Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Real-Live Dirt on the First Week of Post-Appendectomy Recovery

First off, I just want to point out that I AM NOT A DOCTOR! This advice is purely from one real-live person to another, and if anything adverse happens to you as a result of this info, then that's totally all on you.

Movin' on...

Holy shit, I went on-line to get some answers to the daily morphing my body was experiencing after my appendectomy, and there is just a SEA of crap out there to swim through. Everything from "Do not resume regular activity for six months." to "I just had my surgery on Sunday. Is it cool to go surfing this week?" I am going to tag the crap out of this post in an effort to hopefully help some poor soul find a totally normal person's (relatively speaking) perspective as to what to expect. This is something I wish I could have found, so I'm guessing there will be others who might benefit from the following stuff. I included the part where I get to the hospital as well as the post-op info.

Patient: 43-year-old female, average health, in pretty good shape

Saturday, November 26th, around 11pm: I seriously thought I was having a heart attack. I'm super embarrassed that I jumped to that conclusion, but I had been a little light-headed lately, and my chest sort of hurt, so we called the EMT folks and went to the emergency room. At this point, my stomach hurt (I had been feeling nauseated since about 3pm that day), but I didn't even slightly suspect appendicitis. Later that night (into Sunday), my appendix area KILLLLLLED and I kept throwing up, then they did the thing where they send you into the white tube, and lo and behold, it was swollen. Appendicitis.

Sunday, November 27th, sometime in the afternoon: Had the surgery via laparoscopy, went back to my room. Thought I was going to die. Threw up a bunch more. In blinding pain. My stomach looked like a stab murder scene. I thought they put a baby in there because I looked 7 months pregnant. Ate a few bites of jello that day. Threw that up.

Monday, November 28th: Started to feel a teensy bit better as long as I stayed on top of pain management. Didn't feel nauseated. Ate real food. The thought of doing anything for myself seemed overwhelming, but the-surgeon-who-reeked-of-cigarettes (seriously?) told me I could go home. Got home with much pain and suffering. My biggest incision (bellybutton) started bleeding. Called nurse. She said that it wasn't ABnormal. Felt like there was an alien trying to get out of my stomach (further validating my suspicion that there was a "being" in there). Was told that it was probably all of the gas they pumped into my body cavity during surgery. At this point I felt like there was some serious poooop in my body that needed to come out, but I ignored that feeling as there was no way I was ready to tackle that. AND HOLY SHIT! I went into the hospital weighing 127 and come out weighing 134 even though I barely ate!!! WTF!?!?

Tuesday, November 29th: Had my first shower since Saturday. OMG! That was HUGE in the "feeling better" process! Finding clothes to wear was a challenge. Chose to wear a stretchy skirt that I pulled up to my new "natural waist" which was now right below my armpits. Slept a good portion of the day. Still hurt to do normal stuff. Stayed in bed or at the computer most of the day. Couldn't really be productive in the studio because the Percocet makes you just want to look out the window all day. Stomach looked a little less scary.

Wednesday, November 30th: Still felt the need for pain meds all day, but took an attempt at spreading out the dosage. Hurt to stand up straight. FIRST POO!!! It felt epic (had been taking 6 total Senna tablets per day since coming home from the hospital). Did NOTHING to reduce my swollen belly. WhatEVER! Friend came over to watch t.v. with me that night. That was great!

Thursday, December 1st: Stomach still swollen, but with some reduction. Felt overwhelmingly depressed. Got flowers from work and sobbed uncontrollably. Thought it had something to do with coming off pain meds plus guilt about taking off so much work-time. Really wanted to go to the Thumb Box opening that night. Did not feel quite ready to leave the house. Added to total depression. Only took two pain meds that day. By the end of the day, things were hurtin'! Belly started turning all yellow and bruise-y.

Friday, December 2nd: Still depressed. Holy crap, belly looked like it had been kicked Kill Bill-style. Pretty much the whole thing was yellow with bruise, and below the main incision it was all purple. Equal parts disgusting and cool. Felt super productive. Took total of two pain meds. didn't really neeeed second one, but was feeling emo, so took it anyway. Still hurt to wear pants. Still sporting the skirt look.

Saturday, December 3rd: If I don't get out of the house, I will stab someone! Needed some groceries. Hubby took me out to eat then to pick up a few things. Had to hold my stomach in the car because it hurt a little to go over bumps or turns. Ate half of dinner then had to hurry through the grocery store because my colon was about to explode. Saw considerable reduction in belly size. I managed to slide some work-out pants on under my skirt (I know, you're all like, "Huh?", but I think I fooled people into thinking it was "a look"). Took a pain med for evening t.v. time.

Sunday, December 4th: ONE WEEK! Starting to feel like I'm approaching fantastic. REALLY can't wait to go back to work on Wednesday. Lifted something around 10 pounds and was fine. BACK TO PRE-SURGERY WEIGHT! Stomach still looks weird, but feel like I'll for sure be ready for real pants by Wednesday. Stomach only slightly bulge-y. One pain med before bed. Amen.

So there! You can do it! One week and you will be at least 80%. I'm at about 87.5% Hope this was helpful! I want to thank my ever-so-patient husband for dealing with me this past week. You rule!