Hello there - I had a temporary colostomy after my colon resection for cancer, 11 years ago. It was reversed 8 weeks later. My first surgery was extremely painful to recover from. I had pain for 4 straight weeks, day in, day out. Figured out I couldn't tolerate Morphine, so they switched me to Demerol. Instructing me to remind my surgeon for the takedown surgery so I could go straight to Demerol. It worked. I remember lying on that operating table, nervous, giving ole Nelly one more look (I was wearing the clear ostomy bags again. No I hadn't really named my ostomy but I do remember giving her one more look. And saying - Demerol!)
That said, I remember so much about my post-takedown surgery, the recovery room, the ride in the hospital use only elevator, the two surgical techs taking me to my room, getting settled into my room, seeing my husband sitting there working on his laptop. All of it, not a hazy blur but somewhat clear. First time I swear but I lost 48 hours after that surgery. I was literally out of it they said, I needed 2 blood transfusions, I was doing so bad.
So because I was somewhat alert, I recovered faster. When it was time to walk, I walked. When it was time to do the breathing exercises, I did them. I packed a steno pad of paper and kept a schedule, each hour I did 10 or 12 breathing exercises and then walked. I was up to 2 complete laps around the entire surgical floor at discharge time. For each walk, I'd walk for 5 more minutes or count hospital rooms doors, 5 more doors. One of the nurses glanced over at me and said - are you going for a world record? I said - oh no, I just want to recover faster and get back on my feet. She said - ah, second surgery? I said - yes (and in my head I'm thinking, and my very last one, thank you very much, so far it's been my last surgery to date). She laughed. Over time, the nurses just gave me privacy. Because I was tracking my personal progress on the walking/breathing exercises they would stick their head in the door - did you do them? I'd say - yes, 12 more and 1 lap. Whatever it was. They'd laugh and be on their way. First time around, I swear but if a cowboy had lassooe'd me and hog tied me to that surgical floor I would have balked. First time around, I wanted to lie in a hospital bed for a week and be left alone. lol I also would only be in my bed to sleep or for short naps during the day, I made myself sit upright in the room's recliner. So I'd start that road to healing. It worked too!
Ah but I did have pain. First stab took my breath away. The nurse said - did you think you wouldn't have pain? You have abdominal stitches, of course you'd have pain! I laughed and said - my surgeon kept saying this surgery would be a breeze. Well it was, compared to the first surgery. The surgery from he**.
Ditto on the sitz bath, they are extremely soothing. Make sure the nurses send you home with one. You can add 1 tablespoon of baking soda or 1 tablespoon of the Aveeno packets (that you use for poison ivy soaks in the bathtub) to the water. Both have healing powers to tender tissue.
The hospital toilet tissue is like sand paper. Either bring your own or use the washcloths as someone stated. You will come to despise that hospital TP, I definitely did.
Finally, I eventually bought these but you might want to wear one when you're discharged - Stayfree Maxi Ultra Thin overnight long pads, with wings. Yes I know they're pads for women but men have worn them. In fact on another medical forum I read that men were wearing them, they're extremely thin, very absorbent, go way up in the back of your underwear. Perfect for minor drips. Also sit on an old towel in the car, that's probably for peace of mind, not because you'll have a full blown accident.
Good luck. Sorry to have written you a book here.
- Rectal CA 4/29/99, Stage I, 90% sigmoid/15" of colon/GB removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 6-26-99
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Colace 50 mg + Renew Life/Ultimate Flora/Critical Care/80 Billion daily