nervous about hospital stay- looking for your experiences

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Lovie L
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 11/30/2010 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
My Nissen next Friday will be my 6th surgery (three sinus surgeries, one cyst removal and a gallbladder removal previously), but the first time I've spent the night at the hospital other than when I had my children. I am not sure what to expect. How were your experiences? Were you sleeping most of your time in the hospital? Did you have a private or shared room? Did you have anyone stay with you? My husband would stay if I asked him to, but when we had our kids, sleeping at the hospital in that fold out chair was some of the worst sleep he's ever gotten and I think I would rather have him well-rested and not cranky the next day so he can take care of me.
 
Did any of you do anything special the day before? Or wish you had? I thought about taking the day off. Some things I considered are getting a massage, going to see a movie, taking myself out to a nice meal.... any other suggestions?

ZhyKitty
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 11/30/2010 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I was already on liquids weeks before going into the hospital...and my family is low-income so there was no pre-hospital pampering but I was worried, like you, about having to stay in there.
I'm a high functioning autistic person and I don't do well in strange places normally but even for me the hospital stay wasn't bad and I was alone in there for nearly all of my stay. I only had someone with me the day of surgery.
I went in on a Tuesday morning and stayed till Friday afternoon and I was really doped up the whole time so I didn't much care about that.

My room was private because every room in that hospital is a private room.
I felt really fortunate because being on medicaid I was worried about ending up in a ward situation the way they used to treat us in the old days. *L*
You can call ahead and find out about your own hospital, that's what I did.
It helped to alleviate some of my fears.

I'll tell you, if you're on a great deal of pain and anti-anxiety medicine, as I was, you're not going to care if anyone stays with you.
In fact, I was so out of it a great deal of the time that the days blurred together and I don't remember very much about my stay. All I did mostly was sleep, drink, and walk. I'd loaded my laptop with movies before going in and music too so I had Enya to put me to sleep and help me relax when I was awake or movies to entertain me - not that I was awake long enough to actually watch a whole one.
I might have slept through most of my stay if they hadn't come in and messed with me so often and if I'd not needed to walk every hour or two....and you will need to do some walking. It will help with the shoulder pain.

Take your own pillow, take some gas-x strips (at least one box), take some isopure drinks and some smart water with you because like they were sending me trays of fresh fruit and drinks (like coffee!) that I couldnt have on my dinner trays.... it's just better if you have what you need on hand to control your own comfort and diet - they can handle the pain and any other meds you might need for you but I was REALLY glad I took my own supplies.

Lots of the others on here went home the next day after their operations....I stayed where the pain medicine was (like most others "like me" I have a very low pain threshold and a high tolerance to opiates, many others on here said they experienced very little pain).....but the hospital itself is just a minor annoyance in the end.
You'll be okay in there. : )

Everything is going to be fine...you'll see. : )

Just try to stay "in the moment" the whole time and it'll pass quicker than you can imagine...then you'll be the one sitting here telling the next person going in that there's nothing to be afraid of and sharing your personal experiences! : )

Cat
Nissen Fundoplication and Hiatal Hernia Repair 11/02/2010

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/30/2010 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   
 
As a patient advocate my best advice for you is to  realize  you do have rights as a patient. And taking the time to learn what they are can serve you well in many situations.
Among the most important of those entitlements is the right to receive an explanation of any treatment being prescribed, and the right to ask for that explanation as many times as necessary until you fully comprehend it.
 
If you don't understand why a test was ordered, or why a medication was changed, or you have any question at all about your care, you have the right to refuse that care until you can find out more.  You have the right to ask your nurse or request that your Dr. talks to you and explains if you have concerns about any of your care.  Remember your nurse is your connection to your Doctor - use your nurse well. He/she will advocate for you.
 
Your upcoming hospital stay is bringing out your fear and worries which is normal.  Talking with the members here in the forum is a great way to learn what to expect with this surgery. 
 
I will be cheering you on and sending good vibes your way for surgery on Friday.
 
Kindly,
Kitt

~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 11/30/2010 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Were you sleeping most of your time in the hospital? Yes, when they weren't poking me or checking my cuts.

Did you have a private or shared room? My room was private.

Did you have anyone stay with you? Yes, My mother. She slept on the bed/chair.

Did any of you do anything special the day before? I had to travel the five hour drive the day before. I did eat out, but too nervous to eat much.

I thought about taking the day off. Some things I considered are getting a massage, going to see a movie, taking myself out to a nice meal....
Sounds great...I'd pamper myself if I could.

You don't need to bring your own pillow, they will give you one if you ask for one. I placed mine on my belly for my coughing and to rest my IV arm on. I had some trouble with the vein they put it in. You will not want to sleep laying flat, your stomach muscles will be tender to being stretched. I elevated my head to a 45 degree incline with the knees slightly bent. It was a very comfortable position.
Joy

Lovie L
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 12/1/2010 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
called the hospital and all rooms are private there, that is nice. still thinking i will be staying alone unless i am in for more than one night, but hubby is planning to stay as long as i want him there. so far my pre-surgery day plans include a nice bubble bath, seeing a movie, eating some favorite holiday snacks i will miss out on (it is hitting me like a ton of bricks that christmas will be nothing like i am used to this year)

thanks for the support! 9 days til I am on my road to recovery.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5004
   Posted 12/1/2010 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a semi-private room, so I got woken up by her visitors too. I didn't want my husband to stay, and he probably wouldn't have been allowed in semi-private. I'd just wake up every time he stirred and he wouldn't have gotten any sleep in those chairs. I was on a monitor because my meds kept making me stop breathing (even when I was sitting in a chair), so that kept waking me up too, but I'm unusually sensitive to lots of meds.

I had to take my own clear liquids because hospitals don't have anything without sulfites. I made plenty for at home too because I knew I wouldn't be able to go shopping, and I can't buy clear liquids I can eat in a store anyway. I made up my own soft foods, picked up cream of rice - things in the "full liquid" and soft food categories. I knew from looking up the diet of my hospital on the internet that I would be on clear liquids when I went home and wouldn't be able to drive for a week. I have no help available to stay with me or even go shopping more than occasionally. My husband works long hours and is only home to sleep, so I can't even count on him for much except extreme emergencies.

My pre-surgery day was a lovely bowel prep - almost as bad as for colonoscopy. I was glad to get to the hospital and get the surgery done and start recovering. I woke up after surgery with a tube down my nose, and as a strictly nose-breather that is not nice, but at least I was expecting that. I also had a bandage around my wrist - looked in and sure enough they had done a radial artery line (for blood pressure) and stuck me 3 times to hit it. I had a bruise from hand to elbow, so I wasn't pleased at their technique. I used to do those sticks as an ICU tech.

But it's over! Every day got better. I needed quite a lot of pain meds because my surgery included bringing my stomach down out of my chest where it was stuck, but it was a relief to know that I wasn't refluxing anymore. My LES was no longer stuck wide open! :)

Since then I've had a vomiting episode that has messed up my wrap. I didn't get to the paregoric soon enough to stop it. My wrap has migrated upward and is sitting up against the diaphragm. If my symptoms get worse I'm in for a re-do, but I'll not worry if that happens. I'll go into it, if I have to, with no anxiety because it will get better.
Alcie
 
 

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/1/2010 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I didn't have anything stuck in/on me but the IV, a O2 tube under my nose, blood pressure cuff, and surgical boots when I woke up. If there was anything else they took it off before I woke up.
They did watch my sugar because of me being a borderline diabetic. Lots of sticks and one shot of insulin. :P
Joy

ZhyKitty
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/1/2010 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   
When I woke up I was connected to oxygen and something that went all crazy when my blood oxygen got too low.
That thing was seriously annoying. Let's see...there was also a blood-pressure cuff, IV, stickers on my chest...oh and those boot things were on my legs too....) .
I didnt have anything scary attached to me like the tube down the nose ...
Dont be scared...
Just like Alcie - I was alone in the hospital and I had to care for myself when I got home. It's doable. You just have to make sure you're stocked up on everything you'll need to take along with you and for when you get home. It helps if you leave all that where you can get to it easily ready to use when you get back.
One of the best things I got was an egg-crate mattress....it made laying down so much more comfortable.

Cat

GazeboGal
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 12/1/2010 7:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lovie,

My husband stayed with me in the hospital the entire time. We had a private room, but he was extremely uncomfortable trying to sleep in the reclining chair. I don't think he slept much at all. But I was glad that he was able to be there...he was the one who got me more water, handed me stuff, etc.

I was only in the hospital for 1 overnight stay. Surgery was at 7:30 a.m., I was back in my private room around 11:00 a.m., and they discharged me the next day (today) around noon. So all in all it was a pretty quick stay.

I slept most of the afternoon yesterday, and I would have slept last night had they not come in every 2 hours to check my vitals. But I would drift back to sleep pretty quickly.

I took off the day before my surgery just so I would have time to get everything together. We made sure that we have plenty of liquids and soft soft foods on hand for when I came home. And I went and had my "last supper" of choice! (I chose a big plate of pulled pork barbeque and creamed corn from one of my favorite places. It was awesome!!) :)

I purchased me one of those warm-up style suits where the top is fully zippered in the front and the pants are elastic...this made it very easy to get dressed this morning when I was discharged so I didn't have to raise my arms for anything to go over my head.

I did take my own pillow, as I prefer mine. (plus I have a thin blanket/wrap that I prefer, so I took that with me as well. It was good that I had them, because they both came in handy for my husband when we went to sleep. No one offered him anything in the line of a pillow or blanket. I'm sure they would have gotten him something if we'd ask, but since we had mine with us, he used them at night.

My mom came and stayed with me for about an hour yesterday afternoon so that my husband could go get him some lunch. (I would have been fine if I'd stayed alone while he left, but it was nice to have her there for a bit.) But our kids are grown, so it was not inconvenient for him to stay the night with me. I think if you have kids at home, you might prefer that he stay home at night with them and come back in the morning. Since mine was just 1 night, it was no huge deal, although uncomfortable for him.

We'll be cheering you on during this next week! (I just came home from the hospital today, so over the next few days, I'll give you an update on what I'm experiencing.)

--LeAnne :)
GazeboGal
Nissen Surgery on 11/30/10

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/1/2010 8:50 PM (GMT -6)   
The warm up suits will be your friend for the next few days. I couldn't zip my pants up for two weeks due to my stomach swelling.
Joy

Post Edited (couchtater) : 12/1/2010 7:56:50 PM (GMT-7)


newlywrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 12/1/2010 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lovie,
 
When I had my surgery, my husband stayed overnight with me. I was so grateful that he did! I had IV fluids running and I had to pee just about every 2 hours. I was dopey from the pain meds so I had jello legs and needed help to get to and from the bathroom. Just something to consider if they have the same effect on you. My husband didn't get any sleep that night I'm sure, but he didn't care as long as he was taking care of me.
 
Also, keep up with your pain meds scheduling. I didn't have a pain pump so I had to ask for something every 4-6 hours. Stay on top of the pain! It's not worth it to hurt!

newlywrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 12/1/2010 8:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh and I ate a HUGE "last supper" meal at The Cheesecake Factory" :-)

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 12/2/2010 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lovie,
Be sure to buy the pants loose (get some with a string), because you'll have some bloating, and you won't want tight elastic, either.

Take Gas-X with you to the hospital...it's almost impossible to get it--it nearly took me an act of Congress. Keep any such supplies tucked away in your suitcase, as if it's surrendered to the powers that be, you'll be at their mercy again.

Don't drink out of any straws...they introduce too much air into your stomach. The hospital kitchen won't know that. They gave me carbonated soda on my first tray...go figure. They haven't a clue.

When you first get out of surgery, you'll have difficulty swallowing water, but give yourself a little time, and you'll be swallowing it just fine.

A night nurse gave me the best advice ever...WALK. She advised that I should get out and walk whenever I got out of bed to go to the bathroom. I walked laps around the hospital hallways, and at home I walked from room to room. I had a treadmill, so after a week or so, I got on it and walked slowly at first...increasing the speed as I felt better. It helps get/keep your strength up.

Good luck tomorrow! You'll do just great. If you get a chance, read the post on LeAnne's thread where I pasted my post surgery forum entries.

We'll be waiting to welcome you to the Wrapped Club!yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Have a Happy Hospital Stay!
(((((hugs)))))
Denise

GazeboGal
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 12/2/2010 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I also woke up with an O2 line connected to my nose (just one of those that sits right at your nostrils and you can move it as needed)....I also had a catheter inserted until the next morning...(which certainly helped me not having to get up during the night to pee, but I wasn't expecting to have it, so it was a surprise to me). I think because I had the catheter, I wasn't encouraged to get up and walk while I was in the hospital. (I think it would have helped me with the shoulder pain if I had been able to get up and walk some.) So I didn't walk until the next morning following my surgery...when my doctor came in to check on me that morning, he was not too happy that they did not already have me up and walking.

I also had the leg tights on and hooked up to the machine that puts pressure on your legs...I'm pretty sure this was to keep blood clots from forming and keep my circulation going.

Also, as others have stated, be sure to be alert as to what you should and shouldn't have to eat/drink. I got straws brought with all my meals and the nurse brought me iced water...neither of which I should have. Luckily, from this forum, I knew that it was best NOT to use straws and I shouldn't have anything too cold or too hot. Sip slowly!! This will hopefully keep you from getting hiccups or swallowing too much air. (not fun!)

I slept pretty good last night...I did have to get up about 3 times to potty. My throat is still a bit dry and I have to cough up some phlegm here and there...which is a bit of a struggle.

Lovie, be sure and read Denise's daily updates that she posted in my thread ("WRAPture Day") She's got some really good info on what else to expect! Denise, I am going to try your ice pack trick on my left side today! I bet that will help me a lot!

Oh, I FINALLY tooted today!! (We're celebrating at my house!) :) I haven't yet had a bowel movement (of course I haven't eaten anything substantial at all, but I know that you are encouraged to get back to a normal bathroom routine as soon as possible.) Hopefully that will come today for me. Denise, how long before you were back to "normal"?

Take care Lovie! At this point, just be looking forward to it! I'm SO glad that I did this!!! I just know it is going to be a great answer to many prayers for relief for me!!! :)
GazeboGal
Nissen Surgery on 11/30/10

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/2/2010 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Took three days for me. :S
Kitty took 14 days. (ouch!)
It depends on how much pain meds you're on. They can slow you down.
Joy

ZhyKitty
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/2/2010 7:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Yep, 14 days! I hope that NEVER happens again! lol

It's so nice to see you cheering and in good spirits LeAnne! : )

You've got the perfect attitude to sail on through!

Cat
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