Well, I’m now three weeks post-op, and I’m feeling pretty wonderful. I meant to write this a couple weeks ago, but I never really got around to it. Anyway, here’s my recollection of my hospital stay:
After showing up at 8:00 am, checking in, and waiting, I was escorted to a pre-op room where I changed into my hospital gown. After the nurse confirmed my medical history, I was given some pills to take, had two IVs placed, had my stomach shaved, used an oxygen mask, had many blood pressure checks, spoke with the surgeon and anesthesiologist, got numbing shots to my abdomen, joked with the nurse about how the IV meds made the picture on the wall move around, and passed out right as they were wheeling me out of the room to the OR.
All I remember from the temporary post-op recovery room is constantly moaning in pain. Whatever pain meds they gave me at first didn’t work, so my immediate post-op experience was hell. However, after another pain med, I calmed down and fell asleep, waking up in my actual hospital room.
I think I woke up at around noon to meet the first of a few of my amazing nurses, Jorge. Most of that day was spent sleeping, so I didn’t have to deal with a whole lot of pain. I was given six 1 oz medicine cups of water to try to drink, but I didn’t get to them until the next day. I was able to walk around the halls some that night, but my big mistake was trying to sip water right after I got back. I definitely wasn’t ready for it, and my body let me know by throwing up. I threw up a couple more times due to not sipping any liquid medicine I was given, but I haven’t had any problems since.
I slept well until about 5 am, when I was woken by the nurse for a check-up and decided to walk around a little more. At this point, I felt little pain, and I began to sip on water. I was brought a tray with decaf coffee, lemon jello, and broth, but I didn’t have any of it. Before I was able to leave at 11:00 am, my surgeon came in one more time to check my incisions and go over the clear liquid diet. Changing into my clothes was a bit of a challenge because of soreness and fatigue, but at that point I felt much better than I had 24 hours before.
Overall, I learned that, for the most part, the hospital stay is an extended nap. If for some reason you decide that you can only bring one thing, BRING MOUTHWASH! It saved my life from that disgusting post-surgery taste. Also, don’t be dumb like I was and gargle it; you’ll end up swallowing some.