Post-op Day 1 – Wednesday April 17th

Post-op Day 1 – Wednesday April 17th

A little housekeeping note: I’m blogging all of this about three weeks behind reality – mainly because healing from surgery had me too busy to to more than make some notes to be fleshed out later.

Though I didn’t get the best sleep that first night, I woke up feeling pretty awake. Once I unstuck my neck, and started moving around, I actually felt quite awake. Mind you, I was on a LOT of meds. In addition to Cephalexin (antibiotic to prevent infection), Norco (for pain), Zofran (for nausea), and SINECCHi (homeopathinc Arnica montana to minimize swelling and bruising), I was also on a medrol pack (Prednisone) as a precaution due to my Crohn’s history. THAT is the one that had me all energetic. After all the snoozing off and on the day before, I didn’t take a single nap after that. Oh, and my love of ALL the coffee may have also had an impact. 

Not wanting to take the stairs more than necessary, I got myself dressed before heading down for breakfast. It was then that I made an amazing bonus discovery. Depending on your age, you may or may not know that one’s mons pubis sags as one grows older. In regards to female anatomy, that means we generally no longer need to worry about camel toe because the slit (for lack of a more graceful term) gravitates south. I happened to look in the mirror as I was changing into clean undies, and discovered mine was back to the original location! I’d been crotchtorally rejuvinated! Once I picked up my jaw off the floor, I called out to Hubs, “Come here! You’ve GOT to see this!” 

After the inspection, I headed downstairs for breakfast, followed by emptying my drains. This involved first milking the tubes (Hubs helped). That works by pinching the end close to the body and squeezing any drainage down to the bulb at the end. that helps to clear out any clots and keep the flow going. Then, the bulb is opened and the contents get poured into a cup for measuring the output. Even with our glasses on, Hubs and I both struggled to read the markings on the provided cups (one for the left drain and one for the right). He had the brilliant idea to use my kitchen scale and weigh the output in MLs. That worked so much better.

My drain output log.

I spent a bit of time on the couch, icing my belly (15 minutes on, 15 off for as long as I’m awake). Being the rule-follower that I am, I even brought the ice pack in the car when Hubs drove me to my first post-op doctor visit and first look at my new self. 

Now, I know that some of you are squeamish and won’t want to see the gory stuff, so I’m going to let you decide, on a pic by pic basis, if you want to see what I’m showing. Without further ado, here’s my night before and day after photos, side by side.

Click on the image above to see the good stuff.

Sophie, Dr. Geldner’s nurse, helped me out of my abdominal compression binder (to be worn 24/7 for weeks to months) and removed the gauze dressing over my incisions. if you were brave enough… you’ll see the remains of the markup Dr. Geldner did on me, the drains (bulbs pinned to my tank top), and my newly flattened (though still VERY swollen) tummy. At first glance, all I could say was, “Wow!” Dr. Geldner, who’d been chatting with Hubs, got a big grin on his face and said, “Yeah, it’s pretty cool, isn’t it?” I have to say, it was quite adorable to see that despite all of the years that he’s been doing cosmetic surgery, he still gets a kick out of it.

Everything looked good, and we were sent on our merry way, back home for some lunch and the endless rotation of icing, ambulating, medicating, and trying to poop. This was a new one for me. Due to the many feet of intestine I’ve had removed in past surgeries, I’m basically never constipated. Even the day of TG’s birth via caesarian section, I pooped that same night (much to the nurse’s surprise). I was getting increasingly uncomfortable, but really didn’t want to take a laxative. That is so counterintuitive for me. Instead, I decided to try a Squatty Potty, a stool designed to get you in optimal stooling position. Hallelujah! It worked! Happily, after things finally got moving, I didn’t even need the Squatty Potty anymore. I did, however, benefit from taking GasX. I was so darned gassy! I’m not usually one to turn to OTC medication for every little thing, but this was well worth the relief.

I was back to my normal diet, but at only about half volume. Due to the tightness from the surgery, swelling, and compression binder, my eyes were constantly bigger than my stomach. I simply could not eat as much as I wanted to, or was at least used to eating. Oh, but that afternoon, I had a latent memory surface from the day before. On the way home from the surgery, I apparently got a single scoop of vanilla custard at Culver’s and ate that with bites of my remaining banana bread. Not only did it work to soften up the loaf and make it easier to swallow, but it tasted really good! I want royalties if Culver’s and Sbux ever team up on this for a flavor of the day. 

By bedtime, I’d had my routine pretty down pat. I took all of my meds, including Norco (which I was still taking every six hours), measured my drain output (which I started doing only twice a day so I could more easily figure the 24 hour amounts), plus grabbed a mini fruit bar and the Norco bottle and headed up to chair. Though he hid in the basement the night before because of the rainstorms, Alex stayed by my side all night. Well, by my feet. He’s such a good nurse kitty.

Usually, Alex sleeps with TG, but he slept by my feet every night I spent in the chair.

Having taken Norco at 9pm, when I woke up at 1am, it was not quite time for another, so I went back to sleep. Same at 2am, when  I got up to pee. That made me much more comfortable. Finally, when I woke again at 3am, I ate the mini fruit bar, took a Norco (wanting to keep ahead of the pain), and went back to sleep. Already, I couldn’t wait until enough swelling was down and I could unfold my body enough to sleep in bed again. That big comfy chair is great for napping, but not so much for all night. Oy, my neck and shoulders!

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