Thursday, June 13, 2013

Post-Op Doctor Visit

I visited with my doctor, nutritionist (NUT) and physician's assistant (PA) today at the 6 day post-op mark.  All went well with the visit - they remarked out how great I was looking 6 days out, removed the last of the steristrips (wounds are healing nicely!) and had a good time reliving my surgery with me.  Due to the 2+ years of chronic LapBand slip I dealt with, my stomach had ballooned and morphed itself into a non-standard looking stomach.  They had quite the grapple in dealing with removing all of the excess they wanted to remove - from dealing with the staple line of my new stomach to pulling out such amount of mass from the tiny incision above my belly button, they had never seen something so large!  Regardless, the surgery was flawless and the pictures (which I got to take home!) show a perfect sleeve.  My doc and PA are quite proud of their work!  Even more so, they reminded me that the barium swallow I did on Saturday morning (Day 1 post-op - I was still in the hospital then) was a perfect picture of what they want a sleeve to be.

We talked about my intake - my fluid, protein and vitamins have all met the minimum since Day 4 - and they advised me to stay on "full liquids" until the end of week 2.  At that point, I'm allowed to transition to purees and should schedule a follow-up with the PA and NUT again to make sure my speedy textbook recovery is still going strong!  I stopped taking the pain and anti-nausea pills on Tuesday (Day 4) but had kept the anti-nausea patch they had prescribed for me on until today.  Essentially, the patch is good for 72 hours - they made sure one was put on me just prior to my surgery and I had switched it out for a new one on Monday.  I've just removed that patch and, barring any further nauseous episodes, I'll be medicine free while I continue to recover!

The only real symptoms I've faced this week have been blurriness (blamed on the anti-nausea patch), dry mouth (but, surprisingly, no chapped lips - also blamed on the anti-nausea patch) and exhaustion.  Now that the patch has been removed, I look forward to eliminating the first two symptoms. Unfortunately, the exhaustion will continue for a week or two (at least!) while my body continues to recover from the major surgery I had 6 days ago.  My PA reminded me that the first 2-3 weeks post-op are crucial for recovery, so continuing to meet my goals for liquids, protein and vitamins are all key...and, of course, I need to get as much rest as possible.

On the whole I'm feeling good, although it's annoying when a simple trip to the doctor and grocery store can leave you so exhaus-tee-ated.  I'm returning to work on Monday (3+ hour commute round trip) and will continue to go slow until my body adjusts.  I foresee a week of early bedtimes next week!  Thanks to all of you who have given your support here and on Facebook - y'all rock!  I'm looking forward to progressing and being successful!

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