Today I am officially at one whole week post surgery.
I’m not gonna lie – its been very rough and despite the fact that most days I have been a little better than the day before – today is the first time I really feel like I might be turning a corner.
Day 0 – 7 post surgery.
Dinner last night: 80ml Tomato Soup.
Rain in the last week: 3, 3, 3, 13, 51, 1 (total 74)
After being asked to present at Admission at midday, it was almost 4pm when I finally walked into the theatre and climbed onto the table.
I was anaesthetised in under three minutes, with very little social niceties – but that’s ok – no time to get nervous lol.
The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery in the most hideous of back pain.
It was located in a band where my bra-strap would usually do up, and I recall twisting and thrashing and stretching – trying any movement that would give some relief – whilst also begging for pain relief.
I was given a hot pack, and must have also been given some IV pain relief, as the next time I woke up, I was up on the ward, in my room, and my Wife was there.
I was too off my face to really have much of a clue what went on for the remainder of the night.
Tuesday dawned, and whilst I was trying to have small sips of water, it smelt like a not-properly-washed milk cup had been used to put the water in, and every time I tried to drink the smell made me gag.
When I did manage to hold my breathe and sip, the water hurt like a bitch when it landed in my belly.
I was also having issues with overheating, but despite my asking multiple times, none of the nursing staff returned with the requested fan.
(I was finally given one by the overnight shift in the early hours of Wednesday morning.)
Tuesday morning when my Wife arrived at visiting time, we started on the very necessary process of walking the hallways as much as I was able – which initially wasn’t very far.
The most I could manage the entire time I was in the hospital was about 2 laps of 40m around the ward block, with a rest midway.
Tuesday afternoon I began vomiting up anything that went down, and violent dry retching.
I finally had anti-emetics added to my drip due to the fact that I was quickly dehydrating, even whilst on IV fluids.
My Surgeon visited in the evening to review, and more fluids were ordered for me overnight.
I was also given an intramuscular tramadol injection for the levels of pain I was still having in my chest and stomach, and the nausea meant I was no longer able to take tablets.
Wednesday morning arrived and my Surgeon again breezed through telling me I was doing great, and that everyone heals at a different pace.
It was then that I recalled he had also dropped into the conversation the morning after surgery, that I had a lesion on my liver that he had seen when he was in my abdomen – so I asked him about this.
He said that once I was recovered we would look further into it but for now it looked quite ‘harmless’.
Mid-morning a male doctor I had never met before turned up – apparently to review me at staff request – and on listening to my lungs he said that the bottom lobe of my right lung was not filling with oxygen and that and he was ordering Physio to commence immediately for that, and said that it would be reviewed in the afternoon and if there was still issues by morning, I would be then sent for scans etc.
The Staff had requested a review due to the fact that from the time I had come out of surgery, my oxygen saturations had been mostly at 84% – even whilst on oxygen supplementation.
If I struggled upright and inhaled as deeply as possible multiple times, I could get them briefly to around 90% – but they quickly dropped again with normal breathing, or when I was sleeping.
My Blood Pressure was also very low with readings of around the 85/53 mark.
A Physio never turned up to see me.
I wasn’t ever reviewed again prior to my discharge.
I have never before in my life felt so under-cared for at any health facility.
Would not recommend…
(there will be more about this facility in the coming future)
The following are ‘voice to text’ notes that I made as I was able to, over the days following my discharge.
Friday – Day four post-op.
I got out of hospital yesterday despite not really feeling well enough, and we drove back home from the city which is about an hour and a half drive.
My darling Wife managed to make it a ‘shorter’ drive and whilst I napped a lot of the way, corners were a hideous event and hurt like hell.
I think I could’ve happily spent another couple of days in hospital, but not at $1500 a day.
That’s not something that I have the ability to do – well… while I actually financially do right at this moment, as we put some extra savings away in case that very thing had to happen, my frugal-minded pocket-book and my brain does not!
Saturday – day five post-op.
I think yesterday was one of the days that I struggled the absolute most so far – everything smelt disgusting.
I tried to drink soup – made me gag.
Hydralyte iceblocks tasted so salty.
Thank goodness, my Wife bought home some custard last night, and that actually settled in my tummy okay.
Today I have been having diet jelly and custard and that’s been sitting well.
I’m finally getting some more fluids into me but only through the jelly and custard and ice blocks.
Water still hurts and sits heavy.
I had a small coffee this morning.
That was pretty exciting.
Didn’t get much of it down – probably only a quarter of a cup, but I’m okay with that.
It was nice to just feel semihuman!
I think I over did it with the walking this morning because I was up and about from 6:45 until I lay back down at 9:30am and by the time I did lie down, I was suddenly incredibly sore.
I lay in bed with a heat pack on my tummy until my Wife got back home from picking up the dogs in the next town over, which took about an hour and a half.
Most of the rest of the day was spent watching TV or doing laps of the lounge room.
Had a quiet dinner, with my Wife having some chicken and vegetables with pasta that I had made for her prior to my surgery, and me having a very small half cup of tomato soup.
Sunday – day six post-op.
Youngest son rang me this morning to check on in on me which went meant the world to me as it almost missed his birthday which was only 48 hours after my surgery and I would’ve been gutted if I’ve missed it.
Thankfully my Wife still had working brain cells, and had remembered – and we’d called him in the evening – but I was in poor shape during the call.
I started having bowel spasms late yesterday afternoon.
By bed time they were getting pretty darn nasty.
They woke me up a couple of times in the night.
They coming about every 20-25 minutes and lasting for maybe 20 seconds to a minute, but those 20 seconds to a minutes are realllllly hectic.
I’ve spent time in the last 18hrs just sitting on the toilet wishing and hoping…
I haven’t had a bowel movement since very early Monday morning, but then I wasn’t particularly expecting anything due to the lack of sustenance going in.
I’ve had a few wet farts whilst sitting on the toilet, but that’s all.
Mid afternoon and I finally had a small result.
Fingers cross the spasms stop now.
Things I have managed to ‘eat’ in the last 48hrs:
Jelly, custard, yoghurt, beef soup, tomato soup, gravy, zooper doopers, cordial, a few sips of coffee.
Monday – one week post op!
As it turned out – the spasms increased wildly throughout the afternoon and evening yesterday, and I was in incredible pain, and the possibility of having to go to the local hospital was looking like a reality.
I was now diligently logging each spasm, and everything that I put in my mouth, including medications taken.
By around dinner time, it occurred to me that what was going in to me wasn’t all ‘zero sugar’ like I had originally started on, and that made me wonder if maybe my intestines / colon were reacting to that – so I immediately went to only drinking icy cold water, and beef broth.
On going to the toilet mid-evening, not one were the spasms getting almost too much to deal with – but the pain was causing me to vomit.
The one bright light in the distance though – was that I had also realised that if I stayed absolutely horizontal and still, the spasms came less often.
By bed time I was exhausted from the pain, and took and anti-emetic and some strong pain killers, and figured I would crawl into bed and sleep, and see how the night went…
I woke a couple of times throughout the night with spasms but each time was proceeded by me turning over in bed.
When I got up this morning I waited for a good half an hour before I attempted to drink anything and only had one small spasm during that time.
hen I did finally have something to drink I had a half cup of warm beef broth, and it sat well with minimal discomfort.
Throughout the day I’ve had a couple of small spasms which were easy to breathe through – and nothing like the agony of the ones yesterday.
I’ve kept my intake to only water and soup, and I have successfully managed to get some small chores done around the house – including getting the dishes washed – so at least I don’t feel quite so useless!
I certainly feel a world of better today than I did yesterday.
Hopefully yesterday was my worst day…