opnwhl4 and Ian,
I just arrived home 30 minutes ago. What an experience! Keep in mind that I went in for a complete wrap and hiatal hernia repair. Thank God I found this site before surgery. My surgeon and the hospital provided very little information regarding recovery.
20 Aug 2013 DDay
The staff took blood and x-rays before the procedure. I then went to preop and was put under. Prior to surgery I was strapped down and catherized. The surgery went well but I am having difficulty with recovery. The very first medication offered to me was Carafate by a young nurse. For those that do not know, Carafate is used to coat and soothe the lining of the stomach. I had to explain to her that I could not and would not attempt to swallow such a large pill. She then broke it in half and I still refused. After shift change, a more mature nurse entered my room and offered the Carafate watered down. I took it immediately. I started walking about 2 hours after the surgery to try and ease the pain from the gas. I really did not have any stomach pain at the time, just discomfort. Lesson learned: walk, walk, and then walk.
All I consumed on the day of the surgery was ice chips and a little water. No broth or anything else. My stomach felt ok but I could not urinate. I think this was caused from the catherization. Anyway, since I did not have very much pain just discomfort, I decided not to take a painkiller that night. Big mistake on my part. I woke up in terror around 4 am with my insides on fire. I was able to get the massive pain under control in about 30 minutes after asking the nurse for lori-tab. Lesson learned: take the painkillers.
21 Aug 2013 Day 2
I was finally able to urinate with some slight pain. Afterwards, I had broth and a few small sips of water. My stomach now feels overfull, so I have decided to just back off and stick with small sips of water. The doctor told me to walk at least an hour per day and he prescribed liquid lori-tab. I decided to have my medication refilled at CVS....big mistake as they do not handle liquid lori-tab. I then went to 3 other pharmacies and none of them handle the liquid form. I went ahead and placed my order with CVS but have called my doctor back to see if I can get the lori-tab in pill form until my other order can be filled. Lesson learned: have your medication filled at the pharmacy in the hospital immediately after discharge.
Surgeon asked me if I have been able to pass gas and the answer is no. He said not to force or put pressure on the stomach when trying to pass gas. I am about to take a beano as I finish this post. The inability to burp or pass gas is causing some minor discomfort.
Advice to others who are considering this surgery. Please, please, do not try and do everything yourself. I am divorced and live by myself and it is impossible to think straight after the procedure. My ex-wife has voluntarily stepped in and is now helping me with getting my medication issues straightened out. All-in-all I think my recovery minus of few mistakes on my part is going well. Despite how I currently feel, the surgery has already improved my overall health. My bp at check in was 145/86....after the procedure and at discharge it was 115/65. I know I have a long way to go to recovery and I am taking it one day at a time. Thanks again for all the support. I hope this post makes sense as I am still mentally and physically out of it. I will check back in later.