Friday, July 6, 2018

My Colectomy - Day Two

I had my partial colectomy yesterday. The nurse in pre-op was very nice. She got me all set up for surgery - pretty gown and matching blue hat, hospital socks, IV, a bunch of medicine. When the anesthesiologist came in, I pleaded with him, "Anesthesia makes me violently ill. Pleeeeeease do whatever you can so I don't get sick. Please. I'll name my first-born kid . . ., oh wait, I'm done having kids. I'll name my first cat after you. I have lofty plans of becoming a cat lady, and if you keep me from throwing up, I'll name my first cat after you."

I knew I was rambling like a crazy person, but I really wanted to impress upon him how scared I was of getting sick from the anesthesia. He promised to load me up with anti-nausea drugs before and during surgery. I got a patch behind my ear and another pill under my tongue before I even went in. Still, I gave him a dubious look and told him I didn't believe him, and I thought I'd still get sick no matter what he said. Then he gave me what he called my "morning cocktail" in my IV. He said it was to relax me, but I'm pretty sure it was to get me to shut up about cats and vomit. I don't remember anything after that. I don't remember being in recovery either, but apparently I was there for an hour. I was groggy all day and didn't really wake up until last night.

But praise the Lord, I did not get sick at all! Now I need to get a cat and name him Vikram.

My surgery took more than 3 hours and I had a breathing tube down my throat the whole time so now I sound like an 80 year old chain smoker. The surgery went well and I have 5 incisions. (The video was right - they went up through my butt to staple the two ends of my intestines together!) My doctor removed about a foot of diseased colon. He said there was a hole in it which confirmed his presumption that it had perforated during my last bout of diverticulitis, and my body had contained it. I'm glad I had this done because it probably would have resulted in an emergency situation when I had my next flare-up.

They injected this numbing  medicine called Exparel all over my abdomen. It's supposed to last for three days so right now I'm getting by on muscle relaxers, nerve blockers and IV Tylenol, which is fantastic because I hate the way narcotics make me feel. Plus narcotics cause constipation which I imagine is less than pleasant when you just had surgery on your bowel. I was told the effects of this numbing agent will start wearing off this evening (and they are) so I may need something stronger for pain tomorrow.

My catheter was taken out this morning so I can pee like a normal person now. I was also given clear liquids to try today. Unfortunately I started pooping blood so I'm back to nothing by mouth again, I'm off blood thinners, and I'm having extra bloodwork to make sure I'm not losing too much blood. Or at least I'm supposed to be having more bloodwork, however 3 different nurses have stuck me in 3 places and missed the veins each time. I'm currently waiting for nurse #4 to come give it a try.

But, on the bright side, I have a lovely view outside. I alternate between the picturesque landscape and The Food Network on TV which is really kind masochistic since I can't eat.

Oh and I have learned that coughing HURTS!

4 comments:

Georgina Chamberlain said...

SO glad your surgery went so well. And yes, you want to get rid of holes in the intestine...trust me, BTDT. (Having three external drains and IV antibiotics for three months is something I could have done without.)
Do they have you wearing an abdominal binder? And did they give you a 'coughing pillow' and show you how to use it? That all helps the pain from activities.
Your view is awesome, mine was of the Charles River in Boston with all the boats and greenery. Really helps distract you from the fact you are in a hospital!
The worst is over, you will rock this recovery, it is much more pleasant
than the prep for the surgery!

BarbaraShowell said...

Major surgery sucks! Hope you are better soon. Coughing might hurt, but it also prevents pneumonia. Feel better soon!

Cindy said...

I'm SO glad you didn't throw up!! Woohoo! Our prayers were answered! Good to hear that you're now in recovery mode.

Gloria Gross said...

Oh Dawn, I am praying for your body to heal quickly so that you can move past this unpleasantness. Please know that there are probably many of us praying for you as well.

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