I am six days post op today. All in all I thought it went better than I thought. A few surprises along the way. After reading Issaquah's post I think we had very similar experiences. Length of time in surgery was 2 hours. I had the patient controlled analgesic pump with Morphine for 36 hours. I did have an NG tube for 2.5 days and therefore had no oral fluids or ice chips for that length of time, which may have been the most challenging part beside being in ICU the entire time. I am pretty healthy so that surprised me but they chose to monitor my heart closely but they did take me down to do the esophagram the next morning. I did realize that you do have to be your own patient advocate because they tried to get me to drink the barium through a straw, which I had been told from the beginning that was a no-no and also tried to lay be flat on the gurmey when I had been told that I should never go below 30 degree incline for several months.
I have not used anything for pain since day 2. Every once in a while I will take Tylenol but that is more for muscle discomfort from sleeping in awkward positions. I am able to burp, which was a great surprise for me. That made me very happy. I am still on all liquids which is tough but I understand that I had most of the work done on my esophagus so whatever I have to do, I will just do.
The straw thing has not been a big deal. I am able to walk around well. I have been walking in my neighborhood, or have gone to the store to purchase supplies. I was having no gas or bm in the hospital but they make sure your bowels are awake before you go home. Since then I have been plagued more with diarrhea so I try to lay off two things; very cold drinks, and things that contain too much sugar.
Initially I had more energy than I thought that I would but I find that my energy comes and go's. Today I think I was the most fatigued but as I said, I have been busy and correspond with the office via email and phone. If I had to work I could probably go back at post op day 12 but I would not suggest it. You don't know how your body reacts. I am occasionally having a bit more problem when swallowing something. Perhaps too big a sip? But it feels like it wants to get stuck. Something to mention to the surgeon at my post op visit on Thursday.
As I remember thinking when I woke up in ICU.....the worst is behind me. It is all healing now. The anticipation is the worst. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Find the best surgeon who does a large amount of these surgeries. It is a complex surgery and you want someone that this is second nature to them. I am so glad that I did. I look forward to continue to heal and will let you know if my opinion changes but right now I am very happy that I did it and on the road to recovery.