Second Laparoscopy: Day 13 post-op

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Around 1am, I asked my husband if he’d like to go for a late-night stroll with me, since we were both up. He said yes, and off we went. We walked the same path I’d walked the other day, only this time, I was not on any pain medication. I had taken Ibuprofen only once on December 28, and twice on December 29. It was the wee hours of December 30 when I wrote this.

Along with the half-mile loop, we added a second round-the-block loop, which came out to a whole mile when I looked it up on Google maps. Go me! Last time I walked outside, my lower back hurt quite a lot. This time, it was the knees and buttocks that hurt the most. Even the calves hurt a bit.

I’m going to bed now, but when I wake, my goal for the day will be to climb and down the stairs attached to the front of the split Victorian I live in.

I had gone to bed close to 2am and woke up 8 and a half hours later with stinging pain in the abdomen. Urinating didn’t help. I think it is just that I still can’t lay around for that long – my body needs to be moved around. Also, I tried sleeping on my right side that morning and it was too painful to relax all the connective tissue and muscles to successfully fall back to sleep that way.

I drank Boost first thing in the morning and had diarrhea right after. Hmmm.

I had no diarrhea for the rest of the day but had one more instance of loose stool – it was solid but you know what I mean.

Firsts for Day 13:

  • I wore underwear for the first time (I’d been wearing the hospital “fishnet” underwear this whole time because even my own undies were too constricting on the incision points).
  • I walked up and down the stairs twice!
  • I stayed on my feet for much of the day.
  • I had a lot of energy all day, only waning once, but I did not require a nap.
  • I was able to sneeze at full force without hurting.

 

I medicated before stair climbing – I took 400mg Ibuprofen. After I was half way up the staircase the second time, the pelvic pain began. Although I have to say the sharpest pain was actually in my knees, because I’d been sitting or laying or reclining for the past 13 days. My knees are usually painful and crunchy, but on Day 13 they hurt more than usual.
Still, I made it back down the stairs and took some more Ibuprofen (400mg).

The rest of the day saw me active as well, even though I had bouts with the pelvic pain and had continued knee pain all day.

The rain had stopped and the sun was out, but it was cold and windy all day. Still, I walked to the corner store and back, and my husband drove me to three more stores that day, looking for something for a gift to my co-workers.

In the evening, my husband stepped out for a band meeting, and I had the place to myself. I turned out all the lights, fired up the faery lights and some candles, and put on my favourite music. I had quite a cheerful time of it, just hanging out online with friends, chatting with my chosen sister, and filing some paperwork.

When my husband got home, we had an interesting text session with a drunken friend in Seattle, which turned into a hilarious speaker phone call. I accused our friend of trying to pop my glue plugs, I was laughing so hard. We totally captured the audio and plan to embarrass him with it when next we see him.

Second Laparoscopy: Day 12 post-op

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I had diarrhea first thing in the morning, twice. I experienced shooting pains in the abdomen right after.

It calmed down, so I ate some rice chex and some chicken broth. The cramps started up again and I had another round of diarrhea.

This continued a couple more times, and I was freezing cold, despite the house being 71°F.

I took a nap on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, then got up and drank some Boost. I had another round of diarrhea and stomach cramping.

I was drinking water to stay hydrated, but I did not have any further water because we stepped out to run an errand. The errand took over an hour, and about half way through, I had to squeeze my butt cheeks together to avoid crapping myself. When we got home, I had immense diarrhea again.

I have had a headache all day, worsening after I ate gluten-free mac ‘n cheese for a late lunch.

But the good news is that all my blood work came back normal. It was difficult to feel relieved or convinced by that news, given how awful I felt.

I took another nap for over an hour, again bundled up in a blanket on the couch with the heating pad and the heater fan on me. I was still cold, so I cocooned myself. My cat joined me as he often does when I cocoon myself. He laid on my belly, but did not disturb my incisions, and we both slept.

When I woke from my nap, I had to use the bathroom, and was happy that I didn’t have a bowel movement or diarrhea. I guess it had settled down. I was hungry again so I drank another Boost and ate some jello.

The diarrhea has not been back for the rest of the day.

Reading back through my post-op recovery from 2007, I had TMJ issues resurface from all the meds I was on. It didn’t help with the migraines, of course. This time, I have been having TMJ issues since about September. At first, I blamed it on all the stress of school. Now I wonder if it’s due to the Smart Meters that were installed sometime in August or September. Those things are nothing but trouble, and I am EMF sensitive.

I was still having trouble with solid foods at Day 9 last time. By Day 11, I still had a sore throat and was still trying to heal up the scraped gums from the anesthesia blade. This time around, the solid foods thing is still an issue, even at Day 12, but the sore throat went away by about Day 3 or Day 4.

Firsts for Day 12:

  • I was able to slowly march around the house to get some leg lift exercise.
  • I was able to swing my arms and do slow side twists, but it hurt after about a minute.
  • I was able to wear a bra and sweatpants all day.
  • I can plop down onto the couch, the car seat or the bed.

 

I also accomplished some more walking, and I have been sleeping flat for the past three days.

Oh, and I have not had any Tylenol 3 since December 27 because of the fear of liver problems. I’m on Ibuprofen only.

Second Laparoscopy: Day 11 post-op

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Woke up that morning with the intent of going to the social security office, because both of us have name change stuff we’ve been meaning to do. I also wanted to call my doctor and see if I could get an appointment today for liver blood work, because I was still freaked out about the pink hue in my fingernails. I called UCSF and left a message. Then I called the local doctor’s office. They sounded condescending to me on the phone. “What, you think there’s a medication issue going on?” Ummm YES I’ve eaten over 80 Tylenol 3 since being in hospital on December 17, and I had an issue with high liver enzymes before, so YES I think there’s a fracking medication issue going on! I’m afraid of irreversible liver damage thankyouverymuch!

The local doctor had an appointment for me at 4:15pm. I then talked with my husband, who said he thought going to UCSF would be better, since they already have all my most recent blood work and surgery records. When they called back, they had a sooner appointment, so we took that.

It didn’t leave us time to go to the social security office after all, but I told my husband we could do that tomorrow, and that his priority is to me and making sure that I am well before dealing with any of his stuff. Yeah, he was still in the dog house.

The bumps in the road during the car ride did not bother me immediately and intensely the way they had when I was driven home from the hospital and like when we went out a few days ago. Rather, the torture was delayed. Half way to UCSF, I experienced stinging sharp pain under the diaphragm. The pain went away once we were out of the car and settled at the doctor’s appointment. The pain returned on the ride home, and returned again when we drove to a friend’s house that evening.

My exercise for the day came in the form of walking to the car, walking from the parking garage to the hospital and back, and walking back to the house.

I’d like to also note that while we were at the UCSF Women’s Center, I also walked across the street to the main hospital, where I delivered a Thank You card to Nurse Hannah. She wasn’t there, and the wing I had stayed in (4 East) was shut down and being painted, so I delivered the card to the other side of the wing (ICU).

Firsts for Day 11:

  • Able to put on and tie my own shoes (have been wearing slip-ons til today)
  • Able to wear a bra for part of the day
  • Able to wear tights for part of the day
  • Able to jump (we have ants entering at the top of the door frame. I was spraying the outside of the door frame with Bugs-R-Done spray, but wasn’t quite reaching the top. Before I knew what I was doing, I had jumped to spray. When I landed back on my feet, my eyes were wide, and I stood there in shock for a second. Then I thought, “Holy crap! I didn’t die!”

 

I was so excited by jumping that I jumped again. I giggled. And then I had to take a nap, because that had seriously worn me out!
I napped for about an hour.

Because of my fear of liver damage, I took no medication that morning or afternoon – not until I had gotten the blood work done. I gave three vials of blood that day; one for liver, one for kidney and one for blood count.

When I woke up from my nap, my husband informed me that it was time to head over to a friend’s house. She was going to take us to dinner in exchange for my husband watching her cats this coming weekend. We had Thai that night.

The weather had been rainy all day (winter in California), and worsened by evening to a drenching downpour. This made my life a little more miserable because of how slow I am in getting into and out of cars during recovery.

I had diarrhea as soon as we got to our friend’s house, and twice more as soon as I got home.

Nausea and stomach pain followed, lasting through bedtime. This was the second time since surgery that I had intestinal issues after eating Thai.
That night, I had fitful sleep. I was hot and cold all night – sometimes drip-sweating. This was about the third night in a row where I went to bed freezing and woke up sweating to death.

Second Laparoscopy: Day 10 post-op

Monday, December 27, 2010

My husband was in the dog house as he recovered from a severe hangover and a morning of puking his guts out, amongst other bad behaviour. I was severe in my verbal punishment, telling him he failed me as a caregiver, that I needed him to remain level-headed like he promised me he would be, because I’ve been scarred before by caregivers letting me down (my boyfriend promised my parents he would take care of me after a near-death head-on auto accident back in 1994, and then he left me alone for days while he hung out with friends. I had to crawl to the kitchen to get food, with a massive head injury and whiplash. I will never forgive him and in fact I sued him as an uninsured driver in that accident). So anyway, I’m scarred physically and emotionally, and it took many years to build up trust. I boasted to my parents how well my husband had been caring for me to this point. And then this. Oh my gods I was so mad.

On to brighter things though – on Day 10 post-op, I noticed that I was able to lay on my back, my right side, and my left side with effort and controlled breathing to settle. Although the right side is the hardest to lay on. I discovered through having to clean up my husband’s messes that I was able to sit on my knees. I was able to more easily swing my legs off the couch or the bed. I was able to more easily climb into bed.
All of this is only one day later than my last recovery, wherein I could lay on my sides by Day 9.

I have to keep reminding myself that this time is different. I had surgery a week before my period, not after. I have four incisions this time, not three. They bumped into the thin tissue outside of my bowel, bruising it badly, upon entering my body with the equipment.

The headache that started at 8pm the previous night still with me at 2pm the next day. It finally went away by 4pm. This, despite lowering the dose of Tylenol 3.

All day, I experienced cramps, and the bleeding had ramped up again. This was Day 10 of post-op and Day 5 of my menstrual cycle. I was still passing a lot of big clots. I cried from the pain and had to take a whole Tylenol 3 around noon. I held the heating pad to my pelvis for the first time since surgery, the pain was so bad. It felt like white hot burning in the center of the uterus, alternating on the ovaries.

Because I am determined to keep the body moving as doctors instructed, I went for a walk around the block. The weather had cleared again, and I wanted to take advantage. This is a half-mile round trip walk, and I did it! I walked at a shuffle in a Tylenol 3 induced haze, but I did it!

Because I was still constipated, I took two doses of miralax that day, and finally had a bowel movement at 10:24pm. It was a mix of solid and liquid.

I forgot to mention that around Day 4 or Day 5, I had noticed that my fingernail tips were turning pink hue. My fingernail tips have for years been so white that it looks like I have a French manicure, so when I looked down at my nails one day and saw that they matched my skin tone, it freaked me out.
I finally remembered to google it, right before bed…and found this page, which says, “White fingernails with pink near the tops are a sign of cirrhosis of the liver.”

This freaked me out further and nearly led to a panic attack. I went to bed uneasy that night.

Second Laparoscopy: Day 9 post-op

Sunday, December 26, 2010

This is not how I wanted to end Christmas.

When we got back home from our friend’s house, I was due for another dose of medication. I was hungry again, so I decided to eat a cup of mushroom soup.
With my mushroom soup, I drank a cup of egg nog, because it was Christmas night. I have been tolerating the Boost drinks, which contain cow’s milk, so I figured I’d be able to drink egg nog.

Shortly after ingesting the egg nog, I began to feel queasy and gassy. Not long thereafter, the massive gastrointestinal and pelvic pain started, along with a stinging fullness under the diaphragm. I sat up straight but that did not help. I walked around, but that did not help. Then I grew very weak and started shivering. My feet had been cold all day long, so I decided I would fetch the corn heating pad and put it on my feet. When I stood up off the couch, I nearly fell down. My husband had fallen asleep sitting up on the couch, so he was oblivious to my current situation. I shuffled hunched over, clutching my stomach, and made my way to the bedroom to get the heating pad. I could not find the heating pad where I thought it would be, and that’s when I broke down in choking sobs. This woke my husband, who sleepily came to my aid and asked if I needed anything. I was hysterically sobbing by this point because of the intestinal, stomach and pelvic pain. My husband was able to hear me say through my sobs that I needed the heating pad warmed up and that I wanted it placed on my feet. However, getting me to do anything other than stand hunched over, clutching the bed while I sobbed, was an issue for several minutes.

At 4am, I woke to use the bathroom. The bleeding had ramped up again and caused some pelvic pain. I got back into bed, but could not get comfortable. I tried to turn over on my right side, but it created instant abdominal swelling and pain, which scared the hell out of me.

I got back out of bed and went to the kitchen and made myself some ginger tea. I brought the tea with some Miralax into the bathroom with me. Turns out I did not need to spoon the Miralax into my tea – within moments of sipping just the ginger tea, I was able to have a bowel movement, which was soft.
However, the defecation caused further intestinal and stomach pain, as well as nausea.
I went to wash my hands after using the toilet, and realised that I might vomit at any second. I leaned over the sink, but that caused intense abdominal pain. I grabbed a large plastic bowl, which I keep in the bathroom and use to soak my pads in each month, and placed that into the sink. I took my temperature and it was 98.8°F.

It was around 4:23am, and I picked up the bowl and stood at my full height and let fly. I spent nearly 20 minutes vomiting. It was thick, and contained everything I had eaten in the past 18 hours. I noticed that the vegetables I’d consumed for dinner some 11 hours earlier had not fully digested. Neither had the chocolate mousse I ate roughly 8 hours earlier. I noticed too that the vegetables and the egg pieces from the Thai seafood casserole I’d consumed over 32 hours ago had also not digested.

At this point, I took note of the smell of the vomit, to make sure it did not smell like feces. I was on the verge of freaking out that my intestines had stopped working properly. However, the vomit smelled like vomit…which of course made me want to vomit some more. Alas.

I emptied the bowl carefully into the toilet and cleaned up everything as best I could. I washed out my mouth, cleaned out my nose, took another sip of tea and another sip of water. I took my temperature again. 99.5°F. Well, it’s likely elevated because of all the strain I’d just gone through. I then went to wake my husband.

He asked if I needed anything. I told him no, I just needed to inform him what was going on because I was scared. I told him I’d be spending the rest of the night on the couch because I could not get settled. I assured him I was not running a fever.

I chatted with friends on facebook, which helped a lot with managing my anxiety. Though it is unfortunate that people were awake in their own hells at that same ungodly hour.

Around 6:30am, the bleeding ramped up again. More clotting. Though I was experiencing pelvic pain, there was no way I was gonna try to take a Tylenol 3 or Advil on a stomach which was still so raw from all the puking.

At 6:45am, I was hungry enough to eat a few spoonfuls of cream of rice cereal with a bit of honey and ginger tea stirred in.

I went back to bed, and woke at 10:30am. I got up for the day because the pelvic pain and bleeding were too much to bear. My husband reheated some rice cereal I’d made at 6:30am, and I drank a cup of warm chicken broth with Miralax stirred in. I ate some jello, and then took my first Tylenol 3 in just over 12 hours.

That was around 12:30pm. At 1pm I took a second Tylenol 3, because the first one didn’t register.

Once the second Tylenol 3 kicked in, it enabled me to be dissociated enough from the pain to walk around. Around 2:30pm, I walked laps around the inside of the house. My pace was improving, but after about five minutes, I was totally wiped out.

At 4:30pm, I was still passing clots, and passed the biggest one yet. It was about half inch by half inch. Ugh.

I spent the day on the couch, though I did make myself get up and walk laps around the outside of the house in the afternoon.
Suddenly I was able to walk at a pace! I was amazed at myself.
However, I still fatigued very easily, and was out of breath quickly as well. Still, I did more laps around the inside of the house in the evening, again marveling at how fast my pace had become – in just 24 hours I went from a shuffle to roughly 2 or 3 MPH.

I experienced a migraine by 8pm that did not go away all night. I watched a lot of TV with my husband, and put a heating pad on my head. I refused to just close my eyes and sleep when I probably needed that more than anything.

Around 12:30am, my husband received some bad news, which set him into a really bad emotional funk. He went for a walk and didn’t come home for an hour. When he did come home, he got smashed drunk, even though I made him promise he wouldn’t. He came to bed at dawn, just as I was floundering in bed, trying to get up to use the bathroom. I told him my left arm had gone numb. It was my first night sleeping on my back, and I hadn’t given my head and neck proper pillow elevation. My husband was too drunk to get the hint that I needed his help. He gave me a half cocked smile and a thumbs up when I told him my arm was numb. I got super pissed off but just got myself out of bed and did my business. I stayed on the couch for the rest of the night, I was so mad.

Second Laparoscopy: Day 8 post-op

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I slept in til 9:30am! For breakfast, my husband and I enjoyed our traditional Christmas Day fixings – smoked salmon and cream cheese on brown rice tortilla bites. We used to eat this on baguette but in 2006 I found out I have gluten intolerance. Since that time, I use rice crackers or rice tortilla as my bread. My husband has been very accommodating, and instead of getting baguette just for himself, he eats his favourite crackers alongside me. :)

Christmas Day marked the second time I drank some coffee. In fact, it was my leftover mocha from two days prior. I opened presents with my husband, called my family, showered and got dressed in clothes other than pajamas. We then spent 8 hours at a friend’s house for a Christmas Day gathering. I was amazed that I was able to stay out that long. I was still taking one Tylenol 3 every three hours for the pain that day, and I had to change my pad twice while we were there. I was still shuffling when I walked. It rained the entire day.

I enjoyed the company of friends and their children (so many of our friends have toddlers and infants, now, it’s weird). For food, I consumed naughty things all day: 3 chocolate covered Queen Anne cherries that my Ma had sent us for Christmas (it’s an annual tradition dating to my childhood that Ma had Queen Anne cherries in the house on Christmas Day). I also consumed 2 glasses of cold carbonated cranberry juice, at least ten bites of different cheeses, four bites of different fudge, several small macaroons, a chocolate truffle, about 3/4 cup worth of homemade gluten-free scalloped potatoes, about half a cup of fancy steamed root vegetables, and Smart Water™ to drink throughout the day. I went through three 20oz bottles of the water.

Dante

Dante

Parents, friends, children

Parents, friends, children


A Christmas Story on repeat :)

A Christmas Story on repeat :)

Jean-Anne, Rebecca, Gwen

Jean-Anne, Rebecca, Gwen


Daniela, controlling Badger via remote ;)

Daniela, controlling Badger via remote ;)

The appetizer table

The appetizer table


Katie's grandpa reading to her and a friend

Katie's grandpa reading to her and a friend

Alexander, being a good little host

Alexander, being a good little host


Me in my Tylenol 3 haze, enjoying being with friends

Me in my Tylenol 3 haze, enjoying being with friends


Second Laparoscopy: Day 7 post-op

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dr. Shem from UCSF called me back. She was nice to me and talked to me about my concerns of low grade fever and bleeding. She said Dr. Skillern is in the office today and so she’ll talk to her and give me a call back. I was grateful that Dr. Shem was being a go-between, because I’m really just fed up with Dr. Skillern.

Shem called back again and said they are not concerned – the bleeding is likely my period, which was originally due on Thursday, December 23 anyway. It’s all in the way she said it, though. Not condescending or dismissive like Dr. Skillern always is.

Dr. Shem called in a new prescription for Tylenol 3 – a one week’s supply. I expressed concern about being on all that Tylenol 3, and was told that they’re not really worried about irreversible liver damage after a week or two of intensive Tylenol 3 use after a surgery.

She said that If I get through the second round of Tylenol 3 and I’m still in debilitating pain, then I must go back to UCSF to be seen again. I am fine with that.

That afternoon, my husband had errands to run. I was tired of being cooped up in the house, and there’d been a break in the rain, so I asked if he could drop me off at the beach with a camping chair.
He was enthusiastic to the idea and fetched the camping chair from the storage unit. He walked me out to the beach and set up the chair for me and I was a happy girl. Then we agreed to meet back up in one hour.

Sittin on the cold beach all bundled up

Sittin on the cold beach all bundled up

Crown Memorial Beach, Alameda, CA

Crown Memorial Beach, Alameda, CA


View of San Francisco

View of San Francisco

Closeup of San Francisco

Closeup of San Francisco


 

While I sat there on the beach, staring at the water and being so happy to be outdoors under the sky, I noticed an Asian family of three to the left up the beach a bit. There was a woman, a man and a female child. They had stuck roses into the beach, and lit some incense. The scent that wafted smelled to me like sandalwood or something earthy like that. Perhaps, since it was Christmas Eve, they were burning frankincense and myrrh.
When they were done with their tradition or ritual, they gathered up the roses again, and tossed the roses adrift in the San Francisco Bay.

Family with roses

Family with roses

img_8909

 

I watched the roses float past and was mesmerised by the whole thing.

Roses floating past

Roses floating past

Roses washing back ashore

Roses washing back ashore


 

Some of the roses washed back ashore, while others continued to float on the current for a bit. I watched until they were out of sight, and then I got up out of my chair and walked along the beach for as long as my body could stand it (i.e. about five minutes).

The wind was cold and I was shivering, but I was so glad to be outdoors.

Roses washed up on the beach

Roses washed up on the beach

img_8921

 

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Second Laparoscopy: Day 6 post-op

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I had my third emotional breakdown in 24 hours, when the surgeon’s office called to say the assistant surgeon left my disability paperwork in my patient records at the hospital. I never heard my phone ring so by the time I called back just after noon, the surgeon’s office was closed for the holiday weekend.

I called the main line at my surgeon’s office, and I also called the nurse who had left me a message, and I left messages but never heard back.

I called the hospital and they said I have to fill out and snail mail a form to release my information, and that they’d have it to me in 10-15 days.

For some reason, I had it in my head that the disability paperwork was due no later than 11 days after becoming disabled, so that’s when I had a full on nuclear meltdown and sobbed for what felt like an hour.

On Day 5 post-op, I sobbed because my husband was in a bad mood over his upcoming birthday (he gets into this funk every year, and every year I forget that he gets into this funk). He is also in mourning over the loss of his job two days before my surgery, so he’s depressed as hell. I’m super empathic to begin with, and I needed him to be my everything for support right now, so I broke down as well.

Earlier that morning on Day 5, I cried while watching my own endometriosis video about my surgery. I just sat there and sobbed, because I actually went through with the surgery that I didn’t want to go through until next June. As a result of doing the surgery now, there were complications as I had feared, so I was full of “I should have…”

In brighter news, I took my first unassisted shower on Day 5, but I had to nap afterward. I was a good girl and took the Tylenol 3 before the shower. After the shower, I was a brave girl and went for a car ride with my husband (he drove my car this time, at my request). The bumpy roads were easier – I did not cry – but they were still hell at times on my innards. We went to my workplace so I could pick up some cards left for me, then we went to Mariposa Bakery for some gluten-free goodies and an almond milk mocha, and then we went to Whole Foods to get some vitamin D3.
I’d been having a hell of a time finding D3 again, and that day, my friend said he’d located some at Whole Foods with no soy ingredients. Every other place near my home has the D3 with soy, now. While at Whole Foods, we also found a cotton flannel unbleached cloth specifically for castor oil packs that my naturopath recommended, and we found vitamin A with the ingredient my naturopath requested. So that turned out to be fruitful shopping.

While we were out, the bleeding ramped up to the point where it now looked like my usual period. This alarmed me at first, but then I realised that had I not had surgery, my period would have been due this day, anyway. I called the hospital and left a message inquiring about it.

We got home and the gas company was there waiting for us – I had called two days prior about a droning noise which had been going on since August or September. PG&E said they’d be out sometime on Thursday, and that we didn’t need to be home. However, once they were at our home, they found that the earthquake alarm on the gas meters was hooked up incorrectly or something, and in order to do any work on the meters, they had to shut off gas to all the apartments in the house. PG&E called me to tell me they’d be at our house til 6pm, and if they missed us, to just call them back out to hook up the gas again. We got home at a quarter to six, and saw two trucks and a gaggle of PG&E guys were on our block, hanging out. The moment we entered the door and turned our light on, we heard a guy call out, “Hey! They’re home!”
The head dude came right over to us and told us that noise was in fact found on three of the six meters, and that on one of the meters, it was so loud that it reminded him of a car with exhaust issues! So they fixed all that. They came in and lit the pilot lights to our gas stove and wall furnace, and that was that. :)

Day 5, Thursday night, my husband bought us Thai food. I ate seafood curry for dinner. mmmm, foooooood.

I had a bowel movement after dinner, but was still constipated. By that point, I was using butt cream. I took some more Miralax after dinner and had to go again. I took 2 calcium/magnesium pills and a vitamin D3 right before hitting the bathroom. I was still constipated. :(
The bowel movement was very thick, long and paste-like, just the same as it was on Day 4 post-op. After all the pain and pushing, I sat for a moment and had to go again. This time it was much softer. I was glad I took a Tylenol 3 and 400mg ibuprofen for the pain, but I wished I’d taken it sooner than right before I had to go.

Total bowel movements that evening was 4, and as a result I had muscle spams on the left side from pushing so hard. :(

Weather-wise, the rain had subsided for us a bit on Day 6, which lent toward our being able to go out of the house for a bit without me being afraid of slipping on wet pavement.

Second Laparoscopy: Day 5 post-op

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I was still running a 99.9°F fever. I was still experiencing moderate low back pain. I still had bladder pain. My urine output was very good, but the hesitancy had returned.

Day 5 was the first time I had a ten hour lapse in medication dosage. My last dose had been 1 Tylenol 3 at 1:30am, and I didn’t take any more pills until 11:30am because I was officially tired of all the Tylenol 3. This did not serve me well, however, and by 11:30am I was near tears with the pain. By 12pm I was sobbing due to being overly emotional in general and being in pain combined.

My husband had been in a foul mood since the previous night because it’s his annual depression time (every year around the time of Christmas/his birthday he gets depressed), and because the layoff is hitting him hard emotionally. This in turn affected my emotional state and I broke down sobbing and cursing his employer, and urging my husband to just pretend to have uplifted spirits right now because I must lean on him so heavily during my surgery recovery.

That afternoon, I went for a walk and hung out outside with a friend for about an hour in 55°F degree weather, which felt warmer than it has in days due to some humidity and dark cloud cover.

The scent of midwest spring was in the air. It was nice. However, the cramps ramped back up in that hour, and I had to go back inside because my bladder was screaming at me. I went to the bathroom and discovered I was bleeding dark red with debris and clots.

My headaches, which I had forgotten to detail in earlier posts, returned.
Suddenly, I was light-headed and starving. I hadn’t eaten anything but jello and 3 small gluten-free pancakes and some broth a few hours before my little trip outside, so I made some gluten-free mac ‘n cheese and drank some coconut water and some electrolyte water. I took 400mg ibuprofen – Day 5 post-op was the first time I took Ibuprofen since a week before surgery.

On Day 5 post-op, I noticed that there were things I could do by day 2 post-op without causing debilitating pain:

  • yawn
  • shift weight while standing
  • shower

 

I also noticed that there were things I could do by day 3 post-op without causing debilitating pain:

  • lightly blow my nose
  • gently stretch to stand at my full height

 

Things I could do by day 5 post-op without causing debilitating pain was cry, and I seemed to do a lot of crying that day.

Lastly, I noticed that there were things that were the same as my last post-op experience:

  • moderate to heavy fatigue
  • still on mushy foods / liquids diet
  • still an effort to get up, walk, sit or lay down
  • still can’t cough, laugh, sneeze, suddenly lean forward while sitting, sit up from laying position, plop down, roll over on my side, nearly drop something and impulsively try to catch it, burp, hiccup, walk any faster than a shuffle
  • headaches and eye pain

 

Despite the good healing progress, it still felt like a step back – Day 5 felt more like Day 3 again for me. The bleeding, debris and cramps had me concerned, but at the same time, I was told to keep moving and being active after surgery. I didn’t feel like I’d ruptured anything, so this must be normal. But ouch…

Second Laparoscopy: Day 4 post-op

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I ate leftover Saag Paneer for lunch. Next follows TMI, but it’s important to note for the post-op recovery process.

 

Are you ready?

 

I had my first solid bowel movement. The gas pains leading up to it hurt like hell, stung, had me crying.
This played out the same way as last time – the poop would not come out. I had to breathe and focus and try not to force it.
I sat on the toilet for quite some time. Finally, I passed gas twice, which shot out some solid waste, then the movement itself, which was long and tightly packed.

Around 10pm, I had stinging pain in the lower pelvic region – it felt like bladder pain. That, combined with moderate low back pain, meant that it hurt to take deep breaths.

My meds had lapsed again, so I took a Tylenol 3 and waited. I took my temp – 99.9°F on glass therm, 99.6°F on the temporal therm. After 11pm, I took my temp again. It was still near 100°F, so I called the surgeon’s office.
The surgeon’s assistant called back by midnight and sounded condescending and impatient with me. She said it’s all in the normal range. She stated that she doesn’t care that my normal temp is 97.5°F – it’s all still in the normal range of temperature and pain, she says.
After talking for a bit, she relented and said she’d call in Cipro (antibiotic) for me, in case I have a UTI going on. I swear, these doctors. It’s like pulling teeth.

Physically, I was still up and walking around the house and doing my prescribed breathing exercises throughout the day. I was still shuffling rather than a striding walk. It hurt like hell to get up or settle back down into a chair, onto the couch or into bed. My husband often had to help me lift my right leg and put it where I needed it to go, because it was too painful for me to do it myself.

Medication-wise, I was still on Tylenol 3 every few hours, but I was no longer taking two pills together at a time. Actually, I’d stopped doing that two days after surgery. I wasn’t even taking two Tylenol 3 within an hour of each other. I’d say that Day 4 post-op was my best day so far. I took Tylenol 3 at 12:30am, 7am, 12pm, 5:30pm, 5:50pm and 9:54pm. The only time the pain got really bad was in the evening, when I took two doses of the Tylenol 3 twenty minutes apart.

Recovery was going really well.