Miss M has graciously offered to share her diary reflections of Wednesday through Friday.
Wednesday, April 20th
I woke up this morning feeling a bad burning pain on the right front side of my hip. Tuesday had gone so well that we decided that I only needed one pain pill at bedtime. Slept well all night, quite a bit longer without a pain pill than I’ve gone yet. Probably should have taken two pills at bedtime! So, after having some yogurt and pain pills, I fell back to sleep and napped for 3 hours. When I woke up I felt a lot better.
Took 4 or 5 walks today – each one a little longer than the one before. I did really well, but the last one was probably too long. It really wiped me out. Over the course of the day I was able to eat and beef jerky, macaroni and cheese, wheat thins with garlic and chive cream cheese, and some raviolis.
It was a really nice evening – Mr. R came by and stayed with me while Dina went out to run some errands. We got to watch Survivor, but I probably dozed through part of it! On the way back to the hotel, Dina stopped at Burgermaster (just a couple of doors down from the hotel) and ordered some fish and chips – only no chips, substituted it for onion rings. Really liked those!
Dina says I’ve done well with hydration. I’m able to sip about 5 or 6 of my 24-ounce cups of ice water each day. I’m also sipping maybe 3 or 4 mugs worth (maybe 12 ounces?) of chicken broth each day, too.
It was a good day. Not bad for just a couple of days after surgery.
Thursday, April 21st
One of the things that I have to do is kind of slouch when I am upright. It’s really important in order to make sure the blood flow stays healthy for the lower body lift. Dr. Egrari made a point to remind us of this several times, so did his staff. SUPER important. The only problem is that I have always had really good posture. Dina calls me, “Perfect posture girl” when we’re out walking and makes sure to remind me if I start to straighten up too much. It’s hard. And it’s harder now since I’m not used to it and it’s making my lower back hurt quite a bit. Dina made sure to peek and see if it was a problem with the binder or if there was any bleeding – but nope – it’s just back pain from slouching. I can’t wait until I don’t have to slouch anymore!
One of the things about surgery is that it makes it hard to have a bowel movement. One of the milestones after surgery is passing gas – and I’ve been able to do that. But no BM. I’ve been taking stool softeners since surgery. Still, no BM. Finally – success today. What I wasn’t prepared for was how exhausted I would be afterward! I actually needed a nap!
My period was supposed to have started Monday evening. Of course I’ve been on birth control for years, and you have to go off of it for about three or four weeks before surgery, so no telling how things would turn out in terms of timing. As it turned out my period finally started Thursday morning. Who knew what a pain it would be – not really painful – but inconvenient – to juggle wearing panties, morphine pain pump tubes, and two drain tubes all right in the mons area. Combine that with the binder, which is supposed to be worn low over the hips, too. Ugh! The good part is that it seems to be lighter than it might have normally been.
Probably one of the hardest things is that when I sit down and go from sitting to standing I’m not allowed to use my arms at all to get up. Have you ever tried doing that? Wow! It’s hard! I thought my legs would seem stronger after having to do this for a couple of days, but it’s not true. Sometimes they just shake! And I’m in good shape!
Dina got to go to dinner at Salty’s with her good friend Ruth tonight. Mr. R stayed with me while Dina was gone. She stopped at Burgermaster for me on the way back to pick up chicken strips and onion rings. They were good. About 10 minutes before Dina got back, though, I started to feel a lot of pain, and got really hot. When Dina got back she took my temperature – it was fine, and checked everything – everything was fine. It had been a while since I’d had pain medication, so we got ready for bed and I had my last dose of pain meds for the night.
One of the things that I didn’t realize before all of this was what a big job it would be for my care giver to manage all of the pills – when to take them, what to take them with, what not to take them with, how long you have to wait and not have anything to eat and drink before and/or after them, which have to have food with them, which don’t. It’s almost a full-time job. It’s a good thing there’s a good system to keep track of it all!
I’ve been surprised by how much restriction I have now. It’s almost like being a brand new post-op. I can eat maybe ¼ to ½ of a cup at a time – and just like being a baby post-op, I have to take small bites, make sure I chew carefully, and wait a few minutes between bites. Also like when you’re a brand new post-op I don’t have hardly any appetite. There are things that sort of seem like they would be okay – but I could easily do without pretty much anything. I guess that’s why I have Dina here to make sure I do what I’m supposed to do!
I’m so glad we brought our own reusable drink holders. It’s so nice to be able to get as much ice as we need from the hotel ice machine, so I can have fresh ice water all the time.
I’m so glad we’ve got the recliner here in the hotel room. It’s definitely your friend. I can’t imagine having to get in and out of the bed.
Friday, April 22nd
Friday morning was very emotional. Dina got me all washed up, my panties and nightie changed, my hair combed and up, and my breakfast and pills in me. I couldn’t help crying though. My back hurt. I think I was afraid about my doctor’s appointment at 10:00 am. I was worried that I wasn’t doing as well on healing as I should be. I felt sort of like a failure. Dina tried to assure me that I was doing great – but I wasn’t sure if she was just biased. I’m sure part of it is anesthesia fall out. Part of it is probably because of hormones, since my period just started. Whatever it is – a sad start to the day.
When I got to the doctor’s appointment Melissa met us at the door. She showed us into the exam room and took all of the bandages off and kept saying how beautiful everything looked. I was a little surprised that when she removed the pain pump that only was a little sting. She checked all of the incisions and was pleased to see how great the drains looked, and how great the output was. She said there was a good chance that the drains would be pulled by mid-week next week. She wanted us to do a test from Monday morning to Tuesday morning – don’t empty the drains during that time, and then measure how much output. Then she’d call Tuesday morning and if the result was 20 cc’s or less in each drain, then the drains would come out that day.
Dr. Egrari peeked in just as Melissa was getting ready to wrap me back up and wanted to see all of the incisions for himself. He was very pleased with everything, and said given how well the drains were doing, that maybe they’d be ready to take out on Monday. So, Melissa told us that we’d do the test from Sunday morning to Monday morning, and she’d call Monday to get the report. J
It was a really pretty, mostly sunny day. After the doctor’s appointment Dina took me to Starbucks. Since it was Earth Day if you brought your own cup, you could have a free tea or coffee! I got an iced whole milk latte – it was so good! We decided to take a drive and take advantage of the beautiful day. It turned out to be a 2 hour drive, and I did really well. But I was sure ready for a nap by the time we got back to the hotel!
Mr. R was so sweet – he brought pizza for dinner, and not very long after he left, I was sound asleep!