POD #4

Today is POD (Post-Op Day) number four. So far it’s been fairly smooth sailing…hope the trend continues!

My surgeon was thrilled with how the surgery itself went. There were no complications and he felt really good about how well it seemed to go – Steve said the surgeon was just about giddy when he came out to talk to my family afterward (and I got high compliments on my liver ;-). I did have some pretty severe post-op nausea in the PACU – I don’t remember much of that period except occasionally whispering “Help me, I feel so sick”. I knew it was pretty likely to happen since it’s happened before…didn’t make it any less miserable though.

The morning after surgery I went down for an Upper GI/barium swallow to test for leaks. They gave me some nasty Gastrograffin, followed by barium, and told me to gulp it down. No leaks, but I think I drank too much because I was miserable for the rest of the day. The stuff just would not settle into my new GI tract and move through. I ended up becoming extremely nauseous again and threw up more times than I care to count. The PA looked more closely at my Upper GI results and saw a lot of inflammation (not surprisingly), so they started me on IV steroids and Protonix, plus a whopping dose of Phenergan for the nausea, and I felt 200% better when I woke up a few hours later. I was able to keep down clear liquids that evening, although in baby 1 oz quantities. I had a PCA for pain control for about the first 24 hours, then they switched me to liquid pain meds once I was cleared to swallow.

Post-op day two featured increased fluid intake with no additional nausea. My gut slowly started to wake up and start moving. So they took out my drains and sent me home!!! 🙂 It was so therapeutic to be in my own house, sleep in my own bed, snuggle with my hubby and puppies and start my new journey. My mom is in town for the week… it is wonderful to have a walking buddy and somebody to help me get all this fluid and protein intake sorted out. Today I graduated myself from clear liquids to full liquids, meaning I can have protein shakes again. We are also trying out some low-fat creamed soup recipes this week.

Pain-wise, I really haven’t been too bad. I’ve only taken a couple doses of the liquid narcotic since I got home…I’m a little sore but nothing overwhelming. I’ve tried to plan an outing every day with my mom to get in a good walk and to get out of the house. One trip tires me out but I honestly haven’t been too fatigued overall.

I am not hungry whatsoever and it takes a lot of effort to get in the fluids and protein I need. Right now they are more worried about my staying hydrated (dehydration is the number one complication of bariatric surgery), but increasing protein will be important for faster healing. My surgeon had mentioned that I would wake up after surgery and all of the old cravings would have disappeared…it’s so true. When we do grocery runs, every once in a while I’ll see food that I used to love, but I have no desire to taste it now or anytime in the near future. I’m hoping that I will get my enjoyment of (real) food back, just minus the cravings for processed sugars and junk. Right now I’m just glad that I can be around food without feeling deprived.

The oddest part of this whole thing so far has been the noises. Once my gut woke up, it apparently has had a lot to say. It is constantly grumbling and growling, especially at night. From what I’ve read, this is not unusual and does calm down after a while, but it distracting and kind of awkward. Here’s hoping things quiet down in that department…

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