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!

98 comments:

  1. It was my pleasure to help out where I could and please continue to rock the work out pants under the skirt look. It's totes awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the post, cheerful and helpful! X

    ReplyDelete
  3. Totally helpful post...made me laugh which hurts (I'm only 3 days post op)...curse you but thank you as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww... Thank you for commenting! I really did look everywhere for a post like this. It's nice to feel like the crazy shit you're going through is normal. Solidarity!

      Delete
    2. Agreed, you really should put a laughter warning at the top for those of us who haven't hit the 1 week mark yet!

      Delete
    3. Agreed, you really should put a laughter warning at the top for those of us who haven't hit the 1 week mark yet!

      Delete
    4. ThanKS for the laughs although painful. I'm at day 3 post surgery.....ur comments made me feel a little better....I could relate to a lot of it. I feel better about looking pregnant and trouble pooping lol.

      Delete
    5. Thanx sweets this was really helpful.... bless u

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    7. Thanx sweets this was really helpful.... bless u

      Delete
    8. Omg finally a real answer I'm 5 days post but still feel at least 2 months pregnant......Fyi my Doc told me to take Castor oil(like in the olden days),it works in desperation!!!

      Delete
    9. I had appendix removed on Monday its Wednesday and I have the belly the size of a 4 month pregnant woman.

      Delete
  4. I had my appendectomy done 2/5. Last Wednesday. Went back to work yesterday. Stomach is still a little sore and I have a lovely bruise that looks like a yellowy-blue doughnut circling my belly button. Minor concern = I still appear to be in the early weeks of my second trimester. (I'm holding hope this will subside soon) Bigger concern = my belly button looks CRAZY! It doesn't look like MY belly button. Totally different! Kinda freaked out. (I keep assuring myself that it's due to swelling and WILL return to the original button I was quite fond of) Any experience with weirdness of the belly button?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Or should I be concerned I also received a belly button transplant!?! Omg! The horror!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, total samesies! My belly button wasn't "all that" before the incision, but now it sort of looks like a baby vagina. The incision just made the whole mess into one long, scarred, gaping maw (to paint a word-picture). I've had one other laparoscopic surgery, so there's kind of a dot-to-dot of weird scars happening around there. No bikinis for this gal (although I rarely want to see someone my age in a bikini).

      Good luck with your "situation"! Maybe you could try medical taping it in a position you like to try to coax it. Just kidding. But seriously, good luck!

      Delete
  6. I had mine out as well its been 7days and I feel way better. I just got my staples removed and on all three spots and I hardly ha e a scar.. I have a knot under my belly button can be painful and other than a swollen belly everything is great he didn't go thru my belly he went under it. I first seen it and thought wtf.. But after staples came out look the same.. I would like to know when my stomach will not be so bloated I thought the gas was gone.. Alls I do is pass gas looks like I'm about six months prego...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they gave you something to help you "go" then that might be adding a bit to the gas. I'm sure things will go back in place in no time. Who would have thought that removing such a tiny little piece of meat would create so much chaos in the body? It sounds like your patch-up was better than mine. It's been years now, and I can still CLEARLY see the scars. It looks like I have two bellybuttons. Sometimes I show people after a few drinks.

      Get better!!! Thanks for commenting!!!

      Delete
    2. Help im a vain ( k ill admit it, ha) my 28 x34 jeans im crying in front of now. Look like a 2 nd trimester lady . only 5 days po. Will this go away?? Help

      Delete
  7. o my goodness, just got my appendix out two days ago and reading this made my belly HURT SO GOOD i was laughing so hard. you rock, thanks for this ... thought i had an alien baby in me as well

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to be a little ray of sunshine in an awfully sucky week! Hang in there! And thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Viva la pain pills!

      Delete
  8. Everything you said in the beginning about the sea of unhelpful information and opinions, I can't agree with you more! And wow, your account sounded exactly like mine, only mine ruptured. I had mine out a week ago, and I was starting to wonder if I just gained a ton of weight from a 5-day hospital stay or if this was normal, since one of the reasons to call the surgeon and come back is "bloating and hardness." And I don't want to go back, nor be a pest. I look pregnant and it's driving me crazy, especially since I can't workout for 3 weeks! How long did everyone's take to finally deflate to normal again? Maybe I'll just go buy a maternity bathing suit for the time being lol.

    ReplyDelete
  9. oh my god this is exactly how i feel - they didnt even tell me they were going to cut my belly button open so when i took the dressings off i cried like crazy cos it is completely ruined! today is exactly one week on and my stomach and back are still swollen - it does look like about 3 months pregnant! but my belly button is now a red itchy hole with all crap in it - cant even see into it to find the bottom :( keep getting so upset about it cos it used to be really nice i thought. i just wish the damn doctors had actually told me what would happen before hand rather than just chopping me up as they pleased! thanks so much for this post and the comments - everything else is sooo unhelpful this was really good.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing! I had laproscopic surgery Monday night, came home Wednesday night, now it's Saturday. Feeling way better, but getting anxious about when the bloating is going to subside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hang in there! It just takes a while! The scars remain pretty dreadful, but everything does pretty much bounce back.

      Delete
  11. I am 3 weeks post laproscopic appendectomy and although the incisions are healing well and I am eating healthily and managing to go to the loo fine, I am still bloated and it's getting me down, I look pregnant...does anybody have any info on how long this will take to go down. I feel like my body will never be the same again..and I have been working really hard before this losing weight...and now my weight has stuck because I can't exercise properly yet until after 6 weeks under dr's advice..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh noooooo! It did take quite a while before everything was relatively back to normal. I wouldn't be too disheartened yet! I'm no doctor, but my guess is that the thinner you are, the longer it will take for things to appear as they were. Even though you can't do more strenuous exercises now, you can probably do things like standing knee lifts. Small things to tighten your tummy. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thanks very much for your reply. I can see it going down a little each day but was just getting a bit worried on how long it was taking to go down...but I guess I have to be patient, i'm up to walking an hour and a half now each day so I hope that'll help as well. After the 6 weeks, dr says I can start using the wii step again and back to my usual 3 hours walking. I'm about a stone away from normal bmi so hopefully get there soon once everything's healed properly. I just wasn't prepared for the bloating...I very much appreciate your help and it's made me feel waaaayyy better. Thanks so much.

      Delete
  12. Please add this to the list of Thank You comments to date. I'm 44 and it's not quite a week, and all I do is stare at my belly wondering when/if the swelling/bloating will be gone! It's a good thing I took a long morphine-aided look at my oft-avoided belly button right before surgery (wanted to make sure it was clean!), otherwise I'd be sad thinking this is how it always looked. Much thanks for the laugh, the info, and the reassurance :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, hope you get back to "normal" soon! Your comment made me laugh. Coincidentally, I am having surgery AGAIN next Friday to repair an existing hernia that was made worse by my appendectomy a few years back. GROSS! I am told the recovery is not quite as bad though. Here's hoping I at least get more pain killers!!!

      Delete
  13. This post was a blessing. I cannot thank you enough for starting your blogspot. I am 6 days post-op and feel like I have a bowling ball in my belly button; admittedly it has shrunken a bit in the last 24 to 48 hours since the first pooh! Woot! Woot! I still have a pooch however in what was not a pooch belly. I have rotating bouts of tiredness and fatigue, with energy. I am hoping the normal energy will just take back over soon. I have used cold compresses on my swollen belly for two days for pain instead of pain meds. The compresses have helped. I continue to sleep somewhat elevated and am having difficulty with being completely comfortable at night finding a good position to fall asleep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm so glad you got something out of this post! I hope by now you are almost back to "normal". I am actually one month post-op from double hernia surgery. One of the holes was caused by my appendix surgery. Thanks doc! There might be another hernia post because that shit was AWFUL!!! Unless your guts are actively spilling out of your body, I would NOT recommend hernia surgery. Ever. Take care!!!

      Delete
  14. Thanks for the post and comments. I had surgery 48 hours ago and am wondering if I should go to a maternity store to pick up clothes for work next week. please let me know what to wear that won't hurt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It gets better! Hang in there! I had a double hernia surgery recently and this one seemed a cake walk compared to that, if you can believe it. I hope you've had a "number two" by now. That was the first big hurdle, and it really seemed to help reduce the bulge a bit. You can also try ice packs whenever you're laying down. My biggest suggestion fashion-wise is drawstring everything. If you have some elastic or drawstring skirts that you can just pull up above your bulge and wear a long shirt or sweater over, that's your best bet. That's all I wore for the first full week. When I went back to work, I wore work-out pants. People are pretty forgiving. At least they pretended to be, lol. Good luck!!!

      Delete
  15. Appendix out 4 days ago - 44 year old healthy female - this totally what i needed, so thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you spring back soon!!! Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  16. This was fabulous. I joined the club 3days ago, feeling pregnant, bloated,, the works. Thanks for helping us all with recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to help! As a hypochondriac, I know first-hand the value of "those that have gone before us" in the world of health/unhealth!

      Rest well! I hope you feel better soon!

      Delete
    2. I am thoroughly appalled that my surgeon sent me home with a print-out on the medical causes of appendicitis and absolutely nothing on post-operative care. This is my first surgery ever- I had natural childbirths and always felt pretty healthy. This has thrown me for a loop. I read your story every few days. It gives me hope as well as a time frame to feeling better. It sounds like you were up and about soon. It's day 5 for me and I still want to spend all day on the couch. Guess I should make myself walk more. Still not eating more than a few teaspoons every few hours. Not sleeping well - stomach in the way. Low energy. Ideas? Thanks.

      Delete
    3. For me it seemed it was "not fine, not fine, not fine", then after a shower after about 5 or so days it was like, "I think I'm going to be o.k.!" Sort of like recovering from a bad flu. Getting out of the house for small things really does a lot for the mental health side of healing, which helps the physical side in turn. Even if you're feeling like resting, try to stay out of the bed and onto a couch or chair. Try to accomplish at least one small thing a day then add some things as you're comfortable. Make yourself a small meal. Even if its a bowl of ice cream. If you haven't already, start weaning yourself off your pain meds. I found it super hard to accomplish anything, including eating, when I felt sooooo awesome. I promise you will start feeling better soon. Not perfect, but functional. I had random pains from time to time even up to a year after the surgery. Super weird, but normal. Oh, and sleeping. I don't know what to tell you there. That will suck for a while still. Had hernia surgery about three months ago, and it STILL feels yucky. Hang in there, and big hugs!

      Delete
    4. Two weeks out I'm still feeling bloated and tired at night and I have to remind myself I just had surgery... I'm the caretaker in my house. Your reminder to me that I am also the patient was/is invaluable, hypochondriac or not. Thanks.

      Delete
  17. Just had an appendectomy almost a week ago. Your blog was very accurate and hysterical!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you're on the better end of healing, Rita! Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  18. Great thoughts from all. Day after laparoscopic I felt really good. Seems like the antibiotics can contribute to a wacky mental state. Two day out not so fine and feeling really tired. Time to keep moving and the pregnant look on a 59 bald guy is not becoming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hang in there! I think there's a weird depression that happens to everyone I've spoken with post-op. Keep some chocolate nearby!

      Delete
  19. 2nd day today and bloated like a balloon. Started walking. Still in pain and the bloating is not making it easier for me. Can't wait to pass gas and or pooh. On general diet but taking it slow because of this bloating thingy. Can't wait to get batter....staying positive. Should get better as days go by.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hang in there Brent!!! It DOES get better!

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is fabulous! I had my appendectomy waaaaaaay back in '82, but my 48 year old husband had his two days ago and I'm his at home nurse. The bloating is CRAZY! And the pain meds on an empty stomach -- not so much.
    Your writing is so fun! We both have English degrees, and we love finding good reads with strong voices. Came for the appendectomy post, will stay for the writing.
    This is exactly what I needed. When Sleepy is more coherent I'll share it with him. Thank you for sharing your story and talent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind comments! I wax and wane with my blog posting, but I do so love to write. Usually after a few drinks. Aaand then I often delete the post the next morning.

      Give that hubby a gentle hug from his surgery sister from far away. I personally was super into the pain meds, but they will for sure fuck you up in constipation category and the, "Oh shit, I'm on my last one!" category. And I feel bad about clothing options for dudes post-surgery. Sweat pants. They get sweat pants. Or those gross gym shorts.

      Have a great weekend! Or try to...

      Delete
  22. had a lara appendectomy 5 days ago still got alot of bloating and it still hurts were the appendix was when i breath too deeply or move around too much how long does that take to start getting better?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You SHOULD start to feel a little better and have less bloating soon, but the surgical areas could hurt for quite a while, especially if you strain yourself. If things don't start to shape up within the next week, I would for sure call your doctor. And keep taking fiber pills! I can't stress enough how regular bowel movements help this whole process! Try to have a great weekend!

      Delete
  23. Your blog was so helpful. I had the same surgery one week ago. The physical pain is gone, but I'm just not feeling the same. Thanks for helping me realize that even though I don't feel normal yet, what I am feeling is normal. It's my first surgery, and I figured since its such a routine procedure, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. It's crazy the emotional toll it takes on you. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you feel better soon! Take care!

      Delete
  24. I really enjoyed your post-op blog. I can relate to everything you've shared. Made me laugh in several sections, which quite hurt my belly, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. You've given me hope that the trip we have booked to New Orleans in one week's time can happen! That's for posting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *oops...*THANKS* for posting!

      Delete
    2. Glad to help! Have a blast on your trip! New Orleans is on my bucket list!

      Delete
  25. Just stumbled across this after having my appendix out- wonderful post :) I'm on day 4, and feel good mentally but can't wait until my watermelon belly goes down a bit. Plus I don't know why but I stood on scales earlier and bearing in mind I've had no appetite and been eating like an ant, I have gained SEVEN POUNDS!!! That thoroughly depressed me but I feel the hope :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the weight gain was probably in the top three most annoying things about this! SO unfair! Hope you feel better sooooon!

      Delete
  26. I'm 40 years old and had my ruptured appendix removed 4 weeks ago. Although health wise I'm starting to finally feel better (aside from the crazy, excessive exhaustion) the bloating is ridiculous! I look several months pregnant. (And I spent the last 12 months losing 75 pounds so this is very disheartening!) Per my surgeon, no lifting over 10 lbs and no exercising/physical activity for another 2 (6 weeks total). I gained about 8 lbs after surgery and have only recently lost 4 of those. And you aren't kidding about going over small bumps while driving! Ouch!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you're starting to feel better Jennifer! I can't even imagine the extra headache of having a rupture. Shiiiit! I feel like it took me a while to lose the weight too. Which is so unfair!

      Hugs!

      Delete
  27. Hi Sharon,

    Thank you so much for putting up such an informative post. I just had my laproscopic appendectomy done last Thursday and it has NOT been a great experience. I've been having these bouts of depression as well and reading your post made me feel that this is just part of the process. I'm afraid of all the crappy side effects from the pain killers so I've been trying to avoid taking them as well. Right now, there's not much pain but the bloat, diarrhoea and thought of not being able to workout for the next few months are enough to get me down. Looking forward to feeling NORMAL again. One week, you said? Hurry up!!!

    p.s: I had the choice of just treating it with antibiotics so I hope I made the right call to operate. Guess I'll never know...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh poop! I forgot to respond when you posted. I hope your body is back to normal! Have a great week! And I have never heard of the antibiotics route. That sounds risky. I'm going to bet you made the right decision in the long run!

      Have a great week!

      Delete
  28. This was SO helpful...as it was written in real world. I am eight days past and still feel SO bloated and in only sweats.. My skin feels super sensitive. I was about ,30. Lbs overweight and this is just ridiculous. I can't suck in my belly. The pain is much better and I am sweeping floors and doing stairs slowly now. Just plain tired of this big swollen belly and the times it still hurts. The pain meds were making me spacey so I stuck with Tylenol extra strength. Good luck everyone. Thanks for this forum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you're feeling better soon! Take your time!

      Delete
  29. This was really helpful. I had my appendectomy last week and the bloating is the biggest challenge. Over the last couple of days, I notice I wake up feeling relatively relaxed and not bloated, but it only lasts until I eat something. The bloating makes me feel really tired and breathless. I am surprised at how easily I get exhausted. I have spent the last year losing weight and getting into shape, so I have no clothes that fit me which is frustrating. I also have this ridiculous sugar craving that is massive, did anybody else experience that? I plan to go back to the gym in the first week of December. That should be about 5 weeks after surgery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with your recovery! I hope you're back to your old self soon!

      Delete
  30. Sharon you rock!! They took my appendix 5 days ago and I wonder if Iam not going through postpartum depression, we never really spoke or met (me and my appendix) but how else could I describe this feeling emptyness...unlike most I ve had no issues with bowel movement, it was indeed a flood gate where I nearly got dehydrated. Now that Iam off the antibiotics it seems to get better. At least I am in no danger of choking to death trying to swallow those huge colourful things. I have tons of happy pills (morphin) so the pain has been well controlled. The feeling of being useless is creeping up and although Iam a 43 year old male, I had to worry about a change of sex surgery once I saw my belly post surgery. The belly is down quit a bit and I now see that Iam still a man! Thanks again for this blog, I wish you all the best! Anyone who feels the need to chat, write me up patrick@fotoimage.ca

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sharon, I am day 3 after surgery and feel ready to rip someone's head off. Everyone says you will pass the gas, and you don't; so now you feel like you are no longer part of the human race. The op doc, med students and nurses keep dancing around a freaking simple question: how can you help make this painful, pop-up bloating from rearing its' head without warning or by some black magic, just go far, far away from your delicate body? I am finding ginger ale has too much fizz - unless it sits open for 24 hrs and THEN you drink it, it will bloat you. Also, WARM blankets folded gently over the tummy - I am requesting them every couple of hours - only thing that gives me a thread of non-med relief to hang onto. I have worn animal paths into the hall floors at night trying to walk off the bloated pain - doesn't work for me, but the exercise will make all the nurses feel ready bad for you. And have you read all the prior posts? I was told I am at an odd age to have my appendix ruptured. Really??? I am fast,female & 43. Thanks for the sanity column, I won't go cry in my bed tonight after all.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I just had my appendectomy and tried reading your post. Unfortunately I couldn't get through much of it as I couldn't stop laughing which just causes too much pain. The whole new natural waist which is now under the armpits still gets me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feel better soon, Christine! The healing goes quickly after the first week! Promise!

      Delete
  33. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  34. So grateful for this post! After way too much Googling and Web MD'ing, I appreciate the normalcy! Approaching day 5 post op which seems like an eternity.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I had my appendix out last aug. 20th. And i laughed so hard today.. im afraid it might have affect my operation inside my abdomen. I hope not.
    I got a question did you guys have loose/mushy stools after your appendix was taken out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I for sure had some weird ones, but tbh every day is a new poo story for me, so the after surgery poos weren't too different than typical. Glad you got a laugh! That's healing stuff!!! I started listening to stand-up comedy on my way to and from work, and I like to think it's making me a more positive person!

      Delete
  36. Best post on the web regarding recovery! Not one of the other posts talks about the bloating and yellow/purple post op art work on the belly. Thank you for a real assessment of what recovery looks like!
    I am on day 3 after an emergency appendectomy due to an appendix that was about to burst. I keep hearing how people recover in 3 days blah blah blah and I am still exhausted, bloated, decorated in colorful belly art work and have a deformed looking belly button! I really appreciate your post =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, that's exactly why I wanted to write an honest account of a typical experience. There's so little post-op info out there! Incidentally, I had a hernia repair two years ago that was way worse recovery-wise. I would for sure not have done that if I had known. And now my stomach area looks like the after effects of a shot gun wound. No bikinis for me! Thanks for your comment!!!

      Delete
  37. Question. Was your hernia repair in any way related to the appendectomy? I ask, because, I had an incisional hernia repaired this past February, six months after my apply, caused directly from the drain I had inserted. Now, six months later, the repair has failed and the hernia is back and I'm looking at a THIRD surgery in about 14 months! And you're 500% right, the hernia recovery was a million times worse!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa! That sounds awwwwwwful!!! My hernia repair was for a hole that I had since giving birth many, many years prior. Unbeknownst to me was the presence of AN ADDITIONAL hernia that was in no way bothering me that they ALSO repaired while they were in there with an enormous piece of mesh. I actually looked into suing because that's totally whack. But incisional hernias happen too! And they're awful!!! I feel terrible for you!!!

      Delete
    2. I'm about 3 days post open appendectomy. I googled to see how long it would take for abd swelling and bloating to go away. Found your story and made me laugh!! It hurt but I loved it!

      Delete
  38. I'm 4 days post surgery,and I must say for a guy looking 8 months pregnant, I don't look bad, when does is go away though...I can't hold down even a small portion of jello...I know I will fell better eventually, I'm just waiting anxiously for that day...thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm 4 days post surgery,and I must say for a guy looking 8 months pregnant, I don't look bad, when does is go away though...I can't hold down even a small portion of jello...I know I will fell better eventually, I'm just waiting anxiously for that day...thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no! Hopefully by now (day 6?) you're starting to eat something! For me, the swelling took about 7 days to look noticeably better and about 3 weeks to get back to about pre-surgery size. Food-wise, I'm always a fan of plain mashed potatoes when my stomach isn't cooperating. I would say if you're still not able to keep anything down you should for sure check with your doctor. Good luck!!!

      Delete
  40. Omg this was so helpful! I had my a appendix removed Sept. 5. It's been 3 weeks and I'm back to work but I look pregnant. Did you ever wear a girdle? I don't know if it's safe? I want to look normal and I don't know how. This surgery was no joke ��

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow, this was terrific! Just four days post op - they kicked me out of the hospital after 2 hours! I was barely awake but "you're good to go!" Definitely bloated like a watermelon - how many weeks does that last? That does NOT rock. I have monster horse care obligations, so have help, but I've been tottering out to the barn anyway to "supervise." Finally today (Sunday, surgery was thursday, had first poop! Yay!) Very sore when walking, couldn't imagine driving (hitting the bumps) Lots of painful burps, hurts to take a really deep breath. I'm living in old red long johns with nice stretchy waist! i'm thin (or was) so they told me they had to load up on the gas. Terrific. But I was lucky with nausea - I had right ovary removed several years ago and the vomiting nausea was awful. This time they gave me a scopolamine (sp.?) patch, tons of anti nausea meds in the IV and sent me home with phenergan suppositories. No nausea. Not much pain - very sore but handled with Advil. they gave me a choice of antibiotics or surgery and I chose surgery. I don't EVER want to think about this again! Thanks again for your great post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. LOVE this blog. Sure helped answer a lot of things for me. Surgery was October 1st so, i have just started back to exercising. Bloating was the worst and i seem to still be dealing with that!!! This blog was my saving grace and explained a lot. To bad the hospital staff were not a little more informed so that they could help to let us know what to expect. Of course, maybe that's the way they want it. Thank you for the information and the laughs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the nice words! Hope you're starting to feel 100% Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  43. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  44. My husband who is 65, had an emergency appendectomy on Monday the 7th. Came home on the 8th. On the evening of the 9th he showed me his belly which was beginning to bruise. Called the surgeons office on the 10th and was assured that this is not abnormal. By the 12th his belly was one solid bruise with it going around his right side and onto his back. Called the nursing supervisor at the local hospital who advised us to go to the ER. The same Doc that saw us on the 7th was there to see my husband again. He seemed quite surprised at the amount of bruising that had occurred. Ran some blood tests, came back as mildly anemic (of course) and advised us to call the surgeon if things continued to worsen. My husband has his follow up appointment with the surgeon tomorrow. I am interested to see his reaction. If this is in fact normal it would sure be nice for the patient/family to know. The ER Doc actually suggested that my husband my have a bleeding disorder which could have caused the extreme bruising.
    But after all that I do want to say that your story and this blog did supply me with some relief.
    Fingers crossed that tomorrow the surgeon tells us we were just overly concerned about nothing,...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there! I hope you received good news! The timing of the bruising seems pretty on track with what I experienced, and the amount that your husband is experiencing seems just slightly more than mine was. My un-doctorly hunch is probably not a bleeding disorder, but just a propensity for bruising a bit more than average. I was super freaked out by mine! It surely wasn't anything anyone prepared me for! As time went on it seemed like the bruising "pooled" in a few smaller spots as opposed to a wide-spread overall bruise. I remember it taking quite a while for all the bruising to go away. I've had another laparoscopic surgery (hernia) since the appendectomy, and my tummy looks like it's been the victim of a shot gun accident. Yucky!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your reply! The surgeon seemed a bit surprised when he saw my husband. Said he had a large bleed that went into the muscle layer. He also did not agree with the bleeding disorder suggestion by the ER Doc. If the bleed had gone into the abdominal cavity we would be looking at another surgery,...
      So today is 2 weeks since the surgery. He still has quite a bit of pain, when walking he is bent over and holding his stomache. He continues to need his nausea medication and is taking 2 over the counter Tylenol with 1/2 tablet of Narco. I realize he is "older" but he not a complainer and from what I've heard, he should have "rounded a corner" by now and be feeling better.
      The surgeon said that my husband has good bowel sounds, etc. yet he's lost 12 lbs so far?
      Am I just being overly concerned?
      Thank you for this blog, it has helped me to keep my sanity!

      Delete
    3. Going to see the surgeon again today. He simply is not improving. OTC extra strength tylenol every 2 hours or he is unable to bear the pain. Something isn't right,...this is not my husband,...

      Delete
    4. Oh no! I hope you get some answers today and that it's something quickly fixable. Big hugs!

      Delete
    5. Had CT and blood work done. The poor man had a bleed at the appendix stem post surgery as well as the bleed on the left. No abcess or infection noted at this time. Doc doubled his pain meds, advised us to watch for fever, loss of appetite and if that happens we are to go to ER. He is also quite dehydrated. Pain seems to be tolerable with all the Norco hes taking but now the nausea has worsened,....and of course by taking Norco and Zofran all he does is sleep,...
      Thank you for being my "sounding board"

      Delete
  45. Oh I SO needed this! Thank you for sharing. You were spot on.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi there im glad i found your post. Im sitting here wondering how long im going to be blown up like a balloon. I have had chronic appendicitis for 6 years. This entire time its been a vicious cycle I go through that I end up taking antibiotics for some kind of infection and the doctors saying its this or that and not my appendix although I had 3 doctors tell me that it could be my appendix but because every time i took antibiotics it would calm down but i would still have pain. My last ER visit doctor told me next episode not to take any type of drugs and that is exactly what i did. Tomorrow i will be one week post op. Hoping the pain i did have is no longer there its hard to say right now with everything hurting. As for the belly button looking like an alien trying to get out i feel ya i just seen my incisions for the first time today and it totally freaked me out i sure hope its not going to look all funky afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks for this. I had my surgery 5 days ago and I'm so down on myself about the bloating. I'm at my normal weight but my stomach bulge just won't go away. I normally am very confident about my flat stomach and trying on a dress that I had ordered online before the surgery yesterday was an upsetting experience. I've also been joking that my belly button looks like a butt now (a belly BUTTon I'd say on the Percocet). I never noticed or cared about my belly button before but I sure do now!! I was also a crying emotional wreck for the first few days! What a weird experience this has been. I had a breast reduction 7 years ago and don't remember dealing with anything like this at all so I was very unprepared. Not to mention the shoulder pain from the laparoscopic element! It lasted over two days for me! I'm glad to find this on one of my tough nights, thank you again. Here's to hoping my stomach will be normal soon.

    ReplyDelete
  48. This is phenomenal!! Every exact word aligned perfectly with how my recovery is going. It's nice to know that I'm not being dramatic or that I should feel guilty about missing work(still do though). Also I was shocked when I saw that my swollen belly has only gotten worse and I thought something was wrong because the doctor didn't warn me of this side effect..Thanks for the post! And a laugh even though it hurts haha

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thank you for your blog! I literally laughed so hard my belly is hurting! My lap app was just over 2 weeks ago - and I too feel relatively well, however I get ridiculously tired at the drop of a hat. I have never been pregnant but at 2 weeks post op I look like I'm about 5 months preggo! It is bizarre- and so annoying - I work out and run almost daily - this is literally the most sedentary I have been in 15 years!! Thanks for sharing your experience! I feel I have lost all my dignity - and my poor husband has been amazing doing everything around the house! Just realizing from all the comments this is tough surgery on the body and I need to chill and give my body time to heal! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  50. OMG this had me rolling, hurts so hard to laugh. 3 days post OP lap app and the bloating is magnificent. Easily equivalent to carrying triplets if I was female. I'm looking forward to the air coming out of the balloon, and if my body would decide to cooperate...a bowel movement. I'm just glad I didn't take my mistyped discharge instructions of 1 CUP of Miralax with 12 oz water seriously. There would have been a Law and Order episode made from that scene.

    ReplyDelete