Well. Let’s go back to surgery day. I was scheduled to have surgery at 12:20. We got there two hours early, I got all gussied up in my beautiful hospital gown and fuzzy socks with the grips on the bottom. They put me in a room, put my IV in and then came in and let me know that the surgeon was delayed. Then he was delayed some more. And when the surgery center had to close for the day (at 5:00 p.m.), they wheeled me over to a different area to wait some more. At around 5:30 the surgery team finally came and got me. They took me into the operating room, strapped my legs down to a table as they made small talk. The last thing I remember is my anesthesiologist telling me that his dad was a doctor in the prison system and then breathing in some sweet oblivion that smelled like bananas.
Everything apparently went off without a hitch. Surgeon told Alfred that there were no complications, that he fixed a belly button hernia while he was in there (didn’t even know I had one), and that my liver looked lovely (thank you liver shrink diet). When I woke up in my room, I don’t remember a whole lot from the first night other than being keenly aware that every three hours I was supposed to get an injection of a pain killer - Dilaudid. And I remember being in a fog and telling my nurse that I “applauded Dilauded.” So embarrassing.
My surgery happened Wednesday evening and I went home on Friday evening. Thursday started off rough but got progressively easier. It took me 12 hours to drink two 8 oz protein drinks. Once I was able to walk around a bit and drink the drinks and keep them down, the surgeon came in, told me that I looked "robust" and then they sent me on my way. The hospital staff was all super friendly and very helpful and informative and when I left I felt equipped to be o.k. at home. They’ve been calling every 3 days to check to see how things are going. The OSU hospital system definitely has my endorsement.
So since I’ve been home, I have been continually thankful and surprised at my lack of pain. Many people I’ve spoken with have had a very difficult time, but I can honestly say that I’ve had sinus infections that have kept me down more than this surgery has. The biggest barrier is definitely the lack of energy. I can sleep for 8 hours at night, wake up and nap 3 hours later, then still feel exhausted again at 9-10 p.m. My family and my church family have been amazing to help with day to day life stuff though. I am blessed with lots of good people in my life.
Until my follow up appointment on August 30th, my goals are to get in 60 ounces of fluids a day and 60 grams of protein a day. That has not been an issue at all. I am supposed to have 5-6 small (½ cup to ¾ cup) meals a day. Everything I eat should technically be the consistency of applesauce or thinner. I have had no issues keeping that down, although I’ve been more likely to have 2-3 one cup meals a day - typically things like small curd cottage cheese, Oikos Triple Zero yogurt, pureed soups, etc…I haven’t felt much hunger at all. I’ve had cravings for texture, but nothing serious. So far, so good.
I was sent home with a prescription to take anti-nausea medication three times a day (which has since been cut back to twice a day), an antacid, 2 multivitamins, and 2 blood pressure medications. My cholesterol medications and other blood pressure medication were put on a temporary hold but most likely won’t be re-prescribed…which is awesome.
I think that pretty much wraps it up! Like I said earlier, I go in on August 30th for my follow up. They’ll check the incisions (which several of them are almost gone already), evaluate my diet and advance me to the next level (which is soft foods), and clear me to drive again.
So I know that was all pretty fact/information based, but I’ve had several people question the process. I hope this answers some of them. I know it sounds pie-in-the-sky and I know that in the big scheme of things, it’s still early - but so far I can say that despite the grueling approval process, this procedure has been much easier than I thought. Praise God for answered prayers.
OK. I’m spent. It’s 11:30 p.m. I can’t keep up with you young whippersnappers anymore.