Oh, you're going to be so ready to get the surgery behind you. I was very worried about
the surgery, so I was prepared for the worst. I expected to be on liquid for weeks and weeks. As it turned out, I was able to eat regular food pretty much right away. Liquids in the hospital, soft foods for 5 days, and on the 5th day saw my surgeon who said to eat anything that could be chewed to a liquid. (Always small bites, and chew, chew, chew.) I ended up not even using all the things I'd put away for the first week. (Carnation Instant Breakfast, homemade chicken broth, etc.) I stopped at a restaurant on the way home and had a cup of soup and saltine crackers. Didn't waste any time! You won't be able to eat much at all, as your stomach interprets the swelling as fullness. If you don't get that sensation, you'll have to measure your intake and eat very small (a quarter to third cup) meals throughout the day.
You'll figure it out.
Your surgeon may follow up with the dietary dept. at the hospital, but mine must not have. I had carbonated beverages on my tray, caffeinated coffee, and a straw...a complete no-no. Be sure to watch out for yourself.
I wished I'd smuggled in my own Gas-X, as it took an act of Congress to get some. If I were to do it again, I'd bring some in my suitcase.
Do you have some liquid Motrin or Tylenol at home for when you switch from narcotic meds they send you home with? You may soon need the narcotics only at night.
Ice is great on the incisions when they really bother you.
As soon as you can at the hospital get up and walk the halls. It will get the gas dispersed and help to alleviate any shoulder pain you might get. A night nurse recommended I walk whenever I got up to go to the bathroom. It was great advice.
Your surgeon may tell you that your wrap is able to handle tablet pain meds, but if you can get him to order elixir/liquid, you'll be much happier. Whether you can take it or not, you won't really want to. Insist on liquid. Be assertive. I must not have been because I ended up with tablets. It probably got me off them sooner, as they were a pain. I crushed them and put them in applesauce, but liquid would have been much easier and palatable.
Your wrap will become increasingly swollen over the first two weeks, and peak at the two week mark. After it will begin to go down. So don't be surprised if your swallowing gets worse over time. This too will pass. You may get some spasms, which is typical. Drink room temp water, and stay away from iced drinks for a while. I had a period around the fourth day when my mouth began producing tons of saliva. I ended up spitting most of it out, as I wasn't willing to swallow constantly. Everyone is different, but don't worry. All of this will work itself out over time.
If you can get yourself ready to have a positive attitude about
the healing process you'll do much better. People who rail against it have problems. Some seem to have the idea that they'll be back to normal in a couple of weeks. Your outsides will heal much faster than your insides. Just be patient.
Surrender into your recovery...follow it wherever it leads you. If you can do that, you will have a very positive experience. Don't worry about
an occasional bout of heartburn. Your wrap is swollen and uneven, and a bit of acid could escape because of that. Please don't jump to conclusions that your surgery was a failure! That's easy to do, but if you know ahead of time that it might happen, it'll be easier.
If you have any questions at all, ask away! We'll be here at the ready. We're looking forward to welcoming you to our Wrapped Club!