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Hospital Recovery

Here is what I wrote about my recovery in the hospital after my bi-lateral salpingo oophorectomy.

            Wednesday was planned as a big day. I got to eat, even if it was a soft diet, they took out my catheter; I took a spit bath and sat up some. Dr. Z came in and officially told me personally about the surgery, which I had already heard from my parents. I had to pee in 6 hours and I didn’t so I had the catheter back, and hadn’t walked as much as I should have. I got beautiful flowers from friends and family, and texts of support. My Dad headed back to the farm to check on things and my cousin Maggie, had a meeting on the hospital campus and came to visit. That meant a lot. Mom and I just chilled and walked some and then she headed back to the hotel.

            Wednesday night was the most annoying night. I had Emily as my nurse and Lindsay as my tech. I had had Emily the previous night, and I think she thought I was a little crazy. This night though, I had a high blood pressure and temperature. They were afraid I had an infection, or blood clot, or whatever. Thankfully we got my temperature down with breathing in the incentive spirometer. I think I was woken up about every hour which was not fun. Again the Medical student came at 5:30 and then the doctor who helped Dr. Z came at 6:30 and so on.

            Thursday was a good day. I had a great nurse and tech. Rachel was my nurse and she took great care of me. I got up and walked a good amount. I also got off of the pain pump, and began taking oral pain medicine. I also worked my way up from soft foods to solids. What made my Thursday so wonderful was that my friend Kelley and her daughter Sasha came to visit me. It really lifted my spirits and was great to learn that she had been through something similar. Also with her knowing she could let some of my other friends know and they then sent their well wishes. That night I had Julie as my nurse and she was a sweet heart. That night my blood pressure started to be high, so they monitored that a lot.

Then my Friday started the same with early visits from doctors and other staff. It looked liked I could go home. But I had to pass two tests: I had to pee, and either pass gas or have a bowel movement. I felt a little rushed and was not quite ready to give up my security blanket of the hospital, and staff. I knew going home would be hard. What made this day even more stressful was the horrible nurse I had. She was so slow. The other nurses were slow, but not as bad as Ethel. She was the worse. In the morning I passed my first test and peed, I never thought I would ever be excited for that, but I was. I then needed to have a bowel movement. I think they wanted to get rid of me, or “help” me and I some how ended up with a suppository. That wasn’t bad, but some of the events after that weren’t fun.

Dad came back mid-morning, and I had gotten cleaned and was doing some walking. I didn’t get to pick what I ate and ended up with some canned peas, greasy baked fish and potatoes. I wasn’t too happy, but I ate some of it anyway. Later that afternoon I started to not feel good. Right around the time my uncle Mark came to visit, I got sick. I threw up, which is never fun and then add the fact that you are recovering from abdominal surgery and it hurts even more. We paged for the nurse, and it took FOREVER. She finally came and helped get me cleaned up; even though it was not too bad, and said that she would go and get me some nausea medicine. Needless to say she didn’t come back. And after my Dad and uncle decided to leave, I threw up again, quite a bit. Mom paged Ethel, and started cleaning me up. It was a lot more and I got it on me. Not fun. In like 30 minutes she came. And got me new blankets, and a gown, and scalded us for getting rid of the vomit. She claimed she needed to measure it, well it was almost overflowing so we needed to empty it incase I did more. At that point I was so maxed out. I nonchalantly flipped off Ethel and was ready to tell Mom to get me a new nurse. I knew I wasn’t going home, not with being sick, although I had a bowel movement around when I was throwing up.

Also with my high blood pressure the doctors ordered a CT to make sure I didn’t have a blood clot. Before going and getting my CT I got to nap and feel better. I had a great escort to the CT, and got my first scan. It wasn’t bad other than I wasn’t use to laying flat on my back and I had to get a third IV, I woke up from surgery with an IV in each hand, and then getting up, from laying flat. I probably was a little rude to the technicians but I needed help and they weren’t jumping at it. The rest of my evening was good; I ate a light dinner, and did a lot of walking. It was fun being up late walking by the nurse’s station and it looked like they were having a sleep over.

Saturday was the big day, I got to go home. I had passed the tests, my systems had woken up from surgery and we were all ready to go. I spent most of my morning cleaning up, packing and waiting for Mom. She had a harder time getting out of the hotel, parked and whatever else. By 11:30 we were ready and I was discharged. I was taken down to where Mom would pick me up and had plenty of flowers to load. Once we got all loaded we were off. We stopped in Chesterfield for lunch, and then Hannibal for me to walk around and get my hair washed. One would never think a little thing like having clean hair would matter but it does. We then made our way home and got me all settled.

Surgery, what happened to me, what to expect

Here is what happened with me during my two surgeries.

I had a gyn oncologist do mine surgery, so they knew what to look for. With me I was set up to have my surgery done laproscopically, and then told my doctor to do what is medically necessary which meant do a hysterectomy if need me. I ended up losing both ovaries and fallopian tubes which put me in menopause. If you lose both ovaries you will go into menopause which means your body will react, you might have hot flashes, night sweats, which doesn’t make recovery easier. Think of it as your body being set to a higher thermostat. You may be doing nothing and start sweating all of a sudden.
So day of surgery was a lot of nerves, I got in a gown, got an iv, and hooked up to watch my vitals. My parents were able to be with me, so I was entertained for the waiting time. I met with my doctor, and signed consent forms, and asked any questions we had. I met with the nurse anesthesiologist and then the anesthesiologist. Finally it was time for me to be wheeled back, the scrub nurse came and got me, i said a tearful good bye and off to the OR i went. The OR didn’t look like I expected it to, but I really didn’t look around too much. They put leg pumps on which just blow up and deflate, and prevent blood clots. I remember being strapped in around my belly and both my arms being strapped down. Then I had a mask on my face and took deep breathes and was out in no time.

This is what I experienced after having surgery that involved an incision.
When I woke up I remember thinking I couldn’t move my legs, but it was really that I couldn’t get comfortable. Then the pain hit. It wasn’t too bad but they gave me a push button to give my self controlled amounts of morphine. I also remember the post- op nurse telling me I lost my ovaries and fallopian tubes, but the doctor staved my uterus. My throat and mouth were dry, but I got ice chips. After I was awake for a bit my parents came by and them I went up to my room.
I spent 3 and half days in the hospital. I did have a catheter, but it did not bother me at all, because I was already in pain I just didn’t notice it. Once you feel you can, get up and walk, walking is the best way to get your bladder and bowels awake after surgery. In order to get out of the hospital you have to pee and pass gas. I worked my way up from liquids to solids for my diet.
Nurses will check your vitals a lot, and wake you up in the night. For me the doctors started coming by around 5:30am so I my sleep schedule was pretty messed up. After a certain point they will get you off the iv meds and you will start taking pills for the pain. Speaking of ivs I had one when I went into surgery and came out with two. Take your time getting up, the pain isn’t fun, but it is part of the process to recovering. They also might have you take blood thinner shots, which are done on your belly daily for a few days.
Once I got home I couldn’t drive for about 6 weeks, so my parents had to take me where ever. A week later I got my staples out and continued to recover.

My 50 plus staples after my first surgery

If the surgery is laproscopic, it is much easier to recover from.
I recently had a laproscopic surgery with that the before part was the same. Recovering was similar, I woke up from surgery with a dry throat and mouth, I got ice chips again and I was cold. the pain was not as bad, I got some pain killers that made me tired. I then saw my parents and then waited to get dismissed to go up to my room, While in post op the doctor will come by and tell you how the surgery went, but you may not remember it. For this recovery you can get up to walk sooner, and might even feel like it. Vitals will be checked and yet again once you pee and pass gas you can be discharged. Peeing is a little uncomfortable but that goes away. With laproscopic they pump your belly with gas, so you will be gassy. I didn’t get morphine for this surgery, but just got pain killer pills. I spent the night but that was because I live three hours away from the hospital so my parents felt it was better to stay the night. I couldn’t drive for about a week, or until I was done with the pain pills. I had three incisions that were very small and stitched up with dissolvable stitches which were covered by steri strips, so once they healed they would come off.

my 3 small incisions after my second surgery, and part of my scar from my first surgery.

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