The prep was awful so what a relief it should be to not have to drink that awful stuff and do the colon cleansing. My surgery was laparoscopic but I'll share my experience and you should be able to glean some advice.
The surgery was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life! I don't mean to scare you but I do mean to prepare you. That being said I'm 6 months out now and I can say it's one of the best things I've done for my health.
I was told I would be in the hospital around 6 days. But because my bowels didn't 'wake up' I ended up being in the hospital 11 days. When you have the surgery your bowels stop working and have to wake back up. They were afraid I had a blockage and did x-rays and then a Cat scan, but it was clear.
They wouldn't let me eat anything. I was only able to have ice chips and suck on hard candy. My advice on this, if your bowels are taking long to wake up and they aren't allowing you any nutrients then ask about
a TPN. It's nutrients given thru the IV. I got very weak and was losing weight.
Then around 6am the morning of the 11th day I was in bed and my bowels just broke loose. I had no control. They got me unhooked from my IV pole and let me get in the shower and the poor nurse had to clean up my bed.
I had to eat a meal and see how I felt before they would release me. (Hospital food never tasted so good) You'll be on a low residue diet once released. My first meal home was: Roasted chicken, salad greens with dressing, cooked carrots, baked potato without the skin but with plenty of sour cream :), string beans and a dinner roll.
Everyone is different but I only had one accident after I got home. You might want to buy some Chucks to keep underneath you wherever you sit and on your bed.
I had bad spasming of my small intestines. The doctor said that sometimes people dx'd with IBS before the surgery have this. He gave me Symax which helped but he mentioned how stress effects the gut and to try and keep the stress down (yeah, right). Well, I have a perscript
ion for Xanax so I thought I would try taking one with my meals and lo and behold that has helped tremendously. I've only had to use the Symax once after eating a sandwich with whole grain bread. I'm suppose to be able to eat whole grains by now but I guess my gut isn't listening to the doctor, so no whole grains for me.
I also take a stool softner because after about
two weeks things seemed to have slowed down. I think my bowels are just slow, so I just take the stool softner for my own peace of mind. Maybe at some point I'll try not taking it and see how I do, but for now I do. I also take a good probiotics. After going thru this surgery the good bacteria in your gut is probably none existent.
I go out to eat with no problems. No worrying about
making it to the bathroom. I thought that would be an issue but it hasn't with me. Depending on what I eat will depend on how thick or watery my stool is. I don't have a bag or j pouch. They hooked everything back up to my rectum because my pelvic floor functions were fine. Everything is quite normal now. I have at least one good bowel movement a day, sometimes more depending on what and how much I eat. But I use to go two weeks without a bowel movement, so one a day is a miracle for me.
Also, no one informed me that this surgery would probably throw my menstrual cycle off. I had my period the week before surgery which I was glad about
because I didn't want to be on my period at the same time, but I started my period a few days after surgery so be sure and bring proper underwear and pads just in case. The hospital pads aren't comfortable.
The most painful part for me was they pump you full of CO2 to do the surgery. Well that gas has to go somewhere and if your bowels aren't working you can't get it out. They tell you to walk, walk, walk. Well walking never got it out for me it made it go further up under my ribcage and shoulder. VERY painful. Someone on the boards here mentioned to roll from side to side to try and move the gas. But if you aren't having lapo then this probably won't be an issue for you. Seriously, this was the most painful part, so if you don't have to deal with this AND you don't have to do the prep your surgery might go a lot smoother than most.
Take advantage of your pain pump.
It's also good to have someone who you know is going to be there the first night and next day. My husband went home after the surgery and the next day when I was coming out from anesthesia I was confused. Didn't know what day or time it was.
If you have any questions please ask.
Good luck!! And keep us posted :)
Control is an illusion. The only control we have is our response to people and situations. - Kim Martin
Post Edited (ME!) : 4/15/2008 8:25:32 PM (GMT-6)