the humor in this.