The first 24 hours after surgery are the worst. This recovery ranks #2 on my all time worst surgery/recovery list. (#1 is my gallbladder surgery which was a nightmare). After I was moved from Recovery into my room, I actually felt pretty good. I was still having a hard time waking up completely from the anesthesia, so I would nap on and off. The pain was manageable, I was getting Dilaudid, which is like morphine, but it sucks and it gave me a headache. Mike was continuously feeding me ice chips, which was sweet relief because my lip was injured during my intubation- I guess the tube push against my lip, which pushed against my tooth and then my lip got all mangled.
I have no idea what time it was- maybe 2 pm, but I was super hungry, and my nurse ordered some food for me. So my "clear liquids" tray came up and Mike lovingly spoon fed me some lemon jell-o, orange sherbet ice cream and I sipped grape juice. Ahhh, sweet relief. Now I am not sure of the exact timeline, but I believe after I ate, I decided to try and use the bathroom. And ANYONE who has had surgery knows the importance of "the first pee". So as I was attempting to walk to the bathroom, my Oncology Surgeon decided to pop in. Ugh- worst timing ever!! I was intent on peeing so I told him to come back in a little bit. So I sat on the potty, and sat, and sat, and sat. This was exactly what I DID NOT WANT to happen. I guess since my surgery was so long I was catheterized, so that plus the anesthesia made my pee not want to cooperate. During my frustration in the bathroom, my Surgeon kept coming into the room, and I basically yelled at him (see Mike's blog post below) and he went away. The pee drama went on all day, and night, and into the next day. But eventually everything got back to normal.
While I was attempting to pee all day, I would get lightheaded and nauseous from the anesthesia every time I'd get out of bed. Like pukey nauseous. So I would be trying to pee, then get the heaves and have to hold a puke bin. Lovely- right. I think Mike was still there when I actually started puking. The good thing about the pukes, was I'd actually pee, but then I felt like my chest and stomach was going to rip open and they'd have to take me back to the OR. But that never happened. I just continued to pee and puke all night, For my nausea I got a drug called Zofran which I actually took during chemo. It's like a melt-away wafer that you just put in your mouth. It (usually) works, but it also gives me a headache, The Zofran did nothing for me this time, so I had to ride out the nausea. Mike had to leave somewhere around 9pm, so the nurses were left to deal with me when I'd push the "call nurse" button- every 2 hours- all night long.
Tuesday morning I was still a little nauseous but I knew that I needed to get some (bland) food in me. My Hospital actually has- ROOM SERVICE. There's a menu with breakfast 24/7 and lunch/dinner from 11:30am-6:30pm. With my nurses' help she got me the menu and the telephone so I could call in my order. Bonus- the food is actually good, like really good (better than my cooking). I ordered Special K (dry- no milk), a corn muffin and apple juice. I kinda snacked on that, napped and had nurses in/out of the room for most of the day.
Mike had to pick up Lilly from my brothers, and then get my mom from the airport so I knew not to expect him until the afternoon. It was really great when he got there, just to keep me company and help me out when I needed to get up or reach something. Around dinner time, my nurse said I could switch from Dilauded to Percocet but I had to eat something first. So I ordered a hearty dinner of chicken noodle soup, rice pilaf, fresh fruit and panko breaded chicken. Mike went out for Peace A Pizza which was his go-to meal for the entire 3 days I was there. I think he's got like 5 stamps on his frequent pizza card from those 3 days alone. While he was gone, my plastic surgeon came in to check on me before he left for the day and said everything was perfect. My pain and discomfort was going to last for a few days, but eventually subside. After he got back we watched tv until visiting hours were over at 9pm.
I think that I slept A LOT from Tuesday night into Wednesday Morning. That Percocet makes me drowsy! I had an overall good night and was looking forward to going home in the morning.
Coming up next : Part 3- going home and white knuckle pain.