I woke up and the day started out great! My support team would show up later as they Mitch, Megan and Nikki all needed to get some sleep from the day/night before. The pain medication which the nurse keeps injecting into my IV was keeping me comfortable. I was able to get up and walk around. I was a little sore in a few spots, but nothing really to complain about. I was surprised that the pain wasn’t that bad at all. I know, I have pain medication. Yet, I’m able to move around… get in and out of bed… walk around the floor! Yea!
I can’t drink anything until after my gastric test. The odd thing, I was not missing drinking any liquids, as long as I had my ice chips. The ice chips in the cup meant the world to me. I was fine. I thought the day would be easy… I thought the rest of the day would consist of my being very tired, in some pain and the awkward pain when I got out of bed to do my walking. I was wrong…
The gastric test was easy. I laid down on a table which would slant and the x-ray machine hovered above me. I took a few sips of a medicine flavored drink and they took several pictures. Next, the table moved into almost an upright position (like I was almost standing). I drank some more yucky stuff and few more digital x-rays were taken. The coolest part was that the x-ray technician actually showed me a picture of my new stomach – or lack of stomach. So, cool! (I never thought to bring my iphone or I would have taken a picture!) lol
I came back into my room and my liquid meal was waiting for me! This was exciting! A big step forward!!! (See picture)
I was really looking forward to drinking my warm flavorful chicken soup/broth! On my plate was also a orange flavored Crystal Lite, hot tea and a cold cup of unflavored tea. The nurses let me know that they had access to sugar free Popsicles, more water or Crystal Lite – All I had to do was remember I needed it and ask. I was supposed to begin taking in 60 oz – 70 oz of clear liquids a day – and continue this… F O R E V E R !
Guess my stomach wasn’t interested in any liquids… because… after my chicken soup… all hell broke loose! And, let me tell you this was the worst pain I even had in my life.
I’m going to share what many don’t… I just think the more we are mentally prepared for this type of surgery, the better we can overcome or equip ourselves.. Plus, each experience is so very different that it’s good to be aware of what you could experience.
DID I SAY THAT I WAS IN EXCRUCIATING PAIN? Times that by a zillion!! What made the pain a million times worse… the pain was a combination of feelings I’ve never felt. I HAD SO MUCH NAUSEA! This is a nausea that I’ve never experienced before! Nausea crippled with pain! I’ve never experienced a nausea to such a severe degree that you actually hurt! AND, the word nausea is an understatement! It was so bad that I wanted to stick my finger down my throat… but, I couldn’t as I was told by the nurses that if I did that the throat all the way to my new stomach would all become much more inflamed! Which means, more pain! Could there even be MORE pain? WHAT??!! How could nausea be painful? How could I have excruciating pain AND a painful nausea? I felt like I was going to die!
It hurt to sit, to move, to lay down, heck… It even hurt to blink my eyes! This went on for the whole day and throughout the evening. All the while, the nurses were giving me pain medications complimented by a combinations of a few different medications for nausea. Since there are several types of medication for a variety of nauseousness a variety were used all through my IV… It seemed like it was an never ending process. I never thought the pain would let up!
My family sat there for me, supporting me and watched – they were helpless. Each one wanted to do something, but all they would do was be there as I was dying slowly. But, they never left. When I asked, they truly stressed to me that they didn’t wanted me to feel that I was alone. I’m so lucky to have my little team to be there by my side constantly. I can’t thank them enough. I actually don’t know if I would have got through any of this without them!
The nurses were great, as they were in every time one IV was empty, another was started to help reduce this excruciating pain caused by nauseousness. But, they see pain all the time! I’m on a floor where patients recuperate from surgery!
As all this agonizing pain is going on the Nurses kept reminding me that I had to keep drinking my liquids! Serious? I’m dying of pain… and they want me to keep drinking? Ha! I never thought this pain would ever end… I repeat this because … I’m pretty good at handling pain… I’ve had several surgeries before – 3 c-sections, a cyst removed from my breast, etc. But, this was such a severe indescribable feeling of pain which didn’t let up, it was crippling me. What kept me focused was my support team, and knowing that this pain will eventually have to end, but I didn’t know how long I could handle it.
The next morning I woke up and I was so amazingly thankful that those excruciating pains were finally gone. I did have some nauseousness linger on, but NOTHING like before. . . (Happy Dance)… I made it! Hallelujah The “regular” pain I had from the surgical incisions were sore, but easily treated with IV pain medications – same with the nauseousness. Now, all treated by medication.
My morning liquid breakfast showed up. Hot Tea, a cup of cold tea, cup of orange Crystal Lite, and yes again… a bowl of chicken broth. I enjoyed my orange Crystal Lite. I’m not usually a Crystal Lite person, but it actually tasted good.
That meal became my breakfast, lunch and dinners every night. Every once in a while I would be surprised by Iced Tea by Crystal Lite (which I’m learning to love) instead of the orange Crystal Lite. The Nurse Assistant would bring me a sugar-free ice pops to keep my liquid intake up. I looked forward to those! I’ve found that if I went below 50 oz of liquid I’d be a tad bit nauseous again (but nothing like before).
My days at the hospital consisted of walking on the floor, drinking my meals, sleeping, and enjoying my visitors!
Once I got through that incredible pain and extreme nauseousness, the rest of my experience comparatively was on the easier side.
My original discharge was set for 10:00 am. on the 27th. However, because I still had some nauseous feelings which prevented me from taking in 60 oz of liquids a day the Doctor wanted me to stay later to be sure I could drink my 60 oz before I left. If I couldn’t drink 60 oz before 4 p.m. I would stay overnight.
There was a big concern because of dehydration. And since, I wouldn’t have an IV to back up my liquid intake at home and I would only relay on what I was consuming it became very serious that I was taking in at least 60 oz a day. Dehydration can come quick, can cause other medical problems too that all need to be avoided.
Since I had a mild, but constant nauseousness in the hospital – My Surgeon wanted me to increase my liquid intake and take all medications by mouth. As long as I could do all of that and meet my liquid intake while nauseous… I would be able to go home.
At 6 p.m. I was finally released to go home! I had my instructions to follow andf rom what I understand, different Doctors have different 2 week liquid diets to follow. We follow these liquid diets after surgery because our stomachs (now called “pouches”) are very delicate and need time to heel.
I have a 2 week liquid diet which is relatively simple… Any beverage, drink all clear liquids, clear broths, Popsicles, hot chocolate – BUT NEVER ANY SUGAR!! (Sugar and this surgery will never get along. I will end up deathly sick from sugar.) And if after 4-5 days my new pouch can tolerate it than a little skim milk, or even begin to introduce my body to a few ounces of a thin protein drink . I will forever have to keep up with 80 grams of protein DAILY! My new insides must take in 60 grams in order to get the nutrition I need. (More on that at another time.)
Pretty simple, right? I’ll keep you posted!! What were your requirements after discharge?