“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."
Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone! They are very much appreciated. I had the 2nd incisional hernia repair the morning of Thurs., May 29th, and was discharged yesterday on Sun., June 1st. The surgery went well, but I'm in considerable pain, despite Percocet. The surgeon had warned me of this, and he was right. He cut me both horizontally and vertically, rather than just vertically like last time. This was to accommodate the large piece of mesh used. I believe it also overlapped. I am eating very little as I just don't have an appetite, and also feel nauseated from the Percocet. I'm drinking Slim Fast and eating sugar-free pudding. I tried to get online last night, but had problems with my modem and couldn't access the Net. After an hour on hold today, I was finally able to have the thing fixed.
The surgeon had said I probably wouldn't have a drain, but I do. It's the suction evacuator type and it's a real nuisance, as the tubing is wound around my belly and taped to it. I believe they want to see me back in follow-up later this week, but since nothing fits me with this drain, I don't know how it's going to be possible. I'm able to just wear a blouse at home. I will call tomorrow and discuss this.
I need someone to go to the bank for me and also to drop off my rent check at the apt. office tomorrow. I'm trying to reach my neighbor/helper for assistance with this.
Thanks again for all the messages!
Post Edited (hep93) : 6/2/2008 8:14:07 PM (GMT-6)
Thanks, Dan. I learned a lot during my 15 years as a medical transcriptionist. ;) I'm feeling about the same...trying to get down some chicken rice soup. I did have my neighbor stop by to pick up my rent check, which she will take to the office for me tomorrow.
"Tell the cats not to be such whiners - they have reputations to uphold. You can't be majestic and aloof while whining."
John, thanks for the smile. I needed one. Big hugs.
Lucy, thank you for the thoughts. Hopefully, I'll be a little better each day, but progress is slow and I'm not a patient person. I'll be a lot happier when I can get rid of the drain.
Hi, Shelly, it's good to hear from you! Hope you are slowly healing from the loss of your brother.
The nylon tape they used to tape the tubing to my belly caused huge blisters which broke and ran. The tape came off and the sore spots are raw. I am trying to keep them dry and covered with Neosporin, which seems to be helping them heal. Needless to say, those spots are very sore, along with the post-op pain. The external tubing is about 5 ft. long! It is leaking at the insertion site, so I covered it with a Band-Aid. Otherwise, I stuffed the tubing and suction evacuator in my panties. I found a summer dress in my closet that is loose and goes over my head, so it will work for going out. My neighbor took me to the bank today and then home, after which she took my shopping list to the grocery store and did that for me. She got some things wrong, but at least I have a lot of fresh fruit and cat food. Don't anyone think that this neighbor/friend is helping me out of the goodness of her heart. I'm paying her. I also pay another neighbor to clean for me once a week or so. With the price of everything rising, I can't really afford it....but I need the help. As far as I know, Medicare doesn't pay for those types of services. I really miss my former helper, as she would do anything I needed her to do, and she knew exactly what I wanted at the grocery store. However, she got a full time job in a doc's office and is a single mom to two young children, so she is unable to help me now.
UPDATE: 06/05, Thurs. night
Well, it became obvious to me by this morning that the drain had stopped working. The tubing appeared to be obstructed by coagulated blood, and all the fluid was coming out of the insertion site (hole) and none in the collection cup...a really messy situation. So I was able to have my neighbor drop me off at the Mayo Hospital ED on her way to see her sister. Since the hospital is brand-new and not many people are aware of it--plus they only take certain types of insurance, no HMOs or Medicaid as a primary insurance--I only had one person ahead of me, about a 20 min. wait. The physician there, after consulting with my surgeon, went ahead and pulled the drain. They then replaced it with an ostomy bag. However, there has been no fluid collected in it at all. I hope my body will absorb the liquid in my belly and that I won't end up with a big problem with ascites or infection. I noticed last night as I was sitting here that my feet were swelling, but they are normal now. I will say that this set-up is a lot more comfortable, although the incision sites are still very sore. I wasn't able to reach anyone to come pick me up when I was done at Mayo, so I had to take a very expensive cab home. I had something to eat and went to sleep for several hours, so am feeling much better now. Also, I am using a tall laundry hamper angled against my bed and am able to get my cats up on it with a little push from the behind. So they are very happy now that they can be up there and I'm not being driven crazy with yowling.
Post Edited (hep93) : 6/5/2008 9:29:56 PM (GMT-6)
Since I've had the drain out (since last Thurs. afternoon), my midriff has filled up with fluid. The drainage hole closed up and there is nowhere for the fluid to go. You cannot even tell that I had the hernia surgery, as I am so puffed up with fluid in the place where the hernia was. I will be seeing the surgeon and his P.A. tomorrow at 11:30 AM. It's possible they will admit me to have the tube reinserted (or do it as short-stay. Not sure if they would do it in the ER.) I know they are very cautious about infection with me. So if I'm MIA tomorrow night, I'm probably inpatient. Otherwise, I'll post and let everyone know what happened at my exam.
Thanks, Carol and PinkGrandma! You know, nothing is ever simple with me. I can't just go in and have a surgery and heal from it like normal people do! about an hour ago, I felt the binder was wet. I guess my middle just filled up so much with fluid it finally forced the hole open again and the fluid is now draining. I haven't put on another ostomy bag--am just using pantyliners taped to it. I'll see how it does during the night.
Hi, All! First of all, Lucy, my daughter has not worked enough in her life to qualify for regular SS disability--thus the SSI. So she will only get Medicaid, then. It's a problem, as so few doctors accept it anymore.
Well, I had to switch to an ostomy bag last night, I was draining so much (a good thing.) That kept up until this afternoon and now it has slowed down to a few drops, though there's still a lot of fluid in my midriff. I got a call at 8:30 this AM from the P.A.'s office, wanting me to come in at 10 for a CT scan (my f/u appt. was at 11:30.) Well, I take the van for the handicapped, and cannot change things last-minute like that. They should know that by now. So I told them that, and that I would be there at 11:30.
My surgeon was tied up doing a transplant, so I didn't see him. The P.A. examined me and increased my Lasix and Aldactone. I have to go back tomorrow for a CT scan. I noticed I had lost 1/2 lb. since my pre-op appt., probably in fluid. Glad I haven't gained weight. I would really like to lose a few more lbs.
I found out last night that my neighbor who takes me grocery shopping, and carries my groceries up the stairs, is moving next month. I can shop by myself, but will have to take a cab home. The cab drivers usually refuse to carry the groceries up. I could do it myself, prior to all this surgery, by making a bunch of trips up and down, but now I can't do it at all. I just don't know who I can ask to do this. Most of my neighbors aren't able to climb stairs. I have applications in at two Senior complexes at the Beach, but there is at least a year's wait. My neighbor is moving to one of them, and she has been on the waiting list for a year. Those complexes have elevators. So it's just a matter of getting by here for another year.
June, you are fortunate to have good neighbors. The problem here is that there is such a turnover of tenants in this complex. The first 5 years I lived here, there was a pretty stable population. However, as time went by, some of them moved to nursing homes and others died or moved elsewhere. The ones I know that will be left, after my neighbor/friend moves, are really not able to help me.
At least the incision is healing well, so if we can get the fluid problem under control, all will be okay. Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers, and general concern.